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r" n 



HARVARD COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 




niOM THE BEQUEST OF 

JAMES WALKER 

(ClasB of 1814) 
President of Harvard College 




G> 



DISCUSSION 



ON THE 



EXISTENCE OF GOD 



AND THB 



AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE, 



BBTWBBH 



0BI6EN BACHELEB 



AND 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



Let Truth and Falsehood gn^ple. Who ever knew Truth put to the worse 
in a free and open encounter? — Milion, 



:d Zonlroit: 
JAMES WATSON, 8, QUEENS HEAD PAS&AQ:^> 

FATBRNOSTBR B017. 






HXffiTiltt OOILME UUABY 



^1 



u 



DISCUSSION 



ON 



THE EXISTENCE OF GOD) 



BBTWBRN 



ORIGEN BACHELER, 



^AND 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



Let truth and falsehood grapple. Who ever knew Truth put to the worse 
in a free and open encounter 1 — Milton. 



J. WATSON, 3, QUEEN'S HEAD PASSAGE, 

PATEttXOSTER ROW. 



1S51 



ORIGEN BACHELER'S TEN LETTERS. 
LETTBKI.*-PJnB». 

eDtloit)' of the Illb]ii i ji 



■ultjccu gf the diYinc esUeoce, > 

The atJielal^i flret and prlhdipal □ 
„ '-- -Uiioew 



tofih. 



nii»U)!lUwi thenwi; ] 






ject udOci ditcuiiinn, not vheihgr wc 


aiAnou'thi 


reiaadod. UnhMtw^ 


inoril, pQirer. Hgw >CBptiM qujlit 


« 'SSe^'^lSToiIT Sufij^™ "wh" 


Oort roquirM lie to Itnow uid gloriij- 


him. Mm 


not blamcleBa for ivronj 




inowledge. 


Sm.. of God. Prggfi o't 






ill reUUon thereto. 


LETTEE II 


—Paos IB. 








gw God. Tbe qgeiligg 


under diKMiioii !i, the belief In a Go 


. WhTlhe 






Moliait eiidsncei oT mii^, n no en 


dencu al all 


Nim™ baa these evi- 








Ukj are. Knoai^ a tMng not the 


wB^toprorBit. The BctpJic hognd t 


,3S.'™. 


n far biB uepticigia, and 




eio the analogy betneen 




IniT^dgat! 


nrea.onablc.°'whatin. 


vr.tigntion ia, and wbal it is not. Tlu 


nsa that ha. 


e a beginning muat h>TO 


hxl one, fr°in the order I>>»lil3> It 












lir and the 




( Iho roola 


fnlree. mieEwPtisn 


mmnmy. Dctign not prorad by s dMimer. bnt «1 
that a dan^nn- mutt have a designer, if a deaiBi 








Ibinr most hue boon 
InlelUgence. Wbicta the 


ctuTal. Ao eWTBal lBtdlig.Qe., m >u. 


eternal odd 



IV INDEX. 

merely be proof that he was the one that designed. How to distingoish 
between divine and human works, without seeing them performed. Ab- 
surdity of the rule, that we are to doubt what we can't unriddle. The mani- 
festations of mind, and not the mind itself, the proof of a designer. Keep- 
ing on the pivot between the different sides of a question, no warrant against 
absiu'dity. 

LETTER v.— Page 40. 

Proof that some sceptics are insincere. Explanation and proof of ezperi- 
mentiil knowledge of the divine existence. Attraction the cause, not the 
modet of action. Consequence of doubting what we can't unriddle. The 
proof and the only proof of design, viz., appearance therof. This proof in- 
fallible, or no proof at all. Nature, as well as art, has it. Various instances 
designated as samples. These instances such appearances, if any thing is. 
Nature exhibits infinitely greater evidences of design than do the works of 
art. Comparison between the reasonableness of scepticism and belief. Op- 
timism disclaimed. Omnipotence explained. This attribute of the deity 
under the guidance of his omniscience. What that omniscience sees to be 
for the best, we finite beings cannot, a priori decide ; and hence we ought not 
to make any thing in his management an objection to that wisdom. In a 
universe managed by such wisdom, we are to expect what to us finite crea- 
tures seem difficulties : hence these difficulties are rather favourable than ob- 
jectionable to the belief in an infinite God. 

LETTER VI.—Page 59. 
Renunciations of infidels. Case of the editor of " Priestcraft Exposed." 
Attraction defined. Evidence of design briefly considered. The workshop 
of the deity approachable. Mind separable from matter. The ap^arances 
of design in nature admitted by Mr. Owen. Unreasonableness ot doubting, 
or even of suspending judgment, under such circumstances. Man's adapta- 
tion of his works to the state of things surrounding him, no evidence that 
there is no designer in natural adaptation, but rather the reverse. Not abso- 
lutely to admit a God, involves the individual declining so to do in all the 
difficulties attendant on an absolute denial of his existence. Motion con- 
sidered. The existence of evil considered. It is no objection to the divine 
attributes, but rather an evidence in tlieir favour. A finite God admitted by 
my opponent. Absurdity of the admission. Demonstration of the infinity 
of the attributes of the deity, and of the perfection of his works as a whole. 
Ten additional evidences of his existence. 

LETTER VII.— Page 69. 
ifliberality of liheralists. Cause and eflect treated upon. Motion further 
considered. Proof of the transcendant goodness of God. Being good, he 
is not to be supposed to cause or even to permit avoidable evil. Proof of his 
omnipotence. Being omnipotent, the existence of evil cannot be attributed 
to a want of power on his part. Hence it follows, that he permits it in con- 
sequence of his infinite veisdom, seeing it on the whole to be for the best for 
himself, in his sphere, not to prevent it. The ten additional evidences of the 
divine existence considered. 

LETTER VIII.— Page 82. 
Specimen of the integrity and moral principle of sceptics. Evidence of 
cause. Difference between optimism ana a system of the highest wisdom in- 
cluding real evil. The God of nature and the God of the Jews the same. The 
permission of evil no evidence of a deficiency of goodness or power in him, 
but to be attributed to his infinite wisdom. His own glory the chief object 
to be consulted. Demonstration that this could not be fully displayed, with- 
out the existence of sin and its consequent misery. Other reasons for 
the existence of these. Divine wisdom displayed in the existence of 
natural evil. The ten evidences of the divine existence further considered. 
Evidences of the divine unity. 



ikdes. 

LETTER IX.— Pi 






LETTER X.— PiOl 

anity. llie divino gloij igMn. Fmttier c 
= '-•••-•— if i£e diKoisIoB. 



1 



Kipltulition of tJi 



P 



^; 



ROBEIir DALE OWEN'S TEN LErTERS. 

LETIEE I.—etoi «. 
icceptanco of 0. BichcJiT't prDpoggJ.— Objnt, Ihs iiicmtrj m 
Vnpapul^ opiniiina mait llkelT to ba held in linooril]'. QiusUod 

Euperiur to inia. If a God exlit, it !• not Iub iiill that ne stumlcl ic 
fcrinr. Tho crailcil being not rcaaombljr accouiil 



LETTER 11.— PSQB 11. 



qnfoiieil ho knan nolhinff. A beUef ot tntfui ncppdciam. auuuaon aiici 

EioiniUBliEin of tho urgamcnt deduced from bLblDgT- Krt idcB to be 
led oF bow Gad exists; npcripnae^ onolDgy, ind conoeptlDU^ d?iert u3. 



ufChrisliiins, MockErynfH 






inilltan! m jateriEi, not tiieftarof jlldgniEnl, UiB sonrt 
fj' E ooqvEnient gnldo upon Hittb, hut oannat ba BtJe 
admit ono myttery. hecauto wo cannot erpEain nnoth 
ini. Picture of bumui ^rretohedueea ruid mieery. ] 

i>t fi evil. MiBuy in ttiG world ^ Buf^icat ^n^^ ^ 



LETTEa V,— I'AOS ! 
icbDit. Wbnla ugunient rcguillag deal 

iL between them exiilblteiL Judgmeal 
Admisiion of pTvml&«g« but objectio 



. Qlarln^ oulxHigv upaa t 



"iato'a opfjuoD 



' impedimeDti to gmter fii^a}iDei 
lETTEB, VI.— PlBE 65. 



ition. Man'i aienoy uoiforqji precedea irtifldi 
in relition lo acilj. Motion diitinct from mi 
B idea of amnlpolBDCfl. Abalijhty unabie to itapn 






Theological 
Id blood sted. 






I 



lion diiflnmi. EiempUan of irooruiH 

ii tirtne In Qui. ImatilDuy dlala^a 

lof^ane. ^opuiatioii of ancient cotuitriei. Strange oploi< 
of truth. UpeeUinf of pl«aeurc boat! on Buudayi. 



UTidcucea in Lbeolog; i 
LETTEB IX.— 1 



hti. Opinian 
Hlnrbea Btalci 



TO TILE READER. 



i.iLRT mdirtdual should be b. friend to ftea inquiry. If ho 
L.ilds the trnih, he should urge inquiiy, btcaoBC Uiat promeles 
iruih ; if he holds error, he ^Duld Btill court inquiiy, twcause 
!hut lends lo expoie error ; and siuely it is deiinible lo be re- 
^^Iflimed from error, iniismuoh lis a belief ia (hat, however agree- 
able, will not make it truth. But free inquiry conaisla not 
merely in the perusal of works favourable to our own riews, 
Iherebj confirmiDg oiiraeWeB in our preconceived opinions. It 
conaiMs in the lull exaniinntion of bolh sides of a question. No 
sulqect a thoroughly iDveBtigated, and fettled on an JmmuveRble 
bt^ till it bua been assailed at every point, and has met and 
repelled its aasailant ia tia fnll atrength ; liU on it the bellige- 
nnt* have met, and measured SKords, and done their mightiest ; 
fcr it is expecting quite loo much of one of the parlies, lo snp- 

Cthat he will da the other's fighting an bhodify as be would 
elf. 11 is, therefore, not in the nature of Oie case, that the 
conlrovertiat who Ireala on a. aubject alone, how fliirly soever 



be 



may represent the side which he opposes, w 
tile, HB if (hat side were in the field. He v 



«iU have E 
a will indeed a 
ig arguments, but he wilt not answer himself. 



it would, 1 

sharpened, and his invention strained, as would the other's lo 
(B objections and obstneles. and to throw the last possible mis- 
Inde^ it were doBitable that the champion of truth have 
»l«ays an opponent, lo produce all manner of diificultiea for Mm 
to obviate, instead of having [hem aflerwards advanced unan- 
■wned, lo the annoyance, and, perhaps, the diseomflturc of others 
Ism [irepared for the encounter. Error defeated in her nil] 
airMph, is efiectiialty defeated. Crippled and disabled, she lies 
uiiine; and over her prostrate form, the veriest invalid, who 

■ ■ vet dared the mighty eonfliet, can safely peal the notes of vio- 

■ ri'. But let her off with a passing defeat ; suffer her lo escape 
Miti her legions armed, broken and scattered though Ihey be 
ijulshe will rally i^iu her strength, and lall on the dcfonceles^ 
«lien their champion is withdrawn from the scene of action. 

No m»n »^lo merely reads a controversial work written by one 
of tba Mrfce, reads thoroughly on the subject; nor is he fully 
qoalifled by that course of reading lo defend a cause. Wert- h« 
te with an antagonist, he would find, with all his con. 



f 



his controTeisiat lore, new objecliuna to meet, and new nrgQ' 
-for which, unless he weie himself a, masier, 
he would God he ware. ii]Bj]equB.te. But the principal ad- 
sending inlD Ihe woild both sides of a conlroversj 
on, lies in this : that those ou the erroneous side 
will thereby be induced to read what truth has to Ba; in her own 
hehtilf, and that too in her own words. This ia a desideratum, 
and one toe which Ihia measure alone can secure. Every 
reaionable man tnuat certain I ji prefer the full inTestigation of a 
qneslion to a partial one; and surely Ihe invesligation is more 
thorough where both sides speak, for themselves, than where 
one of the parties speaks for both. Here, then, we find, at 
last, the means of obviating thut great difficulty so generally 
the subject of complaint, viz. : that erroHsU will not examine 
the evidences in faToot of truth. In this way Ihey ipHI examine 
them. Certainly they cannot object lo reading their own argu- 
ments iH their own words. And the circumEilaace thdt ihs 
arguments of the opposite side arc allached lo ibem, ought to 
be Qo olQectiou ; for erery one should he willing to give a sutyect 
a fair examination, by hoaiing both sides. And as far as the 
cause of truth is concerned, Ihe sending out of bolh sides in con- 
nection, so far from being aa objection, is so much the bftler ; 
for, in this way, direct replica are furniBhed to those argumenU; 
so that, although Ihe reader sees the ergumenls in favour of 

' B likewise sees theif coanlentciion at Ihe eatne limfi. 



Higumcnts B 






t 



Tlie abellors of error will scatter abroad ihcti 
rule ; and surely it is belter, seeing they will 

go alone. tier need the ftienda of truth be afraid to have 
rAeir arguments and evidences sent inlo the world in such 
A connection ; for, " though all tlie winds of doctrine were 
tut loose 10 [liy upon the earth, so Iruih be in Ihe Held, wa do 
injuriously to misdoubt bet slrenglh. Let htr and falsehood 
grapplr. Who ever knew tiuth put la Ihe wcjrse in a true and 
opeo encounter r" 

Some thpre are who, in view of all these lliinRS, are ready lo 
exclaim, What good does all this do ; They might as weli 
ask what good it does lo give the reasons ami evidences of a 
ihing. 7%i!i/ must be very unnactmailt who object to reBioning. 
Yea, so inipracticable is their Iheory on this point, that, ere 
they are aware, Ibey Bud IhemaKlres warmly engaged in con- 
tioversy against controversy, and striving to give Teatona why 
men ahould not rcnsoD? But whom do we convince, ask they. 
Lei them apply Uieir rule ihraughmit, and a«k ahum lawyers 
and wituesscs convince ; whom Ihe speakers iu the It^gislature 
and in CDngress convince. And Iben let them " 
themselves convince 
afterhaving dona Ihii . 
— ion why we should no' 

jrse wilhont inlermpti 



1 tu II us whom they 
leltJuiul argument and evidence. And, 
, let them, in order to be ■ 



And, I 



^ 



Olhers are ready to ssk, " Of wliat cooiequence is it whether 
tliese Lhinga are so or not ?" Of very ^reat conaeqaence indeed. 
And go judge others, as appeara by lh6 Toluminiiiis wtilinpa 
both gf ChristiaiiE and Eceptica- Religign is the all-impurtaut 
thing, or eUc it is a gross imposition on mankind. In either 
cttsa, it ia not an indifferent concern. If it is true, it ought tu 
be maintained; if &lse, oreithreivii. Hence, balli Christiaii^ 
ani! sceptics act a more rational part in the interest which they 
mimifest ia relation to the subject, than do youi Gallioa, who 
" care fornona of these thinga." 

The discussion which appeals in this Tolunte, was originally 
carried on in the columns of Ihe Ncw-York Free Enquirer. It 
s now icpuhliahed, with emendalionB and an appendix and 
(able of contents, and sent out into the world to take its own 
course, and meet audi a reception as miinkind shall see fit to 
give it. OnioEM D*j311bl£b- 



EXISTENCE OF GOD 



TO KOBEHT DALE OWEN 



Ne«--Yotk, January 23, 1831, 
S:b, 

Though a belicvpr in the Christian religion myself, I im 
nevertheless a friend to reason and fieu inquiry. Indeed, so bt 
am I horn thinking that men ou^ht to admit ChnBtianity, or mn 
thing else, -without evidence, that I should be among the first W 
repiehend SDch blind faith. To me there is nothing terrific id 
tbe idea of free inquiry ; for, without gudi inquiry, there cannol 
be a foil and lair investigation of sabjects. And the more fax il 
is, the better foe the cauae of liuth ; for the more plainly will 
that be manifested. The Christian, therefore, so far &om shrink- 
ing from discussion, should be among the foremost to promote il, 
as an effectual means of advancing %vliat he considers to be all- 
important truth!). 

But while, on the one hand it is n t tree mquiry, to tefilra 
to examine the evidiinces in favour of scepticism on the other, 
it is not free inquiry, to refuse 1( cximine the evidences of 
Christianity. Those sceptics who tail agamst the Bible, and 
who read on]y their own side of the question are as great 
bigots, and as litlio entitled to the nami, ot &ee mqmrers, as are 
those Christians who rail against scepliciam and read only the 
arguraenls in favour of Chnst aniti Those only are free 
inquirers, and reasonable men, who fuliy eiamme subjects, and 
heheva according to the evidence which such an eiaminalion 
fiirniahBE. 'Wherefbre, to Bscertam ■whether a man is a ftec 
inquirer or not, we are not to ask whether he is a Christian or a 
sceptic ; but whether he fully examines subjects. I do therefore 
object to the monopolUin^ of this title by sceptics. 

This premised, I am now prepared to enter on a free and a 
full eiaminatioa of the evidencea in relation to the existence 
of (Sod, and the authenticity of the Bible. These questions I 
conceive to be of the highest importince ; because, if there is a 
God, it is reasonable to suppose wo are accountable to him ; 
and if the Bible is true, it is fatal to reject it. It is therefore H 
plain dictate ot reason Haelf, that we should candidly and 
thoroughly eiamine these subjecla, prepared to follow whiHi CTi. , 
■ Boevei the evidences which on investigation may aiise bIMMI 



I 



^^ EXISTKKCE OF GOD. 5 

letA. Moat Bssuredly, it csnnot bo to our inlerest to lie de- 
oeiiei oa these points ; for if tliere is a. God, and if the Bihle U 
tme, our diibBHrcinff therein will not alter tha case. Let us 
Iherefote, like rational creatnroa, calmly approach lliese sub- 
ieclB, not to overihrov or upbuild ihia, tlut, or the other, but to 
examine, (o inveitigate, to we how thitHfi are. This is the way la 
"proTB all IhingB;" hut prejudice and bias prreent proof. 

First, then, let us exmnino tho question of the exislence of 
God. And let us consider oursGlTes equally interested, not to 
make out onr respective theories, but to Mcettain whether thora 
ia a God or not. I repeat it: Let it be our object to arrive at 
llie truth, and not to vanquish each the other. 

The proper inquiry on this point seem? to be: la there 
reason, nil thmgi comidered, for biliet>inff that there is a God — 
an inlelUgent cause of things, infinite und perlect in all hi^ attri- 
butes and moral qualities. 

When we behold the misery and vrickednesB abroad in the 
eaitll, we veiy naturally ioquixe, " Could a being of infinite 
goodness and power permit such things ? Had we the power, 
we would not permit them." Hencu, some conclude at once 
(hat there con be no God. But (liis is oertainly u lias^r conclU' 
man, becaose it is farmed without full examination. If, in ex- 
amining a subject, we see difficulties on the one side, wa should 
examine liirlher, and see whether there are any on the other. 
And ir. afler having fully e!iB.miDed. the case, we find difflcnlties 
on both) we should compare them, and see which are llie greater, 
and adopt that side which has (he less. 

In the case b(^fbre ns, there is at flrat sight nn apparent difii- 
colty as to ibe eiistence of God, in tho circumstance of the 
eiistence of sin and misery. But this dilficulty rises from a 
partial consideration of the divine altribAites. The sceptic, in 
maluug this objection, brings but two of thesB into view, viz., 
goodiiftt and poiMr, not once considering that the exercise of 
both is rcgulalfd by tcisdom. But then again he inquires, " Mow 
ran there oven be wisdom in the permission of sin and misery f" 
Were we omnisoieut, perhaps we could see : but, hmited as we 
are in knowledge, wo are at least tinaalhorized to say that their 
permission is mnniie. This we cannot *n«w, wilhoat infinita 
wisdom. We cannot be nire, therefore, that what seems in this 
instance an objection to the divine existence, is in reality so. 
Vet this, I belioie, is the great reason for atheism. 

Now I must confess that, on ifda consideration, this very rea- 
son, which adiois(£ consider an objection (o the existence of a 
God, is 10 me an aliment in its &voni. Were all tiling in 
accordance with the limited wisdom of man, there would b(! 
reason <o liuppose that lliey were not conbived by wisdom 
M^ierior to Ins, and, consequently, that they were not contrived 
by ia/lnitt wisdom, and, therefore, that there ii no inlinitt wis. 
dooi — no Ood. To illuslrale tliis, take tie c«ae ii a. ^:iSi&^- 
Ilis knowledge being less ijian that ot a niv.u, 'i* ttM.t Vn. traoift 



6 EXISTENCE DF OOD. 

caena, dtffereati; boia b. ma.ii. And where wc cua Me no 
liut works similar to Ihase of childreo, th^re ia rBBsoa to Ba^, .. 
that men did not do them. So, if tke nniverae were ia oiMwid- 
ajiue with, the Tiew9 of men., it would be reasDnable to Buppon 
that it waa not contrived hy inBnite wisdom. I do tlier^im 
consider the apparent imperfection of things a. strong argiunenl 
in proof of the eiiatence of God, in&tead of being on objection 
Bgainal it. 

I will not enter fnrther into the subject Bit liia time : Buffic* 
thiti for the opening of the discussion. 

Orige>4 Bachele 



TO ORIGEN BACHELER. 



Jannary 29, 1831. 
I accede to the proposed discuasion, in hopes that it ma; be 
conducted with eamestnesa and candour. All discussions k 
condtictod subservD the interests of truth. 

Far am 1 trom objecting to your definition of a fret inqavtr. 
If I haTB con^deied myself entitled to the chttractei, it is 
anredly not because I may happen to beliete a little len, o. _ 
little more, than my neighbours : but solely because I feel that 
I am disposed to seek liuth, wherever it may be fonnd; wiQiin 
the pale of orthodoxy or without it ; in reli^on or ia scepticism ; 
under the form of popiJar virtue or of moral heresy ; in th 
histoiiea of all ranks as of all countries. My single otyect 'u, 
not to Gild truth in this creed or ia that system — not in the code 
of one country or the ctiatoma of another, but, wherever i' ■■- 
to find it. 

It is idle in me to profess sincerity. The most careless 
sorrer must perceive that I can have no motive but an hi 
one for adhering to opinions which bring mc neither rii 
honotu, a good name, nor any worldly advantage, except that 
inralnahle one, the pleasant consciousness of being &ce to follow 
the dictates of conscience, unbiassed and imahacUed. 

Ydu will find me di^sed to plain dealing. I will never 
chime to mieunderstand you. I will quibble at no words, beg 
no question, take lefnge behind no sophism, and evade no en- 
counter. Thus, ]ierhap9, time and temper may be saved to both 
of us. But enough, of professions. 

The Arst question regards the eiistence of a God. 

1 perceive no evidence whereby to affirm or deny that one oi 
a million beings superior to man exist throughout space, 
may, or a million may, so exist. They may tske cognizance (»(J 
man's actions. They msy influence has destiny. I deny it notSr 



I affirm it not. This is no cTHaion of Ihe orpiment. TlierB 
may be InhabitanU in llie fiun ; oao, or a million, ur Uiousajidi 
of millione. 1 cannot any there are, nur can I aaaat that thera 
are not. 1 Imoir as liiuc about Ibe eiietence and oataia of a 
God or Go<la, as I do ubout Ute existence and nature of solar 
beings: and I Uoiible inyiiulf as little about t^ one as Ibe nlher. 

You imy I ought to trouble myself. You say it ia of Tasl 
importance for us lo know. You say, if there be a God, we 
are accountable to Mm. 

Here, then, we first join Issue. Nothing upon earth, not my 
ewn eliatenoe, ia more evident la me IhaQ this— that if there be 
an omnipotent God, it has not been his will that 1 should know 
any thing about htm. How can 1 be suri: of this ? Become I 
know natiing aiout him. I have never sought to know him, you 
iiili urge I But 1 liave. I have Bought tu know him uiiiously, 
pL-r^evermgly. If he exist, he baa concealud Idmself Irom mc. 
i may be umwbun of his «iist<ince ; I aju certain that he has 
concealed it from me. I am certain — and if 1 could find a 
stronger word I would employ it— I am eerlaui that Aa did Hot 
intend me to knoK him. Ysu cannot deny this, except by assert- 
ing that this is a subject upon which wc may nut reason. Then 
why bid me approach it? 'Tia not of my seeking. Either we 
can reason of Iho intentions of a Deity, or we cannol. If wa 
can, let us reason, and let us decide, as I have done. If we 
cannot, let iu cpnfees ihat to »pealL of Cods tKHta SQt men- 
Suppose a God. Shall he be angry with me that I know 
him not ; Wlmt a strange idea I He holds in his hands the 
power to reveal himself at any moment — the power to excite 
belief in ray mind, in an instanl, by his almighty volition ; he 
holds the power, and eiLerta it nut. And he shall punish me, 
Aecoilse he eierla it not I 1 should consider myself a wretch 
unworthy to live, if, under similar circumstances, I acted thus 
toward the meanest reptile that crawls the earth. But we must 
not judge God, you say, by our human reason. Then, for con- 
iisteney's sake, tet us not talk about him. 

But why should a God wish ns to know him— to glorify bim J 
I du not pretend to be less fond of praise than my neighbours : 
but I should be perfectly ashamed of my childishness, if 4 
insisted upon the crawling caterpillar knovring me, or, suppos- 
ing that 1 had created it, glorifying me.* If I wish to be 
known, or to be praised at all, it is by my equals only, not by 
worms of the dust. Man is less than i worm of the dust com- 
pared to {the usual conception of J a God. 

But WB shiill be accoiaiiahla to God I This is the slraugest 
idea of all. If I had created you, Origen Bachalor; U I 
made yon, bodily, mentally, morally, as you are ; had given you ' 
the desires you possess; had placed you as you have been 

LdukjaU to reaa»aQ thii lalilpct. nn imn^iT^ tfi^n'e^.Qr^^a- 
iu No. i3 at YoL U, ot Ibe rr« EnqulrEi, 



l 



tXISTliSCI! OF GOT>. 



1 



placed; haa aTianoied GTeiy objett and circumiiljuice, even Uis 
at minute, tbat has evur presented itself before your senses, 
influenced your itctions, or ncted upon your mind ; had fiicd 
e exact strengtti of temptation that has ever assailed you, and 
e exact degree of support vhich may hare heeu ifforded you 
to meet that temptatioQ ; if I had thus been yoni creator, your 
situator, youi tempter, your supporter, who would be account- 
able — you to me, or I to you ? If lirtue within you wna Btronger 
ihun temptation, who had regulated its strength, you or I ? If 
temptation was slionger than virtue, who made it so, you or I ? 
If yon were Tirtuous, should not 1 have caused your virtue F if 
Ticioufl, should not I have caused your yia ? Should not 1, ihe 
potter — ^not you, the clay — be aecountable (if accountability 
there must bo) for both ? 

If God be man's creator, upholder, governor, there is not a 
thought of man's heart, not an impulse of his will — there is oot 
a sensation he experiences, not an idea he forme, tlmt is not 
God's — that does not come, directly, positively, from the Al- 
mighty. To Bay that all thoughts, impulses, sensations, iotns, 
come from one Being, and that the responsibility rests irilh 
another, is as reasonable in my eyes as it would be were I lo 
hold this printed sheet accountable fur the words I bad stamped 
upon it. Had I not wished the words so printed, I should not 
so have printed them. Ha^ a God not wiahed man so cha- 

lautered and circumBlaiiced, he would not have so organized or 

so .placed him. 

I BSk yoQ, then : 

What are the proofs to man that a God or Gods— that a devil 
or devils — that angels — that spirits good or evil— in a word, that 
any beings of nature and attributes superior to maa, exist 1 

If they do exist, why should we trouble ourselves about their 
existence P If they hive the will that we should know them, 
have they not the power ? and if bolh tlie will and the power, 
why do we not all know Ihem f If they do not wish ns tii 
know them, why should we seek lo do so 1 

The space idlotted to me is exhausted ; and I await your 
reply. RoBEBi DttB Owen. 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



of those who doubt [ram ii 



New-York, February 5, 1S31, i 
f imcere sceptics and »i 



^ EXISTESOB OP SOD. 9 

ralhei ihan bellere in future retribution, woold forego," riches, 
honour, a ^od name," or aimosl any thing else. Heace, I do 
not consider a, man's scepticism a cet-Aun evidence of hia sin- 

11 ia difficult for me to conceWe of a stale of mind equi- 
balancod, in relation to the question of the divine existence. 
There is, or there is nol, a God. And it is not Gupposable that, 
in a ease of this nature, there is equal reason for belieYiiig 
either the wrong oi the right side. If there is a God, he did of 
course create the universe, and that loo in an inSnitely wise 
manner. It (here is not a Ood, the universe must have heen 
eternal, and void of plan. Now, to aa; that where thoro is B 
work of infinite wisdom, there is nothii^ therein manifest to 
show it to he anch a work, more than to show it to be void of 
wisdom, appears to me unicasonable in the extreme, and tice 
carta. Yet it i« virtually saying this, for a mnn to assert that 
he perceives no evidence to afftrm or ifeny the eiistcnco of God. 
If be thinks upon the subject at all, he must in the nature of 
the case inc^e to the one side or the other. But if lie thinks 
not upon it — if he lionises so important a subject from his 
mind, he arts very uareasauably. 

It should be remembered, that the question now under dis- 
cussion is, not whether we knoa there is a (jod, but whether, 
on the whole, there is reason to believe this. And suppose we 
krwK jtolAing oJcHf it, what haa this lo do with belitff We 
know nothing about Alexander the Great ; still we believe some- 
thing abont him. For the very reason that we do not know a 
thing, we believe in relation to it; for, intre we lo know it, 
belief woold be out of the qnesdon, inasmuch as knowledge 
excludes belief. It is a misuse of tlie term belief, to apply it in 
cases of knowledge. It is incorrect lo say we believe what wo 
know. For a man then to say, that he does not believe in a 
God because he does not know there is one, is a mnnifest ab- 
surdity. 

That God has the physical power to do any thing to which 
physical power is applicable, I readily admit. Bnt as the ap- 
plication of this power is made under the guidance of his infinite 
wisdom, I do not admit that he baa the moral power lo apply 
this physical power to its full extent m alt cases. To illustrate. 
A good man has the physical power, that is the bodily strength, 
requisite to murder a numerous family of children. But he is 
morally unable to do it. The good principle vrithin deters him 
from the exercise of hia physical power in this maimer. So of 
God. He baa the physical power to do any physical deed, good 
or bad ; bnt lus wisdom and his goodnem deter him from doing 
tOTOtg. To say, then, vrilhout quahfication, that God has the 
power to make ua know him, is assuming the- question, .md 
lulking at random. He baa not the power (moral power I 
mean) to do ihis, onleiu his wisdom sees best. Wc -v<fj(vi\j^^iA. 
bo God, were he to act unwisely, U ite bias ^MnxMa-Watmai 



I 



I 



I 10 KXISTKKCE OP G( 

eridencfl to believe in lua exislence, (which is the very jHMnt 
under discussion,) wc btd without excuse for diabelieving therein, 
and hare no right to sxy that he did not intend we should thni 
beUeve. I believe there are evidences suJScient within tba 
reach of every man, to convince him of tlie divine exialenoei 
and that if he is imconvinced thereof, it ia either becsiua ha 
has not fully examined those evidences, 
them with a becoming apiiit. God, being good, han undoubtedly 

done all lie could consiHtently do, to make Lis ■ - 

quainted with him — whicli without question is sui 

so, that a man la a sceptic ; still, not knowing but there may ba 
a God, he shoald say and /eel thus : " O thou God of the uni- 
verse, (if one there is,) do thoa enlighten my mind, and lead ma 
to necessary knowledge and belief." Tlua prayer ahoold be 
accompanied with a thorough eiamiaation of all the evideDcet 
to which he bas access : the force of which evidences he shooli 
permit to take Its legitimate effect on his mind, as that of olhei 
evidence does. At the same time, let liim do in other respect! 
what appears duty, and avoid doing what appears wrong, or 
even what appears questionable , yea, what may not appear so 
to him, but may be deemed wrong by othcra, (imleaa indeed il 
should appear duty to him to do it;) let him, 1 say. do all tl|i<, 
and I shoald myself be almost willing to be answerable for all 
the Bcepticisni that would long continue in his mind. All this 
flie sceptic can do; all this be ought to do. Yet how few,. 
have we reason to believe, adopt this rational and proper coarse I 

"But why," I am asked, "should God insist upon our know- 
ing and glorifying him?" Because wo ouffAl so to do. Ha 
requkes this, out of regard to ri|^L A parent requires defer< 
eace from a child, because that child should render such defer- 
ence, aod because it would bo unseemly and rebellious for it not 
to do so. And inferioriq' on its own part, rendeia its debt M 
much the greater, and the parent's claim so much the stronger^ 
How great then the obligation of man to render, and how 
strong the claim of the Creator to have him render, homage and 
adoration to himself I 

That there ia neither moral good nor evil in human actioni, 
few, I believe, even of sceptics, are prepared to assert That 
the man, who, to gratify revenge, assassinates another, is blamS'i 
less, IS a sentiment that outrages common sense, and that would, 
were it to be generally adopted, sunder tlie ties which hold 
together society, and cause man to fly for shelter from the feos 
of his fellow, to the thick forest or the craggy cliff. If we 
conscious of any tiling whatever, it is of blame for certain actic 
And if we are to blame, it follows of course, that neither oat 
nor God, nor any thing else, baa to created, situated, circi 
Btanoed, and charactered ua, as to reader us blameleii for ._ 
actions. And hence the argument against accountabili^ 
God, fails. To liken man, who has a will with r^aid to 
— .; — '- a iheet of paper, which has none in relation to 





;oD. 11 

letuaa etuttampfd upon that, ia evidently a Tery imEuitnble com- 
parison. Man acts, and ids scconUng to hia volition. The sheet 
of paper neither acts, nor has voiition. And to represent God as 
governing ToluDlary agents, as men are, in the same manner as he 

In answer to the question, "What are the proofs of God's eiist- 
ence ?'" I reply: the UNiVBRaK — evehv tuing. There's not an 
insect, not a blade of gcasa, Iiul displays omnipotence and omni- 
science ; much more iocs the great whole. 

To (he question, "Why shuoldve trouble ourselies about the 
matter, even if God does eiaat ?" i answer : Because it concema 
us. If God is our maker, our ruler, oni Jndge, common sense 
teaches us, that we ought to render him homage and obe- 
dience ; in onlei to nhich, it is neceasary to believe in his exist- 
euce. and to know hia wUI as relates to our duty. 

I wish to know what to understand by the phrase, " being or 
beings ttiperior to man." Ths qucaliun under diBcassion is, "Is 
there reason to believe in an iiyfniifl Goii?" notin_^ito jotb. I 
intend, however, during this discussion, to Ireat on the umly of 
God. 

Origen Bacheleb. 



II Feofuary 12, 1831. 

L An insincere man is not one who btUeva this way or that 
«ay, but one who profisKs what he does not believe. What 
motive a man can have to forego " riches, honoui, a good name," 
in order to profess unpopular doubts, vhich he Joei not entertain, 
is a mystery to me. 

Let us take up one question at a time ; and the must important 
first. The quEationa of accountabiii^, &ee-wil1, and so on, will 
followby andby. 

I freely admit to you Hint we cannot knou toat tnere is a God ; 
and thus, in one sense, all men and women are atheists, or 
rather sceptics. Bui have we something less than a knowledge 
of him r Can we reasonably ielletv, though we cannot knout, 
hia eiistcncB? That is the plain question. Proceed wo to 

" What are He proofs of a creating God's eiistence f " " The 
tmiverae — every Hung." 

The universe is a proof to us of its oBiies-- ''- 

perceive it ; but why a proof of any thing n 



TO ORIGEN BACHELEK, 



ceivB It ; out way a prooi oi any inmg mote ( 

' I see a chair, " jou say. " The chaJt is pxoijt ol toot^ iCKiai. 



GOD. 



it! a>VTi 



BX1STBBCE D 

: it is proar of tlie e 
i o£ iJie argnmenl of Paley m 



J ua ft chair-maker. Why ? Onljf beolw 
nown, or can every day see or know, f" 
We have n 




r 

H Let 

^M A chftii proves ' 

■ we have seen or 1 

^H men make choirs. 

^r that Ihey mftke them. We cad trace baok chair 

and Gnd that or^in a chaii-maker. Could i 

i origin, and find that origin a Gad, the ci 
he parallel ; and we should believe in a God as we da in a ohail 
maker. It is not the exatence of a chair, that prores il 
but the asceilained fhct that men do make chans. Witluna It 

H aactrlained fast, the chaii would prore, like the u 




If chairs dropped on the earth fram the clouds, there d 
be soma analogy between chairs and uniTeraea ; but then c' 
would no longer be proofs of chair-makers. 

"But if chairs are made,"* you argue, "why not a . ._ 
is for you to say, why ; not for me to say, why not, 

)t disprove to you that creatures walk a' ■ - 

with their heads nndcr their arms. 

But you think it likely, because the cases are analogous. 

(flnngt see the analogy. To make E 

fashion certain materials alter a 
verse is to give existence to non-existent matter. What analog 
is there here ? Because a man can and does put together eerliS 
maleriala to form a chair, is that the shadow of a proof, that 
■ 'n particlea t " 



i:xist£NCE OP GOD, 13 

We are not saliafied to courtss, that some thinga y/e can titee 
to their origin and some we cannot. We think to mend tlie 
matter hy supplying a. last link "wheDerer we cannot discorer 
one. and liy culling that laal link Gud. We forget, that the 
link is supplied only. We forget, tlial to call ■»liale»er we can 
call hy DO other name, Oon, and Ihut Id make this name God, 
tjie cBitBC of CTory thing Ibi which we can find no other came. 
U ool^ to inreit our ignorance with a title, and Ihen tu imagiue 
we hare Iranaformed it into knowledge. 

In truth and strictness, when we say "God made that.** we 
only mean " Man did not make it." The aasertion is in reality 
a negative one, eipreaaive of onr igaoiance. But our -vani^ 
does not like the form ; so wo make it poaitiyc, and imagine it 
eipresBiTe of our knowledge. 

"But in the uniTerse there is order, there is harmony, there 
is regular succession, there is happiness." Well \ then the 
universe, or rather parts of it, are orderly, harmonious, regular, 
beautiful, and happy. "But order, harmony, beautiful succes- 
eioQ, happiness, must have a maker." Why 1 because chain , 
Lave a miU<er \ 

When you aay *' chairs muKt have a maker," you refer to 
certain phenomena (cutting down a tree, sawing, planing, and 
so forth, all performed hy man) which always do precede the 
formation of achair. Hadyoa no knowtedffe ofthetB phenomena 
—bad you never seen, or otherwise sat^actorily ascertained, 
that, before a chair was made, a tree must be felled, and wood 
must be sawed atoA. planed and shaped and Httud — you could not 
rationalty make ^le assertion, that a chair must have a maker ; 
and, esc^i teith direct TeferBsca to theia tucertahied phaiomena, 
your assertion is without meaning : for that assertion means — 
nay, cnn roean — nothing else except that there alaayt ft (and 
therefore tn^at be, for oniform repotition is all the idea we have 
of necesntyj — that there it almaya cutting imd aaieinp and plan- 
ing and to on, before a chair it made. Bnl when you say that 
the Tmiverse, with its order, its beauty, its harmony, tniat have 
a maker, you have no phenomena to refer to. If there he 
phenomena that almn/a do precede (or in other words mvtt 
precede) creation, Jor you at least (hey do not exist; that is, 
you can take no cognizance of them. The necessity, therefore, 
of which you speak, is furelt terbsl ; for it has no aecei- 
tained uniform repetition (like the process of chair-making) lo 
which to refer, and therefore refers to nothing.t 

In a chair we may speak of deiign, because we can take 
anco of, and refer to, a chair-maker and his intentians; 
lliit eenae only hat design any msonjji^. In the uniierae 

■ bmlllBr oprEuiDn, "Cod fcnowi," ddi mapUj ffluAtrstct Ihii 
would apply oien If there tcrre ansltun \>W.'^e«i ■hulVi'o.r 



14 EXISTENCE OF GOU. 

we may speak of order, beauty, and harmony, with reference to 
our own human feelings and perceptions ; but of design, we 
cannot rationally speak : for to speak of it presupposes a know- 
ledge of, and a reference to, the existence and intentions of a 
Creator, and is thus an assumption of the very point in 
question. We must prove a designer, before design can hare 
any thing to which to refer ; or, in other words, before it can 
have any meaning* whatever.* 

A natural chaur might be formed of the projecting roots of 
a tree. We cannot speak of design here; because there is 
no chair-maker nor chair-maker's intentions to which to refer; 
yet it may be as beautiful and convenient a chair as any other. 

The Highlander who found a watch, is said to have imagined 
it an animal. When it stopped, in consequence of not being 
wound up, " Poor thing," he said, " it died the same night I 
got it." ' He might have guessed . that it was a work of art, 
and had a maker ; but if he had, it would have been merely 
because he had seen a somewhat similar specimen of human 
# handicraft ; the steelwork on his dirk for instance. 

But again. If harmony, if beauty, if intelligence, if happi- 
ness, indicate design, anl necessitate the existence of a designer, 
in the case of 1M universe, they do so much more m the ease of 
a unvoeree'inaker. The world may be orderly, beautiful, in- 
telligent, and happy : its Creator, if he exist, is much more so. 
If the chair-maker*s mind indicate design far more distinctly 
than the chair, then surely the universe-maker's mind musk 
indicate design far more distinctly than the .imiverse. If man 
be a masterpiece, God is the masterpiece of masterpieces : and 
if in the one case intelligence and admirable harmony point 
to a maker, much more so in the other. If it be a marvel that 
a man exist without a Creator, it is the marvel of marvels 
that a God should ! 

The difficulty, therefore, is increased, not diminished, by 
tracing the chain a link further back; and we are ad- 
monished that we are involved in a discussion to which human 
reason is unequal and human language impertinent. 

I have spoken to one point only in your letter, to avoid 
confusion. When vou reply the rest shall follow in order. 

Robert Dale Owen. 

P.S. The phrase "being or beings superior to man** is, I 
think, plain enough. The broad question, as I understand it, 
regards all superhuman agency. 

• See, in further elucidation of this line of argnment, A. B. Johnson's 
admirable work on the "Philosophy of Human Knowledge," pp. 133-4, &c. 
The work vras published some years since by Carvills, New- York. 



r 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



New-Yark, February 9, IS3"I. 
Sir, 

An iiisincuro scepfic 13 one who, unwilling to beaeye 
divine Uatk, eeia his wits to work to disproyo i1 ; and though 
the eridence in ita fkvuiir niay bu dear, ytl he clow:^ his eyes 
againal it, sjid, it mity be, comes at length to waver and doubt in 

I do not ask that it he admilled lo me, that ws cannot 
inota lh«Q is a God. I have made no SMck Btalement. I 
DOW say, we can know this ; some do know it. And, " If any 
iDiui will do his will he ehall knov,-." However, I do not 
admit, that it constitutea a mnn a sceptic or on atheist in 
any sense, not to know there is a God. The qnealion, how- 
ever, nuw under discussion, is, nut whether we hioie there U 
one. but whether there is reason to believe this. 

" Why is the univfose a proof to as of any thing more 
than its own exiatenca?" Fur thu some reason thnl a work 
of art, is a proof of an artisan ; uhich proof exists, not in the 
circumstance that we have seen similuT things made, but in 
ihe mani/olation of a plan in the thing itftf, eliowliig it to lie 
Ihe production of a mbtd. Had Iha Seottisli Hi^Iauder opened 
the wnlch that he found, and seen that liie inside was composed 
of silver and gold and steel, who will for a moment believe 
that lie would mive consideTed it an animal ? 

It is by the mtatifiitatvin of mind, that we know even man 
to be possessed of ono. We know not wholher a stranj^r is 
an idiot or a man of reason, till his words or aulions manifest 
Ihe B.ime. But vum words and netionB do not luonifest i«- 
lelligenix. Words may be nonseuso; acdous may be void of 
purpose. It is Iherefore tlie hind of words and actiuns by 
which we determine with nsgard to mind. If a man manu- 
facture e. chair, fbi example, the artiole which Ite mHuufaclurL-s 
being fur a ptirpou, sliows him to be possessed of intelligence 
and design. The mind itselt\ therefore, is wi.'Ain its posBessoi, 
and iuvisible ; but tho pronf of it to oflieiB is in his woThs. 
It is in wfirks, then, that we ore to look for etiidencea of 
nund j and ffiine works are cvideneca thereof wMph manifeat 
an objtct: a wuteh, fur instance to lusp tima; a ohair to une 
o! a test. A?., $r. Now, if worics of Oiis description, that is, 
ifor*» of pur/Hoe. arc not mfallible evidences of mind, we can. 
not prove tliat oven man has one, nr that there is any such 
faculty in existence. But if snch works are infallible evidences, 
then We liave countless evideucos of the existence of mind. 
•DOnifeated ia the uuivorse. The eyu is Ui Its; 'it^e. ecx, ^Il 



i 



16 KXISTINCB OF GDS. 

hear ; the soil, to produce food ; the soiif to warm and enliffhl 
$c., ^. Nor is it reaaonable to say, tlial thcae 
effects without design. The infuil, for eEnmple, 
flie world prepared beforehand with organs of aeosation 
adapted to the state of things into wiuch at birth i( 

whioh oreans could only havi: liad iGlation to futurity ., 

of their being prepar^, inasmuch as there was no chance tar 
their exercise before its birth. Its eyes are adapted to the 
li^l, its eais lo sound, its lungs to the air, its palate to taste, 
its nose to smell, its whole self (o every thing about it. Nov 
what can be more incredible, than that all this^c-adiiptatioD,tlu9 
curious and appropriate preparation in «f many re^tect^^ sbotlld 
merely happen so to occur, without an intelligent cause — with> 
out a designer J Again. Behold llie different parta of nn- 
intelhgent uature combining lo produce beneficial e^ffeetf. 'tti 
earth recetTcs and noniishes seed in her bosom, the sun iat- 
parts thereto its genial heat, the clouds their copious ahowtn 

and, by these united operations, a crop is produced to. ^ 

man and ieaal. And yet is there no design, no i ' ' 
in all these movements 7 

" {Tiieat fAv/oi'A. vAff ciaae lie harder lideF' 
Most assnieitly, it requires infinitely greater credulity to beUen 
that no mind is concerned in the regulation of the uuiTeise, thin 
lo believe the Bible or even Ihe Koran I 

But we ore told, that 'tis the nature of things to opemla (i 

tkey do. As well might it he said, that it ia the nanus of 

macMnerg lo operate as that does. But is it a sufficient Bolntioi 
of the came of the operations of machinery, to say this iDodi 
respecting it, and there leave it? To say that it is the nature 
of a factory to oialte cloth, woold be a singular way indeed ol 
accounting for its operations ; but no more so than to say, tliat it 
is the nature of the factory of the universe, equally unintelligent, 
lo produce food, &c. It is demonstrable by the operaliona of 
nature, all fending to purposes, Uiat intelligence eiists some- 
where ; — us much so ds in the case of a factory. It is equally 
demonstnible, that it does not exist in natore itself, any more 
than in a factory, inasmuch as inteliigenee does not eiisl in mere 
matter. Whence it foUowa unavoidably, that there must be ■ 
Go.1. 

To me, sir, 'tis strange logic, to be told, that a chair proves a 
chair-maker only because we know that he mode it. I should 
suppose that, in such a case, the choir-m'iker wotdd prove the 
chair, not the chair the ehaii-maker. To say that one thing 
proves another, because we know that other, does far tiansccnd 
my utmost comprehension. 

" Could we trace baak the universe lo its origin, tuid ^1010 that 
origin lo he God," we should cease to believe in relation to the 
subject : for knowledge eiicludes beUef. Hence, those who b«i 
liove nothing but what they know believe nothing at all. 



Bxi£T]:>*c£ or eoa. .7 

It u for * iceplic to giie a re^oa tor Iiiit PcepliciHm. If lia 
Eeea no eiidence ol a God ; if he does not absoliilel^ admit hii 
existence ; it devolres on him ki dispose of the dIfficiUties conae- 
quent on hla nan-beUef. He should knov, thU he hw some- 
thing more to do than to stand and doubt. If ho will haie hia 
doubtj. tet him take their coasequcnces, let bim reconcile intel- 
ligent effects with nnin(eUigent causes, whether he can decide tie 
case of (be headleaa inhabitants of the sun or not ; for these two 
case9 arc by no means parallel. 

With regard to the analogy between (ho making of a chair and 
k univerae, although there is none bo far as relates to the irxUion 
of the particles of mailer which compose that universe, ;et there 
is the most perfect, between the arranging of Ihoae particles Jor 
jiutjtoiei, and the arranging of the Tarious puis of a chaii for tit 

Tu iiiteBtlgati! the causes of things, is reasonable and useful. 
It is the method by which the human mind advances in im- 
proTement and knowledge. It is by reamiing that we arrive at 
canchuiont. To talk of the " eternal succession of causes mud 
consequents," is Jargon and absurdity. Man can trace an 
artificial work to its origin, not withstanding his being the 
rreaturi of a day: why not then trace thus a natural work? 
But it is not tracing a thing to its origin, to sia that thing 
originated. He has but a pjor claim to the name of a fr»i 
inquirer, who confines bimaeU' to matters of knoaledge. We do 
IiAt inquire Concerning what we knoa. Hence, if we are not lo 
reason and inquire eonceming things unknown, we must ceawt 
to reason and inquire at aU. We reason from things which wo 
do know, to things which we do luit know When we humi 
both cause and effect, no room is left for inqmry on the subject. 
To look on things around us, and merely to say ttuit Ihcy are as 
they are, is any thing rather than iDveatigation, and reasoning, 
and inquiry. Suppose Newton on beholding the heavens had 
exclaimed, "Well, 'tis a simple fact that there are Stan," nnd 
then had stopped at that ; where would have been his present 
syslem of astronomy ; Suppose Columbus had said, " That 
there is one continent 1 know, but 1 know nothing about any 
other; therefore, I will naion nothing o&aul one;" what, in Such 
a case, would have bfcome of his discovery ? 

When I say that Gud made this, that, and the other, I mean 
more than that man did not make them : I mean that God did 
make them — and that he did make whatever in nature has a 
beginning, is as evident, as (hat a thing cannot make itself— a> 
Biident, as that nothing cannot make something. And here I 
would a^k, what in (he universe hns not a beginning ? Has not 
every man, every beast, every bird, ;very insect, every fish, 
every tree, every shrub, every plant, and, in fine, every tUng 
whatever that contains cither animal m vegetable life ! All ihsfe 
things, then, must necessarily have a maker ; they cannot ""^ 
HUB existence vrithout one. And as tUej do, ov \^vi cQb 



r 



I 

I 



KXI6TENCB or GOD. 



God. 

But, sayi Ihe sceptic, what GTidcnce is there that tlie imifetie, 
that matter itself, had a begioning I I reply: The mnfo in uMsl 
it exiiU. Thete 19 Ihe impress of mind on all matter — on Iha 
uniTOrSB lU a lehoU. Now, 03 mere matter ia yoid of mind, it 
cannot ef itself exhibit mniks of mind j hence, aa the nuik) 
which il does Gihibil muat have hcen derived, it is of counM not 
eternal. The existence of niEilter, thcD, in a stale of oriir, 
prOTes it not to have hecu cteriLtil. The appearances of the 
earth likewiae show the p'une thing; so does the present state af 
improvement in society ; so does Uie present number of ita inha- 
bitants; so does all history 1 sodoes every thinGthat relatcBlollie 

In ssyini; ths.! it chair moat hare a maker, I refer to nothing 
but Ihe aelf-eTident fact, that unintclli^nt matter cannot exist 
in a stale of order, and with a clenr reference to purpose, with- 
out being made go to exist by an intelligent maker. If matter 
had power and intelligence to adapt iltelf to porposes, the can 
would bo different. But this we know it lias not. Aiid were 
chsin actually to " drop from the clouds," I should efeu then 
suppose they had a maker, though not a human one. Veo. 
were "a clinir to be formed of the roots of a tree," in thai 
event sliould I suppose the same. I deny, however, dial a 
noAmil chair can be forined tliiu. It nould 1)e at^emUMoi, 
ware any such thing to be thus produced. 1 speak of a. real 
chair, properly so called, with its mortises and its tenons adapted 
to one another, its wedges and nails to hold it together, &c.. &c., 
for a bunch of roots, grow as they might, would not be a chair, in 
the proper sense oftlie term. 

To say that we cannot rationaFly amclude th.iC the unirerse 
has a maker, because wo do not kTuiic that it has, is. as I have 
already shown, to put an end to all reasoning. When we see 
a man make a chair, we Atujui he makes it ; we hayo no Btppa- 
tition, no behef, on the subject But when we soe an Egyptian 
mummy, we believe that had an embaimer, not however because 
we have um embilmers embalm mummies, (for this we have not 
nean,) but the mummy itself exhibits evidences of having been 
embalmed, to b« jrreiervtd. Stil!, the " phenomenon" of em- 
balming does no mora exist for our cognizance, than does the 
'■ phenomenon" of creating the universe. 

To make a designer the proof of design, is making a cause the 
proof of an effect, and reasoning backwards; and that too on 
aseomed promises. How enn we know a designer f By look- 
ing into his cranium, and seeing his thoughts? O no ! Well, 
how then f Why. by observing his outward manifestations of 
mind. But what can be considered as such msnifestationir 
Such as have appearances of purpose ; which is all tl 
we hava of desigti or designei ia any case, and which is 



1 



KxisTKNCB or Gos. ly 

in natural as in arlijicial things. To require us. then, to Know 
B designer, in order to the pioring of a, deaign, ia to requiie us 
first lo know a matter which is to ia proved, (hat we may 
Utereby prove the evidencea by which we are lo proTS itself ! 

The argument, that if order, &c., indicate design and a 
designer in (he case of the univerite, they indicate the same in 
the case of its maker, goes lo deBtroy all distinction between, a 
designer nod his work. It is to confound mind and matter. U 
ii to make one thing another; (o make a deaigner a deiign; to 
make absurdities, contradictions, nonuense. What are we to 
understand by God'a being (he masterpiece of masterpieces, and 
by (hat harmony, Ac, indicated by his mind? Mind is not an 
indication. It is inviaible. God's miud does not indicati: 
harmony, but harmony (the harmony of the uoi'erse) indicatmi 
his mind. There is nothing in the nature of mind to show it lo 
be an effect ; and were it not that wo know that man. has a 
hcginning, we could not prove kit mind to be an effect- 
Inasmuch aa that things do exist, something must necessarily 
hare been eternal ; for, had there ever been a time when there 
was nothing, there would never have any thing come into 
existence, inasmuch as somethiog cannot be produced by no- 
thing. On any system, therefore, aonulJimff must have been 
eternal. Now, as the universe did not come by generatioii, it 
must have come by creation, or have been eternal. Unaccount- 
able (ben as it is, either the universe oi a creator is self- 
existent and eternal. This is dcmonslralion, and fumishes 
something on which the mind (;an fasten. Now, to say tte 
least, there is no greater difficulty in admitting the eternity of a 
God, than (hat of a universe. Nor dues any difficulty in (be 
rase, be it what it may, disproie the fact, (hat something did 
eromally exist. It stands in all the strength of demonstration, 
of certainty. The only question therefore ia. Is the universe 
eternal, or is there an eternal and intelligent being? And now 
I seriously ask, Which conclusion is the more reasonable: — 
that an unintelligent universe should have eternally eiiatad in 
an intelligent manner, or (hat there is an intelligent power 
which brought it inlo an orderly existence, and so continues it f 
In other words, Is there an intelligent cause for the universe 
and its operations, oris there no intelligence — no cause? Or, 
in othci wordj still, la thercj at is thexe not bq infinite God ? 

OBKBH BaOHBLBk 




EXISTEHCR OF GOD. 



TO OBIGEN BACHELEB. 



r 

■ Pebruuy 26, 1831. 
B The Generese Bonnet, nho ia good Christine Buthorit;, 
I admila : "11 ia easy and. agreEable to tiust and belieTe; U 
H doubt requLicB nn unpleasant cftarl." Every sceptic vho hu 
H onco been a believci knoiva this. From the time our iitlkat 

■ ' UTS first drink in the nurse's phost-atcry, or listen to Defce'l 
I immDrlDl fible, we tciiA to belieie, and do beliere, without the 
I trouble of suspicion, or the aniieties of auspcnse dnd 
B tion. Youth learns to doubt and mistnut slowlv uid 
I after many a bitter lesson in the school of ciperience. 

And of all doubts, to duubt oni own knowledge ia the lut 
■nd hardest lesaon we learn. No one, believe me, ever "leta 
his w its (0 work" to prove how little he knows, oi "doaes hit 
eves" against the evidence of his own ingenuity. There are • 
thousand reasons why a man should pretend to superhnmui 
knowledge— nay, why he should set his wits to work, to prove 
that he has gained the victory over fate and space, and 
penetrated the mysteries not only of the earth beneath, bat of 
the heavens above ; luitil at last, pretence becomes reality, ind 
ingenious imaginatioD turns to honest behef. There is not one 
reagon, why a man should pretend to \hil moM unraahionable <k 
heresies, spiritual shortaightednesa. 

A Socrates — who, brought before the Five Hundred and im- 
peached of atheism, " confessed that while others boasted Utej 
were acquaiuted with every thing, he himself knew nothing" — 
a Socrates is of all human beings the most scarce. A thoiuuid. 
children are found who never doubt that they eiplain why an 
apple falls to the ground, when they say, " Becatae it hat <•». 
thing to lupport it;" but only one Newton, to piuse and reflect 
whether that be answer sufficient. 

If 1 seem unnecessarily to ui^c these oonsideratioM, it b 

because I know that a belief in viil/u! scepticism is comauB 

L and fashionable ; because I bear in miud, that it lighted lh« 

I Brea of Smiihfield and the Aulo-da-Fes of Spain; andbecanisl 

wish you to believe (what is most religiously true) that mj 

Bjriritaal modesty is any thing but affecWticn. 

I have as much cunDsity as my neighbours, and as mtldt 
L desire lo gratify it ; and when I was but sii years old, I ra.. 

i member teasing my father to (ell me whether God made A* 
I trees grow, by getting under their roots and pushing them im.; 

f la latter yearn 1 have sat down, oflen and often, to gaze on tJHtl 

sun, on .the stars, on the fair eartJi or the majestic sea, and T 
> ask myself if I could oat penetrate the mystery of 
' ' " " "lion. I have questioned my reason, again 
e oetwtid and visible Ngni were not evidenc 




1 klie« 

Man contritea, deaigns, purpoaen, idapts certain means to 
tnda. We see he does. We feel he does. We do not indeed 
"look into his cranium," bnt we can see Mm desi^ and 
contrive wilhout the (lepaniter's assisluice. Could lee not tte 
men deiign and contriBe, or could ae not kncnn from our oicn 
ticperieace that man doei dai^n and contrive, design or eontritamt 
uxHiU never ]>rove lout /tunumagenci/. Design proves loueiaBn'1 
tgency, only because we hAic seen or knowD all this. Design 
proves to us man's agency orUy in as f*r as we see oi know il. 
We know Tery well (that is, we have rational grounds for 
belief) lliBt mtax not only makes chnlis, but embalms mummies 
Therefbrt—and, I repeat it, therefore ilone— is an embalmed 
mumm]' an evidence to us of human agency. There is a fltuesa 
analogous to what men call design in the lenses and all the 
nice telescopic machinery of the eye; yet this fitness nevei 
leads us to believe tliat men make eyes. Why 7 Because we 
never saw or knew a man make an eye ; and have no ralional 
grounds fur belief that a man ever made one. It is not fltnesa 
or apparent design, then, independent of eur oixreation of tkc 
deiigner, (hat proves human agency. 

You may coil it absurd, if you please, but it is not the leal 
true, that wc can only trace the connection from design up to a 
human deiigner. beeauie we have previotisly traced the catmeetvM 
from a kunvin detigner down to a design. Where the conuectum 
cannot be traced the one way, neither can it be the other, tn 
the case of the eye, for instance, we cannot trace man's agency 
in what we are pleased to call its arrangements and con- 
trivances ; and eenteqvenHy its apparent design is not evidence 
to us of human agency. 

But now presents itself the question ; There is that in the 
imiTerse and all about ua, tliat, in a measure, reaemhlea human 
design, yel proceeds (as we know by experience) from no 
human designer. To look no further than oui own bodies, 
there is that moat perfect of optical inatruments, the eye ; Iherf 
in that Rioat ingenious of bellowsea, the thorax ; there is that 
most unwearied of Tountain-pumps, the heart ; there are those 
most beautiful of iliatribu ting-pipes, the veins; tliere is that 
best of mechanism, the mechanism of the smooth-working joints, 
of the contractile mnscles, of die connecting tendons, of the 
nicely -hinged lortebcic. Tliere is — but it needs net further to 
enumerate. Within us, around us, on every side of us, there 



Miif'e»SmivbjJct' "™''^' ' "° " 

Ymi tuvc Kvicited. but dcttaint; not cx^ltinc^ ^a m, ^A 
liHw (is Tour DWB Uricliil aeuc of U»tcTia)thati1bH«\ai. 




r 



32 EXIBTIKCE OF 



J that whicli, in some leapecta, retimbki (he dcalgn of mas, 
(only tliat it is far moie peifeut) yet is noi man's design, li 
this Cnily dasign ? IT so, whence ur whose is it? Whoistlis 
workman heie ? who the optician ? who the bellows-makei t 
who set up (he fountain, and laid the distributing.pipeB, and 
uianged the whole mngiuflcent mechanism 1 Since the effedl 
ice similai, is it not liiely {M least) that the causes are ainiilu; 
ilso ? If we knov that Ihere is a heinR— a man— from whan 
weak mind proceed small and impeifect eonirivancea ; ii them 
not analogy in faioQT of the belief, that iheie is another being — 
a great man — a God — from whose strong mind proceed great 
aad very perfect contrirances ? — 

—Can we decide P Cm we stretch analogy so far 1 Oi it 
«B imagine this UkeUAood—[oT it con, in the vei^ nature of 

» things be nothing more — are we the wiser far imagining it ; Or 
can we ever be sure — or have we rational grounda for any 
IMng like satisfactory belief, — that some grtat man (or mon) 
than one, perhaps) eiists aomewhece, and ia the coQtriyer of 
whatercT moctal man does not coatrive ? But suppose lliii 
analogical argument, which unheutatingly (not to say pn- 
tumpbioiaiy) atreCches comparison Irom earth to hcaren, and, 
afler one short moment's inspection of one poor speck of tb* 
umveiae — (fur what ia our life but a moment, and om soft 

Ibnt a speck ?) — decidea from the capabilities of man, an the 
ittributea of God,— suppose this huaided argument conctnnTe: 
grant, for a moment, that we could fully, satisfactorily convince 
ourseWes of the ciiateDce of a great architectural spirit, the 
creator of this wondrous edifice; still, if he does^or ii (foes — 
for wc are even without the possibility of clothing our ideas in 
words— if he or it— if one or a thousand Gods (the contrireiB of 
what men call natural design, just as man is the contriveT of 
artificial design) do truly exist, how can we take cognizanci 

»him or (hem, speak of them, thinV of them, or even imaf 
his or (heir doings ! \ man makes a door-hinge ; our hni 
minds can conceive that. Wo trace it from (he hardware Bb 
roDDi to the anvil ; thence to the smelting furnace, and the 
■gain to the iroa-mice : and we distinguish and comprelieild 
the agency of man in each modifying process, from the flnt 
digging of the rough oro to the last polish of the finished artide. 
Shall a God toim and fashion the far more ingenious hinge of 
, the knco? Cah we conceive of this I We traco the ki 
hinge from the adult to the child, from the child to the inf 
from the infant to the fietus. from the fcetus — wLiQwrF' 
PerAflpi to the ovarium ; per/tapa to the spormatio fluid, ~ 
these perhapiea are idle; and even iflheywere not, we I 
gotten but one more link of the endless chain. We are lo^ 
t bewildered. Are wb Ihe better, are we the more enlighteiwi' 
H^ do we see the mystery the clearer, for saving to ourselves thai 
^H God placed the nuoleua of a knee-joint in the sperm or in 
^H ovarium — that he nouriahed it \nilte tcc^^^, iB'9<AQfe&\>.\i 



BXISTUtlClt OP GOD. '23 

in&nl, itrengthened it in the child, haideocd and fortiited it in 
the aduit! Hive ve explaintd uiy ihingF Hsve we suc- 
ceeded, except in claaJung oiu ignomnce? Have we done 
more than to employ words for winch there are no prololypea 
CD earth, nor wilhin tho cogniEince of hmnaa perception 7 
CiN we have an idea of a being, or a spirit, or i power, or an 
essence, or any other immaterial conception, follouiaig lAii 
medumiail conlrivance llirotiffli all ill aonderful itagei, so at to 
tHerit the title of ila ma&ei — ita contriver t And if we have none, 
what avails it (hat we niter the wobdsP If we cannot con- 
ceire such mechanism without a mechanic, can we emceicj tlit 
mechaaicr I cannot. 1 shrink eren from the attempt to im- 
body the conception. 1 feel, that thus to task my mind is to le- 
quire of il on impoaaibility. 

When I say to myBcif, "God uadh the knee-bioge," and 
cDdeBTOur to understand hy it lomcthiitg more (as you say yon 
do) lAon thai man did not maJre it, 1 feel and luiow that I am 
employing language which, for me, has no significance,— ^which 
typifies to me no thing, no realityi which, in fact, is not lan- 
guage, hut only souwn. The sound man has a prototype, namely, 
a materid form of fleah and blood, visible to the sight, sensible 
to the touch, a thing not with a DBmB only, but a local habita- 
tion. But God. — hBTG I — can I, or any human creature, have 
even the faintest oulahadowing of an idea how he or it oi they 
exist i — whether in i body or out of a body— whether fillin g ■ 

paft of space or the whole — whether a unity or a plurality — 
vhettier as the great universe ilself, oi something distinct from 
it — if distinct, how pervading it — if pervading, how a separate 
existence — if not separate, tow to be distinguished, eveit in 
imagination, from nature 1 I have asked myself a tbouBKnd 
times — (and answered the question with the modest "no" of 
Socrates) — whether 1 have the remotest conception of a great 
something, which thinks without any organs of thou^t, which 
feels without any organs of feeling, which moves without limbs, 
acts without momentum, exists without dimensions; which is 
invisible, impalpable, inaudible, imperceptible, immaterial ;-~-ili 
a word, whidi has not one of the atbibutes, conditions, quaUtias, 
modifications, or phases, which constitute what men call an 
tnlitf, an etitience; and by which alone the human mind can 
fasten upon the idea nf a reality. I ask myself whether man 
would be for me any thing but three meaningless letters, if he 
hid no body, no sliape, no colour, no voice, no motion. 1 ask 
myself, if such-a thing is not (to finite human reason) a mere 
bundle of negatives, with nothing but the single, (and for me) 
Idle word— IT IS— to counterbalance them all. 

Experience, analogy, language, conccptioD — every thing that 
informs or guides or enlightens us in human affairs oi human 
diBCussiona, deserts us here 1 Why should we madly pefsisl to 
wander forth jito tcaclless, endless daikueaa ! 

In all Ihi^ lei me beg you lo lemftik, I AiSei Imtti -^tia.Vi' 



{ 



inserting less, doi in denying mora. My crime, if crime it n 
be, il of diffidence, not of presiunptioii. If I lefuse to tbdI 
into daikness without > guide — into unknovn Tegions without 
an interpreter, it is because 1 feel the necewitv, to a bumui 
being, of both. I know the earth (o be but kn atom in (h« 
universe, and myself but on atom on the earth. I lire flft^ 
perhapfl B hundred years; and I know that I can see but or- 
linlt — what say I ?— but one mall tpeck of mt link ! — of tl 
mighty chain of cauces and effects, that elrctches buck into tl 
beginninglesa past, oad forward into the endless future 

And I am caUed upon to talk of infinite space, and to deeidr 
regarding ■ being that inhabits it and arranges its order and 
adnunialcrs its lavs I — I can imagine one solid globe so largs 
that its circumference shall extend a million tiroes beyond Iha 
resting place of the farthesl star; I can think of that globe U 
but an impalpable grab of dust upon another globe, tl^t is U 
the first what the earth ifl to the microscopic speck that ia naible 
only in the sunbeams; and 1 can say to myself that eren fAot 
globe were a mere atom, anotbing, in Ihe universe. But ban 
I yet done more than to eipusc the weak fiaity, the pour in- 
adequacy, of human conceptions 1 

Or am I called upon lo ihinlt of eternity, and of (he powcc 
that nils it r— I hare been told that light travels at the lati: of i 
million of miles in five seconds ; and I can imagine a star so ftr 
retDOTed from out esrtli, that light, after it had bo irsvelled 

during a mdhon of centuries, should have traversed but, aa it 
were, a hair's breadth of the distance. I on suppose a circle 
drawn at that star's inconceivable distance around the earth, 
and B globe of sand of such stupcndoua dimensions, that ill 
circumference should lill up that mighty circde. 1 can inugiDB I 
each grain cd that sand a million times less than the smalleit I 
animalcule that microscope ever made visible. 1 can imagina * 
one of those imperceptible grains detached from that globo at 
the expiration of each milUon of centuries, until the whole 
immeasurable mass should bo thus diiuolred, grain by grain. 
I can tptak at the period that should elapse before tlut glttba 
were thus dissolTcd. Nay I can say more. I can speak of ■ 
^obe thus formed ; and thus lessening, until, grain by grain, it 
disappear, then replaced by another of equal dimensions, in 
like manner to lessen and at last (o pass away ; and another, 
and another, and another, until hundreds should be added to 
hundreds, and thousands to thousands, and millions io million*, 
in the olupetidous succession. And when I take the sum oC 
theM periods 1 Can ask myself if I have obtained a tMitb, •■ 
thousandth, a millionth part of ETERNITY, and I can uuwrt^.l 
'• No, tiol tht tmallttl conceivahk traction 1" 1 

• . • . . • I 

— But is not this only a mockery of language and of hmnui 
reason ? Is it not like seeking to measure the winds willi a MO, 
at striving to lake ilia cubical dimension* of ctutas I — 



^ cxiSTEHCE or son 25 

For myscir except wheo Torced upon Uiess sabjecla, I never 
think of them. I iise Isngusge when I can find piDlotTpoB; 
and when i approitcli the noKh pole of Hjstery, where the 
needle of reason veen all round the compass and no longer 
points to any thing, I pnt about the helm of my thoughts, and 
iteec hack again into ihe temperale regions of Reality. 

If I dream of a pervnding spirit of order and beaaly, filling 
intinite space and existing throughout otaroity — if I imbody the 
power or poweis of nature, and call up an image of that which 



If t please myself in conjuring forth &oni the glowing regions 
of fancy such an image aa thifl— it is a* I would dream of any 
other poetital personification — of the Spirit of the Winds, nr 
the Genius of the Deep — of virtue aa some lair ethereal being, 
or of vice as a form of^fury and of darkness. I never introduce 
these poetical imaginations into grave discussions ; not because 
t can assert that such conceptioi^s are fal^, but only that (for 
man) they are utf;. 

In talcing thia Etond, I repeat it, it ia not for me to explam 
Uie sj9tem of the univerae, or the crestion af things, or the 
origin of man, or the eternity or non-elemity of the nniverge, 
or any other of the arcana of nature. 1 tell you plainly, 1 
pretend not to explain them. If jou do, I shall be glad to hear 
your explanation. It u for me to stand and doubt, where I 
cannot unriddle. If you can do more, you are wiser than I; 
and, in that case, the task of unriddling iB yours. If you on 
tell me whether man eternally existed on the earth or not — 
whether all sprung form one pair or from a thousand — whether 
there was nothing but God in the univarae ten thousand yean 
ago — whether there are generations of Gods, or of worlds, a* 
well BB generations of ammala and men, ur even whether the 
earth itself be not some huge animsJ — whether the earth's 
creator may not be a great elfect as well aa a great cause ;* — 
nay — for if we enter the region of imagination at all, we may 
be as cxciusiTe as we please — whether a t^od might not be sup- 



■ Ydut OBBertiod Id Ihe cootmry notwithaluidlDer. I 



pjfoedlDg and producing caiue. Ihfl mind of man 1b dd FXCEptloa to tha 
rule; UDd if there be (le tho fendEnty of your ar^wneat go«t lo q1«fa|{ih, 
HnHlogf tjetwCL-D lltbp human vid divine, whj an exception lb tbe CMa or 
ina mind of QodT Vdot ar^fumvnt makeH mui, wbo ia hlmaelf a d^n^pwr, 
■Lu 4 detign. Wliera. than, (on yoai own prenufl«^ \i ^h« '^ bA^vu^^. 
runtrtdieliun. nonHDic." of (olloHiug up tat Idea, aoi. lupooBS^ k tniMK 
ieiifaa thMji man, himwUi In turn, idnigal aodw on, adn^nHlonvi 



I 



I 



iO EXISTBHCX OF GOD. 

posed lo create a. universe, to establiBh iU natural la-ws, ta lea.te 
it lo il^elf, and then, (if to an immalerial Fsaence t. term 
merely homan ma j be applied) to die I — in a, word, it you 
determine all tLe piobabilities and possibilities in tlio raagi 

unaarlhly iina(rinati>:a— ay ! or eren, satisfactorily to yotm , 

gtiar the solution at the great riddle— yon aie constitutod dit 
ferenfly from roe. 

With eyes and a IclGscapc, lilie Newton, J am willing to 
stndj astronomy, and reahin of the celestial motions. With 
ships at my command, and an unexplored hemiapheTe beT 
me, I might have ar^ed like Columbus. Bui when I h 
neither spiritual eyea to see, nor telescope lo enlarge, 
apiritua! ships lo carry me whither I inay solve my doubts and 
substBDtiale my theories. 1 reat satisSed without any uneaitU]' 
concepliaD or spiiitiul hypotlteais. 

SOBEBT D&LE OWEK. 



TO EOBEBT DALE OWEN. 



New-Voik, Mardi5, 1831. 
Si I, 

Let Ifaeoriaia aay what they may, still, experience shovs 
that it is diBagreeable to believe lome things; and among thcK 
things, it ia disBgreeable to tome men to believe in future letri- 
bation : — so much so, that they do set tbeii wits to work to 
disprove it, as some of them afterwards acknowledge. And the 
reason why this doctrine is to them so disagreeable, is, that they 
are conscious it will fare ill with themselves, in case it is Ime. 
This, sir, is, in my opinion, the troe source of abmnt alt the 
■cepticism in existence. 1 say, abniHl ah; for I believe there are 
tt/me cases of exception. 

The introduction of Socrates an the part of a sceptic, is most 
infelicitous. It was the very diflideDce of that philosopher in 
his own knowledge that induced him to admit a God. He did 
not presume to pieacribe rules for the regulation of the univeret^ 
and then, because he found that universe differently regulated. 



reason for suppoamg it to be so m reality. wtiat 1 unc 
■tand," said this great philosopher, " I admire, and am fi 
convinced lo be every way worthy of its author; and there! 



^F rxisTEKCE OF GOD. '7 

I concJuile iritat I understand not to be equally eiceUenl, ana 
ihat it would ttppear so, if I understood all its concerns." This 
is sound reasoning ; and well would it be, if those who talk bo 
much of Socrales, were to act as ralionallj in this respect aa did 
lie iiinuelf. 

I haia not asserted that lome men een know there is a God ; 
but. (hat Bomo men do, and that any man can, know thia. And 
iii to txplainmg the naiureof thia knowledge to those ignorant irf 
It, one might as well undertake to explain the appearance of 
culouis to the blind. It is a matter of experience. But as to 
[he uuy by wblcJi this knowledge is oitaautl, 1 would say in the 
lanfuaje of scripture, " Seek, and ye shall lind :" — " Do his 
will, and thou slultknow." 

On the subject o( de^gn I would remark, that this is merely 
an act of the mind, devising the accomplishment of an object. 
As then it is an act of the mind, it is invisible. It is therefore 
mcorroct (u say. that we can lea men de^gn. We can only seu 
them exeeuie their designs. Hence, the only tvidauw uf anolber'a 
design whirii any individual has, consists In the outward and 
visible manifestation thereof. But mere words and actions are 
Dot such DLanifeslationa ; for both may be, and sometimes an, 
unconscious and iavolnntary, as in the case of abaeal ■imlBd- 
ness ; or they may be void of piiipaBe, M ia Hie case of idiocy. 
Those \Totds and acGons only are evidences of design which 
oianifest a purpose. A watch, for instance ia ta heep tinu: 

iimbaljnia^ is forthepreaercatvm ofth^emhabitfd. Bntw^A mani- 
festations, that is, manifestations where purpose is apparent, art 
proofs of design, or else we hate no proofa that eicn man has 
luij. And they are tafaUMe proofs, or none at all. Nor does 
the seeing of d man perform a work prove a design, but, as has 
been hereloforo ahovm, the work itself is the proof. If it is a 
work in ■which purpose is apparent, then it proves a design ; 
otberwise, not. Hence, whether "we see a work performed or 
tiot, it is of no consequence, ns far as relates to its being a proof 
of design. Nor would the mere seeing of the thing made, randei 
it more so. Were we to see a man engaged in prizing a stone 
Trora the earth, this would be no evidence to us of his design in 
no doing. What use he Intends to make of it, we do not per- 
ceire- But when he lays that stone, it may be, in a wall or a 
building, ila coniuctian with that wall or building shows ua his 
design. 'Tis true, that, wero we not to see the man du it, we 
should net know it to be the work of that particular individual, 
and it would therefore be no evidence to us of design in 
Aim. Still, it would be evidence of denjpi itiilf, and conse- 
sequenUy of design In some one. Hence, though we have novel 
seen any agency, cither human or difine, in the embalming of 
mummies, "we have rational grounds for beliel^" that agency 
has been concerned therein. But why J Nut because we have 
*' Mm" agency thus " fab ;■' not " because we bate ^wn«>«' 
triiGed the oonnacUon bom the dempiei do-witto 1^ &«b 



but because it 

..1.1,. 

But the marks by -which we disfinguish hmnaii agent 
dlrine, is anothei conBideiatioii. The mere GTldenCB o£< 
ia nat proof of hwaan agency. There ia as much npp^aa 
purpose in the universe, aa in tlie works of man. Certu) 
eye is as evidently for the purpose of seeing with, and I 
for that of hearing with, as are speclBcles and ear-trunl 
Ibe enabling of the dim-eyed and the deaf to see BJtd hean 
the sun is as eiidentiy for the purpose of giiing li^t i 
candle. Design, therefore, is as clear in the worlis ofl 
■a in lliose of art. How, then, can we distinguish artifidl 
natural things ? By the difTerence in their pbyaical appc) 
True, " the lenses, and all the nice telescopic machinery! 
eye," do not prove that man made that; nay, thoy di^ 
And wherefore ? Not " because wo never saw or knew i 
make an eye," (for we never saw or knew a man end 
mammy) but merely because it is a work superior to man 
therefore proves a superior workman. 

There were aeveral sentences in my opponent's lail 
which it may be as well to place alongside of one another, i 
purpose of prominently exhibiting their incongruitiee. ] 

"Design proves to us man's "We know very wd 
agency onhj in as fae aa we is, we have ralianal g 

stt or Annul it." for helief, (hat man eff 

mummies. Therefore li 

deuce to us of buinan a^ 

"That whitli men call de- " Design proves to ni 
lign in the lenses, and all the agency only in u vim. 
nice telescopic machinery of act or know it." 
the eye never leads us to be- 
lieve that men make eyes- I 
Why ? Because we never loti ' 
\iT kaew a man make an eye, ^ 
and havo no ratjonal groimds "I 
fur belief, that a man ever made 

In the forc|i;oing examples, are Several contradictious ■) 
surdities. First it is asserted, that design proves to iiai 
a^ncy only in aa far as we <«e or hune it. That is, m 
Jirtt see or know a thing, and then eoavisice uuraelres d 
bomething which proves nothing about 
placed in contrast with this, it is said, that " we know Tl 
ihst ia, we have rational groimda for belief, that maD 
iniunmics." Here, our hiowmg a thicg is repreae 
UA ralianal belief. This, however, ia neitbei acco 



iOD. 29 

1 accaplalion of the term Tcnowleage, nor sccordinj ta 

&cL Knowledge U mare Uion raliunal belief; it is cotiscioiu- 
experience. Let us, howevei, keep iLe olher explsoa- 
liew, and see how it chimea with the rest ; n-hicli expli- 

Lb, that knowledge is rational belief. Now iead;^"An 

tmlnlmed momiD)' is etideace (o us of human agenc;, hocanse 
»e li»te rational grounds of belief; that man emhalma mmn- 
"' — that is to say, we believe iLst man embalms mummies. 
t we believe Ihst man embalms mummies. This is no 
lure. We aiB told that we rationally believe thai man 
ms mummies. Whyr Because tnummiea are an evi- 
deoce that man embalms them. But why? Becauie we ra- 
lienaily believe that man embalmB them.— Thus the belief is 
made the cause of the evidence, and the evidence the cKuse of 
the belief. Thus we believe because we belteve. — Again, we 
ue told that we must k» or imaa, oi have rational grounds for 
Mitf, in order to believe a thing. But seeing or knowing would 
eidnde belief. Not to dwell on this, however, let us recall the 
definition of the term inaiB, vhich, just back, was laid up (or 
•pedal use. That definition was — ratitmal belief. So, then, we 
niiisl have grounds for rational belief, oi have grounds tor ra- 
lional belief, in order that we may have grounds for ra- 
tional belief. We must believt, or we must heliet>e, in order that 
»e may believe. These are the legitimate consequences of my 
opponent's various statements and eiplanationa. Nor do I pra- 
HiDt dils view of the case for the purpose of ridicule, but that I 
mayaet forth its absurdities in the strongest possible light. If 
I adTauce absurd propositions, I wish to have them exposed in 
the nine manner, thai I may see and abandon ihem. 

But he finds it amazingly difficult to believe in a God. 
becausehe has not"a material form of flesh and blood, visible 
to the w^t, sensible to the touch, with a loc^l habitation," &c., 
&c. He does not once seem to consider, that, in urging this 
dinculty, he involves himself therein, as well as others. Fray, 
what material form has mind r How tall is thought? How 
thick volitiou t How wide recollection ? How long percep- 
uon ? How heavy imaginalion ? Or, to speak of (lie energies 
ot nature — How latge is magnetism ? Of what colour is at- 
tisction r Of what aliape is repulsion ? Where dwells the 
dfficient cause of second causes — that unknown, blind, myste- 
hooa, oU -pervading energy -i power which sceptica themselves 
admit; What "material form of flesh and blood" has IT ? 
li it visible ui the sight J lenBibto to the touch ? located in 
a habitation? Has it limbs with whitli it moves; momentum 
vitb which it acts? Can they lake cognisance of it with their 
MSMC 7 Can they see haw it exists ? how it pei'Nades the 
univene ? how it operates without material organs ? Has it 
body t shape ? colour ? motion 7 Is it not invisible, impal. 
I»liie, inaudible, imperceptible, immaleiial ? They see only 
Uie *jr«eb of the power; bat those effects are not lli* powM 



ib ETCISTENCE OF GOD. 

ittelCi They see matter ; but matter ia not tae power. Still, 
a power they admit, of a powec they conceive, think, and 
apeak — yea, though they cannot eiplain it ; though they cannM 
comprehend it ; though for it they have no prototype i *' in i 
word, thongh it has not one of the attributes, conditions, quali- 
tieB, modifications, oi phases, that constitute what mi^n t*S 
entilj/ or exialence." Here they waive all difUculties, and talk 
of immateiiality as fluently as tlie veriest believer on the IbM- 
sLool. Men, if disposed, may cavii at any thing. They maj, 
as ihey have done, deny even their own ejislance. They ini; 
laise objections in every case, and doubt Iheit own senscc, 
becanaa those objections cannot be obviated. But is Ihii 
featoaable? That's ihe question. What though we canRil 
explain the divine existence r Neither can sceptics explain lb 
universe without one. Our system involves one diificnll}; 
theira, difficulties, nay, absurdities, without number. 

Admit B God, we have at once an adequate cause for even 
effect: deny him, and we have efleets innumerable without taj 
cause. We have all the reaaJta of omnipotence, omniscience, 
omnipresence, and infinite benevolence, without any power, «)> 
wisdom, imy presence, any benevolence. To say that B eauu i< 
uacatised, is no contradiction; but to eny that effects are un- 
inused, u so. Inasmuch as something exists, something mnl 
have eternally existed. And be that something what it mi^ 
whether matter or God, it is not an effect, Seeing its esistenci 
being eternal, is uncaused. But whatever has a beginning mlW 
have a cause, atid an efficient, adequate cause. Mere power it 
adequate to the production of physkel eflects, but sot to tkl 
prodaction of atieUigcHt effects. Nor could mere intelligmui 
produce effect!. Intelligence and power must therefore cca- 
bine, to produce intelligent effects. Those who admit a powo, 
do indeed admit a cause, though on inadequate one, for Al 
intelligent effects every where observable. Were the univcM 
chaos, there would then he reason la admit a power onlj. 
But lite admission even of this would be the admission of a G«l 
with one attribute; for, after all we hear of the power tlnl 
operates in the universe, the laws of nature, ic., &c., it signi- 
licB Dothing, without the admission of something besides naivn 
itself. Is nature the lava of nature 1 Is nature the pomert gl 
■ ■ ■"" ■ ■ ■ ■* ■ Nature— that !«. 



the towering summit of the Alps, it ia powerless and iiannlwii 
but when it makes (be fearful launch, it spreads irrrnr wl 
desolation. Yet even the avalanche is not Ihe power Ih 
itself. A mysterious, incomprehensible tomethaig ^ 
Here then we have Oie sceptic's God. Yes, Ihe «t 
B real ezistcDCe, distinct from nature, but yet a 



EXISTENCE 01' GCID. 31 

luibwlcilgu Biid bvcry tiling dlae but puwer. To tliia ma add 
intelligciico, guudncsa, &e. Thia is Cud t T)ii> ihe uncreated, 
incompreiieiiBible being in which we believe. And whether, 
when the univiuse a taken inio consideralian. it ia ihe mbra 
rational to believe in this God or the God of scepticism, judge 
thoQ. To me it appears far mare reasonable, to suppose an 
intelligent cause for intelligent effects, than an nninlelligeut ddg. 
The one oc tlte other we must suppose, if we reason at all. 

I do tnost seriously object to one position m the reply to my 
Iwt, nz.i that we are to doubt what we can't unriddle. What 1 
air; "an atom of earth, who can see but one tmatlapeck of one 
fini' of the mi^ly chain of all causes and effects," osauming to 
himself the wisdom to waiMle all Ttalilieil (Moat assuredly 
he would not be uiidurstuod tu doubt realities ; and therefore Le 
can, according to his own rule, unriddle them.) Then, sir, un- 
riddle that " mighty chain nf canaes and effects" of which so 
small a part can be EOen. Unriddle the sceptic's Energy or 
PowEK. Unriddle thyself. Explain the encrpes of nature. 
Show us the main-spring of the wlicela of the universe. Tell 
us the " vAy and the aherefitre" of gravitation, of magnetism, 
of electricity, of cohesion, of atlroctiou, of repulsion. " IjinI 
np DOW thy loins like a man ; for 1 will demand of thee, and 
answer thou me. Where wast thou when the foundations of 
the earth were laid ? Declare, if thou luist understanding. 
Who halh laid the meaaurea thereof; if thou knoweal P Where- 
upon are (he foundaticms tticrcuf fnalened ? or who kid tliu 
comer stone thereof, when the morning stars sang together, and 
all the sons of God shouted for joy r Hast thou commanded 
the morning since thy Jays, and caused the day-spring to know 
hie place l Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea 1 or 
hut thuu walked in the search of the depth : Cunst thuu hind 
the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion ? 
Canst thou bring forth Mazzarotii in his season P or canst Ihoii 
guide Arctums with his suns i Knowesl thou the ordinances of 
heaven ? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth I 
Who halh put wisdom in the inward parts P or who hath givaa 
aoderalanding to the heart? Gavest thou the goodly wings 
onto (he peacocks ? or wiu^ and feathers unto (he ostrich P 
Doth the hawk fly hy ihy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward 
Ihe south? Doth tiie eagle mount up at thy command, and 
make her nest on high 7 Hast thuu an arm like God P or canal 
thou thunder with a voice like him ? Shall he that conlendetli 
with Ihe Almi^ly inatiuct him ? Ho that ruproveth God, let 

But, sir, though we can unriddlu but '■ a speck" of the 
universe, that speck we caa unriddle. We are not omniscient, 
but we know a little. We have a liltlo reoX knomlaige. And 
what we do knnw, wo could no more than know, were we om- 
niscioiiL A child knows Ihe alphabet as well as if he uadet- 
stood all literature. To oomfidieiid in&tolj iiwii^ ^je, \a \» 



r 
I 

I 



33 iscisTEncE ov cod. 

infinita onrse.Tes. But tQ believe th&t there it an inHnite baing, 
ii no mare difScolt thm foi oue Individunl to believe that thoe 
is another Buperloi to hiznseir. Now, though we cannot see Uii 
whole universe, we can see the whole of aonie of ila per&a 
parta. We can see a whole tree, a whole animal, a whole rau; 
which are as evident prooGi of [he omnipoteace and omniacienM 
of theii author, aa tho universe would be, could we see it all. 

We have eeen that aomething must have been eternal. Thii, 
then, obviates all objectlona as lo the eternity of God. But il 
eternal, he is uncreated, uncaused. And if uncaused, he liu 
no cause, and U therefore not an effect. This then ie the reaa« 
why i am satisfied to conceive a God without a maker, althou^ 
1 can conceive nothing else Co be so. I could indeed cuncort 
the universe to be ao, were it an intelligent eiistence ; for that 
could I sQD an adequate cauao for its intelligent operatiooi: 
that is, 1 could, under such circumstances, so conceive it lobe, 
unless 1 knew it to have had a begiiming. But I cannot con- 
ceive an; thing to be without a maker that Aos abegianing. 

I have aaid, that the design apparent in the unireiae ii n 
evidence of a designer ; and I have been told in reply, 
appearance of design is evidence of a designer in one case, 
evidence thereof in another, imd therefore provei ' ' ■ " ' 
a designer or maker. How so ? What appearai 
snce or design ia there in God ? In his mind, saja the obji 
How in his miad i Why, there ia harmony, order, intt"' 
there. Yes, but it was not l/uae jualUiea ihemselvea, as 
in a beiiff, but the maniftiialions tliereof, as displayed in 
organization, &c., of mooter, which I made the proof of 
signer. The argument consists in this : that, as mere ma.. _ , 
void of intelligence, it could exhibit no indications thereof saw 
in so far as made to exhibit the same by an intelligent beu^ 
and that, as the universe ii mere matter, and doei uh' " " ~ 
indications, it must have had an intelligent author. 
turdity of which I spalte, lay in making the mind of a 
manifestation of mind, and so an evidence of another 
True, the human faculty of thinlting has a designer ; bi 
way by which wc know this, is not tliat man exhibits ari 
that be haa such a faculty, but because that faculty has 
ginning. But in his material orgaHeation, he exhibits 
evidences of design which mere matter cannot of itself mai. 
and which ho himself has no agency in producing. TIuu, 
in his organization exhibits the muid of his creator; in bi 
tions, bis own ; and in his own, his creator's ; — and that ' 
sole TemtiA, that it has a beginning, and iherefure has ai 

In controTursy, it ia always eontidered allowable, 
home upon an opponent any difficulties resulting from 
positions. Nor is it for that opponent to leave them n 
He is bound to abide by Ibeir consequences, and stand 
with them, or make a recantation. It is by no means a 
Ihit ttapin^ an tht pivot between (he two sides of a qat 



SXI8TENCB OF GOD. 33 

•al deciding upon neither, secures an individual from absurd 
eoaaeqnenoes. For a man to say, that he neither admits nor 
denies that two and one are three, ought not to screen him from 
criticism, though he is not so extremely outrageous as the 
who should say they do not make three. To apply this 
to the case in hand : I contend that there are in the 
muTerse all the eyidences of design, and therefore of a designer 
— ft God — ^which there possibly could be. For a rational being, 
wifli these evidences before him, merely not to deny a God, is 
not enoog^ : he is bound to acknowledge him, or to shew posi- 
tirely that those evidences do not prove his existence. He is 
bound to show that all possible appearances of design do not 
prone a design, and of course a designer; and, therefore, that 
•11 possible appearances of design can be produced by a cause 
noid of design ; and, consequently, that the works of men, mani- 
fest as much appearance thereof as they may, do not prove Uiem 
to be possessed of the same ; yea, though we were to see them 
perform those works: inasmuch as an intelligent cause can 
produce appearances of intelligence. And now, sir, obviate 
these difficulties, or admit a God. Do not misimderstond me. 
Ih requiring the positive admission or denial of a God, I do not 
mean that we are to know how the case is. The very question 
under discussion is, whether there is reason to believe in a Grod. 
It ia therefore unnecessary, so far as this is concerned, to have 
"^iritual eyes to see, or telescopes to enlarge, or ships to carry 
us whither we can stU^etantiate our theories.'* We are not now 
inquiring whether we can do this, but whether there is reason for 
the theory itself. And as Newton and Columbus formed theiir the- 
ories without literal telescopes and ships, so may we ours without 
qniitaal ones. 

Origen Bacheleb. 



TO ORIGEN BACHELER. 

LETTER IV. 

March 12, 1831, 
Those who have lived only in the atmosphere of the re- 
ligious world very commonly conclude, as you do, that the chief 
source of scepticism is the fear of a day of judgment ; but a 
personal acquaintance with the enlightened portion of the scep- 
tical world would speedily convince them that the opinion is 
groundless, and that it is the inconsistent mysteries, not the 
threatened retributions, of religion, that are the fertile source of 
unbelief. This and a thousand other mutual misconceptions 



mpport y< 



I 



34 KXISTENCB OF GOD. 

-will Fondnuc, so long aa any honest belief U looked upon as 
crime, anil so louf; 113 we are laiight to regard as heathea mt 
and publicans tbose wlio conscientiously differ troin lu j 

The learned St, Anselmus, • the ingenioua 7Je» Cartel, and (i 
our days) a large portion of the respectable Society of Fiitaii 

rt your argument of the cxisteQoe of God 6y eip«rieiui«; -^^ 
more orthodox migtit express it, from an innate idea at 
Supreme First Cause. The argument, if it be not cnndudTfl, ! 
at least unanswerable. When a man says to uie, " I feel Gad,r 
I shall nevet deny that he does ; my only reply is, " I do not 6m' 

As rcgarda the vmlch-argUTnent, (first started, I beliere, b 
CoadiHae, taken up and elaborately illustrated by Paleg, 1 
triumphantly insisted on by all natural theolo^ans) I gee li 
necessity for adding much to what I have already said. I bar* 
admitted to you that we seej around us what has been caJled 
a fitngii of thiru/i ; an arrangement of phenomena, which, tr ~ 
certain extent, raemiUa human design, yet is the work of 
buman designer. You push the analogical argument. ^ 
aay : " This jiJnesi (of the just-foimed eye, for instance, to 
previously existing light, of the newly-created ear (o theaoiu 
that are to surround it, of the digestiTe viscera of the infimt tt 
tha milTt that is in its mother's breast to nourish it, and ' ' 




sny Dugiit to be, " we Bee men eiKcvte tlL«[r desiaris," is probably. Id pt 
iDgicttl fltnctcBfls, correct : but iurely ILe p:iprefiuan in tufHeicnUy cunec 




EXISTENCE OF GOD. S-'i 

tlumsuid other Uungs) — this amvemeta or hartTUmiout coneateKa 
tioti of phenomenaj" you argue, " would, if apparent in the 
workH of man, appear to ub a pre-aTrangemmi to effect an mien 
tion, and Mould therefore be to Maanindicatioa of humoH puryois 
Why not conclude ^t once," yon ask, " that this fitnosa of nu- 
taral thin gs U purpose, and baa for its cause a purposer ? Some 
apparent purpose proceeds from 'nill, from uitelligent iulenlion, 
from tmndi why not oH purpose 7 Since it is so on earth, why 

If I could say uAy not, I must be possessed of that very loiow* 
ledge the posseiaion of which 1 diGclaim. 

" But is not the ajgument," you insist, " in itself conclnsiTe ?" 

It can, in the lery uatore of things, be only probabiliit/, let us 
make the most of it. 

" But may we not reasonably helieye, that oil fitncsB of things, 
natuml as artificial, is the work of mind ?" 

I demui lo the conclusioiu I deny our right to stretch 
analog; from earth to heaven. Here i^Mn tarlh, analogy is all 
very well. It ekes out our discoveries, and helps us to much 
real knowledge and to some unreal theories. 11 ia a convesieat 
and tolerably safe (if even ihllible) guide. Tho order and 
Bimilarity of Taiioua phenomena anthorise conclusions, which, 
if not mathematicaUy demonstrated, have very satisGictor; 
probabilities in their favour. But our right, (or rather our 
power) to predicate regarding unperceived things and causes, 
ceaaes, when the scene is laid beyond Ihe hemisphere of oux 
humau lot. Elsewhere, things may be as on earth, and they 
may be very different. Imagination may conceive Ihem similar ; 
but analogy can be no guide to the conceit. Comparison can- 
not stretch its arch, like the rainbow, from liia lower world in- 
to the skies ; or. if it does, its conclusions are like that rain- 
bow's colours, if as beautiful also as changeful and evanescent. 
White we cling to our mother earth, like the fobled giant of 
Libya, we are safe ; but if we suffer the Hercules of auperstitioii 
to raise us into the air, our reason is crushed to death in his arms. 
When the wings of Fancy bear us lo other worlds, analogy turns 
to chance, words to sounds, and judgment to imagination. The 
chasm is too wide, and Mina's hridge, with its hundred arcbea, 
scarce stretches one little span into the unknown deep. Our 
human eyes cannot follow the great chain up into spiritual re- 
gions; its links ore lost in infinity; and we have no Jacob's lad- 
der (except it be in dream) on vhich to ascend in pursuit of its 



1 



Some microscopic speck of an insect — a mote on one of the 
teeth of one of the minutest wheels of a watch— does indeed sea 
lomelAitig, and that something it could do no more than see were 
itallwisej it has Mme real tuiowledge, and this it could "dona 
more than know," were it a God. Is this a reason why it should 
be deemed capable of imagining a watch-maker? It seems to qui 



r 



I 



36 EXISTENCE OF OOD. 

I think it iciee, modest, ratiDDul, for ns human specks to let H 
great wfLtcli and all speculationa about its secret springB ajid j]_ 
imkiiovn maker alone. The real knowledge vc Iulvu is twielj 
enough to ciat a glimmering blaze over human afi'airs j and we 
must needs test its efficacy in lighting up the vast obscojit; 
of spiritual hypothesis I We blunder eTcry day and hour in oat 
estimate of human motives and our solutions of cartlily pro- 
bleme ; yet nothing will salt us but to try our reason in quealions 
sboat the atcana of the universe and the designs of &u immatenll 
God I 

The existence of the realities around mo I perceive ; m: 



I underaland. The ultimate oanses of these realities I perceive 
not, and regarding them I suspend judgment. When a Job 
asks me, in poetical language, "who meted out'lhe carlh and 
laid its comer-Btone," I reply, tliat as I "know not the 
ordinances of heaven," nor " the dominion thereof on the 
earth," he is asking me i^uestions which both he and I tdmll be 
puzzled to answer ; and I remind him, as Minutiut Felix did the 
heathen ; " Pmajtnsjtie veatrim mm cogital, piias K (feicre Dtoi 
ttotu giKJm tokn,"* 

Let us, in the name of modesty and common sense, since we 
cannot answer Job's questions, cease teasing ourselves about them. 
Let OS cease niging each other tu presumptuous decisions 

be the;? poBiltve or n^ptive. It is a poor reason for admitting 
one mystery, that we cannot explain another. Let us unpre- 
tendingly suspend judgment regBTding both. Let us slutly arith- 
metic, it we will ; for to donbt that two and one make three, is 
imnecesaaty, so long as we can count three : but ere wo study 
theology, let us take the trouble to ascertain, whether we can ever 
COmpTChend even its numeration table. 

If other evidence were wanting in proof how little trustworthy 
are men's solutions of theological problems, it might almost suf- 
fice to enumerate (he chamelion conceptions that have filled all 
hooks of divinity up to the present day.f 

But it is not theology alone that undoubtingly assames, in- 
stead of modestly pausing on the cunfinea of human rcscarofcea. 
Science, too, has learnt to theorize and imagine. Soma votaries 
of science have talked as unmeaningly of natural energies, as 

* "J^ot one of vtni rejteeti, that wu oueht to tmae yovr God* before J/ou 
icoTihip lliem.'" Tetii nai ao AlHcan &«yfT. >vbo jiouriahcd a. d. m. 



rieBy compiled. In (be srUeb 



OP COD. 37 

tma bcliaver did of a. God. Attraclion, repulsion, affinity, 
mamenlmn, and bo on, are conTBnient and rational terms wlieil 
employed to signify attrHiiift or qualilies of matter. But vhen 
we begin to pctBoniTy tliein, to embody Ihem as aeir-eilsleul 
powers, and lo picture forth their aeparate, immalerial enb'ty, 
we are inrolved in tlio theology of science, nhich is quite u 
oliscuie 03 any other.* To «uch theological natunilLEls you 
may pnt your qnoBtiona about the siie of magnetism and the 
ahape at repulsion i and perhaps they will anawei tiuau. For 
myself, be pleased lo recollect, I disclaim all power lo explain 
mysteries, theological or acienliflc 

When two hotUes are drawn together without physical agency, 
we say, ottrofWon it (Ae caiae. We aro very apt to believe onr- 
selves exeeedini^y wise in saying so Yet, if we mean by 
attractioa any thing mare than a certain regiilar mode of aetiun, 
a rule or Ime (that ia, a mifiirm lefoenet) of motion; if we 
bcg^n to imagine attraction a fluid, or a gas, or any odiei material 
existence, we ore out on the ocean of imagination, and have gircn 
the heltn lo fancy. 

Now if yoa take all the laws of the aniTerse, that is, ali the 
' ■'' " ■■""' " -r -■ apparent in 

ne, for aught I know, 
may, (like the word aJtraction) be-con»enieiil; but assuredly 
the idea is abnndantly hercticuL God, sp defined, means only, 
tie BiQsner fn which thiiigi net. It is idle ti> tltge me to explain 
this "sceptic's God," when I have told you Bfty times already, 
that I have never pretended to unriddle or expound the univeraal 

My reasons, then, for " keeping on the pivot" ara short and 
simple. 1 ntiiHOI trtut to aaahgy, when, tike the mythotogical 
Titans, it would scale Hie empyrean : for I see it, like them, btl 
crushed and vauqnished j buried beneath the mountains of 
mystery, or whelmed in the great ocean of ignorance. I cannot 
trust to haman senses and human judgment in any thing but 
earthly re^iearcbee ; and I have, and can obtain, no other Eensea 
and no other judgment, the which to employ in spiritual in- 
vestigations. 

Ate you still dissatisfied 7 Will you not accept ray protesta- 
tions of diffidence 1 Do you insist that I should weign in the 
scales of my human reason, such as they are, the probabilities of 
Iho universe, and the mysteties of its government ? Be it so then, 
and if the attempt incur the charge of presumption, I pray you to 
beoi in mind at whose door lies the blame. 

hsory which ugerts Ehnnieol ifKaiU lo be lo unalionte bodleii whal menial 
iffHiiam BS ra buoan heia^. Tbiu Bome Thomu Uoore aamg Uicsa 
liutlt« aiUui*tiit* in]f^t write nt a pretty pono, ukd entitle it— nut 
re« af the Aaztds." but " Loves of the MinrralB." And, Uj ^a vue. 



EXIST£.\CE Of GOS. 

A great beior, yon assert, firat created, has ever preserved, ant 
ivr ([OYoms, the univerac. That bemg, jou say, is all-poweriiil, 
l-wiee, and all-good. Yciu bid me look on this glorious world <^ 
3, and ask me, if eveiy thing, from a eiicUiig planet down to 4 
elendor grassblade, speak not of Such a God. 

Does it BO P I walk tbcuugh the woild with aiy eyei and mh 
and heait open, and I ask myself, Does n so? I do indeed tea 
lome, say even much happineaa ; and if the draught were immiied,. 
I might suppose the cup to be from the hand of omuipat^nt good-, 
neu. Ijut do I see, do I hear, do I fee], no misery P I may wrap 
in3-5elf up, it is true, in tho easy mantle of indifference, or may 
look at the world and its doings through tho sunny Claude Lor- 
~-me glass of optimism ; I may sit down by my own Qreude, and, 
a cheerful moment, almost forget 

Eoir tnany feci, thii vn? kittant, death 
And aU Ibe »d vuif tj of paia— 
Hon many [Ink in the devonrin; Bead. 
Or more detfoiniog dame — hon many bleed. 



3f Uielt oita Uinbt— how many drink Ihi 
SrbantfiLl^ef. or eat the bitter bread 
[)f misery — nre fderc'd by wintry wind^ 

Df cbeerlesi poverty— 4iDur mrmy ah^B 



mdcd nuiini. mi 



I 



Aramid Ihp death-bed of thdr dearrat tVi^ndc. 
And point the parttog an^ultli. 
■I may cease to remember how Ihe strong oppress Ihe weak, 
and the bnital lord it orer the gentle-hearted; how the lion 
tears the limbs of the peaceful deer, and the wolf sucks th« 
blood of the inoffensive sheep ; how fraud glitters in the palace,' 
and honesty droops in the hovel ^ how idleness revels in luujy,' 
and labour pices in want. I may blot from my memoi; Iha 
ted records of history ; Ihe wars and treacberies that have 
drenched the groun earth with blood j the superstitions that 
havo clouded the fair skies with the smoke of human hecalonba. 
Nay, I may close my eyes even qu the wrong and outrage that 
italk, in our own day, through our own republic ; On the fate of 
the enslaved African and of the hunted Indian; on the victoiiea 
of intemperance, and the triumphs of intrigue. 

Fw a passing moment of easy, unsympathising competency, 

when no sorrow presses on my own heart and no danger 

threatens my own threshold, I may forget even facts so noturioiia 

these ; and may thoughtlessly rejoice, that all is well and 



^^P EKtaTEHCE OF GOD. 39 

wJMl; and happily ordered. But is human miBcry Ihe lees real, 
becauee it fal^ not at every moment in onr eyes Bud oa oui 
hearls ? Can we resist the canTiction, that suffering, that pain, 
that miser;, that CTils of ever; form and colour, alraund through 
out the earth f — 

— You task my human reason to grapple, ai it may, with the 
subject ; and you require that I should reply to the quealtoc, 
whether such a world bear not the speaking impresH of ineflahlo 
goodness and omnipotent power. Needs it that I anever, NO t 

I may conceiTB (for what frightful demon will not fane; con- 
jure up!) a creating God all-powerful, and delibtratelyidlbng evil 
and buffering ; or (and Ibis M my conception when 1 picture bim 
forth at all) 1 may imagine him beneyolent, and <ff limited povnr. 
Omnipotent and beneiolent he cannot be. Omnipotence coiM, 
and bpuevolcnce umibU, have pieTented eTil. 

This dilemma is as old aa Ihc days of Epicurus, and as Itnotly 
as it ia old. If there be an avenue of escape for 1^ onbodoi 
apologist of deily, I have ycl to learn what it la. 

Must I be lold that we cannot know thW evil ii evil, or Hint 
vice and misery are not blessinge in disguise? In Ibe name of 
common sense, what can we know, then ? Not know it r not 
know, when the limbs are stretched on the rack, that torture is 
an eiil 7 not know, when the infant is dashed on the stones, or 
when gentle woman is butchered in. cold btood, that t^e 
butcher; ia a crime 7 not know wbelher malice and jealousj, 
whether the iron hand of deapotiam and Ihe brutal passions of 
igaorance, are blessings or cones 7 Do we know that the sun. 
Iwam is wann, and the anow-drifl cold t Not more cleoriy, not 
more poeitiveiy, than we see. than we feel, than we know, that 
vice is no blesaing, and misery no good. Theolo^ may say 
they are : luituie speaks lender than theology. The a^hiet 
may tread down the dlatinctionB between good and evil, and 
sppeal even from the bar of human perception : our fe-lings 
will build up again Ihe great wall of partition, and our hearts 
deny the right oC appeal. Crime it evU; to be lamented, to be 
avoided, to be extirpated, if it can be: misery u evil; to be 
shunned, to be shaken from na, to be warded off, by every possiblo 
effort, from all onr fellow creatures. 

—But why reaaon Ihe matter r Will the boldest enfhuaiaat 
net upon bis doubia 7 Will he attempt to spread abroad among 
hie brethren these same disguised blessing ? Or, if reason and 
liberty at last extend their peaceful dominion over the earth, will 
he indeed ait down in sorrow, and lament that the mysteriaus 
BDUTcea of good are fast disappearing from among mankind 7 

And who are they who would persuade us to such scrupulous 
scepticism, in despite of our own eyea and hearts? Wbo are 
they who wonld have us unbelievers, eren in the broadest day- 
light of reaaon, and in the very noontide of actual pereeptioa? 
TTie same who arc willing to trust that verj leaatitv ani ftiiftft. 



r 



40 ExisTEKCE OP aoD. 

identical peroeplioUH, aa guides in a pilgrimage to oilier worlds 
audpflola during a voyage of discovery iu search of omnipolencel 

But agoin, if our Beiises be nut guanmlee lo us tliat evil if eiS, 
yiho shall assure us that good u good ? By -what right (If rGB- 
Bon'a magnetic needle is lo be set aside) — by what ri^t shall we 
aMcrt, Ihat plcasuiea and virtues aro not mere gilded curses ? Uiat 
our gentlest impulses are not given ua only to be outraged ? our 
noblest passions only to be eeaied and chilled 1 our highest talents 
only lo be abused and porFerted 1 our ftirest hopes only to end in 
disappointment ? If (he history of genius and the fate of virtue 
are to be leceived in proof, ihe melancholy conceit would not 
wnnt for specious argument jn its favour. 

But suiticient of this. Wo are blind and ignorant enough — the 
maery of this world be the proofl — bat if we are eonseieue of our 
own existence, we are conscious also, that light is notdaikness, 
and that evil is not good. 

Robert Dalb Owen. 



TO ROBERT DAXE OWEN 



New-York, March 19. 1831. 
Sin, 

I repeat what I have already said, that >ome men wish I 
disbelieve in a God, because they fear it would tare poorly wil 
themselves, in case there should be one. The proof of th 
assertion eoueists in the fact, that some who renounce sceplidai 
declare it lo have been so with themselves. 

By an experimental knowledge of God, I do not mean ■ 
t'njwfc idea o( bira, but that knowledge which is produced by tl 
operation of the Holy Spirit in the work of regeneration, whil 
in scripture is thus described ; " The wind bloweth where 
iialeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst T'' ' 
whence it cometh, and whilher it goclh : so is every one . 
bcin of (he spirit." Now, thai some do thus know Qod ] 
exjarienoe, wo have not only the testimony of scripture, but 
linlig, eipcrimentat witnesses In prove. Here then is proof 
God's existence of the strongest kind. Nor is it in tha le) 
invalidated by the assertioii of others, that they themsell 
experience nothing of this nature. This only proves th ' * 
do not, and not that otheri do not. As (o the quaker, ot 
Hickaite, idea of a God, if nothing more is lo be understoi 
therebjr than (he light within merely, (o the exclusion of a O 



EXIBTEKCE OF Gor, 4] 

widumt, it IB ceiLher more nor lesa than atheism. To ksavi this 
Hicl^te Gud, is therefore to know no God at all. 

Mj commi^ts on the sentcuces which in my last I placed in 
juiUpoaition, vers no " quibbles," but Ikir conoluaioas. 1 have 
uuly to request the readei attentively to le-exSimine them. 

I ■would aak, sir, the meaning of the following sentence : — " If 
we mean by attraction anv iMng more than a certoin regnlar 
mode of action, a rule oi law (that is, a nnifonn sequence) of 
motioB, — we are out on the ocean of ima^nation, and hiTe 
p*ca Ihe helm to &ncy." What! is attraction the mode of 
action ? 1 have fieeo accnalomed to consider it its caiae. Bat 
if attiacHion ia the mode of action, pray what is Ihe cnufs of 
■ctioQ ? — or has action indeed no cause I It would be a strange 
sight lo see B aiatuH walk ! Bat why, if no power or cause ii 
requisite to its motion ? 

Again. If men are to doubt what they can't unriddle, I should 
Bappose it high time for my opponent lo doubt "the universal 
laws," after having "filty times" told me that he pretends not 
lo unriddle or eipoiind tlifm. 

It seem9 to be conceded, that there is in natural things an 
(gypearance of design. And prey tell me what more than this 
there is in artifldal things. Surely we do not see design it- 
•elf in any case. When we see a man perform a work, we 
merely see llio agent by which that work is performed ; but wo 

do Dot see hia mind or desip, any more than wo ttee mind when 

wa behold the aun, the clou^, and the earth, operating in the 
production of food. What then, tn reaton'i name I ask, renders 
appaaroHee nf design an evidence thereof in the one case, and 
not in the other ? The seemg of a roan perform a work, is not 
Ihe pmof of deaign itteify but only that the design ia in him. 
Were he to perform a work which ahould have no appearance 
oT deaign, Ihe seeing of him perform that work would be no 
evidence of design in him. Whence it follows, that design 
mmt first be apparent in a work, in order to the proof of design 
in the workman, and consequently, that the nidence of deiign 
t(M/< exists in the work. Now if tt exists in the work, it matters 
not whether we see tlie workman or notj the appeai-anee of 
dedgn is atill there, which appearanco ia the evidence, and the 
only evidence. This evidence does not indeed show us leiat 
man's design it is, but it shows us that there is daign, and 
therefore, that it is tho design of tome one. Now the works of 
Mlnie hkve this appearance : this is admitted. They have 
Iheretoro all the evidence of design which any thing has. 
CoBsequendy, design is praved in their case, if in any case 
whatever. If we can£ot prove it here, we can prove it no 
-when; filr, if appearance of design is not infaUible proof 
tbereoT, it can never be absolute proof in any case. If an un- 
inlelligeiit cause or energy can produce appearances of design, 
th^ an iiluit (who it just suck an energy) can produce those 
appearances. And If an idiot can do ihvB, ~" ' 



I 

I 



42 XXINTENCE OF GOD. 

Uiat ai^ imin is not an idiot. I defy uiy ddc to , 
existence of mlelli^nce in any case whateier, iuiIgbs appearanet 
of intelligence is infaltUiU proaf. But if it is infallible pnuS. 
then il pruiea design in natural aa well as artiRcial thing! 
Could we see God himself incarnate, applying literal hands b 
the wheeU of nature, thereby causing all the operalions ani 
leiulls which now occur lliroughout the Taat uuiverae, thi 
would only prove to us that the being who causes these thing, 
had become vinible, not that he is Inlelligimt; for the proof tit 
Us intelligence irould consist in the a/yiearanca of inteUigener 
in hid leor&a- Nor would Ihis t^tpearance he proof, unleaa it II 
oertain, that wherever it exists, there intclligencs is concemad 
Thus we see that the sceptic's lejeclion of the evidenco of thi 
divine existence, as furnished by the appearance of dcsi^ inr. 
nature, not only preveuta the proof of design in all other exulii^ 
cases, but would prorent us from proTing Cod an intelligent bein^ 
could we actually see him — -yea, see him causing the operatiotiv 
of nature — and even see him creating a universe! This isi 
aceplicism followed out to its legiliniate tenninalion. Norii ""■ 
overdone. The cose is OS clear as the rule of proportion 
mathematics, and may be thus briefly slated and wrought:— 
appearance of design is not a tare evideuce thereof^ design Cl 
not be proved in any case, if it w a sure evidence, then it L _ 
piDOf in all cases, tf there is no God, appearance of design iai 
produced by an unintelligent causBj for nature ' '''~ 
appearance. If an unintelligent cause can produce tl 
without intelligence can produce il. And if such a 
produce it, we have no means for dUtinguishing a ma 
bom a fool. 

Inasmuch as it is conceded, that there are appearances ofl 
design in nature, it is not necessary to the argument to provo: 
this. Nevertheless, that this proposition may not only b«j 
admitted, but realized in all its overwhelming profusion of 
evidence, il may be useful to dwell for a few momeiits on thi 

It is scarcely necessary to designate instances in the works ot ' 
nature, in which Iheie ia an appearance of purpose ; 
thing has this appearance. I will howerer menlii 

Fitdt. The adaptation of the covering of animals to the olimatar 
in which ihey live. Northern animals have thicker and warmoe 
coats of fur or hair than southern ones. And here it should te 
lemaikcd, that man, the only creature capable of clothiiig binH 
•elf. ia the only one that ia not clothed by nature. SingolM 
diMrimiuatioa and care indeed, for non-intelligence 1 • 

Second. The adaptation of animals to the elements in wlud| 
lliay live— fish to the water, other animals to the ur. WonUi 
not an unintelligent energy or power, (for a potctr all mn 
acknowledge.) bo as likely to form the organs of a lish for ait 
for water f 



EXISTENCE OF GOD. 48 

Tlurd. Tlio necessity vhich man haa for BustensncG, &c., and 
the supply of tlist necossiQ' by nature. Here lei it be noted 
bnrtnainr fliinga mn3l act in imisoa, to prnduce the necessary 
nadt. The eaith must nouiisb the seed, the ami must warm it, 
Ae lain maet moisten it, and man must have the atieligtli to 
caltlTale it, — and l2ie organs to eat it, and the stomach to digest 
it, inil the blood vessels to uirculate it, and so on. Is it credible, 
fltlt all these things ^ould happen without design } 
' Ponith. The ;>r8-adaptation of the infant to the state of things 
iUo irtiicb it enters at birth. The eye is exactly suited to the 
N^t, the ear to sound, the nose to smell, the palate to taste, the 
acagt to the air, &c., &c., &c. How is it possible Co see no 
ie^pi in (his jird-adaptalion, so cturioits, so eompUcated, and in 
•p many puticnlars P 

Fifth. The milk of animals, so suitable for the nourishment 
rf their young ; provided just in season ; prorided without con- 
triiance on llie pan of the parent ; — and sought for without 
innmction or experience on the part of its oSspring l-^and all by 
cduuico ML 

Sixth. The different sexes. In this case, as in the rest, there 
it perfect adaptation, -which displays evident design. And there 
ia more. What. I ask, is there in nature, to cause a difference 
is the sexes r Why are not all, either males or females? — or 
lalher a compound i This case, then, I consider not only an 
tfidcace tif design, but likewise an evidence of the special an4 
volilimt of the creator. And here I would notice the 
of divine providence, in securing the propagation 
race, by connecting such pleasures with sexual 
I not only to be an indacenieut thereto, but so 
inducement, as to overbalaaoe the pangs of partuii- 
BOD, and the countless cares and responubilitica devoliing on 

Seventh. The destitntioD of horns on the calf, and of teeth in 
(he mckliiig. All other parts are perfect at the very first ; but 
were calves and sucklings to have teeth and horns, what sore 
aanoyonces would these appendages prove to their dams aud 
dunee ! How is it, that all die necessarv parts of the young are 
Ihna perfect at the first, and their annoying parts unformed till 
anmmHtances render them no annoyance— unformed at the 
time they are not needed, and produced when they are, for 
defence and mastication P Who can fail of discerning intelU- 
gence here p 

Ei^th. The teats of animals. These bear a general prepor- 
tion to the number of young which they are wont to have at a 
lime. Those that have few young have few of these appur- 
tenances ; those that have many, many. Were those animals to 
make preparations themselves in this reapect, how could things 
be more appropriate ? 

Ninth. The pea and the bean. The nea-vino, unable to 
stand erect of itself, has tendrils with which to cling to a sup. 



I 



44 EX-ISTEHCR OF GOD. 

porter; but the bean-stalk, self-auBtained, lias nolliing of llw 
kind. 

Tenlli. The pumpkin, TMs does not grow on the oajc, to fail 
on tlie tender head of the wiseacre who reposea in its shade, 
reatoniag that it should grow thece rather than where it does, 
because, forsooth, the oak would be able to sualnin it. And 
vere be to undertake to set the other works of praTidence to 
tights which he now cansideis wrong, 'tis a chance if he would 
not get many a thump upon his pale, era he should get Hit 
universe airanged to his mind, ^d if, before completing hit 
undertaking, ho should not find it the easier of the two to 
arrange his niind to tlie uniTsrse, it would be because tehat 
little brains he bat would get thumped out of his cranium al> 
together I 

Eleventh. The great energies of nature. To supposs the 
existence of povtsrt as the cause of the opcrationa of nature — 
powers destitute of life, and, at the same lime, Hclf-moring, and 
acting upon matter without the intervention of extrinsic ageacj 
— is just 09 irrational as to suppose such a power in a machine, 
and is a gross absurdity, and a self-contradictiou. But to sup- 
pose that ^ese lifaleaB energies, even if possessed of such quafi- 
ties, could, void of intelhgcnce, produce lucA effects as are pro- 
duced in the universe, requires credulity capable of believing 
any thing. 

Twcinh. Tho whole universe, whether censidered in its eU< 
menlary or its organized state. From the simple gas to the 
tender plant, and onward up to the sturdy oak — Irom the leait 
insect up (o man, there is skill the moat eoosumnuite, design 
the most clear. What substance, nselesa as it may bo wl ~ 
uncompounded with other substances, does not manifest d" 
in its affinity to those substances, by a union wilh which .. , 
rendered useful P What plant, what shrub, what tree, has ng 
organization and arrangement the most perfect imaginable 
What insect so minute that contains not, within its almost im 
visible exterior, adjustment of part to port in the moat exal 
order throughout all ita coniphcated system, inftnilely 
in|: the most ingeuious productions of art; and the mos 
|aiate adaptation of all those parts 1o its peculiar i 
exislpnce? Rising in the scale of sensitive being, let ua cc 
sider the beast of the forest, in whose case, without microsco] 
aid, we have the subject more accessible. Is he a beaat 
prey? Has Ihe God of nature given him an instinctive thi 
tot blood ? Behold then bis sharp-sighted organs of vision ',. 
descrying his victim afar, bis agile Umbs for pursuit, his currf 
and pointed claws for seizing and tearing bis prey, his sh'-* 
edged teeth for cutting through its flesh, bis firm Jaws for 
ping, crushing, and devouring it, and his intestines for digem 
taw flesh I But is he a graminivorous animal i Does ho aiJi 
list on gtui and herb 7 Behold then his clumaey limbs and U 
clawleas hoofs, his blunt teeth and his herb -digesting stomack 



;n 



f^&fecl is (ho 



30D. 45 

, s Iho correspondenca between one part nnd unothei 

> cxuctJy adapted are all the parU to the same geneial 
olijtrcts — so vonderful is the harmony, and bo delinite and in- 
Taiiable the purpose, obtaining thronghout the whole— that it ia 
necesaarf to Bee but a footstep, or erea a bone, to be able to 
decide the nature and construction of the animal that imprinted 
that fooutep, oT that possessed that bone! Ascending still 
bighei in the scale, ire come at last to man — man, the highest, 
nobleat workmanship of God on earth, the lord of this sphere 
terrene, for whoae behoof all znundane things exist. In com' 
moa with all other animals, he has that perfect adaptation of 
part to pari, and of All the ports to general objects, which 
demonebate consummate wisdom in the cause which thus 
adapted them. His eyes are so placed as to look the same way 
in which his feet aro placed to walk, and hia hands to toil. 
His icet correspond with each other, being both placed to walk 
in the laroe direction, and with their corresponding sides towards 
one another, without which he would hobble, aten if he could 
walk at all. The mouth is placed in tha fora part of the head, 
by which it enx receive food and drink bam the hands. But 
the hands themsplves — who can but admire their wonderful 
Dtility ? To what purpose are they not adapted f Man, who 
has many ends to accomplish, in common with the boast of the 
field — who has hunger to alleviate, thirst to slake, &c„ &c., the 
same as the former, has likewise other and higher ends, for the 
attainiaent of which he is peculiarly qualillcd, by means of 
haixli. Adapted by bis constitution to inhabit all climes, he 
baa hands lo adapt his clothing to the same, whether torrid, 
(emperale, or frigid. Possessed of the knowledge of the utility 
of ihe soil, he has bands lo cultivate it. Located far distant 
oftliraes from the running stream, these hands enable him to 
disembowel the earth, and there find an abundant supply of the 
sll-necessary fluid. Endued with rational ideas, pen in /land, 
he can transmit them to hia fellow far away, or to generations 
mibom. Heir and lord of earth and ocean, bis hands enable 
him lo possess and control the same; without which, notwith- 
standing all his reason, he could do neither, but would bavo to 
crouch beneath the snperior strength of Ihe brute, and fly for 
dieller to crags inaccessible to his beastly sovereign. But useful 
after all as are these appendEigei, how very like the paws of 
beasts in this respect would they become, were man devoid of 
reason. Thus we see that the Only creature that has the reason 
lo manage the world, has the physical organization to do it. 
Ko heatl with man's reason could do this ; and no man with the 
mere instinct of a brute could do it. Hew matvelloua then this 
itdaplation ! Yea, how wondrous the adaptation of erer; thing 1 
And how astonishing that any man, with all these things in view, 
can for one moment forbear to admit a God! Let him try a 
duBKx experiiaent. Let him lake the letters of the alphabet, 
and throw them about promiscuously ; and then see how long 



46 EXISTESCX OF GOD. 

ere tliey Tcmld move of Iheii own accord, and arrange iheaii 
selves into words and sen(pncc«. Yea, lie maj avail tumselfili 
Ihe whole benefit of Ms scheme ; hi; may have Ihe advantage d 
an. energy or power as a momentum, to set tliem in motioa 
He may put these letteia into a box aoSlciently large foF tiv 
purpose, and then shake them us long aa may seem him goodj 
and when in. this way they shall liave become intelligible 1'^ 
guage, I will admit that he will have some reason for doubl 
a God. May, more. If this should seem too much like an 
dal mind, he may take some Utile animal, all constructed at 
hands, and dismember its limbe, and dissect its body; and IL 
within some vessel let him throw its various parts at randod 
and, seizing that vessel, shake it most lustily, till bone * ' 
come to bone, joint to joint, and the liltle creature bo res 
to its original form. But if thia could not be accomplished by 
mete power, without wisdom to direct, how could the ori^iw 
adjustment i>ccur by chance ? Nay, how coidd those Very pub 
themselves be formed for adjustment one to another ; Hath«- 
maticians tell us wondrous things in relatioti to these 1 
baiard concerns. And they demonstrate their statements 
what will not lie — figures, 'flieir rule is this: that, as 
thing admits of but one position, as, for example, a, so 
things a and b, are capable of two positions, as ab, ba. Bi 
a third be added, instead of their being susceptible of only 
addilional posiliou, or three in all, they are capable of 
For eiample, abc, acb, bac, bea, cab, cba. Add another lettel^ 
d, and the four are capable of twentj-four positions, or voriK- 
tioDB, thus ; abed, acbd, adhc, adcb, acdb, abdc, bacd, bcad^ 
bdac, bdca, bcda, bade, cabd, chad, cdab, dbac, cbda, codbt 
dabc, dbac, dcab, dirba, dbca, dacb. Thus, sir, we might go on. 
Merely adding another letter, e, and so making JItn instead of 
four, would increase Ibe number of variations ^Di-fuld. Ttivr 
would then amount to one hundred and twenty, A single add£- 
tioual letter, /, making jii in all, woold increase this last son 
of one hundred and twenty, flix-fold, and would acOordiDsly 
raise it to the amount of seven hundred and twenty. Ada ft 
letcnth letter, g, and the iost-named sum would be incieaaei 
»oofn-fold, and thereby be raised to the number of five tl 
and forty. Atl eighth letler. A, would inereaso said five than- 
sand and forty, eiglil-lo\i, thus raising it to the sum of forty 
Ibousand, three hundred and twenty. A ninth letter, i, wonfl 
increase the latter sum nine-roid, and so on to the enil of til 
alphabet; wlien we should have the astonishing result, t 
with only the twenty-sis letters thereof, the diflerent chongci 
variations which can be made with them, or the different p 
lions in which 'they can be placed, amount to the immen»» 
number of six hundred and twenty thousand, four hundred and 



OF GOD. 47 

and tixty diDUsand! ', I Hciir« il follows, thnt, were iJie lelleri 
of Che alphflljel lo be thrown pronuBouously into it Tcsacl. lo be 
sfterwaids shaken into order, by mere hap, lieir chance of 
Aeing arranged, not In say into words and Bentenres, but in- 
to tbeir alphabetical ommgements, would bo only m 1 to 
620,448,401,733,239,439,360,000. Al! this, sir, in the cnse of 
aal\- rwenly-aii letters! Take now the human frame, with its 
innumerable bones, tendons, nerves, muacles, veias, arteries, 
dut:ls, glunda, cartilages, &c., &c., &c., and, haiing disaected 
ihe Hune, throw those puts into one promiacuouB moffi; and 
how long, I ff'V , would it be, ere chance would put them all 
Inlo their appropriate plncM, and form a perfect man ? In this 
calculation, we are likewise to take into the account the chancea 
nf their being placed bottom upwards, or mde'iiays, or wrong- 
tide out, notwithstanding they might merely Rnd Uieir appro- 
pitata placca- This would increase the chances ai^inst a well- 
Stmied Byslem to on amount beyond all calcnlnlion or concep- 
tiou. In Ihe esse of the alphabet, the chances for the letters to 
UI bottom Dp, or aslant, are nut included. And when wo 
Kdect that the blind goddesa would huvo to contend ngainst 
Midi feufol odds in tho case of a single individual, how long 
■M we to suppose it would be, ere from old chaos she could 
■ ' "' ' mighty uniTeree, with all its myriads apon myriads 
BB, into the glorioua order and beauly in wliicli it now 



Ha can't believe that two li 
vilhiHit deragn; and yet h 
credibiiiticB t 

I might swell the list to a, vast extent. I might bring into 
view the verdure of Ike earth, as being the most agreeable of 
ill colouia to -the eye; the general diffusion of the indispena- 
»hlE« and neccsaariea of life, such as air, light, water, food, 
clothing, fuel, fto., wMIe less necessm ihinga, such as wines, 
spiccB, gold, silver, &c., are less disused; — al^o, Iho iit£nile 
variety in things — in men, for instance — by which we can dia- 
tingojsh one &am anotlier, &c., &c,, &c. But I forbear. If 
the cases adduced do not prove design, what cuii prove it ? 
How could design be more apparent than in these instances? 
And is it reosooahlo to conclude that, where there are al! possi- 
ble appearances of desigiL, still no design is there, or even that il 
is probable there is none 7 

I have said that there is as much evidence of purpose in the 
worki of nalnre, as in those of art. I now say that there is 
more, uyfnitely more. Nay, ahoold the wheels of Nature stop 
Uieir revolutions, and her energies be palsied, and Ufe and 
motion cease^ — even then would she eihibit incomparably greater 
evidence of design, in her mere consliuelion and adaptation, 
than do the works of art. Shall we llien be told, that when 



r 



46 



EXISTENCE OP (i 



Bio is in full Dperation, and daily producing millions u. 

iions of nseful, of intelligent, of murellous effecla, she ! 

munifesla no marks of intelliE;eDce ? In natu 

see all the worlis of art infinitely exceeded, t 

were, IhoEe works Belf-moved, and performing ttieii apeiatio 

without eilemal agency. To use a faint compariaon, w 

placing itself within the reach of the picker, tlie carde, tl 
apinning-fraaie, and ihe loom, and turning out in rolls of cIo( 
Such yirtually, nay, far more wonderful, is the universe. NM 
a thonsandth put wi unreasonablo would it be, to beliere a n 
factory of this destription, were one to eiist, to be a ch a n i^ 
believe Ihia same universe so. Soonsr cot)ldj| 



I 



suppose Nature herself possessed of inteUigence, than admit d 
ideii that there is rd inlclligenee concerned in her orgauizatic , 
and operations. There must be a mind within or without bet,,y 
or else we have no data by wMcli to diatinguish mind. Them 
must be a mind, or all the restdts of mind are produced -withottt 
any. There must be a mind, or chaos produces order, blind 
power perfect effects, and nun-intelligence the most admirabiB 
CDiregpondence and bannony imaginable. Sceptics pride them- 
selves much in their reason. They can't believe, they say, b«* 
cause it ig nnreasonable. WTiat is unreasonable! to believe hi 
B mind where thcro ia every appearance thereof that can be tA 
Is it more reasonable, then, to believe that every appt 

of mind is produced nilbout any mind at all } Sceptics 

last men in all Ibis wide world to pretend to reason. They doni 
against infinite odds; they believe without evidence, sgainBtoil 
dence, against demonstration — and then talk of reason ! 

But now cornea the sceptic with his all-potent, all 10^ 
saphism, "We cannot stretch analogy from earth lo hesTea;' 
and lol reason, logic, demonstration, and the whole metapl]^ 
sical mass of arguments stning together with so much laboiu( 
are instantly swept away like a very cobweb ! But what, aft " 
all, a the meaning of this mighty oracle ? How does it apply --^ 
the case in handP " We carmol ttfelth tmaloffy Jram rarth h 
beaven." Who wishes thns to Bfxetdi it? We ask n - " 
" predicate regarding unpercelved things ;" we call his 
to things on earth, to the works of nature every where surround- 
ing him, and ask him if the appearances of mind indicated b|i 
these, do not fiirnish reasons for believing, that mind is Ihennil 
concerned. In this, we do no morn than does the sceptic hint, 
self, in reasoning on (ho appearances of mind in artificial thingli' 
The cause of those appearances, (the hnman mind,) is equally 
percDivedinhiacaBe.asisonrsinoura. Or if we consider hisuj 
Ulliffeni cause of tho operalioiu of nature, (his blind power,) we 
see not wherein he has the least advantage in iMb respect. He caa 
soe his power no more than we can see our intelligence. He 
(ee appearances of power; we, appearances of intelligence. 
dtMs not locale his powei in the heavens, but makes it all , 




^E^ EXISTENCB OF GOD. 4r 

Tadiag; tre do the Bame in the case of our inlelligecl rasvc 
We oak not that anj ana ahauld ascend to heaven in queat cf 
God, "seeing he is not fat from every one of ns ; for in him ■»• 
Uve, more, and hnve out being, oa certain also of i/our oioii paett 
haTe said." And all the parade and display of tropes and 
ligutea on this point in the last lettei of my opponent, Ihougli 
a *ery pretty spacimcn of style, was nothing more. We do no 
more Blielch analogy ftom earth to heaven, thaa does the scep- 
tic. The only difference between us ia, that he believes the 
appeuances of intalligenoo in natnre to be produced by an unin- 
telligent cause; nhereas, we believe those appearances to be 
produced by on intelligent one. And which belief, I would nak, ia 
ihetDoreiatioaBlr Tisvainto think of evading the foiceof this — 
demonstration I would teim it — by talking of mitroseopio specka 
in walchea, and of human specks in the watch univeiaaU We 
see more than a mere Momelhing ; we see a something exhibiting 
appearances of design ; and design is in its nature the same, 
whether in God or man. We have then a right to conclude, nay, 
by the rales of reason we ought to conclude, that thete it desga 
whererer there are appearances thereof. No more absurd would 
il be, to "suspend judgment" in relation to design, in artificial 
than in natural things. Appearance of design, and this alone, 
is manifest in both cases. We can indeed oniimes see the 
agent bj vhich artilicia] appoarancea of design are produced, 
bnt never do we see the cause, which is the design ilself. And 
«B loo em see many of the agents which produce similar ap- 
pwaQces in natural things. We see, for instance, the earth, the 
nin, and the sun, combining in the production of food. " So 
ht," then, " «B can unriddle all Ihii," as well as the ol/ier, " and 
H&i We"£niM, not "believe." And when God, not "aJoi," 
ukl us vlio meted the earlh, and laid its comer stone, let us 
bM absurdly doubt that any one did these things ; but let us 
thereby, in view of our own insignificauco, be rendered so traig 
" modest" and mindliil of " common sense," as not to suppose 
oiuaelTes, ("human specks" as we are, and seeing only "a 
lomtthing,") to be the greatest beings in ttie universe, and so 
icise withal as to decide that mfinile wiidom, goodness, and power, 
could make a better world of^this. Just as ridiculous is such a 
decision on our part, as would be a similar decision on that of 
ihe " microscopic apeek" parched on the tooth of the walch- 
wheel, in relation to the toateh ami ilt maker. Why, sir, such 
decision is any thing but "diffidence ;" any thing liut "assert- 
lag leu" than 1 do ; any thing but " letting the great watch and 
iis ntakei alone." A fine conclusion, indeed, for a being who 
has mch a mere "glimmer" of knowledge as to be able to see 
A101HH affaire but obaonrely, and to "blunder every day and 
hour in bis estimate of human motives, and hia solution of 
earthly problems !" Is this neilbci asserting nor denying a 
God? Is this the "modest" pretence of "knowing notlung 
absut iir' Is this keej>ing on the pivot belweeu i^uAim. ask 



} 

I 



no EXISTENCE OF GOD. 

■IheiBm, deciding in relattan to neither i No I 'Tn denial Iba 
most positivu. "i'ia atheism the most rank. 'Tis aasumptioii df 
knowledge onmiBuient. 'Tis more. 'Tis nut onlv ditMieiMji 
in a God, but pretending (o know there ie none, tor, mark the 
assertion : " Omnipotent and benevalenC be caonoC be. Omni' 
potence eou/d, and beneTolence tcould, have prevented evU." 
That is to say, there is not an omnipotent and a bene'olenl 
being at the helm of the nniverae, and therefore no God ; Tor a 
being destitute of these qualities is not an infinite being, and 
consequently not a God. Nor would any in Ibis enlightened 
age (or a moment think of adopting a medium course, between 
an infinite God, and no God at all. I say then, that the asser- 
tion under consideralion amounts to the moat full and absolute 
denial of a God which language con frame. And tax more 
rational ia snch a denial, than for one to bo for ever vacillating 
on the pivot, abaurdl; supposing, that, in a case like that of the 
universe, where the difierence is so immense in reality, as that 
wisdom the moat consummate, or no wisdom at all, is concerned, 
there are equal reasons for believing either way ( or else thought- 
lessly doubting both, and declining to reason on the subject, 
when the one side of the question or the other mutl be true. I 
say, that of all irrationalities, this one of (he jti'vof is the greatest; 
and I am therefore highly gratified to see my opponent begin- 
ning to abondan it, and to make iiac of his reasoning faculties; 
for, if men will reason, there ia some prospect of dislodging them 
from their untenable positions; otherwise, their case is mdeed 
hopeless. 

Yet not so very sceptical ia friend Owen, after all; for, no 
tooncr does he begin to reason, than he admits a God t Ihou^ 
to be sure, a finite one. Behold, reader, and tee if he does not 
admit such a God. Here are his own words. " Do you inust 
that 1 should weigh in the icales of my human reamti, such as 
they are. the probabilities of the universe, and the mysteries of 
its government I Be it ao then, — I do examine, I lesi, 1 Jadge. 
You may argue that there is analogy enough" [between the 
works of nature and Ihose of art, to prove a natural desigiii ' 
" Excuse me. To me there ia not enough — for any thing mc 
than Miggxitilion." [And what is this but luppoiing there il 
God ?] " You appear to perceive the Bimilarity itronglg. I ■ 
not BO perceive it." [He perceives it leeak^ of course, a: 
therefore ptrctivtt it, to say the least.] " This is my concei ' ' 
-when I picture forth the deity at all :" [that is, when he li 
and reojoBj on the subject;] "that he is benevolent, a 
limited power.— Plato thought, that mailer was a' 

and evil nature, and thai God did as well wilh it 

Plato's hypothesis ia tenable, for he abandons the attribul>«| 
omuipolence." [Tenable positions must be admitted, and then 
fore my opponent, according to his own concession, must : ~ 
Plato's finite God.] "I can imagine Plato's deity; 
/ cannot," [Wliy this dis^ctiou, MiAiisa liiMe Ss - 




GOD. 51 

g Plftto'g deity I] " I can anppoae a God of limited 
, dain^ ai weU us he could, and produciiip; the mixed 
ess and miseij we see ; but I cannot even nfppote a be- 

•olent deity a&h lo produce perfection, and producing onlj 
meli B world Bs tlus." [Why Bo, unless there ia reaion lo sup- 
pi»e the rormec, and not the latter ? But if there u reason to 
suppose this, will not mj' opponent, a prnfeeaed diaciple of 
reaaon, continue to suppose so, Lnstead of flying back to the pivot, 
and supposing nothing ? WhywiWthe man so disregard reaaont] 

The result of the foregoing aualyBation is, that, when Mr. 
Owen will not raaoit on the Euhject, he " knows nothing about 
it," and belicTes no way ; but when he Kill reason, he admits a 
limited God. Here then is something dt'llnile at last. We wiU 
see, by and by, vrhelhei it cannot bo shown, that there is not 
onW a Ctid, but that he ia infinite. 

On the subject of the existence of evil, we have no dispute. 
Let those defend optimiam who hold it: suffice it for me to 
defend what I hold myself. 1 admit the existence of evil, and 
likewise thai evil is not good. I admit, that, if all the positive 
good which does actually exist, were to eidst without the evil, 
the universe would be a better one than it is. But to be quali' 
lied to taj whether this could be the state of things or not, it 
must be obvious that we must be omniscient. In saying that 
God is omnipotcat, 1 mean just what common sense would on- 
derstand me to mean ; whjui k not thai he can do what would 

involve contradictions, like causing; a thing to be and not to be 
it the same time ; nor that he can do any thing which in the 
lature of things is impossible, like moving matter b^ persuasion, 
>ir mind by physical force; but I mean simply, that he can with 
his phyaical power do any thing lo which physical power ia 
applicable. But it does not hence fallow, tJiat he can wisely 
ezert that power lo its utmost in all cases. He andd antiihilala 
us all ; but he does not see fit to do it. In every case, ths 
exertion of his power is regulated by his infinite wisdom. Ha 
does not, like us, look at Itiinga in the abstract, deciding this 
tiling, that, and the other, to be inadmissible, merely because, in 
lAemaelvet caiaidartd, they would be so ; but be looks through 
ail IhingB, and beholds their relation to, and their bearing upon, 
ime another, atid decides what is for the best on the wuoi^. 
.Such views of things is it necessary to take, in order to the wise 
management of a universe. Such views we connottake. Hence, 
nutbingis more evident, than that we are utterly incompetent to 
pronounce any part of a universe managed by a being able to 
take those views, an evidence of a lack of wisdom, goodness, or 
power. Nay, it is to be Buppoeed, that, if produced by infinite 
wisdom, it would in some respects appear defective to us finite 
beibgs, who see so amalta part of the vast whole. To the child, 
certain acts of the parent appear mysteriaus, and even absurd ; 
but having other evidence that tbe parent is wiser than itnU, \J. 
eubmiCs its own wisdom to Uie superior wisdom of 'i^'SiieiA.,Uk& 



r 



Sz BX13TENCB OF GOD. 

" Wl»t 11 cbe'i unriddle, 1 
How much more aliiHild ve, mcie nothings compared with ii 
linitir, confide in his auperior wisdom ! Enough \s there in nature, 
in which wisdoni, goodness, and powei ore manifest, to leach ui 
that Iheie it a 'xiite, a good, and a powerful being, far supenof 
to ourselves. Whence it becomes us like children lo conclude, 
that though toe cannot now see the propriety of all hia ways, yet 
that, were we as wise as he, we could see this. In the languags 
of Socrates, heretofore quoted, we should say, "What I uitder- 
Elaud I admire, and am fully convinced to be every way worthy 
of its anthor; and therefore I conclude what I understand not 
to be equally excellent, and that it would appear s . 
stood all its concerns." Thus, this very appearance of defect in 
the universe, so far from being an objection to the infinity of the 
divine attributes, is an evideuce in its favour. 

In my neit, I intend to treat more largely on this subject, and 
also la present such addilioaa! evidences of the divine existence, 
aa may be derived &om various olhti " 



TO ORIGEN BACHELER. 



March 20. 1831. 
Tbe stories that are usually (old about sceptics and philoso- 
phers " renouncing scepticism" and dying repentnnl, ate enlitlH 
to about as much credit (I desire to say it without offence} at 
Dr. Cotton Mather's tialem Witchcraft. 

As to yonr dilhculty about my deiinilioa of attraction : if we 
■uppose a tendtncy lo approach immediately preceding the : 
tion of two attracted bodies, and if we call that tendency att 
lion, we may say, attraction is ths cmue of motion. But i 
not the less true, that wu know nothing about atlraction except 
at txhOnttd in modem ; or, in otter words, except as a uniform 
tetfuenct (or as a tendency to a v/nifotm tequestce) of motion. 

Vour argument regarding design, though difiusely illnstrated, 
lies in a nutshell. Here is tho whole of it : First. " Adaptation 
in matter is the im^ proof of mind in man. Second. Baanm 
human adaptation proceeds from mind, aii that loeembles hnmu i 
adaptation must. I'hird. Therefbrtt what appears adapttHl u 
what man has not adapted, an inlelligeut Uod has." Lot 
Bxamino these propositions in order. 

First No : It is not the only proof. The first great proof of 

■" ■ " every man, woman, ot child, is bis or her aenaatum. WB 




XXISTKHCE OF GOD. 53 

/bl {miseWca to be intelligent. We /eel that we can and da odspt, 
cuntrive, design. We see our uwn diisigiie. We see the deugns 
of oiler beinge like ouraolves. Retiaaniug analogically, we sup- 
pose in them siniilar feelings, similar mind to our own. Yon 
may " defy ma" (in Pyrrhonian fashion) " to prove the eiist- 
ence of intelligence" in man. In one sense I cannot prone il, 
except to myself and in myself. In the uune senEo, I cannot 
prone that matter eiisls at all. Thongh I see it. hear it, feel it, 
yel thai may ba laid to proTe only the existence of my lemattont. 
But all this ia quibbling — ia nonsense- When I see and hear a 
nnlch, I kruno* (whatever Pyirho may Say,) that it exists. 
When I Bee and hear a watch-maker filing and adjusting the 
watch-wheels, 1 know (whalerer Origen Bachelor may say,) that 
lie has intelligence, and is exerting it. Philology may quibble 
at the plain eipression, "I sea him design," but common sense 
will not. To me, who am a man, (and consequently myself a 
designer,) this seeing ii proof — most satisfactory proof, tool — of 
mind, even tlough the watch-maker's brain baa an opaque akuU 

Follow out, then, (he whole proof ot the eiijtencB of human 
inlelligence, ^us : We feel intelligence within us. This is proof 
of our ovnt minds. We eiert it. We design. We see our de- 
signs. We see other similar phenomena. But observe I this is 
not all. tTe ne other betngi, ailh limbi, keadt, bodies, reietrUiImg 
ours, executing Uei« limilar phenomena. We then become con- 
vinced, (so forcible is the analogy,) that in executing these de- 
signs, others feel as we do ; in other words, that they, as well 
OS ouiBelvea, ara what we call intelligent. This (and nothing 
else or less than this, ) is tha proof to ns of mind in oOien. 

Second. In what men call nafuml design, part of tha ualog; 
holds and part does not. We see phenomena something like 
our deaigna, and there the analegy ceaiei. We see no being, 
either like us or not like us, causing iJie phenomena, and in 
whom we might suppose feelings lite ours; in oihar words, 
mind or intelligence. The shop of the great watch-maker we 
cannot approach. 

Yon may IcU na, if you will, that it would do no good if we 
could approach it. Yoa may say, that could wc "see a great 
being incamsle applying literal bMida to the wheels of the imi- 
veise." this would be no additional proof of the existence of a 
great designer. Nobody will beliere you. You will not — par- 
don my plain dealing— believe yoorseif. You know — every one 
knows and feels — what an electrical effect such a bodily revela- 
tion would produce — how weak faith would be changed to sight, 
vague belief to certainly, drooping hopo to assurance. And all 
this ahall be no additional proof! Verily, such an argument 
needa not refutation, any more than would an assertion that 
we can see as clearly by starligbt as at noonday. 

• Tbii Is, iflnow be a verb fit for m«n lo iim aX. aVL 



i 



St KXISTENCE OF GOD. 



Thus, i^e bat, great, overahelming W^f f^' oMv/nt ui of Au- 
tnon inlelligence u totally deficient in the caie of daii/. There is 
no injlmte being in oui image, or not in oui image, of viioin we 
can tiLke cognizance. His work (or what men presume to call 
GO,) la indeed before us ; his workshop (youi simile of the fac- 
tory to the contraij notwithstanding,) is shut up — is unsp- 
ptoachablB. 

Now, you may argue, that there ia analog; enough without ap- 
proaching it. Excuse me. To mt there is not enough—for any 
thing more than mere idle suppodlion. To you there may be. Yoa 
appear to perceive the similarity strongly. Verywell. I donotaa 
perceive it The clenchbg link, for me, is waoting— the obaei- 
valion of a designer. At the bottom of natural phenomena thoe 
maybe a something that shall bearieaemblance to man's mind, 
and might theiefore be called inteUigenet ; or, as the ancient 
aloica phrased it, anirna mvndi :* and yet, bul a vague and laint 
resemblance after all '. The mind of man always exists io con- 
nection with matter ; the mind of the univeise is to bo supposed 
unconnected with it. The miiLd of man it- finite and fallible; 
the mind of the uniieiae is to be suppoecd miinite and infallible. 
The mind of man is bom, strengthens in youth, and sinks to 
second childishness in old age ; the mind of the universe is to be 
supposed unborn, unchanging, tmdecaying. Yet the existence ol 
the mind of man is to prove the eiistence of a mind of the Uni- 
verse ! The analogy between the two is to latiify ua thai 
natural effects have a, similar (yet a most dusimilar I) cause to 
artificial ones ! 

It does not satisfy me. I must have far more of presumptive 
evidence than this, before / venture to make assertions, posiliva 
01 negative, legaiding a mind of the universe. 

TMrd. Therefore, when I perceive apparent adaptation, and 
hnow that the mind of man has not been concerned therein, I 
abstain from all assertions that an immaterial God has. I ai 
sume the modest — ayl the modesty consiEtent, common-seni . 
station of tbe pivot : that ia, I pretend to no knowledge which I 
have not. In delault of evidence to warrant assertion, I 
fend Judgment. 

You may call this rational diffidence by the came of presump- 
lion, if you please ; and it will not be the firat time that a virto* 
has been christened a vice, or a man Bsked how he dared to doubt 
what others saw lit to bebcvc. 

Yoni ingenious and aptly illustrated argument, numbered 
twelve, is superfluous. 1 have already admitted (who that il 
not blind can deny?) that there exists throughout nature, "ft 
fitness, a convenient Or harmonious concatenation of pbeaomena, 
which, if apparent to us in the works of man, would appear t» 
us a pre-arrange ment to effect an intention."+ I have mysdf 
' the most striking illualratioQ that occurred to ta ' ~ 

Soul of tl« world. 4 \nin]IiwthV<UK. 




EXISTENCE OF GOI>. HTl 

a of the human frame.* Your prtmiiet, Ihen, were 
fidlj, UDreservedly admitted by me. I demurred to your ron- 
ah n am, and have diBtinctty given my reasons foi so demurring. 

We would do well, however, when we are tenipUd to puah 
Hoh illuBtrationa aa these into luiijualilied aptimismjvBnd indis- 
aiminBlely to wonder at every thing around ua as a marvel of 
gDOdness and wiadom— ^we would do well, I Bay, when seduced 
inio such blind admirationf to toko hepd leat we imitate the Ea- 
gacity of the clerical commenlalor, who, with the ulraoal gravity, 
"praiseB divine goodness for always making the largest rivers 
flow by the most populouH towns t" 

Let those who advocate ihe doctrine of cAiaue reply to your 
aiilhmotical argumenL 1 am not among the number. 

1 wifih you would have the goodness to make up your mind, 
once for all, whether we human apecka are to re.ison touching 
Ihe government of the universe or not. Are we, or are we not, 
lo predicate regarding omnipotence — to Elretdi analogy from 
earth to heaven t Are we to speak of divine intentions as of 
buman intentiona, of divine justice and benevolence and wisdom 
and mercy and love, as of these qualities in man 1 If we are, 
let us use our reason freely. If we are not ; if justice on earth 
be not justice in heaven ; if man's mercy and goodni^ss resemble 
not God's; if we may not judge, in heaven as on earth, powers 
by regoits, intentions by deeds, and virtues by their fruits ; then, 
in common sense's name, let us close our books of theoli^ at 
once, and sura up onr spiritual creed in three short words ; " We 

This ia my creed, and you are dissatisfied. You say : " Ex- 
amine, lesl, judge." Very well. I do examine, I test, Ijudge; 
and I remind ynu before I begin, (what you seem greatly in- 
clined to forget,) tfiat all my sins of presumption lie at your 

At your request, then, I " speak as a man," aa St. Paul 
would aay. 1 ask my human reason (not having any other,) 
wliether an all-powerful and Bll-beaevolent being can produce 
evil, misery, suffering. My human reason says: "You hod 
better ask me some more practical questions."^" No, no," I 
reply, " Origen Bacheler wants an anawer."— " He insists upon 
il j"^-" Yea." — '* The answer ia short. Omnipolmee could, bene, 
roleace loould katie prtvenled eviL" — As soon as, in reply to youi 
urgent inquiries, I transmit to you this, my reason's answer, you 
turn round upon me: "Ahl so you preiume to decide in this 
matter I Is it not obvious, that, lo be able to decide, we most 
De omniacient ?" 

But (with permission,) you knew very well, I presume, 
aefdre you quealioned me, that my reason was not omniscient. 
And if nolhmg 5Nf omaiacience may argue such points, it vai 
to; tueless, methinks, to bring them on the carpet. And (hen. 



1 




56 EXISTENCE OF GOD. 

too, if (lie negative be pipsnmptuoua, whnt shall we say of tbs 
poaitiTe ? Origen Bfichelcr's ruaaon assures him, (hnt ontfup?- 
tence ciAiid not make a viorld withoat evil, Where did he leun 
Ihis? la he omniscient? 

For consistency's sake, I pray you, let us do one thing oi 
another. Let us not Srat urge reasoQ to apeak, and then re- 
fuae her a, hearing ; first tell her she mtut decide, and tlien cij 
itnt ahout her arrogantly preauming on a decituon. Neitker let 
those who would not have ua become crilica of deity, aet them< 
aelvea up as his apologists. 

We know, as well as we know oui own existence, that 
man could do whatever be willed, and if that man were purely, 
iinmiiedly benevolent, he would not — could not, produce (o any 
sentient -thing one moment of suflering. To euppoae Mm to 
produce one such moment, is to suppose him to will it. To 
suppose him to will it, is to suppose Mm malevolent. There ig 
no escape, if woids have any meaning at all. The same argu- 
ment appliea atrictly.inall iis/oroe, to God, ifreaion ii tokavi 
any tAing tehateeer to wy oimrt a God. A being is no/ all. 
powerful, who wishes to prevent misery and cajutot : a being is 
nof benevolent, who can prevent evil and will not. To deny 
this, is la make the words aU-poieerfiil and benevoltnt mei« 
empty sounds; or else, to declare, that reason has nothing to '~ 
wiUi theology. 

You disdajm ^timiam. You buTe odI; gne alteniBtiTF, 
then ; and that is, to deny either that God ia all-powerful or 
tliat be is bencvolcat. If the production of evil be not (as the 
optimist says it ia) /or the bett, then your God does that which 
ia not for the besL Could he help it or could he not J IT ha 
could and would not, what becomes of hia benevolence ? If be 
would and could not, what of his power ? 

No, sir. The optimist's ground, weak and untenable as i 
is fer, far stronger than youra. Once admit, that "witboot 
evil the univerae would be a belter one than it now is;" and 
there ia no human eacape from the conclusion, that a creator of 
tlie universe was deficient either in the will or the power to 
make it better. 

How do you attempt (o get out of iMs dilemma ? By telling 
us, that omnipoience " cannot do any thing that would tSTOlve > 
contradictions, such aa causing a thing to be and not (o be it. 
the same time.'' Well, sir. what of that ! There ia no qnea* ' 
tion here about a world happy and miserable nt once, what 
contradiction is there involved in the simple suppasilion of t 
happy univeraa t What incongruity, in imagining the mero 
absence of evil ? None, air, whatever. If our reason mif 
speak at all, she lells ua this. Just knowledge, and its conse^ 
quenC, happiness, are good, desirable, possible. Just knowledgs^ 
and happinesa do not exist but to a limited, imperfect extenL 
Ask you the proof ! Seek it within oiiraelvca ? Do wa not feel' 
— iho dullest among ua— that we are not, in foeliiigs, in kno"- 




OP G 



57 



ledge, or in Bituation, what »e ought to be, or ■what w 
have been ? Do we not feel — the best and wiaaat amu 
tlwl Ihexc are springs of Tirtue within ua that have eeldom been 
touched ? generous aspirings that liare Goaicely been called 
into action J eapabilideg of impiovetnent that have hardlj' been 
awakened? capabilities of enjoyment that have been checked, 
or, it may be, turned to founlaius of bifternesB? And do we 
aol knoui that tliis is not for the best? Do we Dot feel, more 
Miongly than words can cipresa it, how iar, far short tliia 
luffering world falla of the paradise of beauty and happineea 
which it might— whicli it a&ould be I ay I which, some day or 
other in the progress of improTement, it kUI be, even to murtal, 
GUlible, imperfect man? And if we, frail and short. si ghted ! 
(an so Tividlj realiio by anticipation all this, what might not 
Jmniacience nave conceiTed, aztd oumipotence have effeoted ! 
What a banquet of brilliancy and blisa m^ht not infinite ^od. 
Den have ipread for ub here ! And hov concIuEive, how over, 
powering, bow utterly irresiatible the proof, that viands sur- 
charged with the poison of ignorance, and gobleta drugged to 
the brim with bitterness, were never prepared for us by an all- 
good and all-powerful father ! 

Plata thought that God and matter were co-eternal ; that 
matter was of a refractory and evil nature, and that God was 
ubliged to take it aa he found it, and do as well as he could 
vilh sucli material. Now, sir, Plain's hypotheais is tenable, 
fur he abandons the attribute of omnipotence ; yours is untenable, 
in yon insist on retaining it. 

'Hie Unitarian is an Atheist in Calvin's God, the Uuiversalist 
in the Unitarian's, tlie Mussulman in both; and I. sir, am an 
AtheiM in youra. I can imagine Plato's deity ; Joutb I cannot, 
I can suppose a God of limited powers doing aa well as he 
utuld, and producing the mixed happinesa and misery wo see : 
but I cannot even auj^Hiie a benevolent deity ailt to product 
per/tetion, and producing only such a world as thia. If a God 
be the creator of all things, and therefore of evil also, the onli/ 
dde&ce of hia goodness is to say, he could not help it. 

I -wonld not have you believe (for it is not the case) that I 
am either cynically or captiously inclined. If I lament much, 
I hope more; if the world is imperfect, it is improving; if 
ignorance transforms and degrades it, ignorance is gradually 
disappearing; if I think meanly of man's condition, I think 
nobly of ma capabihties; if there have been many prolific 
causes of human tnieery, they are, with few exceptions, rather 
inddental, and such as just knowledge can remove, than 
■btoIotJely oecesaaiy and incurable. But if ell human misery 
oeiiedforeverlo-morrow, 'twould not be the lesa true, or theless 
iKneotable, that it has eiieled for ages. Millions of ycaia of 
bliss cannot blot out the reality of one moment of wrelchcdnesa. 
Miseqt has been and is, whatever may be hereanei ', and t^ 
is, snpplies evidence sijfficiaol., "iftVii** 



isent ha: 




58 EXISTENCB OF GOD. 

exists no power bot/i Mo and -wiUing to preveol ils eiijl- 

1 will btely admit to you, lliat there is mach of boautj ind 
filnesa, jcsl and of happiai^se, even now in the woild; bat 
what I obje<;t to is the astienioti that there is perfectiuD (here. 
Ths eye is indeed a nice macliine, but how easily put ont of 
order 1 The ear is aptly lilted to receive sounde, but liow often 
afflicted with deafiieas ! The sun warma, but it scorches alao. 
The rain refreshes, but sometimes floods the country. Tim 
arrangements for parturition are curiously in^niaus; but hoT 
tedious the process, and how dangerous and painful its terraini- 
tion! The inHmCa lungs are well adapted to the atmospheric 
air, but their first inspiralioti appears to be drawn with di>- 
comfort, and (he lirst cry it utters seems a cry of suffering. It 
instinctively seelcs its mother's breast, but the iirat milk she 
affords is often afforded with acute pain. That milk nourisbei; 
but if the mother sicken, the suckling too is a suHeter. Our 
affections are prulifii: sources of enjoyment; but death turns 
pleasure to grief; and love to desolation- 
Yet these and all similar imperfections in the ecoDomy of 
nature's arrangements are more trifles not worth enumerating, 
compared to those lo wUch man's errors and ignorance subject 
him i and if I advert to them now, it is not because I regard 
them as serious impediments to human happiness afler man /m 
Itamrd tme Ki*dom, but only because you insist upon my reid- 

ing " rEBFKoriON !" stamped upon all things. Nor will I even 
deny, that it admits at least of un ingenious argument, whether 
each one of these natural sources of pain, might not. under 
favoursble circumstances, bring to man, oj ke happens lo ba cok- 
ttituted, almost as much of good as of evil. 

But if an omnipotent Gud brought into being this world — if in 
him we " live and move and have our being," he created not 
the earth only, but its inhabitants also. He formed miD'a 
character, with all its ignorance aad its vices. He made it too 
weak to resist temptation, and placed temptation in i\a way : 
he decreed that it should be ignorant and unhappy until tan^ 
by experience, and he permitted it to acquire that eipericBce 
only slowly and gradually. We may indeed remind ourselves, 
how beautuiil and harmonious nature's arrangements would be, 
if that perverse creature, man. did not, by his folly, brinj 
conlusion out of order, and discord out of harmony. Bnt we 
must ever bear in mind, that this same perverse creature, with 
fats folly, is as much the creator's work, as any portion of the 
nature he so mars and abuses. 

What avails it, then, that 



Is not man's the master spirit that e 
prden poison or sweets ? A nd shall we < 
judging the perfection of the world? 1. 




EXISTENCE OF ROD. fy» 

Aie one thing needful to man's bappmess ? and if hia crealur 
permit tliat character lo Iwcome seitlah, treucherous, designing, 
uollinte, how vainly baa he adapted eUI the lest of nature to 
mmmi human happiness } What avails it that a deity give ni 
■weet affections, if they be checked by coldneM, or seared by 
lidicale T what, that he spread before ns ntth a liberal hand al! 
that maj satisfy our wimls and giatify our senses, if the rery 
rift become an apple of discord, a cause of private contention 
if public war, of pride and of slavishneBS, of envy and of 



Ihey but foster weariness and discontent ? Is bape a blessing, 
if it lead to disappointment ? or genius a good, if its posse.ssor be 
wretched ? What, too, are earth's lovelieat acenes, if UhCTty and 
peace pervade them not? Of what value are hght and beauty 
wLIhout, if within there be deformity and darkness ^ How 
■hall it vivantBge us, that a thousand gills and blessings are 
irtDted, if the last, best ptt be wanting — just knowledge ? 
lod if the blessng of blessings be withheld — happiness-bringing 

Ydt so it is ; and no theological sophistry con deny, that the 
•me hand that gives the one withholds the other. 

Needa it to repeat reason's inevitable conclusion, that an ail- 
ruting deity— the author of misery and vice— miut be deficient 
Mther in gDOdoesa or in power ? 

RoBsat Dale Owen. 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 

^^■^In Mying Ihal some who renounce Bcepticism, declare 

\ jmiuui to their reuunciation, they tciiKed to be sceptics, 1 

VI allucion lo the dying renunciations of infidels, but lo ca: 

inBdel conveisian. such as are frequently occurring, like tl 



Kew-York, April2, IBiil. 



_ editor of " Priestcraft Eiposed," for eiample. I s 
hx^erer, from conceding, that the accounts of the dying renun- 
[iiliona of infidels arc incorrect. 
With regard 1« my opponent's explanation of attraction as 
'ing a mode of action, upon which I commented in my last, 
1 Ticrceive he has changed his position, and now explains it lo be 
""■- is no hiJtter than the other. It is 
Then- must ho somclhing lo indtici 



; and lie dMl 
ter, and thU* 
iee 01 feel I 



W BXISTKNCK OP [ 

thia tendency. And lliii, not (he tendency itself, is atCractiil 
Water has a tendency to evaporate, and vapour to condenie ; 
who would think of attributing their evaporation and condei 
tiou to this tendency f 

I did intend to gay no more on Uie mibjeet of design; h 
the liist letter of my opponent requirea a few words O 
point — and hut a few. 

Adaptation is the only proof of mind, ConBcionsneaa 

proof; it is knowledge. A man knows that h- "-' 

signs, as well as he knows that matter c 
poailively know both. He sees and feels 
fore knows (hat thai eiists. But he docs 
miTid of anolher; and therefore the casoa of mind and n 
are not parallel. When we Bee a watch, we k: 
exists ; but when we see a walchmakor engaged u 
watch, we do not know, noi is it proved even to ouitdl 
that be is exercising intelligence, uueBa oppearancB of 
f^nce is proof thereof. For, although be produces app 
similar to those which we know to be the resnlt ol 
gence in oiuselves, yet if similar appearances in nal 
be produced by an unintelligent cause, why not in this 
Why not one unintelligent cause produce appearances of in 
ligence, as woli as another ? And what matters it whether 
sec the cause or not ? We know there mwl be B cuiae, 
acei-iij/ It makes us no more Ihan know it ; it is onlv seeing I 
cause, and not lis mind. For aught we know, the being we 
hold " with hands, head, and body like ours," may be an idil 
unless appearance of intelligence is an unfailing proof thei ■" 
This position, I am conGdeal, can never, never be shaken. 

I do not admit that we cannot approach the workshop of I 
deity. Creation is that workshop, in which his operations r 
continually going on. thougb he is himself invisible. And w. 
he visible, this would be do proof of his intelligence; for t 
proof of intelligence cousists, not in the visibility of a b ' 
but in the appearance of intelligence which he manifests; w 
appearance is proof, whether ihe being be visible or noL ' 
thinks of doubting design in artificial works, though the desi 
be not visible P 

I object to the assertion, that the mind of man always exie 
conaeclion with matter. / believe it exists separate Irani m 
after death. 

It will be seen, that my oppoaent has "fully and i 
servedly" admitted my premise, (hat, were the appeaianGes 
deaigii whioh arc now cibibited in the works of nature, to j 
exhibited in the works of art, they would be evidence to at 
design. Why (hen arc they not evidence of design n " 

because the cause is invisible ; for we very often u . 

works without seeing their cause, and yet think th&t design '<ll 
concerned in their couEtruction. Why then not belteie , 
j__.._ .-jj ,^^^,^l tliiugs, without seeiiis (fteir cauao ? li t 




SXIBTENCB OF GOD. 

fc of a saw or a, hammer, as exhibiled in utiiicul 
to turn the scale! — a maik too which is Hitogethec un- 
id J Shall that which is occasioned by no deei)^ at all, 
haign in the one caae, while all possible eemblaiice of 
SoM Bdt prove it in the other ; But suppose we cumoC 
fain that tltere a a nUurol designer ; (though this 1 do 
lit, ao fkr OS regarda moral cvrtainty ;) stiE 1 would ask, 
'not more reaaonable to believe now that theie is CTCiy 
lace of design, than to disbelieve in one. ur eren than to 
i judgment on the subject. And it will be tecollected, 
e very question under discnssion is, whether there is 
lo btUme in a God. And why suspend judgment in this 
The appearances are not of a doub^ul character, Bcem- 
aj like design, and partly not. This ought lo be their 
"~ 'n order to a sugpension of judgmen' " ' * 



iWhiam of my opponent respecting the flowing of rivers 
PUOIM towns, can hardly take with the most superficial. 
i nan may adapt bis works to the stale of things around 
Is dooa not argue, that the adaptaliun of his men frame 

lUtGof things, (in which adaptation Imhas no conwrn,} 
oof of a natural designer. But even in the case of the Icca- 
cities and towns near rivers, design is apparent, though 
delHgn. Equally apparent ia design in natural adaptation, 
pponeot must not espect lo escape the malhematical 
§ pnunled in my last, by shouldering it upon the 

!If the adaplatioit and adjustmeut which obtain ihcough- 
RoiTeiae, cannot happen without an intelligent cause, 
, boond positively to admit such a cause. His farbaar- 
bre to make this admiaion, is eaying that there is no 
«f admitting a God for all these things, and, eonac- 
JMt they can all happen without one. Let him then 
t^KBT so — and therefore dispose of my mathematical 
■a he can. 

laa^ I conceded to the sceptic, for the sake of argu. 
: «dnntage of momentum, to enable him to make his 
It aa chance anangementa, and thereby to avail him- 
IB whole beneflt of his scheme, which includes tao- 
{ will DOW dispute his right even to this, and put 
il defence of the same, i deny tliat matter has in 
maintain that it can only act when 
T is alike in ihls respect ; and even 
|l. of heaven have no more a principle of action in tha 
re composed, than have the very rocks. 
Qve, but il is because they arc made to 
of oiher bodies. It (lie 5\iuu;\a'iftiac 



I 



their conraea round the Bon, it ia because thejr ire msde thus to 
do by the influenco of thit body upon them ; which bodj ia m 
void of an inhoient priDcipIe of iiiotion es sie thoee other bodies 
and muat obviously lie motionless itaclf, were there not a being 
dielinct from itself to cause it to moTe. The case may bg 
illuatrated by a, machine. One wheel moves by being made hj 
another to move, and that by another, and bo on to the mun 
epria^, which is iUelf aa void of a sclf-moving principle as any 
part of the machine whatever, and would remain motionlet^ ] 
were it not for the inlerposilion of man— a being containing 
mich a principle. Were motion an uiherent property of matter, 
BO far would it be &om an impossibility to conatmct a machine 
of perpetual motion, that there could not be one constructed 
without it. " How is it possible," asks Plato, speaking uf the 
earth, " for bo prodigious a mass to be carried reiuid fur eo long 
a time by any natural cause ? For (his reason, I assert God to 
be llie cause, and that it is impossible it should be otherwise." 
" Every thing that is moved," says Arialolle, " must of necesailj 
be moved by some other thing ; and that thing must be movei^ 
Either by another or not by another thing. If it be moved by that 
which is moved by another, we must of necessity come to some prima 
mover (hat is not moved by another. For it is impossible that 
what moves, and is moved bv another, shall proceed adrnJoutttiH.'' 
Let us now resume the subject of the existence of evil. 

It will be recollected, that I have eipresaly disclumed 

oplimism, and that I have admitted the eiistence of real evil — 
evil which ia positively not a good. I believe indeed, aa the 
Bible asserts, that every thing shall operate for the good of good 
men. but not for that of bad men. I do nol believe, liiat ibelt 
will work fur the good of the thief, drunkenness lor the good of 
Ihe drunkard, murder for the good of the murderer. JUa 
would irtdetd be derogatory, both to the wisdom and the holinew 
of God, making him the nulhfier of his own laws, and &e 
minister of sin. And it is a Gtriking mark of his wisdom, and 
of his regard to hotineas, that he hat connected misery with 
sin, and that optimism ia not true ; so that the very objec- 
tion, that misery of this kind exists, is an argument in om 
favour. I have likewise admitted, that, if all the podliva 
good which does actually eiiat, could be in eiislence wilhonl 
tho evil, QiB univerBe would be a better one than it now iij 
but I have not admitted, as I perceive is attributed to m^ 
that the universe would be better without IJiii evil, tm- 
lea the present good could exist without it And that tUl- 
could or conld nol be the case, requires omi ' ' 
We can indeed decide in some cases, but 
art cases in which we can be certain, that the existing pioli, 
could not exist without its consequent evil. Had pain nerMj 
ciiMed, the good of exemption trum paincould not have been (ul^ 
realised. Had sin never existed, the holiness of God could nM 
lare been displayed, aa il now JD. in Ihe manifest a I ion ofhii 



EXISTESCB OFGOD. 63 

■pprobttiDiv tlieieof, and his meicy could not hare been iliBplayed 
a ill forgivenEHs. It ntedEi not be caid, that omnipaleace could 
OMe these effects by other raeana than these. Omnipotence him- 
ftlf, M I hnie already itated, cannot perform things imposaiblH in 
lieir nature. He cannot accomplialt contradictions, " 
H'lt produce effecta, without the application ot adequi 
He cannot forpve sin, unless oin eiiats to be foigiven. Anu 
u to hia moral ability, he cannot do my thing wrong, any 
Oung unwise. Were he to do thus, he would not be a gotd 
(T a wise being; and therefore, u a good and a wise being, 
he cannot do a inong or an unwise deed. Nor does this 
derogMe from hia omnipotence. The term omnipotence in- 
volvea dia idea of no such power in God. All (liat is meant 
by it ii, that he has the physical power to do any thing to which 
phrncil power is applicable. How that power should be exerdaed 
infimie iniiom alone can decide : and therefore, ^nita wisdom 
should not presume to pronounce any of its eieruisea unwise. 
[ wotild indeed have a man use reason; and lAtre/arc would 
I hare him not thus premuue. 

Thai there is an intelligenl cause at l^e helm of the universe, 
is ai absurd to doubt, as to believe that appearance of intelli- 
gence can be produced by non -intelligence. Were there no 
appearance of intelligence, it would be reasonable to doubt the 
mitence of intelligence ; and now that there m appearance 
thereof, it is, by parity of reasoning, just as rational to conclude 
Ihat there a intelligence. Indeed, it is admittfid, that if we are 

U exercise reaien on the subject, the citncluBJon will be, that 
there is an intelligent cause, though a ilnite one, unable to pre- 
rent the evil that exists. This point then is conceded : that 
there is reaion to beliere in the existencE of an mtelligent Gnd. 
But this concession being made, it is then contended, that ks 
cannot be inlinile. " Omnipotent mul benevolenl," says mj 
opponent, "he cannot bO' Omnipotence rou/^, and benevoleiue 
would, have prevented evil." Let us see how this is. 

Genuine benevolence, so far from shrinking nC the permisaioi 
of evil, would absolutely cause it to be pcodufed, if on the 
whole its existence vere for the best. It would be a wont of 
benetolence to decline so lo do, as, for example, in the case of 
the parent who, out of false tenderness, forbiiarB to administer 
■be necessary discipline to a child, or in that of rulers who for- 
bcsr to enforce the necessary laws. That God is benevolently 
iitgOUa&, may be gathered from the innumcrablo and gratuitous 
tolcen* of his goodness every where displayed. Now, a being 
oaafaring giatailoas happiness, cannot be considered morally 
oniable <^ inflicting unnecessary evil. Hence, the evil that does 
cnat ii not to be attributed to malevolence in the Deity. Nor 
il It itnflratabte to want of power. Most assuredly, the beina 
(hitiriill hi* thunders shnkcs the empyrean, and heaves up old 
oneaa with the blast of his noBli'As, and rends &om b\ii^« te 
' '. ntre tie eirrlasting hills, cuii palsy the arm lii'h ^oiaci ■mftl 



n 
1 1 



I 



H BXIBTESCE OF flOD. 

the imrtmnent of df^ath, urcnuih liie insect pTepared la gtre fli. 
envetioiiied etiog. How pueriie tnen tbe Idea, Uiat God bu notl 
the phytieat powei to prevent evil 1 And Low impious the id 
that h^ forbearing to pieieut it is to be attributed (u 
benevolence 1 The only rational conclusion which ia ,. , 
is, that he does, in view of all things, see best not to preient jC-B 
But tliis is by no means admitting, that he has made us "UT^ 
■"Feak to resist temptatioa." 

Thus, without omniacicnce, do I by demonstration s 
the result, not Ihat the universe is as good as it could be u con- 
tradictions could exist, and if oil the present good could exist 
without the evil ; but thut it is aa good as it is possible for it b) 
be 1 u good Bs a being intinitely powerful, good, utd wise cut 
naice it ; and better than it could be on any other system. Ub> 
derstand me. I do not say that Lhe evil which exists ii gooj 
but I say, (hat it is better lltat that evil exist as a consequem 
of the eiisteot good, than that the good itself do not exist; aif 
therefore, that the existence of evil is on t^ whok for (he be! 
This is tho " perfe:;fion" which I insist on one's reading in tl 
works of God — which iu truth ii perfection, wisdom, justie 
benevolence, of the very highest order — infinitoly higher tbl 
that of a system which abotild forego the good, for Uia sake i 
eicluding the evil. 

Before closing Ibis letter, I will just bring into vien 
sideration, the remaining evidences of lhe divine 
which I inland to have investigated during lhe present discusrim 

First. The present appesronee of lhe earth, whieh shows '' 
it is not eternal, and tltat it must therefore bave hod a creati 

Second. The present amount of the population of (he ei 
which shows that the human race cannot hsve been cteniall 
existent, and that thet/ must therefore have had a, creator. 

Ttitrd. Tbe present slate of knowledge and impi 
among mankind, which shows that (hey cannot have bi 
nally progressing. 

Fourth. The concurrent voice of all history and tr&ditioi 
which is decidedly against the idea of the world's eternity- 
Fifth. The latdi of any memorial whatever, So much as h 
ing a( any thing of this nature. 

Sixth, The common consent of mankind, that Ihoro is a Ool 

Seventh. Tho ciislcnee of rational beinp, and even of in 
lionol ones. 

EightL Divine providence. 

Ninth. Experience. 

Tenth. Revelation. 

Under each of the above heads I shall observe such brevil 
that, though one would suppose a Bummer's work were 1-^^^ 
laid out, I shall be able to close my part of the discossian th 
on, and likewise on the whole subject of the divine eliste 
m four letters more. 

Okiges Bachele 



r 



XXISTENCE Q 



TO ORIGEN BACHELEH. 



Matcli 9, 1831. 
I hava not mote bilh in coaicrsionf from 9ce[>l]cism to 
Drthodoiy, Uian I have ia the death-bed renimciatiDna ol' infidels. 
Siinice in tbose who may once have spokcji boldly, is eagerly 
coiutnieit into asseati but there may be many causes for eilence. 
Onhodoz iufluenw may sometimes deprive a man of bread ( 
isd it is a hard thing (o see a wife and children starve before 

I perccivo, from your objoctiona to my definition of atlraction, 
irileace your great difficulty in comprehending my theological 
■ceptLcisjn atises. You have never taxed your reason strictly to 
iaquite what we know, or can know, towAtnp Me relation of 
aait and effect. Yon are (ai, very tat from being singular in (hia ; 
but Ihe inquiry, however frequently neglected, is essential to cor- 
rect leBIoning regarding a creating cnuse. 

We say " tire produces heal,"* or '■ fire ii the cauj« of heat." 
What do we meour In sUictness nothing mora than this: 
" TTitre are loo phatometui, tho exittence of fire and the extitOKt 
if heat. Of Iheie tao, the fbftaer unifokhlv and imhiidia.T£LT 
ra£CEI>ES thi; latter." This uniform precedence of fire is all 
that entitles it to the name of a came ; and this mtiform lequenet 
of heAt ia all that eatilles it to the name oC an effect. When 
VB ny, Ihe amiiMlion ietaeen fire and heat ia naliiral or neca- 
mry, tra only mean that the lejuence ii uniform. We have seen 
file kindled a thousand times, and have lett heat immediately 
Mo<r Ihe kindling as often. Did we And heat as immediately 
lad uuilbrlnly follow any other phenomenon, we should, in like 

wilhoat knowing any thing more than that heat always succeeded 
it. For instance : if, whenever a tree fust put forth iLi leaves in 
iprinp, heat followed their appearance, we should say, a budding 
KM i* tAe cnuM of heat Did Iieat follow no other phenomenon, 
we ihotlld say, a budding tree is the sole caiat of heat. Then as 
BOW, we should not know how or why the catise produced heat, 
Te ^ould only know that it produced il ; in other words, that it 
mifttrmls priceded it. And a budding tree would then seem to 
US just as natural and as necessary a cause of heat as a file or Ihe 



• I ba Ihc mder U nlitene. (hit. tlueii;bDul thli iUurtntioo 
be wgnf*" in ■ popolir hdk. •impli' to nfm the pheoomei 
BWbiUd io ■> graU or athH an-plicc^to vit, flaunt, imoks, ftc 



diaiclj ffrUowi frialimt, we pronouon frivtlnn 



I 



W EXISTENCE OF GOD. 

But science, you will aay, sicpa in sad axplaini the plienonw- 
noa of combustion. She lella ua that combustion conBisia in ft 
chsngo of cerUin bodies team a solid to an aeriform state ; tha^ 
in theii aeriform state, theii capacity for heat is much less than 
"n their solid state ; and tliat, in anueyumce, during the transiLion i 
iom ODC state to (Jie othar, caloric is Bvalved, or, in plainer 
jenas, heat is given out — is produced. But what means all this I 
[t is liut the recording of a geyuenoB of phautmeiia. The only 
explanation thus furnished couaista in a detailed italanttii of lAal 
tejuence of phenomena. The first pbenomenun is the cliangs of 
comhustible matter from a solid to a gaseous fonn ; the second 
(immediatel; and uniformly following; llie first) is the percepti- 
hie existence of heat. We ore as far trooi the how or the wAy 
aa ever. To sa; that the capacity of gas for caloKc is less than 
that of a solid body, is oot, in a Eliict aense, to e^lain any thing. 
When the change of form produced by combustion occuia, haat 
foUomi : this wo know, and this is all we know. We cannot 
tell how or why gas has a less capacity for heat than a solid 
has; and if we even tender some explanation, that esplauatioa 
merely consiau of a statement of some other intermediate fact^ 
regarding whicli the how and the why still remain to be an- 
swered. The very learned in coaiequence which I have italicised 
in the aboro ciplonatiou means nothing, unless wc lesliict ila 
meaning according to its etymolugical derivation, (from coiuegu, 
to follow closely) and then it designates a sequence only. 

In strictness, there is no koio or lehi/, in the great chaiu of 
causes and consequents, foi man to get at. We observe e«- 
quences of motion or action, or, ia other words, of phenaatcna. 
ia proportion aa xvc employ (he light of science, do we dislin- 
gnish many minute and hidden sequencea — many inlermediata 
iinks, which at first escaped us. We gradually discover which 
of these sequencea ate uniform. And that is all. We never 
get any farlher — vb have no farther to get — than to know thai 
they ore uniform sequences. A uniform sequence of two links 
we call (merely because it ia uniform) a eaiae and an efftrl. 
Every link in the great chain ia an effect, in reference to some 
ccrlam phenomenon that precedes it; and also a cause, in leSe- 
ronce to some certain phenomenon that succeeds iL When ws 
distinguish a uniformly prcccduig phenomenon, we discover > 
cause; when wo do not, we aro ignorant of the cauje; tliati" 
the preceding link has escaped our observation. But whelhl__ 
we mscover it or not, we know nothing regarding the how aaCl 
wherefore of causation, excopl thai a cause is a jwrcediiij, a-' -' 
effect a ndweerft'iij phenomenon." 

When I distingiush the agency of man uniformly pi 
artifloial deiign. the simple ciicumslance that it does ni 



(RL.u^' 



EXISTENCE OF GOD. 67 

, nan ihe cause. Could t distinguish llie 

a^eocy of a Cud in like maniieT always preceding Tvhat is 
oiled nalural design, the case would be the same. But in the 
fiwmer esse my senses distinguiali (he agent ; in the latter, they 
So not- Tha phenomenon preceding artificial design I discover 
—it is man : the phenomenDn preceding natural design 1 do not 
diicovei — you Bay it is God. You assert, then, thac God's 
tgeacy utuformly prtctdet all natuial phenomena. What proof, 
my, what even Tague idea, can we poaiibly have of such prece- 
dsnca ? I confess 1 have none. 

We can, in the nature of things, have no more proof that man 
ia a designer, than simply this : his agency unijhrmly preetdti 
mifiidal design. No other proof can be had l^j substantiate the 
connecuon between any cause and its effect. 

To distinjtuiHh sach uniform precedence in the case of God, 
vould be full proof of his agency ; but this we cannot distinguish, 
and therefore have not full proof. The fiooSfrom analogy is all 
we have ; aod the cases, as I told you, are too dissimilar for the 
analogical arguincnt to convince my reason. 

Let UB not waste our lime in mere verbal disputes. You deny 
dial "motion is an inherent quality of matter," or that matter 
"Satin it a principle of motion." You mean, I suppose, that 
matter i» inert, and that all the causes of motion, attraction, 
affinity, and so on, am powers or influences existing separate 
fnm, and independendy of, matter. Here (let me a second 
time remind j'ou) you are approaching the theology of science. 
A b«dy heavier than the atmosphere, if unsupported, falls, or 
movei towards the earth : two light bodies, placed very near to 
taoh other tu calm water, approach : if sulphuric acid be added 
U> carbonate of soda, the acid moves towards, and combines 
lich, the soda; and the carbonic acid of the carbonate, no 
longer possessing a quality or inclination (which you will) that 
iodoced it to remain in contact with the soda, escapes in the 
fcim of gas. These are three ascertained lacts. We attribute 
the first lo grOBilaHen, the second to cohesion, the third to a^nit!/. 
&t qualities of mailer, these words have some meaning; as aepa- 
rMe from matter, they are mere abstractions. We make them 
inbslaotives ; we ought, in ttrlctneas, to use them as adjectives 
only — lo Hay, an atlraclid hndy, a coloring hody, and so on. We 
Bii^t as well try lo separate the agility of the greyhound from 
the greyhound, or the beauty of the antelope fVom the antelope, 
I* to conceive attraction distinct from (he thing attracted, or 
(dbesion independent of tlie bodies cohering. 

Fndm- aertaia eiremnsUincea, boiiei do moiie. This we know, 
and this — let us wrangle ever so long — ia all we knoa. We Lave 
Km bodies moving ; but as to seeing or knowing or in any wny 
iiMinguishiiig Mdcio.i, as a aeparately existing thing, it is a pcr- 
' ~ ' s of language tu talk of It. If we suppose il such, tlie 
.mis idle and gratuitous. 
tiy yon called me an atheist, because 1 told -joo. vUU 



I 
I 

I 



XXISTBMOG OF eOD. 



cliuions ue equally illogical. Direct inconBislenciea ma; mfi^ 
be prDHDonced impossible: unknowD probabilities can only h 
•pakca of as doubtiul. So to speak of 'them is no eiprcssum f 

Your ttrgiuneiit regarding the eiiatence of evil ia indeed i 
stiange one ! " We enjuy," jrou tell us, " the utmost possilij 
good and hajipiness that omuipol«nt beueTolence can msIok. 
What a coaceptioQ of omnipotence 1 How? a deity am — 
impiOTe this auifering n-orld I — cannal (without doing more hi 
thui good,) prevent debasing slaTery, insolent tfianny, pu 
oppression, priiate feuds, biutal vices, savage ignonnce, v 
buraiugs, inquisilions, anto-da-fea — passions and sceacs i 
render earth a Pandemonium, — and yet be ia okxiroTB 
Whatl B deity eaatiol produce the scanty, checkered, flee 
happiness that men enjoy, except ihiougli die insT rumen talitj) 
such a load of plagoes and corses sa this, — and yet he i> aI 
powerful ! Why, sir, 'tis a perfect mockery c ' ' 
laughing at reason — an assassination of common Henss: 
deity camwt do what even the insect man himself is daily effi 
ing, — cannot discard the evil and retain the goodbye! maf 
a worm, and his God is omnipotent I Wcakl -vremk i 
miserable indeed were atich omnipotence! Frail and mortal. 
I am, even I would cost irom me the oBer of such an atti" 
OS on empty and a worthless thing! GloitouB indeed andU 
vrould it be, to be omnipotent! to say to the raging oo 

human vices and miseries, "Peace! be still!" and to s 

command followed by a great and a happy calm ! Gloriom I 
blissfol would it be, (o possess the pover of speaking viitae in 
being — of saying, "Lei there be happiness!" and «ilii«MJ 
its instBQt creation. Bat to have the shadow without the m 
stance — to be called omnipotent, yet to know that I could B 
prevent one single aigh of affliction or groan of torture tiiu _ 
ascended to my eternal throne, without creating more miHvJ 
■till — to see and feel all ibia, and then to be comforted irm-l 
empty praises and glorifications of my almighty power — or, pa 
tjiuicc, with the paltry reflection that I had thus obtained A 
pleasure of forgiving sin, and the sellish gratification of di '" 
ing my holiness, by officiously condemning what I "— -^ 
compelled to permit — thug to live, I say, Uirongh a 
disappointed in my benevolence, and impotent in n^, 
tenec, were on existence for which I would acorn to Irarter si 
the few short years of human fife I hope to enjoy 1 

But Ihia monatrous inconsistency — this impotent oi 

— must be, I am told. Why mual it?— "Tha deity u a, 
because he permits much gratuitous good." — Suppose ha a^ 
"He is also omnipolenl." — Why? — "Because 'he heaveid 
old ocean with the bloat of his nostrils, and rcnda boat \miU 
to centre the everlasting bills i' " Assuredly, air, Plato hufl 



EXISTENCE OF GOS. 69 

VtHmvtjim here, notwithslaiidinB llio sublimity of your aimile. 
He nya that matter is evil and rL-rractury, and that God'l 

Crer is limited. He will admit tlut t)mt power is sufficient to 
re up old ocean and rend 11^ lills ; but he will deny that it 
H tofflcient to dry up t)ie ocean of misery, and to Urel the 
ranuntatns of vice. And if you ask for h^ proof, it is ready : 
" God doet the one," be will say, " and does not do the other." 

And iniiat all tliia ovorwhelming masa of matteT-of-focC otI- 
dmce — this clear daylight of proof— ba oveilurned by a com- 
pniMD between an omnipotent God and a human parent 7 Are 
•e to be told, that because it would be a want of benovolonee 
in an eartbty father to spare the rod, it would be the same in a 
hearenly fether to avert misery ? Tbo rod ayBtEmisnowgetting 
oat of bahion ; but suppose it were not. Is it not precisely 
because the parent finds (or thinks be finds,) the nature of hia 
child eTil and refractory, and becauae (like Plato's God,) he 
must get along with this evil and refractory nature as weU an be 
can, l£at he resorts to beating ! If he could mould the nature, 
end create the motJTe, and inspire the will, would he not do bo, 
and dispense with the birch F If he would not, he merits not 
the nune of a father! 

And nuurt a deity (to fallow up the simile,) beat us into virtue 
•nd happiness r An enlightened instructor, (without omnis- 
eienee, vithout omnipotence, who otnnot dive into the human 
hMrt, OT command tho human will, or ereate the deciding 
DMIiTe,) even such a ahoH-sighted instructor can dispense with 
the rod, Dow^a-days; and an all-seeing, omnipotent being, the 
•eatcher of hearts, Ihe sole creator of the will, the God in whom 
we live and move and have our being — ctsnoi I Finite man 
is a sage, and infinite omnipotence a bonder! Words 'nere 
thrown away in the reCulation of such a conception. 

Your defence, then, of an omnipotent creator of tliis world 
*^' ■ "le ground — and the space allotted to m ' 






,r Dai£ Owen. 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



New-York, April 16, 1831. 

but B sorry specimen of liberality, virtually to cbaiga 
inftdela with Belf-interested hypocrisy in nutkiDg their 
OB. This looks to me quits as illiberal and personal 



r 



70 EXIaTENOE OF GOV. 

as any Ihiiig of wliicli eci?p(ic9 complain, as manifeated to<*M 
Ihemaelvea oa the part of Cbristinns. ' ' 

I i^annot asaent to the proposition lha.t mero precedence ■ 
sequence are caiiae and cffecl. .For instance, our letters in fl 
discussion uniformly precede and follow one nuolher ; ivlieMI 
ve ouiticlves aie the cause of oni own letters, and these lette 
ate our own effects j hut the letters are not the causa or eft 
of one HDother, Nor do ice merely precede oui lettera. M 
out dry pert! taigbt auive over our paper till we were grey, m 
not a sign of an idea should we render visihle. And it is pre) 
evident, that ty heat followed '■the budding of a troa," that bn 
ding would he the cause of it : for it would not follow uncanM 
But, for argument's sake, suppose I admit, that dua ideV 
cause and effect is correct, and that we know nothing morei 
relation to them, than that the one precedes and llio other I 
lows. What bearing has this on the subject of the discuasi'' 
Its bearing, if any il has, goes to show that we cannot pi 
a cause at all, whether visible or invisible — a sonliment wl 
may well rank with the other whims of philosophy-nin.n 
such as the denial of matter, and motion, &o., Ac., Ac, 
whicli it is not worth one's while to spend time in confiitLI 
seeing the common sense of mankind will not fail to dispa 
of all such nonsense as it deserves. But what has this to 1 
with invisible attraction, or an invi^ble God ? And what if I 
do see the precedence or coma in the case of human, effects, ■ 
i.0 not see it in lliat of natural effects ? As effects are not n 
duced wi^out a prsoedeaee, we know just as well that there II 
preeedenee for natiual effects as if we did see il. Nor do ' 

any more see attraction, or, in other words, the inalru 

precedence of natural motion, than we see God himself, 
would be just as rational to argue, that motion has therelbre ' 
jx^cedenec, as for this reason to argue that there is no God — ji 
as rational to ask. What proof can we have of the ni 
agency of an^ .pnctdena or caute in nature whatever ! as 1( 
thus in relation to the agency of God. Effects prove a ci 
and intelligent effects prove an intelligent cause, to every: 
tional mind; and it matters not the least whether those e — ' 
be visible or invisible. 

I do not consider our difference on motion a mere verba) one, 
by any means. To say that motion merely takes place, and that 
this is all we know about it, is an outrage on a self-evident (act. 
and totally onwortby of a really ' free inquirer." I Ano» that I 
cauie my pen to mmiB now while penning this, by the applica- 
tion tif physical poKcr. I know that it would not move without 
being made to move by the applieation of such power. It con- 
tains not this power within itself. The same holds of all mere 
matter 1 and whether attracltd, oi Jloaled, or bUnim about, il a 
thus moved by somelhinp else, as much as my pen is. "' 
itself it not n property of any thing, but mobility, or tl 
of pniag motion, is to. Aa Id "the beamy of the a. 



r 



EXISTENCE OF GOD. 71 

_ snollier subject. "The ngiUty of (he gray- 
lunind" is caused by Lho phyaical power within hinmelf. But 
mere matter bus not Ibis inbcrenl power. Henco mntlcr csn- 
nol move itself. Theiefore, although we may attribato the 
motioii of the planela to the iniluence of the sun, the motion of tlie 
sun must be attributed to God 

That it bos been plainly admitted that reaion teacbea a Goi], 
needs no additional argument to show. The reader is merely 
referred to the quotalioDH and eommenla on this point contained 
IB my last. Let us now consider the subject of the ciiBtence of 

God is good. The vast amount of animal life with which all 
nature lecma, and which on the whole is far more happy tlian 
miiersble ; the attention which suffering excites, showing that 
it ia not the conimoa state of thinp; the comparatively small 
amount of suffering which would e:tist, with proper care and 
conduct on our part j the forbearonco on the part of God to 
inflict the full desert of sin in cases of penitence, as every peni- 
lent is ready to testify; his long forbearance with the wicked, 
yea, more than forbearance, bestowing upon them many of the 
comforts of life, notwithstanding their ingratitude, disobedience, 
mud refusal even to acAnoaledge /Ui txiilcnce ; the fact, that, as 
(ar as we have investigated Ihinga, they have proved better, all 
things considered, than they otherwise could be ; tho gratuitous 
^ood every where abounding, hy no means indispensable Co ex- 
Btience — oa, for eiauiple. the melody of the strains which charm 
the ear, the beauty of the colours which ravish the eye, the 
bagiancy of the odours which regale the nostrils, the palata' 
bility of the nourishment provided for our sustenance, the 
pleaanrable sensations derived from feeling, and, abora all, the 
moral and intellectual gratification derived to the mind from the 
nercise of its powers on their appropriate ottjects : all thete 
an ao many demonstrations of the benevolence of the deity. 
-Were he malaiolmt, life would be tendered a scene of misery 
•nd lUippiiieBs, should it ever occur, as an unavoidable conse 
qmnoB of the plan that could produce the greatest amount o 
nil, mmld excite all thtt attention which calamities now do 
Our eSbrts to alleviate wretchedness would only make it doublj 
vretclked; forbearance and mercy on tho part of the supreme 
would be unknown, and injustice and cruelty occupy tlieir 
place ; gratuitous evil would lake the place of gratuitous good ; 
and sounds would become hoarse thunder, colours be changed 
to the pae of death, noisome exhalations float on every breeze, 
wormwood and gall be our sustenance, onr every touch thrill 
with agony, and conceptions horrific haunt our intellectual 
tisLon. Such would be the system of a God of malevolence — 
a system how different from that which exists ! 

God then is good, indisputably good, transcend mlly good. 
And furely ft being so good ; a being creating sensitive ei- 
Lilencea inniunerable, for the purpose of conlenins lit-^^iaesa-. 



r 
I 



I 
I 



72 £X1STE]S-CE o 

l ulling all tliinp for beneficial purposBB ; causing lh« ei . 

of immeliBC gratuitous good ; pBidoning the peDitenl, and finffl 
bearing long with the impenitent: — audi a being cannol be Hi 
posed to be niaralty capable of causing oi even permitting u! 
necesgary evil. Hence, the existence of ctII cannot be atliibutl 
to a want of benevolence in the diiily. 

But, is it Iberafore to he atliibuted lo a de&ciencir of ptrwerM 
Most assuredly not. Is not be who called forth the u ' 
firom nonentity, and who now euslains it in being, and re 
its operations, able to prevent the altng of s wasp, or the 
a flea t What blasphemous puerility 1 Cannot the being who 
creates the means and the agents of evil, forbtar to cnaU 
Uiem I Which requires the greater exercise of power — to trtatt 
01 io Jbrbtar to create ! I am (old that even man con preiMit 
some evii; and this 1 admit. I do not however admit, that b* i 
can prevent all the evil without the " rod" which he can wilk ■ 
it. The " rod system" may be " getting out of fashioa" vilk j 
some; but it must be on the same visionary groimd o 
the law system is becoming unfashionable with them 
■chemes are equally whimsical and disorganiiing. But 1 
return to the argument. If man can prevent aooie evil, canm 
Gad do the same 7 The reason he doet not, is evidently becau 
ha sees it host for Aim not to do it, how proper soever it mi""" 
be for man in hii sphero to prevent it. Oi is God in very di 
more impotent than man? What means my opponent bj 
Belf-contradictiuns, hut assertiag, that it must be for the w 
of power that God does not prevent evil, and then saying, U . 
Euch a want of power would render him inferior to man ? Wball I 
is (bis but asserting, that God is inferior to matt, or thai thert' I 
ia no God? Here, sir, is a dilemma from which there is nf 'I 
escape. Choose one bom or the other — blasphemy or atheinh f 
And (his I am told, is Plato's having the belter of me. Ym^ J 
Plato, it would seem, admits that God can roll up (he moot "' 
billows, and rend the solid earth, and yet, that he caniiDt c 
" *■ ■ "" Ridiculous 1 superlatively ridiculous ! 
— ■ " " I in this: 

being has not the physical power to do any thing but what h 
does. PUto overlooked the attribute of divine wisdom tU' 
^ther, as a regulator of the exereiie of divine power. And 111 
IS the God, if any, which my opponent cam admit ! But be c 
not admit a God thai would not prevent the sting of an int.. 
ifhoconld. Ko. He cannot admit a God thai is equal \ 
hiniself in power and wisdom I Still, when seized by a fit i 
"modesty," he assures us (hat lie knows nothing himgelf— I 
erei and anon he becomes omniscient, and can prescribe n 
the most minute fur the regulation of infinite wisdom. 

The liun of the ma((er theo is this : that God is petfed 

benevolent, and infinite in power. Hence it follows, tbat-Ui 

I of evil is (0 be a(tiLbu(ed neither V. 




EXISTENCE OF GOD. 



It ftnieu d 
the EwM t 



fBiOM' power on his part; Find llio only possible nUeiaatiie 
WlilleftU, to attribute it to lu9 inlinite wi«loiD. But it muU 
■(Due be obiioufl, thai we cannot pKrceive te/ierem liie wisdom 
gf id penniuioa consists in al! cases ; for, to be able to ma 
tm, WDoId be to be onuiiaciest ounelTes. In some casei, we 
JM perceive his great wisdom, and see UuLt nothing is redundiuit, 
g deScient, nothing that can be bettered. Take for ex- 
le the hnman frame. And many other thinp which at first 
I defective, da, oa thorough investigation, prove to 
( possible. How many things wliose appropriate 
— 3 unkaQwn, have since been turned to the best 
not to be supposed, then, Ilmt, any thing iu tiaturs 
hn nun. 'The beiag that has such regard Lo utility, and tliot 

-f^ such consummate skill and wisdom in cases to us 

_!, would not, couW not degrade these glorious attributes, 

I9 die production of fantastic and useless workS' When 1 
Witnen the devaelatluna of the tornado and inundation, or bc- 
Ud the earth parched with heat, and its inhabitants swept 
■~ J by pestilence ; when I see the mountain summit peer 
lOgfa. the clouds, and hear the crash of its tailing crags ; 
n J lead of mighty earthquakes, and the eruption of vol- 
nei : all these things are so many evidencos to me of wisdom 
great for my comprehension. So br am 1 from considering 
a inkiks of no wisdom, that I regard tlicm as among Hui 

Itsnaf^ prmfB of teitdom infinite. 'Tis then I think the deity 
il OBtrying on his niighttesC and most stupendous operations. 
Bnt, lut of illi could I suppose Mm tho autlior, or evca Hu) 
toleralor, of avoidable misery and sin J The thought is blasphe- 
mous iit the highest degree. 

I hasten to Oie brief consideration of my remaining evidences 
of a deity. 

First. The present appearance of the earlJi. Suppose a ptti- 
tioie of dust to be washed into the ocean in a milUon of yean: 
ur suppose in the same ptfriod a grain of sand to be detached 
fnim tho massive mountain, and conveyed by the rains that 
drench the earth into the valley; the time would at leogUi 
arrive when every mountaia would bo laid low, the soil oa 
vashed into the abyss, and the whole face of the globe be 
covered with water. Now, it is well known, that a levelling 
tirocess infinitely more rapid than this is in progress. Are nut 
ur rivers continually conveying the earth in large quantities into 
lie ocean, forming sand-bars, shoals, and even islands, near 
tieir mouths ? Do not the Uquid torrents, as they pour down 
lie sides of hills and mountains, precipitate in their course 
large masses of their surfaci;, and even huge rocks, into the 
Tiles below ; Do not the tiosts of winter rend in twain the 
mounUin ledges, through whose Saaurea filter the dissolving 
BOWS of spring, and tho copioua showers of summer, by which 
an nndennining process is going on, producing those mountain 
I ilidea, nai those overwhelming avalanc/iet, which spread such 



I 



I 



terror and devasltttion in Oiei 
action of fiost, and sun, and rai 

and convey them away by atoma to mo great reservoir ol Cl 
ocean F — 'I'hink now of a past eternity. And when, by ti 
dowcet process wbich ecepticisni could desire, it shall appear! 
■ demonstiatioii, that the hills and mountains mUHt all hm 
been levcUod, and the whole suriace of the globe mantled Ii 
the liquid elteet, an undiminished eternity remaioB beyou 
Behold then the real aaith. Here is a fallen crag ; there, 
bald-headed mountain. In this place the sea has receded; i 
that, encroached. But the great features of the globe still n 
maiti, though furrowed thus slightly by time. Con these II 
the marks of eternal ages ? Demonstration thunders, No! Bj 
if not Gteical, the world must have had a beginning, and then 
fore a creator. 

Second. Tko present amount of the population of the eord 
Population is of an increasive nature, whatever may be l]i 
cose with particular countries at particular periods. We leu 
from history, that the human race a tew thousand j>eais ag 
were few in number, compared with the present amount, an 
that there were at that Ume last tracts of uninhabited Ian 
which are now inhabited. Had the race therefore 
it is demonstrable that the earth could not no __^ 

inhabitants. Not a nooli, not a corner, capable of cnltivalttng 
Ot of being rendered so, would be unoccupied. The wholT^ 
world would ho a highly cultivated garden — a cluster of.oi " 
towns,, and villages; every fathomable portion of the i ' 
deep would be tra&sformed into artificial land, and c 
with a detise population j and innumerable mnltiti: 
like, would dwell in floating habitations on the bosom of tl 
wateiB. Compare this with the actual, semi-populated sta 
of the earth at the present time. Can it be, then, that tL_ 
human race are eternal P Impassible ! But if not eteitiaL 
(Aty too must have had a creator. 

Third. The present stale of knowledge and improremanl 
These arc of a progressive nature. If we go back as &r ■ 
hiatorj' can carry us, how VB£t do we find the difference in tha» 
respects between those times and the present day! Even M- 
iei'i, necessary and invaluable as they are, were invented bvl' 
three thousand six himdred and fifty joois ago ; and money, alU 
convenient money, but two thousand seven hundred and Ihiitf. 
Necessity is said lo bo the mother ot inyenlion. If then Hf 
tlU'e are tlemal, how is it that they did not hit upon invention 
ao extremely necessary and convenient, till wilhiu Ihroo or fon 
Ihousand years? How la it, that, after having been from tl 
eternity immerged in stationary barbarism, they should all « 
once set off on so rapid a career of improvement as within ■ 
ihorl a period to have attained to their present eligible conib 
tioD } The idea Is inadmissible : tnan must have had a begii 
<l a maker. 



EXISTENCE OF GOD. 75 

voice of all Lislotj and traditioQ. 
AD sutheatic historians, and all tradition baviDg the least air of 
Lathetilicily, concur iu representing ancient times to bate been 
the iaJancj of things, as exhibited in the paucity of the human 
rare, the inaignificancy of nations, the small portion of the 
trorld inhabited, the smull progress of knowledge and improve- 
ment, and, in One, in all those traces which a world in its infancy 
icouid exhibit. 

Fifth. The lack of any memorial -Bhatever of the world's 
eleniily. During the period which, bj history, we know it to 
have existed, men have liTed, events have transpired, and places 
have existed, whose memory will dcBcend to poaterify till time 
thall be no more. But who were the Alciandoa, the CiEsaTS, 
the Napoleons ; what the wars, the revoltttions, the conquests ; 
where the Babylon^, the Romes, the Paiises, of a past clernity F 
" And echo answers, MTiere ?" 

Sixth. The commoQ consent of mankind, that there is a God. 
And. in r case of this natare, what, I would ask, is the common 
coiuent of mankijid, but the common lenae of mankind ! And 
do not sceptics themselves make this common sense, or reason, 
the all in all? very reason decides in our tavour; mankind bs- 
liere In a God. Tha then is the decision of the common sense 
of mankind ; that is, of reason, of nature— and therefore of truth. 
Sevenlh. Tha existence of rational, and even of irrational 
beings. A stream can rise no higherthan its foimtain ; therefore, 
human and even brutal intellect must have an inteUigEnt cause. 

Eighth. Divine providence. Coses innumerable might be 
adduced, of ipeeial divine interposition ; and (he general snpcr- 
ialendenco of divine providence over the concerns of mankind 
is too plain to escape univerBol observation. 

Kinth. Eiperieuco. Christians Aiune there is a God by their 
own experience. This is knowledge to themselves, but ecidenee 
to others. 

Tenth. Revelation. This renders it ctrlain that there is s Cod, 
though every other evidence were to fail. That a revelaiion has 
been given I propose to prove, after tiniahing the discussion of 
that ^nestion. 

ObIKBN BtnUSLER. 



EXISTEKCB OF GOD. 
TO OEIGEN BACHELER. 



ApnlSa, 
A man is not to Ijo suffered simply to remain a 
ca9ca nheio a. loud expression at opinion would deprire 
and otuldren of bread, 'without bemg accused of self-ii 
liypocrigy I When the world learns to hoiiour honest] 
approTe, ingtead of proaeculing, heterodox virtue, 'twill 
enough for it to ioiiat upon all raea uying, at all rislu, 
think. It oui^ to be more Ihaa sati^d, meanwhile, 
ire found wiLung thus to iucui its ill-humour foi the salb 

The bearing wMch the digreaaion regarding the re 
cause and eiTcot has on the subject before us, is tliia : T 
uay the only, positive evidence of a cause is the distil 
of & precedence. This evidence U furnished in the 
artificial desiga, and is wanting ia the case of (what 
natural design. But the argument is somewhat abst 
metaphyBical, and I will not loaist upon it. I merely 
that if Origen Bacheler's letters uniformly and LBin 

E receded Robert Dale Owen's t/iroughmit all nature, w 
e sufficiently justified in believing iu a aecessary leli 
twMn them u cause and effect 

I shall not dispute with jou about words, IE you c 
suppose immediately before tbs moving of two atlractci 
a tendency to move; and then further, immediately be 
tendency, a something preceding it, and choose to i 
samethiog attraction, you may do so. But I see nul 
were not as rational to go back three links as two, oi 
need go back any at all. Things approach each othei 
all WB know, why not be satisQed to call this reg 
quence of motion (since it is ail we can understand i 
guish) attraction ? 

It is truly curious to observe what the human mind < 
itself to believe 1 Formerly, my opponent did not ch 
actly to assume the optimist's position, and declare tb 
is not evil." But how does be now creep ont of 1 
dilemma r By telling us, (in the most pointed Ian 
optimism} that faoiine and pestilence, tornados and earl 
are "Bvideaces of wisdom too great for his compiet 
When Uiese are produced, he " supposes the Deity cai 
hii mightiest and most stupendous operations." And 1 
jcstilence : the tornado of crinu— the earthquake ( 
what of them ! They, too, are " (ho strongest prooj 
dom infinite." War, rapine, cold-blooded murder — tl 
which slays, like that of Moses, nieu, women, and chl 
jiTant at the breast— the passions that rankla in the I 



eieiste:>ce of qod. 77 

a with Iheit foal eclipse the iair face of nalure — the 
rejoices in the heretic's death-groan, and thinks 
■ fcetopiCiate ita God by inTcnting every day some new loituic 
P^Bis creatures — but why further enumerate r — aii the blasting 
» that deraslate this suGeriiig vorld, are "so many evi- 
.. ..-8 of wisdom too great for comprehension !" Wlien the 
Sod of the Jews is dissatisfied with the half barbarity of hu 
AoNB people which caused them to murder ali the adult moles 
obIj UBong tbe MJdianites, and when b^ the mouth of Mose« 
ta bids them " kill all the women, and kill all the males among 
fte little ones, but the women-thildren keep alive for Ihem- 
nlres"* — then this ultra -brutality is "the strongest proof of 
Kwrfmn injlnUtl" "It is tlien" — when engaged in iKuingsudi 
commands — that my opponent "thinks the deity is carrying on 
his mightiest and most stupendous operations I" Cbmmon sense I 
common sense I thou art a precious gill I 1 would we know 
how to Talue thee i 

Must 1 argrie against Euch a creed J When I am (old that 
we cannot tell whether the vilest and basest crimes that have 
Bonk mea below the most groTelUng among brutes, be not /or 
thiheit — no, no! the eitravaganee is far greater even than thig 
—when I Bra told that the mwe Aorribia th! brulatity, the itnmger 
l/u proof of aiidom ifirfaito.'— and then bid to use the weapons 
oflofpc against the position, — I feel, that iilhe heart refute not 
fhia outra^ on its boiiost sympathies, the ar^ments of Cold 
reaaon — though numerous, powerlul, overwhelming, as any 
Mrthly arguments can be — will fall on a dull car, and be re- 
petted to an impassive judgment ! 

And wherefore this insult to the common sense of mankind 7 
Why this assertion, that we are blasphemers and anogalora of 
omniscience, if we presume to doubt whether the vice and crime 
Ibat deloge the world are the work of omnipotent benevolence 1 
For what purpose are we thus denied the right oC judgment in 
a case, than which a clearer was never shone upon by the 
BDon-dny sun of actual perception !—To fiimish an imaginary 
apology for an unfieen God ! To solve a fancied difficulty about 
u unknown creator of the universe I 

And what is this great difliculty ?— " If God cannot do what 
rasa is daily doing,— that is, ' discard the evil and retain the 
pod' — he is less powerful (you argue) than man ; but this (yon 
My) is blasphemous puerility.'' It does not follow, because 
nun, in his limited sphere, can la a small extent discard evU 
and retain good, that a God who cannot do this in the sphere 
d the imiveise, and to an infinite extent, is less powerful than 
man; but it doet follow, (and this was my argument) that if 
a God cannot do on a large scale what man can do on a 



la aU it! bmtilitjr. 



r 



78 EXISTENCE OF GOD. 

tmalX one, such a God is far— far, indeed, (rom being « 

But now, suppose it did follow (os you say it does) Hitt • 
God who cannot " discard evil and retain eood," throughout tl 
earth, were more impotent than man, and suppose that it ii i 
rational — or say impoasible-— to imagine such a God ; wh 
follows? Ipray you, iir, to mark! Your God ia such an or^ 
row Ggd (us jou yourself have told ua half a dozen times) ct 
not discard the evil aitd retain tke good. This is the yerj real 
you give why evil ia not discarded. Tour God, then, (on Jt 
own premises, remember, not on mine) is mora impotent th 
man. To imagine t/our God is (in your own language, tbi 
never permit myself any such) blasphemous puerility. Slruk 
that you should talk of dilemmas ! 

Observe, then, / argued, that a God who cannot, like m 
discard (he evil and retain the good, is not omntjioltnt. 
argue, that such a God is leta pouerfiil tian man, and mi 
Baisi— quite forgetting, that that very God ia your own ! 

The some polite offer, therefore, which you are guod eno 
lo malie me, of either horn of the dilemma, alriclly reverts, 
your own showing, lo yourself. It is you, not I, nor Pit' 
who have to choose between what you call blasphemy I 
atheism- 
Let me request you, however, to bear in' mind, that it is 
business of mine to defend the eonaistency of Plato's God, or 
any other. Had your argnmcnla, instead of applying as 111 
do to your own case, applied to his — had you di^ioved I 
possibility of his theological conception — you would h 
gained nothing for your arEument. It would then only h 
appeared, that if a creating God eiiat, we bumnn beings find 
lU&cult or impossible to imagine coniistent attributes for hini' 
a position I ani not prepared to deny. 

To one other oipieBsian in your jletter I must 
advert. It is where you adduce, as the most remarl 
stance of God's benevolence, hifl "fbrbearance lo inflict I 
full desert of sin on the wicked, notwilhatauding their I 
giatitude, disobedience, and refusal even to acknoinledge , 
txuleTtce." Yuu ima^ne, llien, that it is art act of exall 
vitlue in your God lo refrain from punishing me because I 
not know whether he lives or not. I wnnt words, sir, 
express the degree of imbecitily which I should be compelled 
attribute lo a God, who should be angry ( even for a m 
on account of so paltry a trifle as this. In the liret plac. . 
can it signify to him, whether an insect like me acknowledge I 
existence or not f Is ho so fond of being glorified, that he m 
needs set it down as a hateful crime, that one of his creatui 
did not find liim out, and abataiiiE from all stated, fonni 
verbal forma of prayer and praise? But again; he knowt t 
1 am ignoraat as to his exisletice ; he sees fit to abstain G 



SOD. 79 

I Qili;lleiiing me ; and it ia io be regarded as &a instance of 
ini'l^ble meicy, thai he does not punish me, ta atone foi his u-wa 
JfSoieucy ia revealing himself !• 

If «e arc to imagine a God, sir, let it be one endowed with 
(■jimnon sense — one who will nol first conceal himself from us, and 
'!j.\i puniiili uuc sin in not being able to perceive what be conceals. 
U> it be a God who will listen to an honest defenee, uid decide 
!i .ordiDg to prinoiplea of the commonest justice. 

Il' mich a God exist, and if a, day indeed arriye when I shall 
lUad before his judgment-seat lo answer for the deeds done in 
the body—then and there will [ defend (let me say it simply 
■nd ciaeerely, and without offence^— then and there will I defend, 
M I now defend, my honest soeptidsai. Then — when the seciels 
of lU hearts shaJl be known, uere — before that being who can 
ifistiaguisli and appreciate sincerity, will 1 say, as I say now, 
Ihal for my heresies i am blameless. If Urigen Baehelerbe there 
10 accuse me. how shall he eBlabliah his accusations? Let us 
imagine the scene: 

Aemter-^Dviiag thy mortal life, Ihou didst iutn a deaf ear lo 
b^T warningB. 
Mortal. — Nay, 1 heard lliem, but believed Ihem not, 
Aeamr. — Thoa hast not known on earth the great judge before 
vAimi thou now standest in heaven. 

Uoriat. — True. Thtre I knew him not ; for he concealed his 
'•■■ciag from me: here 1 know Mm; for he reveals to me his 

Aecuier. — I warned ihee of his exialcnce. 

ilortal. — And I believed nol the warning. 

.iecKSer.— Dost thou EonfcBs thy fault J 

Uarlal. — I have no iault lo iMinfcss ; but I confess my bomaa 
i^oiancc. 

Aeaatr. — Thy ignorance was thy fault. 

Mortal — To Inee ! hilherto unknown spirit, I appeal. I knew 
'!.-».' not un earth; for thmi didst conceal thy existence from mo. 
' iiought nol of thee, nor of Ibis day of judgment ; I thought only 
. [lie earth and of my fellow-mortals. The time which others em- 

■ yed in imagining thy attributes, I spent in improving the talents 
'i! .11 badst Riven me, in adding to (bo happiness of the compnn- 
line thou hniist placed around me, in improving die earthly habi- 
Blion thou badst made my own. I spoke of that which I know ; 
1 ttever Bpoke of Ihee, for I know tbee not To thee I appeal from 
mt m; accuser. 

Ji«£;ff.^Thou hnst well spoken ; I placed thee on earth, not 
todreun of my being, but to enjoy thine own. Thou lust well 
toe : I made thee a man, that thou mightest give and receive 




r 
I 



80 KxiSTEKCE or GOD. 

lutppineaa emang Ihy fellows, aot that Ihou shouldeit unafu^ 
ways aod the wishes of Gads. Even as Ibou condemnesl noC r 
viorra Uul has crawled beneath thy feet because it knew thee n 
M neither do I condema thy worldly ignocanca of me. 

I have now briefly to review yuui cancluding paragraph^ || 
■hall number mine so as to correspond with youra. 

First You surely, sir, have ptbu but acanty allenlion 
geology, or even (he outlineB of the natural history of the ei 
Else it could Dot have escaped you, tbaC the great oporalia: 
nature farm, as it were, aji immenBe circle, of which you 
chosen lo put forward only a mere segment. The tnoui. .^^^ 
torrent does indeed descend, and carries nilh it eoQ and ro£ 
in its downward course. But it aacenda also, in the shape 
Tapoor, again to fall on the very loouataiii, pcrhapB, that Ii 
fonaerly receiTed it; and to gonerale, in the bosom of that m 
tain, woods and forests, and other vegetable productions inoi 
rable. These, -decaying, form fresh noil, which in its turn | 
forth a, new vegetable generation, in like manner lo flourish, a 

And then, you speak as if there were no Bnch thin; 
mineral growlL You talk of the rock that ia hnrled by 
flood from the disBolving snow into the rale below ; you foi 
the work of progressire production that is going on, even iin 
the eternal snows of the mountain lop ; yes, in every cave « 
flasure where minerals find a plaoa. You forget bow iala- 
are formed even in the mi^t of the oi:ean, at first by tie 
beds of coral ; (the work, it is said, of a diminutive mai 
animal ;) how sand is walled to, or deposited on, these ba 
rocks ; how seeds are dropped there, by some bird of pam 
perhaps ; until the coral bed becomes a habitable country, n 
all its varieties of hill and dale, rocks, earths, lakes, and rivi 
You forget that, throughout all nature, there is, as it were 
compensating process, somewhat analagoui (a that in . 
human frame, m viitue of which accidental loss and iiijtuy 
repaired, and that which evaporates or decays to-day is V 

Of all subjects a theologian ought ilioat carefully to v 
geology. 

Second. You ere equally out in your political economy, ai 
your geological speculations. Population, tmrfilrained, (thai 
tincheelted by vice, misery, famine, war, poverty, and ol„^^ 
caiiscB, including prudential coiisi derations,) is doubtleaa of : 

.. .. jj when has il ever been thus unreMraiitai 

It misery, without poier 
t these checks i — ~ " 
i pc, " 

population retrogressive instead of progres! . 

this baa been especially the case in former ages of igaon 



S OF GOD. 81 

plpukliai), I iii%ht quale irom thn celi^brnted Monlesquicu, one 
"f tie (andara in a. dtbata which was held Rboul Iho beginning 
jI tile lost century, on the campiiratiTe papulousness of anLieiit 
■^siioia. In hia Lettrea Persanas, (Lettre CVIII,) ttfler enume- 
«[mg ihe viuioua aouulriea, Italy, Home, Sicily, Greeco, Spain, 
Peisia, South America, and others, wMeh retain now but ths 
sindDw of their fonner greatness, and Bcaicely a tjtho of thoir 
fuTiuer population, he conoiudes by saying; "Upon a caloula- 
liLin Ihe most exact that matters of this mrt wiU admit, 1 am 
k'll to think, that the earth does not contain now fully Us 
fi/lielh pai-t of the liumau beings that inhabited it in the time of 

Tliis calculation appears to me 
I celebrated tho came that Touches 

^^.Mb it «ffcrdB proof that ve must hare something more than 
^^^|0 UBertion to establish Ihe position, that the earth was a 
^^^Etta teit thousand yeara ago. 

^^^■■Bh in i^irlher eluuidation of the above ideas, and of the 
^^nBwge opinion of Montesquieu, that " if population goes on 
^ JEcroaaing at this rate, in nne thousand years more, the race ol 
' man win be extincl," his Eipril dei Low, Livre XXIII., chap. 

With tiuch checks in continual activity, the population of the 
n-'iild might be less at tho end of a million of centuries than at 
lii commenccmout. It is absurd, therefore, to urge this as an 
uinimeHt AgAinit the eUrtaly of the uiuTi>rs«. ■ 

Thkd. Human knowledge is progressive; but who shall Ox 
■ hat point from which it started, or tho utmost limit to which 
iL in*7 Bttain > Nay, who shall say how many important im- 
pnmneitlB (not only mere tiilles like the Grecian Cie or the 
I irt tf stuning cathedral windows.) may not have been made; 
M^GM again, during Ihe physieal changes and moral convol' 
-■ — --^^( hAve agitated and desolated tlje earth? 

gain : that which ia behind us appears to us gross dark. 

Bo also -will oui stale oE demi-civilization doubtless 

IT (and not without reaEon) to our descendants. They will 

M, just aa we do now, that we, their ancestors, had so 

K Mmained immergod in social barbarism. 

Emitli. Shortsighted historians, such for instance oa those 

■ dmcribe the ancient Jews as the only cltosen and favoured 

It of God, might, and no doubt did, suppose tliemselves and 

■altry tribes, tlio world ; ihey might, and no doubt did, (in 

^ fleoDe of all correct tradition) imagine that the world had 

. n lieguit. OS thousands have since believed that it wsa just 
I'lmit w end. But the imaglnalions of barbarians prove iio- 

FiOh. What sort of " memorial of tho world's eternity" 
ntii ymi have J The very rocks that comiiose the written 
'' ■ lit jlkrabia grew, and will decay. Vet what imagiu- 
it record more eternal than they ? 



62, EXISTENCE or GOD. 

You yourself lemiiid me, \ha.t writing and printing vere 1 
known four tliousand years ago. How, then, should we km 
any thing of the Ctesara, the Aleiandere, or the Babylaiu a 
past eternity F Fables enough wo h&vc ; and what milUon* 
mlinitply older iables may not have sunk, in past i^es, (o li 

Sixth. If Galiloo had listened to this arfnuncnt, ne should 
pietty Bstronamers to-day. Men, in the ages of their 
Hxpericnoe, mill make blunders : and if tha blunders are 
defended, because sancdoned by the " common aanse of 
kind," we may as well sit dowa with oui hands acioea, K 
onca abandon every thing like improvement. 

The opinion " that the common content of mankind" ia 
factory proof in a disputed point, had its rise, probably, in 1 
notion regatding itinale ideal. That notion ia now explwU 
and, since the da<^a of Locke, scarcely the most orthodox Aiii 
■will sustain so nllerly illogical a hypothesis." 

Seventh. If you can guhstaatialo that man ia a alreaia i 
God a fountain, theu I will admit tlie accuracy of your a 
ptirison, and the proof it furnishes of a God. 

Bighth. Even the rational portion of the Christian commi 
now abandon the fiuiey of a special providence, which npi 
pleasure boats on Siuidays, and bums theatres. As to a gaU 
providence, the existence of evit renders it eerlain UMf 
iHipciintending spirit infinite in goodness and power exists. 

Ninlh. I have already said, thai to those who tell tOi 

eel Gud, I have only one reply to make, vis., that I do no! 
m. 

Tenth. We shall sea when we come to discuss the Bid 
whether there be any proof in favour of a rovelatton. If i 
uf course it cannot prove a God. 

RoBBBT DiiB Om 



TO robeh'i dale owen. 



DTB h>Te hoMl tLoBPuhn Biiti elesrly MUffiEh whiUmi Ihl. .^^ 

. nil] Ibniy would IfuL Jmm CorM, ■ Snrhoniui doMor, M 
■k, "Zff Mttaph^liqne" p- 103.) "Ihnt to dm^Uie exltteosa 
leu ti [a fumlflh tlig inAdeli TicioriQUH ivi'ApDua wbmtti^ 1^ 



r 



id, in which they oat 

come lealous advocates of Chrietiajiity ; — 

Ibecause their wives and children ore in danger al 

Mid, but becanse they become convinced of Ihe truth of 
iligion. Aud 'tia a calunmy on their charactc 

them as acting contrary to their real sentimeni 

But what a Sne view of the integrity and morof 
'e of sceptics have we here prcBOntcd to us — fnrbearini 
r tbeic belief lioin intsreated motives, and Justified i; 
L&idifuIncBS by their loaders '. 

regard to llis argument of causa and effect, I hive but 
add to what 1 have already said. Ac effect is evidence 
use, whether we can see the cause or not ; for tliere ct 
tfect without a cause. But, as 1 said iu my bst, me 
neoajid sequence ore not evidence of cause and clfecl, 
DUgh we ten-B to see (hem. Our letters in this discussion 
dy precede and follow one another, and yet they ar» 

Uie cause noi effect of one another. As to their preced- 
I following one another " lArouffhout all TiaturSj" '^ 

to conceive the meaning of this language. 
1 we go back from an effect to a cause, there is no other, 
ird" link to go back unto. But we lAouid go back to the 
link, tho cause, becauso it is absurd to suppose an effect 
s cause. We knuw that things approach one another, 
I is flcf bU we koow. We know theis must be a c 
gy, a power, concerned in the moveuient ; for moti 
cl, and an effect must have a cause. And this i; 
I am not satisfied to call this effi;H:t oi 
1 he calling an effect a cause. 

lying that God acta in the aiaeit manner possible, I 
e the ground of optimiaia; for it may not on Ihe v?h 
wisest M-ay for him to exclude real evil from the u: 

Herein consists the difference between optimism a 
iljorx which I have assumed; the former mokes alle 
good ; the Utlec allows al least some of it to 
ily bad, but mokes it an inseparable consequent of a 
pruduc^ve of the greatest possible amount of good ; the 
[ chief part of which good would of coui^e be, (he glory 
—an item which optimists and gceplica ore extremely 
D overlook, in their intense anxiety for the mere in- 
Df man. Little do they care what becomes of halinesa 

divine govemmenl, bo they can get their own purposes 
d and a ctimfcrtahlc deetiny for themselves. But they 
vnow, that man is not the principal being in the uni- 
ind that the iiyiae glory is of more consequence, in- 
nore, than hU other things combined. 
r M k if earthijnakes, tornados, &c., are evidences of a 
a in their author. If not, I nest aok how the 
I by tia Jews at God's 



i 

4 



bucIi ail erldence. If Cod can, conaistenlly 1 „ . 
deltroy communitieB, meo, women, and childreo, hy 
quakes, &C', why not by the 9word 7 This howi?ver 
justiitcB.tioii of bloodshed and devastatinn, in cases imaall 
by him. But here again I ask, if hia fotbenting to j 
even nich bloodshed and devastation, or any other inarat 
tach on eridenec. To say that it is, is to impeni:li hia. 
iJiaracter, and to uller tlie rankest blasphemy. But if il 
an evidence of a want of goodness, Is it bb evidenu 
want of power? To Bay lliis, is likewise blasphemoiiB, 
a degradation of one of the divine attributes ; and it ] 
puerile and absurd, inasmiich as did every where exe 
greater power than would be requisite to check an; 
whatever. Nor have I represented, in an; part of tl* 
cussiun, that he has not the phyikal power lo prevent < 
to prevent all the evil and retain all the good whiij 
can retain and prevent No. 1 hare expressly admittel 
he hot tins physical power { and bcnce 1 have argne) 
his no; preventing that evit must be attributed solely 
moral inability, which ia merely an inability eontwtmtlif 
an unwise llung, or lo leave one wliich it would ba w 
him to do, or to cause to be dotie, xntdong. Our reade 
know, that this has long been the bearing of my aigi 
end even my expreas language. And they know, UM 
my opponent tas said in so many words, that he wmd 
from him the attribute of Omnipotence as an em^y Utd & ' 
less thing, if it would not enable him to discard evil and 
good, which even the insect man is daily effecting. Thej 
he has denounced such omnipotence as weak and mia 
unworthy tu be bartered for the few short years of humsl 
and sach a Cod as a bungler, compared with sagt man 1 
is this but making God, if unable to prevent cril, inbi 
man 1 And has he aot represented him oa bdng uinj 

C'ent evil? Has he not said, "omnipotence cMfi 
evolenco v:<mld, have prevented evil?" Has bs nd 
"A being is not all-poweriU who n'ishea lo prevent ttt 
eatuioi : a being is not benevolent who can prevoit et 
'" - -'■" Has he not said, '""*- '--• • — ■-- — - 



that there exists no power both able and willing io preA 
existence ?" And what is this but making God unable I 
vent evil ? And what are both propositions together, bnl 
ing Gud inforior to man, and hia poHcr an empty, wo 
thmg r And what is blasphemy if tliis is not T Bntno:' 
Dot suppose he intmida to bhispheme. He cannot 1 
believe m such n Cod sa this, wluch he says there niutt 
any; and it therefore follows that he is an atheist, diiM 
in any Cod whatever. Charity compels mo to view Idm ' 
light: for I cannot suppose he intends to blaspheme. 
b&Bpiiemer or an atheist ha mint be; and Iherefow, ' 
evils r will choose the less, and prunounce him Ihc latteil 




ml, however, from coDsidertng this lesa evil tha.t "paltry 
^" vhicb he does. Far nca 1 Cram considering it a. light 
"o betiave in a Gad, the natural and necsaaary result 
ion-belief inuat be, to render him no obedience, no 
} homage, no rtfveience. Nor cua I admit, Uiat, 

blvaUBe a man iloes not helievs in a God, he therefore can not. 

An individual may diabelieve for iront of proper eiamiaatioii. 
Il it not suppoBable, that God would leave lus rational creatoies 
wilhcwt fufficient etident^e of his exiBtcnce. It ia therefore by 
au rneaoB certain, that the sentence pronounced on atkeisls in the 
judgment day, vill be as bvourable as my opponent in his last 
letter seemed to imagine. 

I admit, us 1 have heretofore remarked, the existence of real 
evil. I admit, that, if all the present good could be retained, 
and the etil prevented, the universe vould be a better one Uuui 
It now is. But this we have seen to be impossible in the nature 
of tilings. It does not therefore follow, that the universe as it ia, 
is on the nhole a poorer one, ttutn that one would be &am which 
the present otil, and conaeq^uently its inseparable good, should 
be excluded. Hence, the existence of evil is no argument 
against the perfection of any of tlie divine attributes. Yea, it ia 
an orgumeat in Ibeir lavour, showing that God, though merci- 
tiiij and hoUly disposed, chooses that system which even in- 
nmt misery and sin, on account of ita producing the greatest 
pMdble amount of good. Now, the glory of God is the first and 
dbf good; which glory he regards, not selfishly, but because it 
M9&( to be regarded. Had sin never existed, his glorious 
diuactcr could not have been fully manifested — his holiness ia 
ill panishmenl, and his mercy in its pardon. And were not the 
misery consequent on sin to exist, the necessary check would 
be wanting, and the moral nniverso would become one vail 
Aceldama. Now, if we subtract the misery occasioned by sui 
(loai the wholo mass in existence, how small a comparative 
amount remains 1 Nor am I prepared to say, that the ttecessary 
degree of virtue could be elicited, or any degree of moral rtspon- 
n^Sty attached, were not the rational creatures of God to have 
lh«r day of pruhatioo, their time of trial, their period of liabihty 
lo fall into sin; for, the greater the templstion resisted, the 
greater tho virtue exercised. So much for raorai evil, and its 
iDBeporabla miserly. For the reit — for earthquakes, famine, 
pesliience ; for poisons ; for the conflicts of tho animal creation ; 
iiid Ibr tiie various evils of this description which might be 
:i^ined: in ah these cases, as far as they have been fully inves- 

^uted, divine wisdom is clearly perceptible ; whence it is rea- 

iiible la infer, that, could we iniestigatB all other cases, it 
-- 'j>ild appear in them likewise. But, at any rate, the considera- 
<u that we are not omniscient should deter us from deciding, 

, ,1 there is (n reality a lack of wisdom, even if we can ste 
.. ll-; and consequently, that no case of this naloift caatiioiAi 



EXISTENCE OF G 



\ 



MS iritb BB B-^ment against Uie divine existence, or the perf^c- 
Udh of LhB divine atliibules. 

Lot UB now very liriefly attend to Uie evidences b; loe ad- 
duced at the close of my last letter. 

Firet. TAi present appeanmoe of the earth. My attention ft) 
geology, sir, lias not been so " scanty" as to have pteveoled me 
from noticing that many random tlioones have been inTimled ia 
relation to the Eubjcct, totally at variance with inductive science. 
And among Ihoae theories ia tha one donoaiinated ibe comptn- 
lating piocesB, which 1 perceive is adduced in reply to me. The 
groat difficulty with iJus scheme U, that it a not true. Tho 
-mountain tops made bare by the vmalinff process, are tut 
covered with soil, or replenished with new-grown minerals, but 
are continually wearing away. Nor were these moaatiuu 
formed by marine aniroals, &c, after the manoer of coral reefi. 
They ore primeval elevations, as their granitic peaks, umuingled 
with any organic substances whatever, demonstrably decUre. 
But the small waste whtcli lliey have yet suaeicil, shows thM 
they cannot, for a very great period, have bueii exposed to llie 
ravages of time. The world, therefore, cannot have been etenu^ 
and this evidence remains in undiminished Gtrengih. 

Second. T/ie population of the eurU. On ^lis point, too, I 
find my upponent at odds witli fact. The population subject is 
not one of theory, but of figures; and "Hgures won't Le." 'Tia 
».fad, ur, proveabl^ by all history, that, notniLhatanding ali Uie 
" Ttoe, misery, famine, war, pesHience," and every thing else, 
thai hnvo happened during the last four thousand years, the 
human race are vasQy more numorous at this moment than they 
were at the commencement of tint period. It is a little cunDos, 
however, that, if iny opponent believes his own theory on thil 
subject, he should be so (earful of a surplus population, tut to 
lake the pains to write a book to eheeh its too rapid incictiet 
and pre-eminently curious, to see htm, when in that boidc he 
has introduced Malthus, with his alarming calcuhitionB hM 
soon the world would be overrun were it not for some duett 
introducing in Ibis controversy Montesquieu with his, depLn^ 
the circnuistance, that the checks already existing threaten 
soon to exiiuguish the species. These countaracling causey 
then, do wii prevent the increase of [he race; this semi-populated 
globe cannot therefore have been eternally in existenee, an in- 
Eabiied world; and tfm evidence, as well as the preuediag one, 
-IB unimpaired. 



present period are immensely ii 

quity in these respects. Let but the s 

in telracing the past, and it would nut _ ._ , 

fu, before arriving at the point of total human ignorance. 



fKXlSTENCE OF ODD. 87 ^^H 

pf Iho foregoing cnaes, my opponent haa violated j 



t philosophical rulii laid down by Bbcdq uiid Ni 
tctioned by common sense: "that no olhai causes of 

events can be admitted, than vthat are Xnown to bi! 
pemtive, and adequate to account for tho phenoioeiia." 
loctive rule foibids the resort to hyputheticnl assumptions, 
ilence of which connol be proved ; and a, departure from it 
I one in an cndlcas labyrinth of idle whims and fantastic 
ioaa. The very case of Montesquieu, above noticed, is an 
im of the truth of tliis observation. 

fc ffirinry onrf (rodilion. These are not "the imagino- 
^■rboruns." Hietoiy and mythology arc very different 
HttigtDiiMU in relating factt do not give matters of 
mShBtBiny the world to have been in its infancy a few 
W yean ago, by the relation of the fitcta which I men- 
is my last, is quite different liom expressing an opinum 
• was the case. 

. T/u lack of imy mmtorial of the leorliti elemity. The 
, or rather the bieroglyphical, mouulains of Arabia, are far 
^ing such a memorial. It takes no eternity for matter to 
and form rocks. Numerous petrifactioiis have occurred 
the memory of man. But, for argurnent's soke, sappose 
uouslains to bava been aa ancient as scepticism itself 
edre ; why, then, could not Ihe memory of the heroes of 
ilernity have been transmitted to us by soma such means 
!, seeing no " imagmaile species of ancient record is motb 

than they?" or by oral transmission from age to age, 
) lacls, prior to the invention of letters, Aavt been trans- 
> 1 admit that " we batefabtet enough" pretending to vast 
tji but 'lis^orf, not /iii(e, that proves a thing. Where 
faelt of n past eternity; "And et^o stiff answers, Where ?'" 
1. Ths comman eonaeni of nuoAind. On a subject liico 

Ihe divine existence, if not on ujiinvestigated sctentitic 
s, tho common consent, or, in other n^ords, the common 
f mankind, is UO trivial consideration. The evidences on 
lyect are tangible, and easy of apprehension — such as 
ion sense" would not be likely to misunderstand. I 
lot now of "innate ideas," but merely of human tmder» 
g, whether innate or not. But wliat means this ? A 

depreciating commou sense! — reason! — nature! 'Ili i 
1, now that ^e will not subserve his present purpose ; but | 
be propitious, and how would he eulogize hei ! I 

Bth. The ttream and its fountain. If man wore a literal 
literal fountain, my languago on this point in 
id be no comparison. The argument which I would 
tlut simile of a stream and its fountain is this : that 
human or brutal, cannot be produced by on un- 
le — a founlain lower than its stream. Foil asA, 

JUaine Frotidfuee. St^^tyled rational ClitistLans 



i 




I 



88 EXISTENCE OF GOD. 

may doutt what ttey please; they are no rule for me." 
in my iteit give a few iiislancta uf wb&t I cunaider speoidt 
divine interpoailLon ; to doubt which appears lo mc mueA Iwa 
ratiatial Ihaa la admit it. But with le^rd to a general pravi* 
dence, this is admitted by all but nothingarians nnd aOiraala] 
and to make t/ie existence qf evil nji nceumenC against it, is oi 
■Dming one of the reiy points in debate between us. 

Hinlll. Eijierieiice. Suppose a nadve of the torrid zona irai_ 
to say to my opponent, " Ycu say you have fait ice; Jbaretuf 
fell it:" would he consider this a stiBideiit oQBet to hii am, 
expei'ience un the subject ! Would he oat think, that Ma (sHt. 
many was a reason why the olher should believe ia ice, atthou^ 
he "knew nothing about it!" Would he consider the no* 
experience of the oilier an equipoise for Mb own ex_ - --- 

But we see that it would be an incorrect rule, at any n. .. _ 

see that it would lead to error in the Tety case here adduced. 
And yet my opponent adopts this rule himself. He meKlf 
■aya to those iMiu say they know God, that he does not kiu>«r> 
Mm. And what then ? U hie asBcrtion proiea that Ae does Mf 
know Mm, thein proves that they do know Mm. And if they do 
know him. then he exists ; nor does his Ron-eiperience provs 
that he does not eijal, but only, that he has not experienced Uttt 
he exists — as good a reason for his declining to beliete in 1 
existence on the tesLimony of otAeri, as would bo that of 1 
man of the toirtd zone above mentioaed, for declining to belie 
in Ice on hia testimony, merely because he hitnaelf hoi aei 
eziierienced the ciistenee of any. And now, sir, permit rna 
say, that tMs evidence has not been met at all. A more 
can never disprove a positive . 

Tenth. Jtevelalioa. We will see, ere long, whether 
not proof of this ; and consequently, whether the divine 
is not proTcd from tJiia source, 

' - r discussion of tMs subject ia drawing to a close, 
lat a few ideas be now presented on the divine uni 
e first argument for this wMch I would adduce ia, t^llt 
IS of importance that men know how many Gods there are, IhRt 
they may know how many lo worship and serve. But, if left Is 
conjecture upon any number more than one, they are altogether i' 
the dark, having no data by which to decide between two ai 
millions. That there is, however, at least one, they can icadi 
gather from the tokens of wisdom, goodness, and power, e*e: 
where exMbited. Were there more than one, it ia reasonaUe 
conclude, that a, revelation specihing the number wou]d 
ieen made, by nhich men could have some means ' 
jheir worship in a proper manner towards them, in delkal' 
therefore, ofsuch a revelation, the rational conclusion ia, thi 
there is but one. 

The naxt argument is (he nature of telf-emlence. WhalGW 
>a self-eiialent, is nectuarily existent. The mystery is, that •• 

'"'"igahoald ever have existed at all. But to lupposethen 



proper 
The 



KXISTKSCE OF GOD, 1^0 

...itii lUtn one self- existence, is to open Uie way for millions— 
millions of iiidependenC eiialences — liable, ptfrcnaaeo, lo c-iafkiil 
Wilh one unother, uiii to reader Ihu uoirersa an arena uf Eti-ife 
onuiiputeat uid etemnt, coatrary lo the state of thiDEa aclunUy 
tlisung. Besides, it ii unreasonable to suppoae, that there 
couy be tiro separate betnga just Alike. But if not just alike, 
or tke other must bo imperfect and finite. If jiul alike, 
usl be Tsdicolly one and the same. 

nature of injlnity U the next argunieDt whii^h I wonld 

ir there is an inSaile being, that being includes all 

i. and mere such beings would be unnecessary fur any 

B wlmterer. Nay, to Bay there are more infinite beinga 

_ . ne, is B contradiction and an absurdity ; Tor it is saying, 

Jf haTisg admitted that there is one being that includes all 

■Ue power, wisdom, goodness, &a., that Ihore ore other 

%ft llwt hare just as much ai ho has betiideB, and theieforei 

^ tlie attributes of all combined, would make as many times 

K M greater attribulcs than any one's oIodc, as there vere 

bslnga possessing Ihem, Take, Tor example, the attriHute 

— ret. Allow tliat any two beinga possess equal power eepa. 

, TheiT combined power would of course be double the 

lt<^ tbat of either alone. But vifinile power is all possible 

■ great power m can be — su great that it cannot be 

To say, then, that there are more beingi than one, 

"""■~I infinite power in himself, separatD from one 



J ^ Bui suppose there ■« 

M of them infinite, but oil Gnile. All of them together, no 
T bow many, would not amount to infinity ; for oo number 
iliea oan make an infinite. The result of (he foregoing 
nntneDk is, that there am be but one infinite being, and ttiat, 
■MIM there is one such being, all the attributes of all beings 
ined would make nothing equivalent to him. Hence it . 
rg that there is one infinite God, and one alone. 

t in which the operations of nature are carried on, 

_ .. lere is but one operator. The universe is, as it 

I, one fast machine, wheel moving wheel, and the whole 

' ^ one main spring. One sole energy causes bodies to 

uie eoilh, and the stellar hosts to wheel their wontod 

Tliis energy is unbroken and indivisible. The same 

b be Blid of all the great laws and elements of nature. There 

Lt one law of cohesioii, one of attractioD, one of repulsion, 

f of vegetation, ono of clu^stallization, one of animal life ; 

_ Jonia element of heat, one clement of light, and so on. Tha 

' lywliong of natum are not carried on in detached and separate 

CI by multitudes of Gods, as the aueiunts used to supposo ; 
In one grand and harmonious movement, neither requiring 
ttr tdmitting but one prime mover, that mover himself being 
"rally possessed of suth wisdom and power, as that all iha 



r 

I 



XKISTGHCB OP G 



if of finite beings conM not e< 
!, thai, even i 



combined viBdoro luidpc 
be compared wilh. 

And here occura anoltici' idea, which 
possible thai the amount of wiadom anil power m an: 
able number of finite beings could equal that of wi 
^ower infinite; jel, being possessed by and diridcd beti 
Oiflcrent beinga, it would not be infinite, either in point of 

Slicability or fact. For it does not follow ^lat the unitei 
om of two or more beiuga poBBeasing equal knowledga m< 
iritliout regard to its Sinrf, would amount lo rwiee Uie __^ 
whieh that of either would nlone; because, beings may Bl 
egiial in knowledge, without being different in It. BeDce^ 
must be obvious that the concentration of the knowled^'tf 
meh heingB would not ir-— ■"■ •<■" ■— "••-! •• -u p:~:<- i.~»-tf 

very Bioity otftere in common. All those c „ 

increase the mail of knowledge by being commnnicaled fro^ I 
one lo anothor. But the commnni cation of their different mtf I 
do this. Still, when we consider the comparatively small acr^ 
mulation which accrues lo the common slock by the dellbe 
tions, i( may be, of legislative assembliea, &c., we see 
that Iheir concentrated wisdom, in point of superiority to 
their indiTidual, bears but r small proportion to their si , _ 
number. By this illustration, we can readily perceire, 1 
ISRiall an approach would the combined wisdom of any nun 
of finite beings whatever make towards wisdom infinite, allrt 
ing there could be any approiimation at all. Hence it is n 
dent that no number of finite intellects, Ihou^ for midtitn* 
like the stars of heaven, or the sands of the ocean shore, i 
BO manage this vast, this mighty universe, with all its coui 
and incanceiiiabiy numerous concerns, as lo prevent its becomfnt, 
one immense theatre of wild uproar and cotjusion. Nought btfj 
one intellect, able to surrey all nature at a glance, could ctt^"^ 
.ever preserve its various ports in their harmonious movemen 
And such an intellect must be infinile. Nay, wisdom less 
UUH could not construct the veriest insect. But thou the pi 
And here we can see at once, that almighty power is reqi 
to carry on any part of the operalions of nature. WMl fi 
being could sustain himself on nothing, and roll one twui 
star, or sweep a flaming comet through tlio niighly voidt 
Bhining host, then, I would ask, wim all their angelic all 
combined, could turn the wheel stupendous of aU nature, a 






t play! None 



The V 
, must be one ■ 



that governs and the p 

That the doctrine of the divino unity commends it 
reason, ond the general acceptance of mankind, is anolher ai 
ment in its favour. Notwithstanding the immcrous Gads of q 
heathen, they have generally had one superior tti the r 
Jupiter — one almighty thunderer, lo whom all other Gods n 



EXISTENCE OF OOD. 91 

)jecl. And deists, who reject revelation, bnt who neverthe- 

■ admit b. God, udmit but one. ladcad, it ia particalul; 
inby ot remuk that all vtho admit an inflnite Go<}, ailmic hat 
e — uid evidently for the reaooa tbat tlie admiaston of more 
tn one infinite being wanld be on absnrditj. The doctrine of 
•t infiBite God, ihaa, is consonant with sound rcanm; and 
^ticl, who proleai to make reason tiieir piide, should there- 
re renonnce their scepticiam, and belitve in him. 

But if theie is on iiifiiiile Qod, his glory is not to be shared 
F otheia; for there ia no coropariaon between finite and i: 
te. No finite Gods can therefore be consistently admitted by 
>oae who admit an infinite one. AH linitc crealurca are as 
rIMng in conipariaou with Iiim, and iiKlead of hnTing any 
lun lo the homage due lo the deity, do themselves one hxni 
nnage — from the highest archangel that sweeps the immortal 
re, down to the Teriest infant that can lisp hla holy name, 
liese ore the evidences deducible from reason, lo say nothing 

■ revelalion, which I would aawgn, for the belief in onu, and 
It one, God. And, whntevei some on our own side of the 
lestion may hold on the subject, I believe, that there is NitlG- 
ent evidmce in reason and nature to teach the heather, the 
u«t«noc and attributes of the deity ; which leaves them inci- 
ttable for their ignorance of the same. But inasmuch as they 
1 ignorant, revelation becomes necessary ; which God grauls 
ben and whore he sees lo be on (lie whole fnr Hie best. 

OiUUEN BiCllEt.EH. 



TO ORIGES BACHELER 



May r, 1B3L 
t be sadly at a loss for a ground of ac 
" ilia integrity and moral principle of sceptics a 
' when yon impugn auch sentiments as Ihi 
I of ray lost letter. I adhere to these si 

f reputation and what little fortune . 
^oa of heterodoxy ; but I doiiot, and m 
(more especially fathers of families dependent on 
O for tbeir children's daily bread,) to follow my 
f they deliberately choose to follow it, good and 
I not, I excuse their eilence. And if my si ' "' 





I 

I 

I 



S3 SXISTEKCE OF QUD. 

mors 01 lesa in the loDg lUt which orthodoxy jiTefcM againtl tim, 
«iU not much aignifv. 

As lo ^our assertion that thetu are " instAnces mnumenbla of 
scepIiCB becoming &om conviction zealoiis idvocAtcs of Chrit- 
liauity," it will probably be found, upon strict iaquiiy. It*! 
nine-tentiu of the list aie just audi inalancEs as Ibat jou im* 
luckily stumbled ou, toaching the conTersion of the eoitoi of 
" Priestcraft Unmasked."" 

As to tha cause and effect argument, I leave our retden to 
judge between us. They cannot &il to perceii'e, that your h>. 
Bcrlion, that there is a scL-ond utiaeen Jink, called God, to (^ 
back to, and no more, is of llie some vuiue and coj^cy u u 
other mere asaerlion. 

You say that you are no optimist. The oplimist, you null 
tain, "makes afl evil virtually good," while you "allow MM 
of it to be absolutely bad, but make it an inseparable part of A 
best system." If this he a distinction, sir, it is one without 
difference. No one in his Senses, optimist or not, will M 
nurder [a potiticely, iniltelf, good. No oplitnist says so. U 
only says, just as you say, that it is a necessary part of Ul b . 
effably wise plan. No man, therefore, not absolutely cra«y, a* 
be more of an optimist than you. 

And this ineffably wise plaa, part of which ci 
cold-blooded, deliberate murder of himdreds of 
healJien women and children, what is its great obji 
lell us, "The glory of God;" an object which you think w< 
tre ■' extremely prone to overlook ." 

'Twould be much more to the credit of your God, sir, if yoa 
loo would overlook it. What! the great parent's firatobjr" '- 
not the happiness of his children, but the idle gratifieai 
liimselft He brings human beings into existence, and 
neglects their weliare, la gratify his own paltry hankering 
incensel You say you cannot suppose I Jnte" * '" " 

neither will I aoppose the intentioii, (hen, in yi: ._ 

But if Uie idle term have a meaiung, is it not applicable here 
What being so contemplibte, so utterly heartless, as an earthly 
parent, who gives birth to gentient creatures, and then causes 
permits them to lira in wrelcbedoesa, with a view to his 01 
glory P What human creature so worlhleai as the father w 
should form a plan of life for his oiTsprin^, of which endh 
misery were a constifuenl part, «hile its ehuf o^fecf were I 
giatificalioa of his own grovelling passion for flattery; Won 
not he be a inoiutcr who should cunsaut to reap personal glc 
from the field of human misery, and feel compensated tat 1 
neTer-ct>asing groans of torture his system embraces, by 1 
adulatory hallelitjalis that are thrown into iha oppodle ao^ 
And a being so weak, so vain, so hcuutlcisly sellish, toutle 

• Bw IMliT from 1 LMkport corrpfpoii.lent on thii lubJMt. given ai 1 



EXISTENCE OF GOD. 93 

dead to the commonest feelings of yirtne and common sense, 
you irould have ns beliere the great parent to be ! 

1 prefer, sir, to be an orphan in the universe, to acknowledge 
no parent, to depend on myself alone — far, fkr rather than to 
tDBBgine for myself such a father ! What do I say ? I prefer it ? 
Let me not talk of mere preference. If there be a curse beyond 
an other curses, it is to believe one's self the offspring of a being 
vho thus outr{4^s every generous feeling, and tramples on every 
puental responsibility. If any duty be sacred, it is that of a 
Mzent to give, to the utmost extent of his ability, happiness to 
ais child. And shall a desire to display *'his holiness in the 
pimiahment of sin and his mercy in its pardon*' absolve him from 
Hub bounden dut^ ? The dumb brutes are less selfish than this ; 
the very sheep will turn to defend her lamb from the dog, and 
saczifice, not an idle ambition, but her life, to save her offspring. 
If a great, omnipotent parent gave us existence, his first, his 
most sacred duty is, to make the existence he gave a happy 
one. No being can divest himself of a responsibility thus volun- 
tazily assumed, or atone for a breach of duty by a love of praise. 
I am no deist, sir, and shall leave the deist to resolve, as he 
may, Epicurus' dilemma. The only God I ever could imagine, 
since I came to years of discretion, was one of limited power. 
If such there be, he has kept me in ignorance of his existence 
and attributes, and I am content so to remain. You may call 
me infidel, atheist, or what you please. 

I protest, then, against your justification of an omnipotent 
deity creating, or (wMch is the same thing in his case) permit* 
ting, crime and vice, by way of showing forth his excellence 
and glory. If men have any idea of virtue at all, ihey feel that 
aelfiumess is not virtue ; and that any being who first gives birth 
to sentient creatures, and then consults his o^-n enjoyment — or, 
still worse, exalts his o^n fame — at the expense of their happiness, 
is guilty of the worst, lowest, most degrading species of selfish- 
ness. The slav^-holding parent, who sells his coloured offspring 
into a slavery, which, at least, finds a respite in the grave, 
evinces less of cold brutality than a God such as you portray. 
It remains for me briefly to advert to your ten evidences. 
First. I have spoken of no compensating process, except that 
resulting from the growth of minerals, the accumulation of ma- 
rine productions, and the formation of alluvial strata from de- 
caying vegetation. Are you prepared to deny these facts? I 
have adopted no " theory." Space permits me not, even were 
I better qualified for the task, to go into geological details, to 
weigh the respective claims of the Wemerian and the Ilut- 
tonian, and I know not how many otlicr learned and ingenious, 
hypotheses. Are you prepared to adopt a theory of the earth ? 
to tell us how high the Alps and Andes were six thousand years 
ago, and how " small the waste" which their granite peaks have 
sufiered ? or to admit or to rebut the conjecture, that those very 
peaks may have been protruded to their present elevation by 



I 



I 



9i EXIBTKNCK OF GOD. 

inlenisl ctmvulaiuiu or rolcanic agency P* What shailow ._ 
pioof, then, cim you udduui, tliat Ihey " cannot, for a Tery great 
period, have been eiposed to the ravageB of lime 1" 

Every tyro in geology could refute the poaition that primitive 
rocks are formed after the maimer of coral reefs ; and you 
surely could not so miscouBlrue ray words as to pie Ihem that 
interprctatiun. I but adduced those more strikii^ eiamplea uf 
mineral gru^th in proof, that, if there waa loai oa one part, 
there was gain on another. Suppose that the eslreme peaks uf 
primitive mountaitis should, aflei Ihn lapse, perhapa, of millions 
of years, wear down till Ihey rese not above the strata of se- 
condary formation, the rugular growth of whieh ia eBcerlaiaed 
and acknowledged — what then ? Cannot ws suppose an age of 
the world in which mountain peaks were naked granite, and 
ancther in which they should he cuvered with limestone ? And 
does such a natural revolution as this furnish even an apo1<^ 
for a proof agaiuf t the world's eternity J 

Second. Third. I doubt not, I never doubted, that tlia enrlh'j 
population is grealer now than it was four thousand years ago, 
and that its inliabilonls are v'aei naw than they were then. 
But wtutC of this ? What right have we to assume the ranw 
ratio of population and improvement, or any regular ratio what- 
ever, (or the still more remote ages of barbarism atid bloodshed f 
Bucou's excellent lecomaicudHtion, not to forsake inducliTS 
logic for random conjecture, forbids. 

We sIbU grievously err, too, if from llie proaress of improve- 
ment after writing, and more especially printing, was inrenLed, 
we reason upon what may have been its progress be/ore Ibal 
period. There is no analogy between the cases. Formerly, 
ventions, improve tncnls, correct ideas, may have shone Ibllh 
astonished the world, meteor-like, for a brief season, then to 
die Bwoy and be forgollen. Now, signs give immortalitj U 
soimds, and every valuable idea may be rendered, through th* 
medium of the press, co-enduring willi the world. 

But again, 1 have nowhere assumed the hypothesis, 
and the other animal races have existed, under the same 
as they now exist, eternally. 

Fifth. Still more strangely do ycu violate every rule of ^ 
in arguing, that because we do not happen to be acquaint 
with UiB &!cls of Iha past eternity of the oarth, there hoa ' 
no such past eternity. Tliia is excellent proof ol 
knowledge, but no proof at all of the world's limited duration. 



1 



.iLj probabt; rfleollDct. thi 

this hypolbHu of tludn, (he RUdd 

-'-h (if we ma.j boUtve 

ihe ■■ PbilMopbiral ' 
rlia Biuigls nlaiit; i 



I i(tduo 



* the nidden »pei 
" PhjlOBophiraS 1 



EXlSTEKCi: OF GOD 



^^^SkQi. If there ha oao single sD-called science on which. Qio 
crideoces are neither "langiLlB" nor "easy of apprehension," 
Oi&t pseado -science ia theology. I adhere to inj former argu- 
Jatsat, then, (hat if we are to believe in the inCdlibiUty of tha 
" conunon consent of mankind" in such a case aa Ihia, Ihero is 
uicnd to all improvement. 

Savonlh. You are light in reminding me, that, aa jdu em- 
ployed a simile only, it did not behave you to prove Uiat man 
ii It literal stream and God a, literal fomitain. We sec intelli- 
gBDt beings reproduced from intelligent beinga. Here is no 
fnictain lower than ica source. But if living crenturca did 
■otualty spring, every day, from the dust of the ground, Tiho 
Aall |in>ve by an idle simile thut the cause was inadequate to 
Ihfl vOect 7 Becaute water carmat run up hiH, is that a reason. 
wky life cuinot spring from inanimate matter? If this be the 
JoeUy of logic, air, it is assuredly nothing more. 

Welmowthat life doet often spring &om inanimate matter. 
Tha experiment, for instance, has been tried and recorded of 
cutting out a pnrtoftheinterior of a Bound potatoe ; it was theu 
nscerated, and put into n glaaa tube with water, which water 
hid bccii previously distilled, to prevetil the possibility of its 
containing the germ of future life ; the tube waa then hermeti- 
odiy sealed under the blowpipe, to exclude all action of the 
(tmoaphere: and, in twenty-fuur hours, the potatoe was nlive 
with animated beings, whose limbs, shape, and motions could 
la clearly dislinpiialied nnder (he flolnr mitroscopo. What 

•unite can disprove a fact like this f 

eighth. I shall be glad to hear the inatancca you promise lo 
tuniiab. 

Kmtb. Your tscperiena' argument provea a little too much. 

Mahometans, Hindoos, Pire-'Worahippera, and all other re- 

ligionisls, know, or say they know, their Gods by experience, 

o well as the Christian. If such experience, then, is to ba 

winiiiled as proof, we shall have not only the orthodox creator, 

.1 Allah, Brainah, Fo, and a whole host of other deities, to be 

illed at onco. Allow me, therefore, atil! to doubt, when my 

Jlitiour tells me he feels God. or Allah, or any other spirit, how 

h o( the feeling is imaginaiion, and how much reali^. 

l[joe« and power, and impossible as I fuel it to personify 
':■ < one or a thousant! suiiecnaCural beings, to enter with you 
d discussion of the divine unity Or plurality^-a discussion 
iluuh human language seems to me impertinent — wanld be 
viiie my Q\vn and our renders' timo. Into regions like those 
' ■ i!ioae venture who arc acquainted with them. 

HooEKT Dale Owen. 



OS £X1ST£KC£ OF GOD. 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 

LETTER IX. 

New-York, May 14, 1831. 
Sir, 

That must be an obtuse moral sensibility indeed, which con- 
siders it allowable for a man, from interested motiyes, to refirain 
from endeavouring to promote what he deems lo be the cause of 
truth. And the bold justification of this principle by a sceptic 
leader, so far from recommending his cause, will operate de- 
cidedly to its disadvantage; for mankind in general look upon 
temporisers and dissimulators, not only as void of principle, but 
as acting a part unworthy of high and honourable minds. In 
noticing this case, however, it is not my object to make "accu- 
sations" against sceptics. Were that my object, I should not 
stop to consider so comparative a trifle as this. 

My assertion, that the editor of '* Priestcraft Exposed" had 
renounced infidelity, appears to have been a small mistake, 
tliough not of my own making. It would seem that it was not 
the editor, but the printer, of that woxk. And what i9 the 
mighty difierence, so far as the fact of the conversion of an 
infidel is concerned ? It is not denied that that printer was an 
infidel. But, to place the subject beyond all further evasion, I 
here expressly declare that there was a time when I was myselT 
an infidel ; yet I am now exerting myself in the defence of Chris- 
tianity, not however from interested motives, but from a full 
persuasion of its truth. And, sir, I can produce numerous 
other individuals of veracity, who are ready, in their own 
names, to make the same statement in relation to themselves. 
Is this enough ? 

I am perfectly willing to leave the question of cause and 
effect to the good sense of the community, without further argu- 
ment — ^perfectly willing to leave it with that community to say, 
if an effect does not prove a cause, even if we do not see that 
cause; — yea, and if an intelligent effect does not prove an 
intelligent cause. For my opponent to denominate this argumen- 
tative appeal ** assertion," seems hardly the way to meet it. 

Optimism teaches that murder will work for the good of the 
murderer, &c., and that all evil is productive of good. I 
believe that murder will operate to the detriment of the 
murderer, and that some evil is not productive of good, but is 
itself produced as an inseparable consequent of good, whose ^ 
existence is on the whole a greater good, than would be the non- 
existence of the evil, and the consequent non-existence of that 
inseparable good. Is this " a distinction wiiliout a difference ?'* 
Is there no difference between making murder operate for the 
good of the murderer, and making it operate to his harm f 



r 



EXISTENCE OF GOD. P7 

re Gtvl cTcaled at all, hiTnaelE must have been the groat ciiil 
■nd olyecl of Ml opentlians ; for Le could have been under no 
obligBtion to nan-entities. These would nut have bueu the 
l«»en>. bod (hey never existed ; foi non-entities cnn realize 
nralher eiislenge nor the lack of eiislenoe. God iraa thererore 
ondet no obligation to them whatsTCr, to bring them into being; 
under no obligation to them whatever, to create them for their 
VKa sake. A3 he was the only being in the universe, his o( 
eoiuae was the onty interest to be conaulled, in relation to their 
crettlion or non. creation. It would be iinreasDnabte indeed lo 
appose, that, when it was at his option to create them or not, 
ha must relinquish to them any of hia lights in case he tcere 
I» create Ihcm; for, ail those rights he could retain, merely by 
ftrhaaing to create. His great object, thee, in creating, must 
bare been bis own glory, consist that glory in what it might; 
wbich glofy he regards, and requires others to regard, not with 
m feeling of selfishness, not with a feeling of pride and ambi- 
lioB, but because it ought to be regarded. He respects, and 
roquiieB others to reaped, the excellency of his own character, 
heauue it is excetlenl, and because excellency, be it where it 
may, ought to be respected. He regards himself, and requires 
olheis to regard him, not lo giatify a " paltry hankering after in- 
cense," or "a grovelling paasion for flattery," or "an idle 
■mbilion," but because it would bo wrong in him to disregard, 
ot nut (0 require others to regard, moral excellence, like him. 
srlf. tie regards his own glory chiefly, and requires others so 
lo regard tt, because he is the first, the most glorious of beings, 
whose glory ought to be cliiefly regarded. I^ then, that glury 
coiUd be promoted by the creation of rational intelligences, 
(and Uiat it could be, there are a thousand considerations to 
show,) he not only had the right, but waa under the moral 
obligalioD, to create (hose intelligences. But I deny, that he is 
nndet any obligation lo present those whom be creates, rational 
beings as Ibey are, from sinning, be the consequence lo them 
what it may. God's glory requires their existence as rational, 
responaiblc, free agents. Being rational, they know better than 
1(1 sin. Being free, they are under no obligation lo sin. And 
tnnst the divine glory, the divine supremacy, be sacriUced, by 
the noD'Creation of &ee agents, becai^se, if created, they would 
needlessly choose to sin ! Must the self-eiislenl, the supreme, 
be thus snlyected lo the caprice of man '. Never 1 no, never ! 
It needs not be said, (hat he could create them thus, and yet 
pTEveni their sinning. It is not to be aaaumed, (bat he, in hia 
sphere, t-auld teiiely prevent any sin which he does not prevent, 
viuit sin soever man, in a different sphere can wisely prevent. 
Besides, it is a self-contradiction to say, that be could give them 
IhAt d^ree of ralional, moral freedom and responsibihty which 
would render them absolutely liable to &1I into sin, and yet 
eiairt that they sbonld nil lalt. And such a liohiUty may b« 
Decenary to the existence of ibe highest degree of virtue, 



r 

I 



EXISTENCE O 



of God. It needs nut be SBid. that he is under obUgalion 
act in relation to tliem, as an earllily parent aliould act in relaluo 
to Ats children. He etaads not in the attitude of an eaflhJj 
parent. He has moral rights and moral claims ivhich no auu 
paront can have. He is tha infinile and lupmru creatar. He 
has the moral goremment of the universe on bis Ehoulders. Hn 
moTes in a sphere fer other than man. Nd man's glory ahonld 
be the chief object; wheiefoie, a human parent is to mako bis 
child's happiness paramount. But to say that Cod must make 
man's happiness thus, though it clash with the interest of the 
whole universe, and even with his own gloi}', is to malie man K 
more important being than the deity himself. / consider 
Aoiuwsi to be of higher importance even than happineti ; and 
likewise, that the great being who sustains the univerBe, is of 
iniinitely greater consequence than the v>/iote of that universe 
which lie sustains, and which, with inexpressible ease, he 
could remand back to non-existence, God and man act in 
very different spheres ; and circumstancos alter cases. Some 
things which wotdd be proper under one set of circuni- 
ttancoa, would be altogether inipToper tmdei dilferent onfs. 
Man acts within a very limited sphere, and for very liaiiled 
inlorests. To the promotion of Uiose interests he can ex- 
clusively devote himself, leaving other inleresls without fail 
sphere to the care of others. Suppose now his sphere to be 
enlargeil, lie would have additional mtereals to promote, and 
would therefore have so to adjust and balance those interests, as 
to prevent their clashing, or (be gaining of on undue advanUfe 
\iy one over another. Thus would he bo no longer under 
circumslancea to study the exclusive promotion of the inlensl* 
fint committed to him , or to act in relation to them just as It 
did before. Now God has the countless concerns and intereill 
of the Vi'holo universe to adjust and balance, all of which relate 
to and bear upon one another. Ho has the geTieral good W 
consult, not the mere and exchaive happiness of imgodh m<N, 
And he has likewise his ovm glory to maintain. Under ill 
these circumstances, it must be obvious, that it would be al- 
li^ther improper for him to act in relation to any individnBl, 
just as if he were the only object relative to which he had to 
act. He has indeed, even under the ciicumstancea in which he 
is now placed, no right to do any one injustice ; but 'lis doing 
no injustice to men to punish them for doing wrong, or to for- 
bear to pnvent their doing wrong. And, within the bounds of 
justice, God has a right lo confer upon any individual us much 
or as little holiness and happiness, as the general good or lus 
own glory may require. Had he the family but of one moa Cot 
which to act i had he not his infinite gloty to muntain ; in fine, 
where he precisely in tho sphere of an earthly parent ; it is eai; 
W perceive, thai he could coitiiatentli/ do very differently bon 
whtl he now can, In relation to that particular family. Wc mi^ 



99 

tken, that it is not the lirsl duty of God to make his ereattirca 
happy, and that he cannot consiatently bestow unmingled 
happineas on all hia creatures, althnugh !;e has the pAf/sieal poiner 
u to do. Ilia Jiral object, as it ought to he, is his own gloiy ; 
vhich is ever to form the chief item of that fn-eal tcAole of which 
i the phrase, "all Ihtngi coraidered." 
neaa of hia creaturea, so far na ean 
t wisdom, ia for his glory ; but no 
Anther. Their abstract happiness would by no means redound 
tolhis; for anch happiness wontd have to be conferred at the 
eipense of every thing elae. Wherefore, the happiness of man 
could neTor have been the prime object of his creation. It does 
not therefore detract from the wisdom, power, or goodness of 
God, that sin and misery are in the world. But it dees detract 
from hia power, yea, it matea him inferior (o man, lo say that 
he cannot prevent sin ajid miaery. Cannot, and aannot connsimidy, 
tie very different cxpressiona. God can do any thing which 
maa can do, besides doing what man cannot do. He con not 
only prevent all the sin wliich man can, but all the reat besides. 
But he camiot consistently do this. As the moral govemor of 
the Diiiverae, he cannot comistBttUy act in man's limited, abstract 
sphere, regardless of the great whole. An infinitt being, then, 
it Ihe only one worthy of the name God ; but the limited God 
of Plato, so powerful as to produce all the good existing through- 
Mi the uniTcrae, and at ihe flanie tinie so wealt as to be un- 
able lo prevent a flea-bite ; so powerful as to move all matter, 
and yet bo weak as to be unable lo sabdue a powerless, motion- 
les^ lifeless clod— roarvellouBly refractory by Ibe way — ia a oom- 
paund of contradictiona and absurdities exceeded only by that 
af nothingarianism, which neither believes nor disbelieves in 
this same Platonic foolery— and by tlie reckless infatuation that 
ia "willing lo remain" in this nnthingarian state, regardless of 
God, and indifferent to interesta moraenlous aa eternity. 

A few words now on my ten evidences. And 

First. The present appearanct of the earth. I, sir, am "pre- 
pared to adopt a theory of the earth ;" which theory is not the 
Wemerian or the Huttonian one, neither of which is truly 
"learned," but altogether visionary, being foimded on imagina- 
don, instead of inductive science ; but it is this : that the 
granite peaks of mountains, void aa they are of all oi^anic mix- 
ture, are thus ahowa to bo primitive formaliona, and n&t 
secondary ones; that, aa some of those mountains have no 
■tnta of submarine formation, they must have been original 
elevations, and not upheaved by volcanic agency from the 
bMCom of an ocean teeming with animal life; that their peaks 
or ratnmits are continuidly wearing away ; that, aa granite doel 
not groa, this wasl4> is not replenished by any compensating 
piwem; and that, as those peaks, notwiustanding their cun- 
tiotuil woale, aCill tower aloft, but slighdy affected in their well- 



r 



100 EXtSTEHCB O 

pcoporlioned, spiral forais, Ihej caonol long have been tho anb- 
jacls of dilBpidation. 

Second. Tiepc^lalionofllitearlA. "Bloodshed, barbarism,'^ 
and all the various means of depopulation, lia»a prevailed dar" 
the last four thousand years, and yet the human race haye tv 
on the iacreme. Now, it is neither logical nor analogical, K 
gappDse tbnt limiiar cauta before thai period would have pi 
duced diDtmilar effects, and occasioned the race to decna 
Thu 19 a plain violation of the Baconian and Newlottian n . 
of inductive logic ; though not half so groaa a ona as ia whri 
my opponent says in lelation to the non-existence of men and 
animala under Aeir present form from eternity. Whatcanae do* 
he know to be operative, or to have ever been operatise, capabli 
of producing any radical change in the form of man or beaotl 
Thia idea ia a moat outrageous violation of the inductive rnlj 
above mentioned. But suppose a change mform to have taku 
place, how would this oHect Ihe inereaset ' 

Third. Knowledge and improvement. Suppose the ratio 
improrement, and the progress of knowledge, prior to the invB 
tioQ of wriiing, to have been less than they now are, still the 
■traaiome adrancoment; for the nature of the human mindi 
priwressive. Not far back, then, would it be necessai; to go, I 
find Ihe point of uttoi human ignorance. 

Fourth. History and tradition. These both positively show 
world to have been in its infancy a few Ihonsand years ago. 
this evidence was not considered in the last reply to me, I si 
expect it to be noticed in the next. 

Fifth. The l^k of any memorial of the worliTi eternal 
Some great names and great events, of an eiiatence aniecedet 
to the invention of letters, have been transmitted dowi ~ 
wilt descend to the latest posterity. But what are 
names and events of a prior eternity ? 

Siith. Tlu common consent of mankind. The earth mOStM 
aniedly is tangible. We can tecl and see the operations ( 
nature, just as we can those of art. It is only, therefore, li 
men to form their opinion, whether these tangible, natoll 
appearances exhibit manifestations of mind. And on this an] 
Jet^ so entirely accessible to the smallest capacity of the md 
unlettered barbarian or savage, the common sense of mankbd 
both of the enlightened and unenlightened, has decided in M 
favour ; which decision, in aucA a case, may be considered tl 
Toice of nature, and therefore of truth. 

Seventh. The stream and He fountain. Intelligent beings M 
not produced by one another. Aa well say ll ' ' 



They 




groa, as to say that men produce intelligent beiii| 



They faahion not a limb, they mould not a feature, they imU 
not vitality, thoy create not a facultj;. How absurd Uk 
talk of lAeir producing inteiligait beings! But if Hey i 
!..__ .,._ .1 ^ iji^j ^^^ j^ produced by « ' ' 



BXISTBNCB OF GOD. 101 

|tiir eaow, m by a God. Bui QOD-intelligence con never tmpait 
intelligeace ; Uierefore there must be a Gud. The case of tbe 
pTodacCiiin of uiimal existence in distilled vater, Ac, as ad- 
duced by my opponent in hia last, will not overthrow this 
pinitioii, unless be csn prove that thero can be no germs of 
sensitive existence introduced into a growing potatoe, or that tho 
distilling of water deatroys such germs actually existing in wafer 
in it* natural state, or tliat the "blow-pipe" deatroys the same 
Dibting in tbe atmosptLere with which il cornea into contact, or 
that there is no God to give eustence, independent of second 



now do. 

The celebrated William Tennant once took much paina to pre- 
ftn a Bennoa to convince a diitinguislicd infidel of the error 
of bis senlimente. But, in attempting to deliver it, he became so 
confused, that he was abliged 1o stop, and close the service by a 
pnyei. This nnoxpectcd Ikilure on Ihe part of one who had so 
oHen astonished the infidel with the pottei of bis eloquence, led 
the latter to reflect that Mr. Tennant mudt, at otliei times, have 
been aided by a divine power ; which reflection resulted in Ma 



Tbe French fleet under the Duke D'Anville, consisting of forty 
Vessels of tfar, di»tlned for the dcstfuetioii of New England, in 
174(>, was entirely destroyed by a tempest on the night succeed' 
ing a general fast throughout that pact of the country. 

A certain clergyman, in one of his sermons, spake of the man 
m the camp of Israel, who was atoned to death foe gathering 
■ticks on the Sabbath. A man present, lo show his contempt, 
left Ihe house, and began (o gather up sticks. When the asaom- 
bly broke up they fouiid the man dead, with a bunille of sticks in 
bis arms. 

Some dozen or fifteen years ago, there was in this city an 
infidel society, whose test of merit consisted in transcendent 
bUwphcmy ; and he who could eicel in this fearful qualification 
■as entitled to the preaidenlia! chair. On a certain occasion, one 
of their number, a hoary-headed old sinner, bad exceeded the 
rest, and was conducted to hia dear-earned seat of distinction ; 
and, as his companions in ^111 were on the point of placing on 
hia head the coronal of iinpioly, he fell lifeless on the floor ! The 
society, astounded at the event, disbanded, and Ihe author of this 
anecdote, himself a member and an eye-wllncss, renounced inU- 
delity, and embraced Chriatiamly. 

1 could, were it at all necessary, give numerous additional in- 
Mances of a aimilar kind. To believe that such occurreneea are 
chance events, appears to me lo require greater credulity than to 
believe Iheyajo Special providences. With regard to genera) pro- 
iMpncQ, It may be discerned in events innumerable, and in ttie 
■ -in of things. Misery is connected ""'illisui.iia^jaK.c 



r 
I 



1 



102 EXISTENCB OS GOD. 

with mcanneBB, natLonat pumahment with Dationd Uansgrcsaion, 
&(!., &c., &c. So obfious is this, that even a Jeffenran, when 
reHecting on slaveiy, could exclaim : " 1 tremble for my counOj 
■when I reflect that God is jusL" 

Minlh. Experietiee. I pja not aware, sir, that Mahometuni, 
Hindoos, &c., pretend to know their God by experiena. Bu( 
mppole they do, it doos not follow that nobody is to be beliered, 
because tome make false pretensions. My ojiponeot tells mo be 
knows not God. I believe bim in this assertion, notwithstanding 
some of the lest of the human race utt^ falsehood. In my tum 
I solemnly declare to him that Iknoai there ii a God, Will ht 

Tenth. Revelation. Wo shall shortly have an opportunity to 
enter into the merits of this evidence of the divine ciistcnce. 

The course pursued by my opponent in relation to my argu- 
ment on the subject of the divine unity, though a. very ouy 
method of carrying on a discussion, is calculated !□ shed bul 
very liltle light on t, subject, and is any thing rather than " Free 

Onlo£M Bacuelsb, 



TO OBIGEN BACHELEB. 



May 21, 1831. 

I have said — and I adhere to the sentiment — that 1 hold (hil 
man excused, who, that he may procure bread for his wUe and 
children, stmiiks from publicly incurring, as a few piouaen have 
incurred, the ill-will of a world that has not ;et leaml to TeejMot 
heterodox honesty. Shall he who expresses such a sentiment 
pass Cor one who has an " obtuse moral sensibility f' So let me 
pass, then, with you. 
I marvel, sir, at the tone ;pou aaaume. It is one which 1 

Simder similar circumstances,) would nevei permit to myselt 
f sceptics persecuted Christians, and that Chris&ns kept silence, 
not on their heads hut on ours would I charge the blame. At out 
door, who rewarded sincerity with abuse, should I deem the ma 
of their silence to lie. I should Ceel that it ill became those who 
outlawed, instead of honouring candour, to complain that can- 
dour was so rarely to be found. I should feel that it behoved 
"~ "rst to appreciate openness, before we ventured to demand 



!((3 

to cnllWale it in myself. Nut da I believe that (so buldncsa bo 
but tempered with couitesy,) them ia, in thia country, nearly 
so much to be risked oc lost, by an nndiaguised avowal of 
hRTCsy, aa the Toara of dissentere &am the estublished faith may 
Lifllimea imnginu. Steady, piudenl, disinterested, moral conduet 
vill oomtnouly outweigh, in the long run, the most beterodQi 
rEtiulaliuu ; and if all who cannot say Shibboleth to the fashioa. 
iiljle creed wonld stand fbtlh and speak prudently but fearlessly, 
we should Boon pat an end to the peraecutiun of public opinion, 
u our ancestors did to that of tho rack and stake. While, (liere- 
fure, I urge no one wlio depends for the actual support of his 
fiTiiily, to an open avowal of heresy, I would enoourage all 
never to we^h riches or a ^ood name against the benefits whicli 
the honest expreasian of opialon may produco for our race. 

I havit not deuied that cases may be found where the acep- 
lical, but especially the careless, become religious. Our early 
■mpceasions are aa strong, and often recur with so much force 1 
Ikaides, a man may be a sort of scoptic from thoughtlcssnesa as 
much aa from conviction. That any man alio has ones ihoroughli/ 
naHiiiud the enidaieei of theology, and then deUberately adopted 
Ihe opinion that it is an imaginary science, has ever, except 
under the influence of diaeaso, ronounced that opinion, permit 
me bj doubt. But suppose that all the boasted cases of convei- 
Kion truly had some beltei foundation than that of the Lockport 
editor,* are they as one to ten — nay, aa one to a hundred, to 
Ihe converts to scepticism? Wliat thousands did not Paine 
convert? What tens of thousands have not surrendered Uieir 
religion to the searching wit of Voltaire? The progrcaa of ortho- 
doiy is oalenlationsly announced; the progress of heterodDiy 
a rapid but silent. A conversion to Chrialiauity is trumpeted all 
over Christendom ; a conversion to sceptLdsm is hardly whispered 
to one's next door neighbour. 

And now, sir, for your most sti'anee argument in defence of a 
God, who, you say, seeks, first and t^ef, his own glory. 

God, you tell us, could be under no obligation to non-cntitiea ; 
amst^uenlly under no obhgation to place the beings he might 
CTcale ao as to be either good or happy. Of his own free will 
he created ; amte^uenlly he could not be eipoctod lo relinquish 
aay of his rights for them. A liability to sin, involving the 
oecssBity of vice and crime, may be necessary to the greatest 
d^ree of virtue, and is necessary for the glory of God. Holi. 




r 






I 
I 



happy without his h 

ness as he chose, acted wisel; in creating vice and sufferine; lot 
it is not the Btst duly of God to make his childien happy. lIlMJ 
are your arguments. j 

SniTGly no set of theologians, barbarous nr ciTiliied, auc 
or modem, ernr conceived a being mace coldly sel&ih, v 
calculatingly heartless, or more childishly imbecile, than thitl 
There is aicuso for peraonifying the gentle and untiring lo 

of a mother, the disinterested and wakeful cars of a fathei, I 

self'forgettiag aflection with which an enlightened parent walchaf 
ovBT the yonng creatures to whom he has imparted eidslence 
amootha before them the path of life, sedulously lemorea for 
its temptations and its follies, stirs up within Ibem the i 
flame of generous virtue, and thus prepares for them a peao 
and a glad existence — there ui excuse for peraonifying under tbi 
form of a great parent, feelings so amiable as these, and callini 
(hat universal paternal spirit, Gad. But what shall ws say ■ 
(he imagination (unredeemed by aught of moral beauty,) thi' 
conjures forth a being who siis down to consider, before ft 
gives existence to his human oS'spring, how much of happinea 
ho is " under obligation" lo confer on what are still con-entilic^ 
but what will soon be seutient creatures? who decides, tlut H. 
he creates thom cf his own free-will, he " cannot be expa^sf H 
relinquish his rights to bcnclit them, or forget his glory to think 
of their happiness ? Obligation I cannot bo expected 1 <)iM 
Heema lo listen to the excuses of a souUoss misar, whom jusliov 
bids to pay a dollar, while the law excuses the payment 1 Am 
thesB are to be the reasonings, this the feeling, this the pat 
affection, of htm whoso goodness is ineffable, and whose t( . _ 
mercies are overall his other works! He is not generously U 
rejoice in the sinless virtue and nnchcquered enjoyment he caa 
give, but heartlessly to calculate how much of good aod of 
happiness he may be excused for withholding from his children 1 
If such, sir, be your God, if within his eternal nature there 
spring no fountain of love such as wells even in the human breas^ 
and gives the Ue, even there, (o the sordid calculations of unleel- 
ing Bclfishneaa — far plainer and honcater were it to declare that 
God holds in his hands the power (and is resolved to use it,) la 
make us miserable, and then to ask us whither we dare to appeil 
from the cruelly of the all-powerfuL 

But a liability to sin, says the ingenious apologist of deity, 
may be nocessaiy to the highest degree of virtue. What become^ 
ihen, of the goodness of God ! Would his virtue be increuai 
by such hability f Or, to speak of earthly realities, would mj 
□pponenl forbear (if the power wero placed in his hands,) f~ 
take from a child of his the liabihty to vice, teit Oereby ilt tilt 
-touW be Uuened t 
Bui Ibeu my opponent Ihioka vice is necessary to the glcwyi 




K^ EXISTENCE OP GOD. 103 

God, that Lc tnay aiiow forth "his huliness in iu puniahment 
and his mercy in its pardoa " " If God," ssyi a French 
■wiiler.^ " made man in hia own image, fiJl well has man 
iDlurned the cumplimDnt !" And he has selected but sorry 
ipecimena of humanity, too, afl^r whith to fashion lite heing he 
idotea. A king may rejoice in iniquity bccanse it affoids him 
the credit of pimiahuig it ; it priest mity be glad that men tres- 
para, that he may sihihit hia mercy in absolving them from their 
tiuiagressions ; but if wa ate tn make a Gad in the image of 
nuui, tet UB, for decency's sake, choose more respectable models 
lluui such kings and priests. 

And then the idea of an infinite God being glorified by aught 
Ihit the insect man can think, or say, or do I If all the caler- 
piiUn in America vere to sine your praises, and extol your 
visdain, not one day in seven, but all the days in the year, 
would you, (even supposing you to ba>e created thsm,) be 
greatly flaUered by (heir scnseleBs adulation ? Grant that you 
vn'e cliildiHh enough (o constitute your glory the first and chiel 
object of desire, woald that glory indeed be eialted by the 
caterpillar chorusi' Yet you will not deny that between you 
and an infinite God there is an unmeoBuiubly greater distance 
than between the crawling insect and you. The God, therefiire, 
who ihonld conceive his glory to be increased by man's wonncr 
and ailarBtion, would be far more weak and vain than he, the 
mui whose worse tban childish hankering after applaiue should 
be KialiGed by the hallelujahs of the earth-worm. 

But interests claah in God's kingdom, and man's happiness 
mnit be saciificed. In earthly governments of ignorance and 
imperfection, intereata may clash ; as regards the perfect govern- 
ment of heaven, the suppuaitioii is absurd. 

And all tbis plain, matter-of-fact argument, which comes home 
to exery one who ever felt what a duty be incurs who imparia 
teatieat esistence — all this weight of reasoning, which our 
tnotal sense stamps as unanswerable, is to be got over, by a 
bare, hamrded assertion, that God, though be prefers his glorifi- 
cation to hia creatures' happiness, yet regards it, " not with a 
feeling of selfishness, not with a feeling of pride and ambition, 
Wt as it ought to be regarded." I prt^ you, sir, what is this 
anertion worth 7 Is a preference of sel Exaltation to the hap- 
pmess of others to become a virtue at your fiat? Is a love of 
^otj to be disconnected from pride and ambition, because you 
deckre it so? What apologist for a tyrant but can sa^ — but 
lu nid — the same? What pander to legitimacy but will tell 
U, that the anointed of God " regards his own glory as it ought 
lobe, regarded," and that " the great man who governs the na- 
tim is of inQiiitely greater consequence than l^e whole of the 
i«^n be governs ?"1- And here, in truth, may we ace the real 
•Ir Comic ii^Sf PIT. 
ftoBjihriitii: "The gieatBe)ngwhOBU.ljiinillicnnivErM>nt lod- 



I 



106 EXISTSKCE OF GOD. 

tODtce or this mcragtcoos caDcepdon. Hen were accuBloDied I 
hear the pnmjdest tmoag their eaithl; moiiarchs 1iolill>r plu 
Lheir glory first, and ihe natioD's welbie afterwards; naf, I 
heai them decUie, with the "^ruid monaique," "Lepeuplt, 
e'ed am'.'"* — and it wis Datuial enough that, when they IH 
■bout imtalling a monarch of the skies, they should think ' 
commtDd human feai and homage, by attribntiiig to him a 

Fur the nke of man's liaiiqaillily, if we mual have a heaven^ 
lung, let it not be one of the old, legitimate, rigbt-divine scheo^ 
biit a sorereign more suited to these modem times of demooacf 
and rerolution. 

I hare but litth> to add on yooi ten evidences, having altoodj 
noticed them in detail. 

YoQ have a right to adopt any theoiy of the earth yoa pleaM, 
and I an eqoal right to disaeut bom it, aasapported aa it 14 ex- 
cept by your own asseitian. 

To the atgaments contained in the paiagrapha two and thiM 1 
have already replied. 

Fourth. Yon coDiplain that I have not replied to ymir IMV- 
lioD, that hL-lory and tradition "ponficejy lAote the world li 
have been in its inlancy a few thousand years ago." Truly, ml, 
I coaceived thut such an argomeiit needed not one word bi 
refutation. Shall the dreams aod imaginations of barbarilU 
three or four tiousand years ago, even if we suppose them 4s 
have been accurately tranamitled to us — ahatl thcae dreams w4 
imaginations, which now spoke of the woild's creation, >d1 
anon of its speedy dissolution, be received as proof — oayyM 
will have it, as poiiiive proof— that the earth wai in its infanojf 
Let those trust to such a broken reed who nill. 

Sixth. There is tangible proof on the earth of its own exiat 
encB, and of nothing more. But let us assume the very atgn> 
tnent in dispute, and admit that there it natural proof of a Gm) 
is this proof no accessible to the meanest opacity of the mMl 
unlettered 1 Dr. Chalraera and Bishop Walson, whose C«;uC< 
ties were not the meanest, contend that (here u no nalnial pnio( 
and Ihat we must (rust solely to revelation. But what man iB 

i: j__:._ -L. -|,iiigm;eg of the earth's rotundity ? Tbe«, 

men, are lar mure tangible, even on the admiaum of Iheologiom, 

than the evidences of the deltas eiistence. And if tho " com. 

— " — — ^t of mankind" failed until Galileo enlightened it, to 

aplronomiual problem, is it strange that it should aisu 

in solving the theological one r 

ask me whence the belief in supernatural bein^ 

.1 be unfounded in truth? The poet's reply, J 




BXISTSHCB OF GOI). 107 

" Bee from Ihe reorUng panh and Imistins akicj, 
nace goAa dowWDcT ao<l flcnds infcmta riit; 
H«v Osod the drtadfulf Lhere the bleiBCfl nbEMUa ; i 

Godi poniol. Dhanffefol. pawauatc, lu^uet. 

And, formed like trrantfl, lyrantB mi^hl believp I" 
Serenlh. A father and mother do not produce their cMld? 
I, NT, no one thing ihruughaut the universe produces anolher. 
I the spider, when she spins &om her own bodj' the silken 
et of her web, dnea not produce that web, nor the silkworm 
In veUow cocixm. Then the sun is not the canao of heat, nor tho 
Mttlk wind of cold, nnr virtue of happiness, nor vice of misery. 
TVin, in &ct, cause imd effect are words utterly devoid of mesn- 
hg, except in the one only sentence : " God is a. cause, and the 
Biiveise aa eSect." You assume the hypothesis, that nothing is 
tnoduced except bj a God, in oidei to prove that God's ex- 

E^^th. This argument is utterly unworthy of one who poa- 
rnnm your ingenuity and resources. Suppose every one of the 
iialBiices wtuch you adduce (without giving a sinele authority) 
ta be Wrictlyimd Uteially true,* what shadow of an argument 
d« ihey fiirnish of divine interposition? A clergyman is put 
Mit during his Eermon, and his confusion converts one of his 
udience : rather odd, 1 admit ; but 1 should not thence argue 
Am God confused his servant on porpose. The New Englanders 
hft «nd pray, and the French fleet is destroyed ; and how 
nuj linndreds of fasts are never answered at all 7 is it so very 
BnreUous that one tinie in a thousand the thing should fii t 
& few bacchaiialiaiis perhaps (for if there be say truth at all in 
Uuitoiy, I should judge the society to have been of boa tivrms. 
Dot of mjideit; it is inlDxicatioa, not scepticism, that produces 
fnaiile blasphemy :) — a few dissolute boon companions cnrao 
■nd awear over their cups, and one of them (struck perchance 
vilh that apoplexy which eo often rewards the worship of the 
bottle,) drops down dead: the marvel is, thai such thinga are 
Dot heard of every day. As to the certain clergyman and the 
foot man gathering slicks, I should tike much to be furnishtd 
vilh the names, dates, and localities, and to know whether 
Qle poor wretch was not frozen lo death in endeavouring to 

• 1 think It rii^t to Blnte, Ihst Ihough 1 have miide Iho itrio[e>l inquiry, I 

^faAM soidetj*' of which you >pe&k. Dr. Bo^n, to nhom you ref^iTDd 
H ■> TOUT ■affiaTitr, told me ba hud beard It u a report, and coold m 

■««& heard a v^pcr of ilj eiiBtence : nod— the itronii^t prBHumptlTi 
diae* er all— the tnut oiaken at our nwd cllv neior elumbled npon thi 
■a) "jod^menl of providmco." wblofi would liavo letved (or so itrikli _ 
UkMnUon lo •omo cf Uwlr favollrito ■reuinrnU. Could nimn, plane, or 
AMI. W Ifivi'n. »o might pmublr Hai oat Ibe Uulh, but nut oue of Uieae us 



L.. 



108 

pick up a scanty supply of winter fiiel ; I have foUowed my 
.1 occupationa an ISunday for the last ten or fifteen <rean, and 
«s not secai to oic very likely or Tcry just, that 1 should be 
spared so long, and the slick •gatherer struck dead for a sin^ 
offence.* 

have not a word to say in reply lo my opponent's "ei- 
periente." Let him permit me, in return, to give mine. I 
was brought up by a kind and strictly religions mother, in Ibg 
very lap of orthodoxy. Slowly, and with a painful effort, did I 
first venture to doubt the infallibility of the doctrines Ehe tangU 
me. Again and again did I examine the evidenc"- ■" •>-'«—-• 
of tlial religion which all my early associations I 
to find aacied. In rain. The more I saw and read and ic- 
flected, the more thoroughly convinced I became, that n 
80 eloquent in every lesson that regards the welfare of man, ii 
silent regarding tlie doings, the attrihutoa, nay, the existence of > 
God. 

It is many years since my opinions have given me, even for • 
moment, amiety or uneasiness. And I am hold to say, that ou 
one can attain to the seienily and contentmoDt of mind, and lo 
the unshackled freedom of spirit which these opiniona produce, 
without saying, with me, that if it were possible to eEchanp 
them again for orthodoxy, the wealth of the Indies would pooriy 
eompenaatE the eichange. 

Am I not warranted, then, in endeavouring lo obtain for olhes 
the same freedom (rom ghostly dreams and disquieting imagina- 
tions which I have thus gained for myselfr 

I feel that 1 am. In probing the foundations of (he orthodai 
laith, and in unsettling (as in the case of some I may perduuin 
have done) (he belief of ycara, I fear not the consequcncea Ir 
our readera' peace of mind. If tlie history of my own feelinp 
is to be admitted in proof, they will be, not wiser only, but bif- 
pier also, without their supcr^lions. 

Rdbebt Dale Oweh. 

■ How Jo yau inlcrpret the followio^ painfraph, qhidi 1 cut from t noB- 
ber of (he (LoniloD) Atltu, rccrived by Ebe loBl arriTuii 7 It pngret u Hfl 
H •Bok-gnllierin^ nn the Hrtl d»v of the week oBeninvE to tho Oeinfl 

Dl/ii\B inpravtrr. — At NDlliiL^hBin, an Enqutit was tiejd on Uh bodrtf 
Anne White. SbD hid been in the rdttlKidjgl ehipel oo Suoday, janedhr- 



m 



aOBERT DALE OWEN. 



New-York, May 21 



I perceive it Ib admitted, that moral courage is one of 
ibe first vS 'irlues. Une would bardly expect, after bearing 
lUcb an admiasion, to find the iadividuitL making it excusing 
hif adherents from the eiereiae of tbig Tirtae. But why 
■haold Ihc man who excuses its deficiencjr in atbers, value it 
w bi^l; in himself? A thing bo easily cast aside cannot be 
of mach value ; and it would therefore be well worth the con- 
ndeiatinn of sceptics, whether, to avoid prejudice, and to run 
DO risk of injuring society and ruining souls, it wi<ald not be 
better fot them aU to desist from its promulgation. But if it is 
indeed ao honourable, and eo worthy of being cherished, a lack 
thereof must be le^ honourable, and a, moral delinquency. 
Besides, if men are to bo excused from its oxorciss till things 
be favourable, and the world approve, most assuredly they will 
eiercise it never ; for what moral courage can there be, in act- 
ing in accordance with the opitiion of mankind i So then, 
•ceplics are to be escueed from exercising that honourable, flrsl- 
tale virtue, moral courage, till llie world shall have become so 
favourable, that there will be no opportunity to exercise it! 
Wen, then, my opponent is perflnuing a very gratuitous task, 
kltogetlier uncalled for, by the exercise of his. Ha may as well 
vkit, and be excused. Who owes him any consideration for 
the exercise of a ^uaEty so innocently and harmlessly dispensed 
with? 

"If sceptics persecuted Christians." Sir, they do persecuto 
Christians. They are continually slandering, reviling, and abus- 
ing them, Dtteriog against them all manner of hard speeches. 
Still, the conaciences of ChriBlians do not sit so loosely upon 
ibem, as to permit them to keep silence in relation to Chris- 
liuity. Ko, sir; the totie of C/irialian sentiment is higher than 
Ihjs. It fliea the price of truth higher than a Uttlo temporary 
basness. It makes it of too much importance to be dispensed 
*ilh tot any amnderation tchateeer. It permits not ila votariea 
loliide their heads for fear of danger. It makes Ihem heroes ; 
h makei them mart^ra ; it calls them to die, rather than abandon 
it How conlemptible, haw mean, is the compromising, tempo- 
rising scDtiment advanced above, compared with this ! But it 
•eemSi after all, that there ia not so much to be risked as sceptics 
Inie supposed, by an avowal of their sentiments. O no. 
Christians then are not such pemecutors as they have been 
■ out to imagine Ihem to he ; oiid so these moral titroea iiaTe 
been delened from Aonufy by a bugaboo of theit otn /xnc^. 



110 EXISTBSCK OF GOD. 

No doubl Uie inirld will sooa be discDthralled bom tht .ann 
cles of prieitcrafi by mcA moral giants — which by the wny T 
not be so very bad, if il is not sufficiently ho to have m 
" ui^d" to eiertiou against it. But what wonderful ideal 
the naturo of moral obligation must my opt>oneiit Latc, 
snppoao a man leleascd fiom the discharge of daty on accoo 
of opposition I Were there no other rejbrmen than lb 
sceptics, it would be some time ere the abomiuations and cnu 
lies practised in the heathen world would be brought to a len 

I do not believe, til, " (hat an; man iclie hat 
examined fAe evidencea of theology," ever hat adopted the o\ 
that "it is an imaginary scienee." The most noted ii 
have been noted likewise for Ibeir auperSciality on this ni1g« 
Hume owned he never read the New Testament with atteatifl 
Gibbon appears never to have perused any able defence 
Christianity. Voltaiio had but a superRcial knowledge 
religious sobjccta. Paino quoted the Bible from recoUeelu 
and made many egregious blunders. 80 much for these thimn 
axianineri. But many who have embraced infidelity (or wont 
thorough eiamination, have, on making such eiamina" 
nounced it — not however " under the influence of £ 
but under that of conviction. And, with regard li 
made to infidelity by the ribaldry of Paina, and the wit 
Voltalce, superficial indeed must the minds of Quch iodividq 
be, to be caught by the trash which served even their sntl 
but so pocrly in the dying hour. No doubt if the truth 1> 
known, many of those converts who pass imder the naoM 
sceptics, would, like the printer of " Priestcraft Exposed," 
found to have " no fiied opinions of any kind." Ai ' 
was tho substance of my original proposition respecting at 
viz., that many of them, on renouncing scepticism, confess I 
they never were sceptics in reality. But why this ftm 
this hAlf-EUppressed admission, <Caa,t, the couTermon of ■r—' 
is posiible, when it is so common a case, and when C* ' 
rose from so small a beginning, and now embraces so ibi| 
portion of mankind I A few words now relative lo the du 
glory. 

I said, sir, Ibat God could have been under no obligallai 
non-cntiliea with regard to their creatiim or non-ereaiian, 1 1 
that a liability lo fall into sin prevents aaurance against it, 
that such n hability in man is necessary; for, that God's | 
is promoted by tho exercise of his mercy in the remiaaa 
sin, and of his justice in its punishment ; and conaequa 
Ihal the divine glory in perfection could never have been nd 
had sin never existed. I said, that, as God is Ihe plia 
beui|in the imiverse.his glory is,of right and oiii7aItm,fllri 
chiefly to be consulted, alwavs barring injustice to his oreAt 
which would itself be derogatory thereto. 1 admitted tl 
would be fur ll;e glory of God lo make his creatures •■ b 



EXISTENCE OF GOD. 1 1 1 

islentif villi the intereala of the great whole, 
I fiiTther. Bitt 1 did not repicsent him. miser-like, aa cuI' 
g how amall an amount of liappiness lie was under oiUga- 

confer upon Ihem. Thia eould neTer have been a cal- 
a i*itli him for ita own sake — nor even at all, sttve when 

and more important interests required. And the lerjr 
yat God regards ciiejly the chief interesta of the univerae, 
; minor interests mbaenierU thereto, within the limits of 
, thereby promoting Uie greatest possible amount of good, 
strangest cTidencc con(;eivable of his inllnile goodness; 
IS, his eonsultlag the abstract mhtor interests under con- 
ion, would prove him a being infinitely leaa benevolent. 
liae demonsnated, as I conceive, that, in a univeree com- 
in part of rational, responsible, free agents, there wtnild 
ihing interests, it being impossible in the aatnre of Ihiiigs 
rod could consistently regulate tueA a universe just as he 
one merely physical. I showed that the homage which 
Hires of his creatures is not required from aelflshneaE, but 
Le it oUfffti to be rendered; just as a parent requires a child 
trte towards him a celtain d^ree of deference. And that 
brior can honour a superior, and consequently, s, man a 
■ too evident to need argument, the " caterpill.ir" compa- 
o the contrary notwithslauding ; for ralional and irralvmal 
le ore very difTerent things. Yet, were caterpillars endued 
an with reason, capable of appreciating the glories of an 
J creator, and were I myself that creator. I now think 
inder such cucumBtances, 1 should not merely detire, but 
ler moral obligation to require, them to honour and adore 
H|||uM, IhingB being thus circumstanced, they ought so to 
^Sot because of any puerile " hankering" for applause 
^■e, or of my having capriciously ccnitituted my own 
|Kcrcatest ol^ect, that glory being so constituted by the 
^ga Illness of things. But a strange reason iudeed would 
STwliy an earihb/ monarch, himself but a man, should 
Au glory of greater consequence than a nation utjtat such 

ta himtelf. Were be, like God, iatiinsically and infinitely 
r than liey, these cases would be parallel ; but they are 

now. And as to a God varying in character with the 
he would be no God at all, but a mere aaf^ect of man's 
I. But why Ihia reluotanca in relation to tlte divine exist- 
in the part of my opponent? Why this mode of espres- 
'If we miwt have a heavenly king?" Is he then in Very 
tmBiHing lo have one 1 With regard to virtus in Qod and 
Jierc is no arguing from the one cose to the other. There 
xunparisoa between tinite and infinite. The divine being, 
ily snperior to all other beinga, cannot be templed of them. 
U lu be tempted, and should he resist the temptation, 
■ ' "ness of speech be said to ba more esccllenl 
much aa ho is already inlicilcly excellent, 
10 excellency greater than InfLnlle \ alltiuiv^ J 



1 



risjfs 



1 12 EXISTENCE OP OOTI. 

indeed b? might perhaps be said in muh 
more eieellcnce. But man's excellency o 
is auscoptible of increase. And it is in accordan 
common Bccoptation of langoage, and indeed with pbilM 
nicety, to eay in Fclation to him, that the greater Ihe ten 
he resists, tbe greater his virtue. But well indeed ■ 
parent withdraw such temptation from a child, uncerfwn 
must be whether that child would hsTe sufficient virtue I 
it, and having, as he would, lis abstract interests to p 
instead of Iho interests of a universe. Nor can it wi 
priety be said, that, because God is omnipotent, he cin 
promote Ihe highest interest or every individual, just 
parent con Uiac of a child ; for tbe term omnipotence has 
merely to physical and not to moral power. Neither 
follow, that he could with propriety tn hit tplare ex&i 
influence, or remove temptation in any given case, mei 
cause man >n hit apitre could properly do so. And 
"justice, benevolence, wisdom, mercy, and Iotb," »re * 
tially the same in heaven and earth, and, under aimilu i 
Stances arc similarly manifested; yet under different i 
■tanccs, tJiey are dlETentntly manifested. A parent havj 
one child, could Btndy Ihe exclvsive interests of that om 
but a parent having Iwo children, would do very icrong I 
tbe interests of but one. Hence we perceive, that wbtU 
he right under one set of circomslancea, would be wroii| 
a diffeient set. So far then is the circumstance, that 
elusive inierests of no one of the innumerable family of J 
is consulted, but that the general good is the rather p» 
even at tbe sacrifice of private interest, an argument gc 
favour of his perfections, and the strangest evidence Ihen 
ceivable. And here I shall venture to rest the areument 



on. My population and improcemeni >rgui 
feel veiy willing to risk as they are. My hiatorieal evU 
not to be put aside merely by a random flourish of a i 
pen. For an individual, without the shadow of antho 
his assertion, lo denominate universal history and Indi 
dreams and imaginations of barbarians, will never sat 
inquiring mind. My argument deduced from the lack 
mamorial of Ihe uvrlift great onftguiiy, I conceive to be 
Btralion itself. The ar^n^ent drawn from (he common i 
nioiiAuiri, is not lo be invalidated by the theory of Chth 
Watson, or any other individual. It is a fiel, that this < 
sense does decide in favour of a God, whenever the el 
of his existence are brought into view. Bat the rotn 
the canli is not tangible to common observation, h 
operations of nature; wherefore, manlund would \ 
liable to err witli regard to the former than the lalta 
Bjgnment relative to the ilream and iU /oiaUain imm 



BXISTENCB OP GOD. Its 

A man may be said to produce a statue, because he 
it ; but one niiftht aa well call the aot of laatiiig 

. .. p tlie giovrad, the producing of a crop, as to talk of 

pMCMS pri^ducing children. M; proofs touchiog divitie pnmi- 
tfeMB stand unaflucted. No aoBwer is altempLed with regaid to 
igfturul providence. And as lo the cases by me adduced of 
qtMiot providence, whaterer tome sceptics may think of them, 
(hey will haie weight with clhir; nad with mankind in gEncinl. 
Th«y «Ui think it would be more singuisc that such coin. 
tid«nceB should occur by chance, (ban by divine inleqioaition, 
Bdi how tloes my opponent undertake lo dispose of (hem ! Why, 
TkntiaHfi eate, he says, " was rather odd.'* Yds, odd enough 
ID convince the inlidel who witnessed it, and who must have 
been a more competent judge of that case than he. The Frmch 
ftit, Ue tells us, happened to be destroyed about the time of a 
bat, while other fasts are unanswered. Well, it is no siEU that 
6ud nevet answers prayer, because he does not always da it. 
The lieaueii-Jaring Mtict-gat/ierer, he says, was perhqpa frozen to 
itath in gathering wintn-fuelf This is disposing of a case with 
Iha dash of a pen, in very deed. It is too much, in a grave 
lucuouan. But then he thinks God wuuld not have made an 
nample of that individual, seeing that he himself, nolwithstand. 
bu M is even worse, escapes. I[;fiiute wisdom, however, sees 
Wma il is for the best to make examples, and when not to 
BNfce them. It does not therefore fallow, lliat, because one 
Uch.ItBii'ied sinner is not sign ally punished, another is not; or 
Ital Hidden de&ths uoder tack circumsUrices are not special 

(b, because such deaths happen nnder other circum- 
The infidel clui he ttgjpoiei lo have been baccha- 
OMMia- Now, as there are lame temperate infidels, and as 
tkcR is nothing whatever (o show that the club in question wero 
jujemperate, his supposition ia gratuitous. Wherefore, his attri- 
huing the death of llie infidel president to a drunken fit, cannot 
bt MMuidered a satisfactory dispuaition uf the case. Those who 
«m witnesses of the event, and who were therefore the best 
lodges, Beem to have had a very difierent view of the matter. 
mo the tict that ILey dispensed, and that several of them 
iktadMMd their infidelity. But he complains that I have given 
M rathorit^ for these cases. Well, (hen, 1 will give it now. 
Tie CMC of Mr. Tennant may be found in his life ; that of the 
Frndt fleet and the New-England Hut io history; that of the 
■idt-mther«r in an American tract ; and that of (he infidel 
■nment, in the IcsLimuny of a member who was an eye-mlnea. 
Willi regard lo the latter case, 1 have proof in my hands that 
Sr. fiogure declared he had the account from this eye-witness, 
Ud not from report. This society was probably as obscure as 
A* timilar onei which my opponent in a recent debuting meeting 
(BppMed lo exist in the city, and which he, a liberal, knows 
MinUig about. And this may have been the reason why the 
" Bwl-makets" in thia city never come to the knowledge of this 



r 



EX 

would have seiTed for bo striking 
of" iheir \ievis of Ihe " signal judgments of jiroiidence," ai 
which doei therefore "stiikiugly ilJusliate" mioe. — M; *xp« 
nu» argHmeiU remains as so much posiliTe knowledge in fuTO 
of OUT side, which a lack of experiEiice On the other con net 
countcibalauce. And as to tlte experience of oif opponent, 
is nothing tiiora than negaUre. He, it would seem, haa nel a 
iieiienced that there ia a Gad. But be has not experienced, Id 
he cannot eiperienca that there ia nod God. How bis aou-bel 
in one can have made him a bttter man, it is extremely difficult 
coni^iiTc. Al any rate, such a prelensioo on bis part is venl 
consistent with a sentiment &equently advanced by liimielf u 
other sceptics, that a tnan is neither the belter nor the woiM I 
Bucotmt of hia opiaiou. — SrvelatiiM cotoes next; and lliit 
my tenth and lost evidence of the divine existence, upon t 
diactission of the authenticity of which, I am now prepare! 

Having at lenglli arrived at the tenainadon ef Ihe ta^ 
which has so long been in debate between na, it would bewl 
brieQy to recapitulate the arguments which during the conns 
it have been advanced, and thus present the reader with a ii< 
of the whole subject at one glance. 

The leading objection to the existence of an inGnite God b 

Soweiful and besevplent, fDiuU aqd TEDuU prevent 
ire, that its existence argued either a deficiency of powrt 
goodness in Ihe God that does exist, if indeed any etiata M 4 
of which, however, it has been coutended there are no eridnu 
—and likewise that there are no evidences to the contraiy. 
I, I have argued, that, in a world formed by inGnite wiido 
inite creatures are to expect to find some tlungs contruy 
our limited views of the propriely of things ; and, consequenf 
that the existence of evil, so far from being an objection lo I 
existence of an infinito being, is on evidence in its &Tolir. 
have shown that the tokens of gratuitous goodi 
povrer every where displayed, demonstrate that 
evil ear.nol be atlribnled to a want uf those attributos in I 
deity. I have likewise shown, that it would bo tlie height 
absuidity to admit a God, able to carry on tlie op«iatiani 
nature, and yet unable to prevent the ills of human life. Hen 
J have argued, lliat the pcrmiasion of evil must be attributed 
his wisdom. I have further argued that the power and 
ness of God, being under the guidance of his wisdom, wo 
course be so exerted as would on tha vihoU\ie for the beati 
thai inGnite wisdom alone could decide what is so : contequs 
that we ore not qualified to pronounce any thing whatever, I 
live to hii operations, imwiae. I have given tome rraioll 
show wherein the wisdom oftho permission by Iiim uf dO 
have stown, lliat, had sin never existed, 
gloiious chnmrter of God could not bave been fully manlAi 






R EXISTENCE OF GOD. 115 ^^^1 

raniahment, and liis mercy in its remission ; ^^^^ 
lat, if misery bad Devei existed, the good of exemptioii from 
id not hava been realized to its full extent, nnd the necee. 
heck lo sia vould have been wanting. That n God exists, 
I, I tMnk, as clenily demonstrated, as that matt is possessed 
ter and intelligence. I hare on this point contended that 
a i« neilhei intelligence nor power even in the latter, and 
he only eridencB wd have of hia being possessed lliereaf, 
his eilemal manifestations, and that auch manifestalions 
t be evidences of the eiistence of those attiibulea ia him, 
■hey ore i»fallAle evidences wherever they appear ; hut, 
lUible, that they prove tho existence of those attributes in 
les, vrherever Ihoae manifestations or indications are lo be 
-and that, too, whether wo see the cause or not. Thi 
1, I have shown that there are all possible indications a 
gence and power in the works of nature, as eshibiled ii 
idnptalinn, motion, &c., and, therefore, that an intelligent I 
powerful being exists as the cause of those appearances. I 
iniwer to all this, it has been remarked, that it would ha \ 
'n Ihe deity, to study his own glory at the expense of 
eai; that, if he could not prevent evil and retain 
be weaker tlian man, who is dail^ doing this ; that 
» we have of cause and effect is uniform prece- 
qnence; and, therefore, that tre know not that 
se, where we do not perceive tliis precedeace. I 
i, that God does not study his own glory from selfish 
JDuB, but because he is under moral obligation to study 
Kiject that ought to be promoted; that though he has 
. feat power to prevent not only all the evil which n 
at ol! the rest besides, yet, that he is moraUy unable to 
laamuch as that it woiild not, all things considered, be 
It for him in Ail sphere to do it, whatever might be for the j 
n man in Au sphere to do; that mere precedence and j 
lee do not prove cause and effect, as the precedence Had j 
ice of our letters in this discussion plainly show, but that j 
aw that more than precedence and sequence are concerned J 
1, by the fact that we exert physical force ourselves In 
g the effects by us produced— -and intelligence in the prtt- 
n of our intelligent effects; and, therefore, that we know, 
reason at all, that there must be a cause, and an intelligent 
oocemed in the production of the inteUijienl effects dis- 
le throughout all nature. In answer, il has been observed, 
Jthough the universe exhibits appearancea of inteUigence 
jwer, we caimol stretch analogy from es.rth to heaven, and 
ore know nothing about the cause of natural things, what- 
ve may know of things on the earth. To this I havn 
i Ihal we are not required thus lo stretch analogy, in order 
a on natural things ; that they are here on the earth, 
jre cut eyes ; that they are aa fair subjects for inves. 
tiling their cause, as are any artificial worlifl ^tosi 







^ 


B 416 


EXISTESCE OF COD. 


1 


KUthO 


we do not see; and that Uie man who will exercdl 


kis re 


»Bon on lie flubjecl, must arrive at tha 




there 


IS or ia nut a Gud ; and, therefore, Ihst he -who says VM 


knowH 


nothing about it, shows that he will not 


use hisreasda 


and is 


of all other oien the Ifaat ehlitled to the n 


me of & "FtM 


■ Inquirer." 

^H The other evideacea of tlio divine existence by 


me adduced M 


H this diBcu»ioii, together with the repliea to (he wme by i^ 


^ them 


B Dnnecesaary. The name icmaik may be made in rdtJM 


UonlG 


ray argnmBntB on the divine tmity ; reoliea 


lo which thofl 


have been none pven. 


™j_ 


lav 


ew of all the foregoing evidences, I feel perfectly inatifirfB 


ia adopting the pnasnge of scripture which Bays : 


'The foolhiBt 


raid in 


hta heart there is no God." 

And Se ™he''rtr'^'j'o,mU hold. 
With »)■« of fire and robn of jold ; 










ISd proud Mb march, lo bright bo bll^l. 






ThK e-BD (he easl« ^ hD guoi 






Cao scarce lii> bnniiiig Uack bohold:) 






Whene'er I view Ihs .lara dl.plsi. 






And aiu)L slonEttae welkETirt^' 










The ereDtnc > plaoid empresi glide ; 
U; uul IsTuU of biin Ibat meJe than. 






ThB God xhDse mimic pom,r arrayed tho. 












Be day by (Ib; niipliEi the nnima 
Of tbe'ei^iiHleet loira bright b<raa.e ; 






Norlhl.al<.».: Ibe .hnd« of even 






Be light! with Sm ■ml do.™ from heave 






That all above and all below i». 






Alike Inr night aad day may ehow ut 


a. 




■■n. Ood, »hMe .kill and boBBly dnaa 












•Tie Ood, who give. 10 flcld aad bower 












The eanh wo Irmd, tbebenieqs lhal"bouil 






With idl wilhlD uid all acaund ui, 






Declaie hii niedoni and hla poner. 






The nllor feci him on the deep. 






ITie hunumon on the mounuHn Bleep L 






The mm "ho einnoi nad in book. 






Let hm abroad on Kature look: 






(iuick ttom hii mind f^ off it, ftUers, 




And he e«, n.'.d in naturo'e letten. 






Wiua nsimot, EaniuC be miitaok. 












To hunt for prej U Coofo-a ricer, 






Wllh Ihdeleu bloom on Aila'i lileL, 










^^ J 


^^fl 



I 



EXISTSNCB OF GOD. 117 

fiy him Tvhote careless footsteps wander 

Where broad La Platans waves meander. 

And where the Andes rears its piles. 

TmI oft our sowls shall think of thee, 
O God ! who show* si thy majesty 
Throughout the earth, tnroughout the sky, 
la all tiiat charms the heart and eye. 
At morning, when the sun's appealing 
Gives light to all, and life, and cheering. 
And when the evening shades are nigh. 

Where'er we dwell, where'er we gfo. 
On hill above, in vale below. 
By streams through silent meads that glide. 
By forests waving in their pride, 
"We every where the proof discover. 
That God around the earth doth hover. 
And dwells for ever at our side." 

Origei^ Bachelhe. 



TO ORIGEN BACHELER. 

LETTER X. 

June 4, 1831. 
I am quite wiUing that you should stir up sceptics to the 
doty and propriety of making head boldly against orthodox 
CBcntachments. It is not I who shall find fault, if thereby many 
ttemdooed to incur the penalties of heterodoxy, and enlist as 
ttov*l^>oarer8 in the vineyard of reform. Ail I recommend 
totbem is, to count the cost carefully ere they adventure, and 
^to they have once put their hands to the plough not to look 
biek. 

I di^ not argue that men " owe me any consideration" for 
^ «mne I have pursued. I have pursued it because I expe- 
oenee the approyal of my own mind in so doing. When my 
exertions win for me the esteem of my fellow-creatures, I am 
pbiaed; when they do not, I am not discontented. I have 
mat (a» I think all who deviate from the beaten track of cus- 
tom ou^t to learn,) to enjoy the world's approbation when it is 
leoordedt and to Uve very happily without it, when it is with- 

Tet if this subject of heterodox merit were worth discussing, 
I ni^ remark that it is a passing strange perversion of all the 
ommKm. rules of morality to argue, that because a man per- 
Inhu a duty from the performance of which he might have 
bten excused, men '' owe him no consideration I" A celebrated 
Fimdi writer defines generosity to mean, ** the performance of 



I 



I 



118 

any TLTtacnia action Thich ire might hare neglected to 
wilhout incurring blame or reproncti." Bui lei this pass. 

Your " persecution of Cbrialiana by scepUcs" is •urely a ji 
But I suppose lli8 Spanisli inquiaitors, when )hey lighted, in 
streets of Miulrid, their heretic Ares, complained, too, thit i 
Ilolj Catholic Church vos persecuted b; the Bcoffs of unl 
lieTfirfl. Yet history doea not i-ery deeply wmpalhise ■with ih 
same perseculed inquisitors. If there be, for ihose who du 
to walk throngh thla world peaceably and unchallenged, w, 
ning B cbeap reputation, and oblaitiing easy absolution fbl I 
follies or even the vices in which they may indulge thenodTd 
— it for Buch persona, there be a more eo^, coinfortabiB cloil 
than the all-concealing domino of orthodoxy, 1 have yet to le ~ 
ivhat it is ; and if, by wearing so conTenient a mantle, they 
to inspire pity as persecuted suflerers, or admiration as " bei 
and martyia," all I can say is, the pity and the admimtion U 
cheaply purchased. 

Your assertions, sir, regarding the superficial religious kBM 
ledge of dibtinguiabed sccptica, are unsupported and unautho 
iied. Faine, you remind na, wrote his " Ago of Heason" wilhlll 
having a Bible before him : a pretty convincing proot methinli 
that he was tolerably acquainted with its contents. Were tha 
not abundant evidence in the writing of Home, of Gibbon, ii 
Voltaire, that they too, had most carefully weighed in leasoll 
scales the evidences of theology, and found them wanting, shoa 
we tind Christiana giving themselves such unweaiied Ironbla I 
refiite their ajgoments, and bring their persons into discredit I 
contemptr Men do not tight windmills now-a-daya, whaten 
they may have done in the days of Cervantes. 

As regards the glory of God, my opponent and myself 
seems, feel very diflerently. Were ho the creator of caterpilla 
endowed with reason, ho would require them, he nowthinju, I 
honoar and adore him: and, as an intenoi can hmouranni 
rior, he would feel himself honoured by their adoiatioB. B 
would also cause (or permit.) them to sin, that his own gto* 
might be increased. Able to render Ibem perfectly good and 
happy, ho would prefer to moke them vicious and misenbia 
that he might evince his mercy in the remission of thnr vice and 
his justice in its punishment. 

Strange indeed must it appear to thoee who hare 
the aberrations of human reason, that any sane mind 
conceive, and should imagine it finds comfort in eonEeiTinl 
BUch a God as this! Every idea of wisdom, of jnatice, of dk 
interestedness, of benevolence, is (to my feelings] oulnnd :' 
the conception. Could I believe in such a deity, I should be 
miserabte mortal. To live under an earthly tyrant who den* 
revenne from tolerated vices, and seeks his glory at oipeiuc 
the peace or the life's blood of his vassals, is a sufficient 
wretched fate. To ima^na oneself the subject of a heaven 
.t who seeks to gain glory, not to give happiness, it fi 




EXISTENCE OF GOU. 115 

Hippy the mxa wlio escapes fiom Ike fears and 
throldom of such a conceplioD ! If this were (he chuacter 
creator of liia unJTerse — if a being thus Tain -glorious, thus 
ii, thus " angry with the wiekad every day," were indeed 
imarch of the skies, of a truth the leit fr{>rQ appropriate 
I Ulls ns: " It is a fearful thing to fall into the bauds of 
Ifing God ! ■: The rack of the inquisition were but a pallrt 
"1e of the toitUTGB that await the miserable victims of the 
auto-da-fe '. 

B is it^-roore than time — ^that iihantoms so appalling 

lade away before the hght of reality. Enough, and more 

enough, of fear and D>isery and tyranny, have ve already 

- world, without conjuring forth from the prolific regions of 

monstrous shapes to worship, and inconceivable attri. 

adore. Let ua not cost our dreams and our fears and 

ihifins into the bubbling cauldron of imagination, thence 

xict an idol nliich ve ourselres, its creators, fall down 

abjectly veuerale, as did the heathen of yore their molten 

Lei us follow Auman lirtae; let us seek humnn happi. 

et US speculate on htanan phenomena. If Gods exist, 

ways, their Ihougbls, their doings, have nothing in common 

Dun. We cannot see them, hear them, feel them, imitate 

. By searching wb may not discover Ibom ; they and 

ways, aa the lioly book of Cliristians tells us, are "past 

It." la the language of the same book ; " Like as the 

given unto the wood and (he sea to its floods, so they 

dwell upon tho earth may underaland nothing bat x\ml 

h is upon the earth ; and he that dwellelh upon the heavens 
only undersland llio things that are above the height of the 

ly, then, idly consume our time when life is so short P 
TMnly iBi our reason, when reason has so mnch lo do here 
" sarlbly cogitations f Why madly puroUB a phan- 
the investigation of which the human mind exerts 
powers in vain ? Why seek to discover the exialence, or 
— ' the wishes, of a being, whom even the Scnplures 
a inconiproliensible ? 
the ounion that reason leads us not to a knowledge of God, 
tti from being singular. Very orthodos authority can be 
led in its support. The Scottish Demosthenes, Chalmers, 
eelebrated " Evidences of Christianity," admits, that the 
iknIc in whiuh the existence of God son be proved, is by 
proving the inspiration of tlie Scriptures. The most famous 
'tliral theolo([ians, Palsy, confesses, (p. 297,) that when wo 
of the deity, " the mind feets its powers sink tmdec the 
t." The Christian Pnscal complains that we cannot 
God,* And Bishop Watsun, the celebrated ti\>p<. 




r 



120 



EXISTENCE 



GOD. 



I 



Thomas Paine, thus combata tlie id^H, put farlh. by Paine, (vha 
by the -vny was a devout deist,) thM nalura proves a Gi>d: 
" What think you," said the bishop, in his 'weli-kcoinl 
"Apology for Iho Bible," — "what think you of an uucamed 
cause of every things of a being nho has no relation to timev 
not being older to-day than he was yefllerday, dot younger to- 
day (han he will be to-mutrow ; who has no relation lo space, 
not beiDg a pait heie and a part there, oi a, vhole any where I 
&c , &c." 

The emdile Amobius, loo, the ingenious and learned author of | 
"Adcernia Oentei," says, in that work, (b. i., dap. iz 
xxxiii., idit. Ortll.,) " O, unseen and Incompraliensible, tL-. 
art the place and space and foundntion of alt things, irilhoo 
quality, quantity, position, or Rintion, of whom nolhing can i{ 
said and eipiessed in the signification of mortal words: ~ 
understand whom we must lie silent, and to obuin a vagns al 
obscure glimpse of whom we must not ntter a, syllable 1 " 
supreme king! it is not wonderfiil thou art not known; it w 
rather be wonderful if thou werl known."" 

I am content to follow the bishop-philosopher's advic«, Ul_ 
be silent. I am content to know nothing of celestial spirit*, k 
lo confine my speculations to the affairs of our own pluiot, 

1 am pleased to perceive that, in the course of this discos 
you h.ivit not fallen into the vulgar argument, that a pi 
religious belief is neceaaary to moral virtue, and that he « 
not fear God neither will he regard man. In abstaining from Ui 
argument, you have followed the eianiple of Bacon, of CbaJme 
and of the liberal portion of modem religionists. He who p< 
sesies H dignified consciousness of rectitudtr, feela that I 
springs of virtue lio deeper than speculative opinioi 
" light widiiu," as an amiable sect expresses it, is 
logical nor of sceptical origin; (hat it eniats, where it exists M 
all, independent of all creeds, in spite of all creeds ; 
exerts, over the better portion of our species, an infiue _ 

no faith, Qor any vvant of faith, can eiUter create or destroy. 



lOuKEDt liniturp. cUc Ir msrquati 

the doEt nSfot^ Aie dKtkful. uhn waillil 









jn in a picUUi ■« 



r* philDiDtiby nt 



of DIuslMlui, a tibhDpc 



. church, Ihot it proeond for . 




EXISTENCE OF COD. 121 

n may probnWy call io mind (he passBge of Bacon's warka 
' ■ ' . he speaka of iho moral character of a, world without 

lEm leaves men to sense, Co philosophy, to natural piety, 
a repnlation, all which may be ^ides to an outwaid 
:ua, though religion were not ; but superstition dismounts 
se, and erecteUi an absolute monarchy in the minds of 
men. llLerefore atheism did nerei perturb slates ; for it makes 
meQ wary of themselves, bs looking no further, and wa aee the 
limes inclined to alheism (na the time of Augustus Ciesar,) were 
ciril times; but supers tilion hath been the confuaion of many 
stales, and bringetb in a new ' prlmum mobile,' that lavisheta 
the spheres of gorernmenl," 

Dr. Ciialmera eipresftes a somewhat similar sentiment in one 
of his sermons : 

" ConceiTe foi a moment, Uiat the belief of a God were to be 
altogether eipunged from the world. Wo ha*a no doubt thai 
society would suffer most painftillj in its lempral iiilereHta by 
such an erent. But tha machine of society m^ht still be kept 
np ; and on the faco of it you might still meet with the same 
giadaliona of character, and the same varied dialribulion of 
praise, Bmoag the individuals who compose it. Suppose it 
possible that the world could be broken off from the system of 
God'a administmtion altogether; and that we were to consign it, 
with all its present accommodaliona, and all its natural principles, 
to some fnr and solilniy place bejrond tlw limits of his economy, 
—we should still find ourselves m the midst of a moral variety 
aC character ; and men silling in judgment over it, would say 
of lotne that they are giiod, and of others that they are evil. 
Even in tills desolate region of atheism, the eye of the senti' 
nenialist might eipatinie among beauteous and interesting 
(MclAclea — amiable mothers shedding their graceful tears over 
tiie tomb of departed infancy ; high-toned integrity maintaining 
lUdf muRillied amid the allurements of corruption! benevolence 
plying its labours of uaefulnesa, and patriotism earning its proud 
lewaid in the testimony of an approving people. Here, then, 
700 have compassion and natural aBcction, and Justice and public 
ifial, — but would it not be a glaring perversion of language to 
HV that there was godtaiets in a world, where there was no feel- 
ing and no conviction about God P" — Sermon IV. pp., 184-5. 



It was the perfect conviction I entertain of the menial and 
ral advontbgef which I have gained by a change of opiniCD, 
:>i first induced me to enter upon this discussion ; and it ii 
I- iune conviction which bids me hope, that it will not be 
'iihaalialeresl, nor without utihty to many . especially to (hose 
lU still sUmd on the bank of the Rubicon, and who fbar to 
-1 their strength in its waves, lest ttiey be carried away by 




APPEHDIX. 






e treacherous qnid 



1 haie cTOsacd in safety, and found the oppoBKe shore Mr M 
pleAsBut; a Jand of fropdom and of virtue, whence ti ' 
baniahed, and where trauquilUly reigns. He that U 
Bwimmer, let him faarlesBly attempt 'iia passage. He wiJl m 
regret the efforts it may coat him. He will becotDe a bsllw 
wiser, and — my eiperience for it — a happier man. 

RoBEBi Dalb 



[Frvm the Frea Enjiiirer of March 12, 1831.] 
GOD. 
SoM F. of OUT readers may be curious to trace out a few rf 
ancient and modem opinions legarding a " great npiiit," U 
Indians pocttcaUy phrase it. 

The stoics prohably believed in a corporeal God. They Ihoti 
God a fire, waimCb, or animal spirils ; and admitted, 
number of inferior Gods, some of tliem dderial. 

Thata, the founder of the Ionic aeci, thought that all Qi 
were full of Gods and spirits, and proves this (oddly enon| 
think,) by referring to the allracliTeneES of loaditono and sm 
(see Meincr; " de vero Deo.") Cicero (in his " de Dat. Do 
says that 'I'bales, iilcB Homer, looked upon water as the piiiu 
of erery thing. 

Brucker (vol. i., p. 1077,) says, on the authority of Cfl 
Alexaiidrinut, that Pylhogorat' deity was "a subtle man 
ftame, endowed witK the active faculty of moving, forming, 
according to certain laws, of disposing all things." We ha*a 
got much further than this idea uf Ibe SamLan philoBopbei, i 
in our days. Mtinen (■' de vero Ueo." pp. 307, 308,) say* 
Phythagoreans derived ail things from a Dumber or m '^ 
What they meant by that \e\ anliquariaDS explain. 

jlnoioyorni was one of (he principal inventora of what 
call God. He spoke of two principles, God and malli 
eternal. But i havo never believed, and do not now boUi 



APPENDIX. 



123 



■ ^pil Soerala slinrcd his □pinianB on this point. I knon- that 
=- -tei- (vol L, ji, 560,) Bays, Sourates believed thm " the deily, 
^;ll he cannot be peraeived, maybe diBcwTered ;" but the 
le aulhoi also asserts SocrafeB" belief io Tarions superior Goda 
I ■pirits, and intCTpreta literally tho atory about his iamiUai 
~ Now I conceive Socrates (from all we lead of him,} to 
lea too wiae a man to speak in this latter caie other than 

Crically. And if in the latter, why not in the former also ? 
w that he was indicted before the Fire Huudred aa an 
itt, and that hia defence was, as I already stated " that 
e others boasted they were acqunioted with every thing, he 
lelf knew nolhing;" (see Lanpriere, art. Socraisa.J Lai> 
a (b. iii., chap. lix.,) IcU us that Socratea was wont to say, 
~t ia above na does not concern us;" and thence the 
1 Cicero" argues (very naturally I think,) that the 

1 philoiopher was opposed lo all mysterious religion, 

tt motive could this erudite and classic theologian have for 
Jbibuliag to Socrates, uBfairly. sceptical sentiments ? 
|PW'b deity was composed of three principles, God, matter, 
■ad idea. What be meant by his idea (logiimoe or logoi,) pro. 
libly Flat« himself did not know any more than St. John ; (8e« 
bii gospel, chap, i.) Plato thought matter to be of a refractory 
and Hvil nature, so that God himself could net make much out 
a Tery convenient way of accounting for Uio eiistauce of 

!a believed Ihe deily and the world to be equally self- 
He defines God to be "a mind, immutable, and im- 
.Ikable, as eternal and most perfect animal, perpetually em- 
, oyed in imparting motion to the universe." 
- Anixtnmo thought Tholti' water principle loo corporeal \ co 
hatookoiras his principle of every thing; and Diogenei Apol- 

According to most of the Jewish rabbi, God cannot be delincd. 
The rabbi Nicto (quoted ia the "Diet, dtt Alhtti,") says, God 
and natme, nature and God, are one. 

The toojii of Persia believe that God extracts from his own 
■ubatance not only the aouls of men, but the whole material 
oolioti, which ia thus only a produetiou or extension of the 
divine aubstaDce, drawn, like a spider's web, from Ihe body of 
ihs deity. These theologians alao, ingeniously enough, compare 
lllB deity to a vaat ocean in which swim innumerable phials of 
Nater; to that the water, if the bottles are broken, returns again 
b> Ae bosom of the ocean. Human souls, of eourae, arc the 
bolflM; and death is the great bottle-breaker. 

nia itmAniuif, <*hcti oskeA to show God, trace a circle ; (see 
Am "Voyage* de Z>i(ton,"J and somBtimes, by way of making 
dK DUtter clearer, trace a triangle inside the circle. fDicl. dM 
'"Ml, p. 323.) The Indian Vad or Vedai deals, Uke our o' - 
r books, tdiielly in negatives, in treating of the deily. 

" He sees every thing, though never seen ; hears every j 



r 

I 
I 



124 APPEHEIX. 

thing, Chaugii never distincdy head of. He u neither short, mr 
is he loDg ; ioacceesible to the reasoDing Tacultj ; not lo be com* 
passed by descriplion ; beyond Ibe limits of the eiplonation of 
iha Ved, or of human conception." (See a tract c&awn up by 
liammoAun Roy, Calcutta, 4ta, p. 14. 

Later Chinese philoBopheia do not give tia any thing mine 
tangible. Thoir Li, or great flcat cauao, (vid. Bnicktr, vol. t., 
pp. 89U, 891,) " has neither life, nor inteltigencc, nor anlboriljr, 
nor body, nor figure ; and though it is not spiritual, yet, as if 
Bpirilual, it can only be comprebBuded by the intellect." 

Truly, it would seem as if theolosians nere making game of 
poor, simple, human nature; and Irying bow many idle gonndi 
they could make it gravely repeat, 'without suspecting the joke 
that is put upon it. If it vete but an idle joke, 'twould the lem 
signify; but it has been a very serious — a very blomfy one, lonti 
times. There was nothing very jocular in the rack and thuml 
screws of the inquisition, or in die doings of St BartiioloB 
night; noT, even in the fate Qt Servetus. 

The ancient Christian writers have outdone, if it 
the Chiaeac philosophers in myBterioua ingenuity. 

The Christian bishop Synenui, as conspicuous for hi* le 

as his piety, has some odd passages in bis hymns i (vid. Bi 

vol. iii., pp. 516,517;) they would be called, piobablf, v 
scandalous passages, were they not from the pen of the Cyr — 
divine. He thus apostrophises the deity : " Thoii art a 
and a mother, a male and a female ; thou sit voice and eilence I' 
And again : "Thou art the father of all fathers, and, being v' * 
out a &ther, thou art thine own father and son." Again : 
source oC sourceB, principle of principles, root of roots; thou 
the unity of unities, the number of nunibera, being both n 
and number !" Agniu: "Thou art one and all thing 
things, and one before all things." — But enough a 
bishops. 

' ^igbl pass on (o speak of the Germans ; of Boehmen w, 
- B of essences ;" of Spinoza with his two modifi 
r, thought and extension ;• of LeibnUs with his " 
live unity," whence proceed all created and derivative mo: 

of Swedenburg, with his celestial and spiritual sun ; or „ 

over to French philosophy,) of the spiritualities of Da Carta, « 
" internal moulds" of BufTon : I might rummage our own lib 
ttircj might set forth the elaborate aigoments of the labonotuO 



loUjr r«gard«El ns ■ Chrullba pbUasoiib 
sL invtnlor of (he wonaij syitem, u4 w 



- - . * of God. prtoK, and oppose to 

them lbs oounter opuiioDS of AlierOu Magma, Thomai Aqainai, 
and Johama Scoba . — but I sbould tiie myself, and (1 am Teiy 
Buie,} my readers too, ere 1 had well crossed the ihreahold of 
that obscitia and antiiiuated pile, the edilice of Bupcrslilion. To 
11 might most strictly be applied the linea in which Gray ([ 
belteye,} aptly enough liits oS the chacaotedatica of Gothic archi- 



"BiEhwi 



Jo iho light. 



Kfll Hill nil my opponent fur having taken bo much pains totUmish 
■n mrticle which goes so directly to prove the necessity of revela- 
tion. We here hbb wliat the wisest heathen philosophers ware 
without tbe Bible. One word as to Socrates, and that is. that 
Itit men vmrda, by me adduced in tho preceding discusaion, show 
him to hsTO been a believer in a God ; and not only so, but his 
dyiag Erection for the sacrificing of a cock to Esculapiua, shows 
turn to have been an idolater likewise. 

0. B. 



[Prom thi Free Enquirer of April "ia, 1831.] 

To HOBEHT DiLE OWEN. 

Lockport, Sunday, April 10, 1631. 
lis, 
I have noticed a stalemeot going the rounds of the orthodox 
^pets, that the editor of " Priestcraft Eiposed" has renounced 
.- »vpticiam and embraced the Christian iaith. In No. 23 of 
.0 Free Enquirer, Origen Bacheler alludes " to cases of infidel 
r.vereions," and cites yoa " to (hat of the editor of I'riestcnfl 
..i]insed for eiample." 

rhJB is an error— it is the printer, and not the editor of that 
jipn. who is said to have laid aside his scepticiBm. It is a fact 
i-i'i known here that the printer never wrote an article for that 
'er; and it is also as well known tl ' ' 



efora 



any gBiic 



mbjec 



D well convinced the author of 
tment iutenlionally miarepiesented facta. 

■W. L. 






126 APPENDIX. 

ill will. Mr. Bacheler, or any one else, can see the oi 
letter, and learn the writer's name, by calling at our office, 
name of the editor of "Priestcraft Elxposeid*' was Lym 
Spalding, and of theprtnfer, Edwin A. Cooley.] 

R. D. 

RBICABK ON THE FOBEOOINO. 

Be it so, that the author of the account above alluded to, 
the trifling mistake of saying that the editor, instead of the p: 
had renoimced infidelity. This does not affect my proposit 
the least, which was, in substance, that an infidel had renoi 

0. 



J. Wation, d, Queen*« Head Passage, Paternoster Bow. 



DISCUSSIOx^ 



ON THE 



AUTHENTiaXY OF THE BIBLE, 



BETWUN 



ORIGEN BACHELER 



AND 



BOBEBT DALE OWEN, 



5 



UtXntk and Falsehood grapple. Who ever knew Truth put to the worae 
( in a free and open encounter 1— Milton* 



IConiron : 

fl 

JAMES WATSON, 3, QUEEN'S HEAD, PASSAGE, 

PATSayOSTER BQW. 

JS53. 



MB. BACHELER'S ten LETTERS. 
LETIXai— PihbS. 



onnonoM. Morel 




GndofnatnreindDrUw 
p^ilDHophont and 



LETTEE IV,— Paob 33, 
^nniE nn kepplEi^ DO Ihe f^nce betweeti theian 



erchriitluiil]'. NnljiieBflliepinlailuiii 



LETTER V^Paob«. 
eral toplcB la prcaeding Ir^ 






in reUtl™ W belief. 

— P*GE 57, 

ilairort in Ihc Biblf. p 



..GdllHcnl 



■film Frnieb BevDluttcin, at given in ScaCt't Life of Nspoleon. 
LETTEa VII.— P«OB 75. 

■A«j of r^Mllng it, ««i if il were 
. SuEdry o1>JM>ioni &t. of Mr. 




lAej o1>JM>ioni &<. or Mr. 
'nath Bmalutisn. Xeo- 



4 




I 
I 



feimeaa of MepBH in di 
llw niFliMneai DTAnti-Cbriaduil upOD Chrisllanity. BauHHo'- '—" 
(hut nolhlnibul Cfaristianlly Imprcnes muklQd. Pnphsej u 
Ihft AMm BEiaru(«r of the Bibla. IntrmiJ evldnice. 

d— P*a« lis. 
B lbs Bible li Oia mini af Gad. Inconriilain- of Mr. O 

lubjKt of ndiwlH. How Id dilUnKiilih betma " 

id Infcnul mlrutei. Otriainaf not nnetisn In Induce belief. Ad at 
-jlngoan enabtg m to koow wfiMber i reveinlioii to ft — ■-' " 

tObJBCUupV'A'' IMBbtOlOB In Uu 034B9 

ChiincUn of oar levolnUoouy lesden 

eE IT they cab Bprend U ai they ny It wu ipnai 
LETTEBX.— PaobIM. 
M bdwetti real and false miradea and pradioaoni. CIiiHni 
a Bible prcdictiona. Reply to Mr. Owen"a ol^iigtliiii ft f, 
OtIHiibI letter froni Ber. Wm. Jack«ati of Alcundrii. hI 
^ou< Bbanicter of WMhinpon. Oririnal letter tma Bm. 
igfom e\arae« 



pfenshraent, fcc Conflimfttioi] of the Bible hlitoir md mtrmelu, hg ti 
■tat* of thion, ind bj nnlnraal talatatT ud tnftltian. Cuhotla bi 
hud the aole keeplni of the BIbla. TbM FlorentlBe and Atbuudi 
tdet. flerenl Eaodem euei of ft eupeniatiind DhBTSatVp fiuW 
eonaldeiTd. TJWtj not the test of ri^t and -wnag. Chaneln- of . 

bj Rnaatean. Fanllel beXceen ChilBliui and infidel philatophcn 
naDoerin which Cbrivlludtybae BlvjiTibeeo oppoaed, nod fheiur-"-- 
oeu of expecthif to owthron' it now, BeupltulatiaD. Cooeliui 



MR OWEN'S TEN LETTERS, 

LETTEBI.— Pac«7. 
» of religion on mankind. Virtue not the II 

>r rcUglDii. Beli^^lan Ititlnel ft- 

Jilian. "" Cruead™. Miia»m'n?u\f «t^'Juin«" 
;. EiglilceB mlUioni otbomaabElngi »«criile»dlort 




LBTTEUH. — Pi< 

I* lb* tyriinl'i i 



Bnptnuhtnl bftkffe make men flOrneflniM TidoBi, Mlwaft imfatppT. 



. bEtveen 111* Bible eniFltlM uid ^uUsur llgtalK. Tbs Pcnliiunic] 
t otcmHty iloflA, bat dT ohicBDlly ud UDkefliidy itiU4[1jittlimi. 



wds jniild MlmlT bnl our own. 
c obMraJty. Euois of (be snotenla r 



qtinUon. Midinniui nsiuerf. A, Tiinuii and Hill 
inril of MonI PhT^ioloiT not Ibn iiibjMt ot diienHlon. 

r"ni nal blunowoTth^- ^moh HerfttuCiOb (fmfllljr mii- 
fua ptodiic«d bj Brilltb pmiiunm. GWemcnti of 
ind Pin*]. AntUDcDt? In hvour of rnynlty and orthodoij squaUj 
ATV<ini*n( of AmnioBn ProlHtmniB yerj hctnYHJO!L SpLrit ot 

FhIk tH^titfTfi miafoitunp, not n fuilt. BfU*^ not to b* ahfUl^ ftl 
81uld(^n clrculBt*d d^d«i philoMpbfin unwortby to be ntifed. 

LETTER v.— Pial 51. 
'-irnmvide imrdinc illglil«n_la Uie renMKiieh. FurUciiInr 



indrit Id ul th*<T purli if tl) 
n* throiuA in Infullbl* ehuic 



Til* ■nfhentleilT of tbc I 
HTtt of It, lAieh !• qa*«ic 
UkbBlIf lo wror bifiiR i 



hitloiT Dot to be 
pani u unworthy of 



LETTER Vtl.— Pxol 83. 

•rindH bf HiclenI hiilorr. Btorio of _ 

■vnd d(bl of Hi* bifh-iludlBr Conoa H Uher and Ihe pivitlitlDni •pirlli. 
1W aod inendifala iIoriM mil Ulailii Baina wUcbnift. Tfaa Bible nfed> 
mmr iAm^iIt* •ooehiR Ulan diHini lo defend It. Etilitj of biHnry not 
L^kpcB*h«ii Arrntnont that trpptTnn mKj low biit nnnot pUn, a rmnmcin 
Lf^H. Doofrinal reUfffoq, if fklK, pr^iuit with mJafihlpf— KBSOh* thprprf>r*, 
■ 'nifvq uid CpIhu' oiHUHaioQ r*frari1iii IT demons. EUKbiUfl' uba nf fi^qehond 
,. 1 nw^iciii*. Pruotic* fcHowpd bj ChijKufmn and Dlhwa. Cr*goij> 



^ livid mhuiiL 

LETTEEVin^P*o« 10 
1 of fflirulii. Doet dM cm* tlHi dMn* M 
ytrnMrnraOm. B,Hritof ~ 

he flolffjud^whotlien precept be mid orfa 

4albe^' GelU^'il oCidi(Bnillyli>r» 

obenlabE lo be taken nnL " — ' ' 

_, , vitbmit tn^ufli- No Btbl 

^TUiend elia mtond to ve^tatioD liy the bod; of 
" Chiliaui fathen caoccmnl in [he aulhenlleli . 

ilitorlcBl eridBDce han^ upoa It. Text aller^ b^ Oi 



raiidifton a drill in ITSg. rojeeted el 
d.i?lctter to Tbomu If"' " 



. ...u Jeffimon. Opinions of Iho tuWlnity of J 

ityle nod Ibat or the KuraOn Opiainna te^nlibif Biiicide no bearing 
nil^jMl. Chriilian cor™ianle« caimpiired wilh lbs mythology af Gm 

LETTER IX.— PlQ1 1311. 
The argument deduOFd fiom pniphmf. Ambiguity nf propbeeyb 
equnUy applicable to thr Bibia aa (o the SidphlD ora^m. Pmpbai? < 



_._^_ „ _ Pekah. Prophec) 

Appeal to tJie pjvjndiee of birtb noticed. Yna 
^faol tiolMed by the Americin patricU. 



delily. SnniDiirT of Dpponent'i upimenL Comnan <rn«e n 

of Jmu>' pieoppte. fiajcBof the firtt tentlllj (uuiirl noprot 
ing or the Chiittlan miradet. The tt^ee of Greece and Bom 

Darkuesa of the paaiiiin not ooUoed bg; Seneca or PUny. Joa 
and Appiau either deeeiverfl or deceived. Farlieit catalogu* 
Nen Teitamenl publiihed about the year 3M. No proof ean 
Ibe gwpels vert vrltlen by the men vrhoae uubbi (hej bear 



difflcnltj. Thi . 

aieTlleath of Waihinftm. Weemi' teatinumy of Jeflenoo In i*{ 
Vathlngtou'a orlbodoxy — prnor nf Ailorai^ tccptidim. Couparlaob 
the prophecy of the deatmttlon of Jerusalem tod Reiuieau'a pirdMil 
fhll of monarcblea. Biuodera of inBpiratioq, DiQcqltiaa and bgooiI^ 
not la be oHiridered erideDcei of geniUnaieai. The &et that. 
niinelei were not conlradicted at the Uae nM lo have taken ji 
admiuible In evidence. Decree nf the Empann- TheDdoilaa, fnr tkc i 
tion at ail evidence a<caioil ChrliHanlty. Ancient trHlitiau tt, 
iiadnn« reaemblE each otbei- Diflhrent oDDotoaion drawn IhntAv 
deluge; geology fiimlahea evidence an^>< it. T" ' 

Cbanie of wilfnl repieKnUdoa n-balted. Onhodoi; 



TO THE READER. 



not free and impartial inquiry we deprecate : it iei hasty and arrogant 
sent'*— J!p. dif killaloe, (Knox J ; Two Serm,, p. 39. 



irord prefttdice, as in etymological strictness it must, be 
9ted to mean, a judgment formed before examination, 
« must regard as prejudices his opinions, however true, 
\a neglected to weigh them against their opposites, how- 
Ise. 

not enough to inherit even that richest of treasures, truth, 
would a legacied fortune or a patrimony. It behoves us 
tlv to earn truth for ourselves, not supinely to heir it from 
e&thers. 

if we are thus to earn it, we must make acquaintance 
ther beliefs besides our own, and be introduced to more 
es than we have been cradled in. We must become citi- 
the world of opinion ; free to extend our voyage of dis- 
beyond the inland sea of our own sect or party, and ready 
1 to the foreign language of reply and rejoinder. 
thine own opinions, friendly reader, or is it truth thou art 
with ? If thine own opinions, get thee some other book, 
they shall be sheltered from scathe or harm : visit some 
arena, where a favourite partisan may venture an entrance 
enged, and effect an exit unassailed; rejoicing in self- 
cent security ; threatened by no antagonist more deadly 
e phantom-opponent he himself conjures forth — the con- 
scarecrow which he deftly dresses up in cast-off rags tliat 
will own, and then demolishes with a comfortable inge- 
hat every body admires. There shall thy pet opinions be 
nursed, unvisited by the winds of controversy, and cur- 
ewen from the sunshine of reason. 

is truth thy mistress ? Will it suit thee to hear thy infalli- 
aestioned — to see the fortress of thy opinions besieged F 
lis book of ours, perchance, may please thee. Here arc 
igonist scarecrows set up. The Christian, the sceptic, 
esses out, in his own manner, his own arguments, and 
defends the legitimate offspring of his own brain, or the 
to of his own adoption. Here is no prizefighter's mock 
m an effigy. The contest is conducted, in courtesy we 
ut in earnest also. 



PREFACE. 

It is in such coiisiderations as these, that we find apology for 
adding another to the thousand Tolumes of which the prolific 
press of this book-loving age is daily delivered. Among these 
thousands, how few that imitate the impartiality of a court of 
justice, and give both sides a fipee hearing, ere judgment is 
recorded ! 

I am not over sanguine as to the ^fiect that this volume may 
produce, in disseminating the opinions which I myself feel to be 
tPic and useful. The time is past with me — ^the early age of 
enthusiasm — when I dreamed of thousands of converts, and 
imafiined that what seemed self-evident to me must therefore 
so also seem to all my fcllow-creainres. 

Robert Dale Owen. 



[Origcn Bacheler's Address to the Reader forms the lutroduc- 
tiou to the lirst Volume of this Discussion.] 



AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 

LETTER I. 

We now approach the discussion of the question which, to 
Christians and sc<?ptics both, is of incalculable importance — a 
[uestion in which tiieir highest conceivable interests are involved. 
nd upon which turn numerous otlicr questions. A subject so 
nomentous, and involving so many considerations, ought to be 
izamined with the greatest possible candour, and with the most 
ntense desire to arrive at a correct conclusion. 

But before commencing this discussion, I would make a few 
Kmarkfl in relation to some points contained in the last reply 
» me, upon the divine existence ; some of which, however, will 
lot be irrelevant to our newly commenced subject of discussion, 
lending, as they will, to show the necessity of revelation. 

Moral couroffe and mere " generosity,** are very different 
things. The former is the braving of opposition in the dischnr<ro 
id duty; the latter is the performing of a gratuitous act of ex- 
cellence which strict duty docs not require. These gratuitous 
■eto may be performed or dispensed with as the individual sees 
fit; but duty is not a gratuitous thing, it being absolutely re - 
fnured ; hence it can never be innocently omitted. And, shonhl 
» period hereafter arrive when, as in former times. Christians 
iladl be compelled to relinquish their religion or their lives, that 
ttme religion will again urge its claims, and hold its true dis- 
ciples firm and faithful unto death. But surely *tis no "jest" 
to denominate the slander, reviling, and abuse so profusely 
ItTished by sceptics on Christians, seme persecution, though less 
iian that before-mentioned — tlie misapplied inquisition case to 
lie contrary notwithstanding. 

My assertions respecting the superficial acquaintance of soutj 
'f the most noted infidel writers with the religious subjects 0:1 
»hich they wrote, are sustained by the best of all evidences — 
heir own confessions, and tlicir own writings. Now mark : — 
lume owned he never read the New Testament with attention. 
'aine, by his numerous misquotations of scripture, sliotccd the 
ftine in relation to himself. The memoirs and diary of Gibbon 
how that he never perused any able defence or judicious expo- 
'ition of Christianity. And Voltaire, with, all Yv\a ?Lem\x^ ^\A 



4 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLS. 

wit, betrays in his writings, not only his superficiality on reli- 
gious, but likewise on literary and scientific subjects. And were 
it not that multitudes are dazzled by wit, prejudiced by ridicule, 
and bewildered by sophistry, Christians would never take the 
trouble of refuting the productions of men of this description. 

I have no where said, that it would be proper for God to 
cause moral evil, or that moral evil thus produced would promote 
the divine glory. Waiving the consideration of ihcU point, as 
properly belonging to the Hopkinsian controversy, I have merely 
spoken of the permission of such evil, and the causation of suf- 
fering. Nor is it to be taken for granted, that God is " able," 
consistency with his infinite wisdom, ** to render his creatures 
perfectly good and happy,** hy preventing the one, or forhecering 
to cause the other. Neither is it a fair representation of his 
righteotis retribtUion, to speak thereof as of an unrighteous auto* 
da-fe. Nor yet is it any reason why we may not understand that 
a God exists, or that he requires of us the performance of duties^ 
merely because we cannot comprehend that being himself. 
And the very circumstance of the brevity of human life, should 
serve to stimulate us to the exertion, the immediate exertion, of 
all our powers, in ascertaining and obeying his requisitions. I 
fear my opponent has not yet thus exerted his ; for, had he so 
done, it is hardly supposable that he would have so little acquaint- 
ance with the Bible, as to attribute to that a long passage which 
it does not contain. 

A word or two touching the Christian autliors quoted by my 
opponent, respecting the existence of God, and the harmlessness 
of atheism. 

First, Chalmers. Him I woidd offset by that " most famous 
of all natural theologians, Paley," who, strange enough ! is one 
of the number quoted by my opponent to sustain his position, 
that *' reason leads not to a knowledge of God,** when that very 
man wrote a volume, to show how clearly reason does prove a 
God ! Nor docs the quotation from him adduced at all conflict 
with his sentiment in this respect. But especially would I 
offset, not only against Chalmers, but against Pascal and all 
other Christian writers who take this ground, the apostle Paul, 
who argues, Romans, chap. i. vcr. 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, that nature 
does teach a God, and that the lieathen are therefore without 
excuse for worshipping idols. As to the "erudite Amobius,** 
the quotation made from him merely shows that he considered God 
incomprehonsible ; and who does not so consider him ? Should 
it be urged, that we disagree among ourselves on this point, I 
answer, so do infidels. If a Watson is presented as combatting 
my position, I will introduce Paine to combat that of my oppo- 
nent, which he does, and tliat most severely ; and, whether a 
devout deist or not, he was undoubtedly a devoted worshipper of 
a certain divinity formerly in hij^h repute among tlie heathen. 
But the harmlessness of atheism ! Had Bacon lived in the days 
of the former French revolution, he never would have penned 



AUTflSNTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 5 

such a paragraph as appears in the last Enquirer. The late 
Robert Hall, after haying witnessed that event, expresses himself 
thus : " As the heathens fabled that Minerra issued full armed 
from the head of Jupiter ; so, no sooner were the speculations 
of atheistic^ philosophy matured, than they gave birth to a 
ferocity which conrerted the most polished people in Europe into 
a horde of assassins ; tho seat of voluptuous refinement, of plea- 
sure, and of arts, into a theatre of blood. — Settle it therefore in 
your minds, as a maxim never to be effaced or forgotten, that 
atheism is an inhuman, bloody, ferocious system, equally hostile 
to every restraint, and to every virtuous affection ; that, leaving 
nothing above us to excite awe, nor around us to awaken tender- 
ness, it wages war with heaven and with earth : its first object is, 
to dethrone God ; its next, to destroy man." 

The aim of all the leading champions of infidelity is, to rob 
mankind of the benefits derived from the Christian religion, and 
throw them back into a state of gross and brutal sensuality. It 
had been the constant boast of infidels, that their system, more 
liberal and generous than Christianity, needed but to be tried, to 
produce an immense accession to human happiness. God per- 
mitted the trial to be made. In one country, and that the centre 
of Christendom, revelation underwent a total eclipse, while 
atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fear- 
ful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended 
every age, rank, and sect in indiscriminate proscription and mas- 
sacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre. I might, if 
necessary, adduce hosts of deistical and heatfien authors who 
denounce atheism as a pernicious sentiment. With Chalmers, 
I admit, that " even in the desolate region of atheism," there 
would be patches of moral verdure ; some " integrity, patriotism, 
compassion, natural affection, and justice;" but with him too 
I have no doubt, that ** society would suffer most painfully in its 
temporal interests by such an event" as tho prevalence of 
atheism ; for nothing, I think, can be more obvious, than that 
the disbelief in a God, and consequently of accountability to 
him, must have a most demoralizing influence on the mass of 
mankind, whatever might be its effect on the philosophical few. 
And 'tis this obvious truth that has induced the wise in all age-;, 
who have even been destitute of the light of revelation, to incul- 
cate a belief in superior powers, and in moral accountability. 
Josephus remarks that the Sadducees, whose tenets wore, the 
denial of a moral government and a future state, were distin- 
goished from the other Jewish sects b^ their ferocity, and that 
they were eminent for their inhumanity in their judicial capacity. 
And, again to ^uote Robert Hall : *' It was late before the atheism 
of Epionms gamed footing at Rome ; but its prevalence was soon 
followed by such scenes of proscription, confiscation, and blood, 
as were then unparalleled in the history of the world ; from whicli 
the republic being never able to recover itself, after many un- 
sucoMifal struggles, exchanged liberty for repose, by subniissio 



6 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

to absolute power.** Persius and the other heathen poets, made 
use of the sentiment of the non-immortality of the soul, as an 
encouragement to give way to whatever lust prompted. " In- 
dulge your inclination,** says Persius, "let us enjoy pleasures; 
this span of life that we enjoy is ours ; you will soon become 
ashes, a shade, and a fable.** I trust that the presentation of 
the foregoing view of atheism, will acquit me of having incurred 
the compliment inflicted on me by my opponent touching the 
Heedlessness of religious belief. 

The proposition which I would first advance as a proper com- 
mencement of our present discussion is, that revelation is neces' 
sary. And one would suppose that enough had been presented 
in the preceding remarks, to establish this proposition. Never- 
theless, I will give some further evidence on this point. Let me 
not, however, be misunderstood. I do not say that revelation is 
indispensable to a belief in God. I do not say that nature does 
not furnish evidences of his existence, or that those destitute of 
revelation need be ignorant thereof, or even ignorant of the duties 
which, under their circumstances, are required of them ; but that 
they are so. 

In support of the latter idea, we have the testimony of the 
greatest heathen philosophers, even in relation to themselves, 
together with the histories of ancient heathen nations, and the 
condition of modem heathen ones, of which we are ourselves, 
witnesses. Varro reckons up two hundred and eighty-eight 
opinions of philosophers, as to what constitutes the chief good. 
Alany of those philosophers advocated suicide, and some of them 
committed it. Darkness brooded o*er their views of a future 
state ; their ideas of God and of moral duties were unsettled and 
various ; and while some real virtues were by them discarded as 
ignoble and debasing, absolute vices were placed on their list of 
excellencies. So much for the wisest of the heathen. But when 
we descend to the mass, either ancient or modem, and witness 
their adoration of gold, silver, wood, stone, reptiles, &c., and see 
them offering their children to Moloch, and themselves to Jugger- 
naut, and even literally devouring one another like beasts of prey ; 
what reason have we to thank God, that our lot is cast in a land 
of Bibles ! — But we need not search the records of antiquity, or 
visit foreign climes, to prove the necessity of revelation. Tsjce a 
case in our very midst — that of sceptics. Discarding the Bible, 
and professing to follow what they call the unerring light of 
nature, how widely do they differ in relation to the most obvious 
and important truths. On the great question of all, the existence 
of God, they are strangely at odds, one believing therein, another 
disbelieving, another ** suspending judgment,** &c., &c., &c. 
One would suppose that sceptics, so far from arguing that reve- 
lation is unnecessary, would contend for the necessity of more 
than has already been given. Let this suffice for the opening of 
our new discussion. 

Origen Bacheleb. 




ArTHESTICITV o 



TO OEIGEN BACHELEH. 



June 18, 1831. 
In all discusalDns some one must hare Ihc last wotd, and it 
a quite na fair lliat you akonld haTe it as I ; nay, fairer; you 
having (in my view of IIe snbjecl) a very hopeless case to make 
onl. I Eball therefore trust (liu iirgiiinenl regnrdiog the existence 
ot « God to the justice and sagacity of our readers, without any 
aid feom a rejcFindcr -whicli ivould clog this second part of our 
discussion with argumenlB appertaining exclusively to the Srst." 

Tkare ia ono nrgumanl, however, wliich Ijclonga equally to the 
diacufsioQ on which we are eiiteiing, b3 lo that ^vhicli we havH 
just closed - I mean Iho moral uifiuem e of religion on manltind. 
Its importance, too, entitles It to furllier consideration ; particu- 
larly as I observe that jou dxaclaim the liberality of Hentimcnf 
lor which your silence had inconsiderately induced me to give 
you credit. 

Hoi revealed religion a moral infiuenee on tnaniindf This is 
the question. Let us carefully examine il 

" It is the fashion of those who patronize an abuse," says some 
niter vhosa Jiame lias escapod me, " to oscritic to it all the 
good Trhich exists in spite of it." Deeply does it concern us tn 
eiamiue whether this has not been the case with regard to religion. 

We find individuals raligioua aiid amiable. If I had ovar been 
daposed to doubt this, the rt'collectioii of ono who watched orer 
mc in jnfnncy and guided me in youth, would sutSce !o remove 
my seepticiBin. My own mother, (whose death I learn by the 
list arrivals torn Europe) was a Christian of slriclest sect and 
most tmnsoienlious practice : ancl (I speak from the faithfulness 
of memory, not from a parUal impulse springing out of aoirow 
liic the recent loss of a loved parent) she was the kindest and 
most offectiaiiatB of mothers. But, shall I outrage her memory 
by the supposition, that in her creed was the ouly source of her 
domestic virlue? that her goodness sprung, not Irom her heart, 
but from ber theology P that she cared for h<v children, cherished 
her htisband, and mllitlcd every social duty, because the fear of 
hell was before Iter eyes 7 

Beautifully has the unworthy sentiment bean aiposed by an 
elmuent writer ; 



Mo-, il Id myKir. W give qhapl 



ir" ilD, you hold Eadras to b« iDgufDdentl; coiiDUical. 1 uilgbt fu 
"lifc limilat leilB enouili from which lo choose: such na Km 
' ^i.,nr. Mi Jeremiah, ^np. uLili., vcr. 11^; Job, ch^p, xL, ver. 7, 
' 'iiiln, chBp. vUl, ver. 16, 17 ; and B host •>! olliue. 



I 



I 



8 ATJTHBNTICITT OF THE BIBLE. 

" Let us not mistake causes I Let UB not misconcdfe 
effects ! Let us not so wrong the iiairt of man, ns when w« i 
the luibaaed follonet of Mohummed invoking Allali, whita 
Epteada tha carpet for tlie veary (laTellei, and shaies with Ii 
his broad — let us not, I say, so wrong tie human heart, K 
believe, that but for ths wiilten law of his KorFin he woijd d 
his door ngaiust the houseless, the friendless, and the hungry: 
that when ho opens it, he obeys not n law noblei and pnrer It 
that cried by his priest from the minaret — even that wt'*" 

entwined and inoorporated with his being, and which tt 

him to pity in others the want which he feels within hinueffi" 

So speaks (he gi^nerous heart. So vould every heait spe 
if the lips were not (anght to repeat that we are miseia 
Binsers, uulil all noble setf-rcspect sinks under the 
repetition. 

I put it to yourself, sir, la there nothing of virtao □ 
ness within you that would survive your spiritual craed? ' 
you indeed endorse Bobert Hall's opinion, that where tiun 
no religious belief there is " nothlog around us (o awaken I 



alone that deters you from joining the drunken rqTel. that 
you from the brothel, that bids you avoid the eambling u 
Do you abstain (iom stealing, merely inasmui^ as there 
hell ? 01 from mnTder, only beeaius a Ood fotbids it? 



Iip9 of his dearest friend, but would shrink in involuntuy i 
pidoQ from Ihis catechetical virtue ? For myself, I will tri 
my fortune and my life in the hands of him whose prinuple* » 
alTeeliona I feel to be based oa a generous and cultivated heart i 
will not trust a, aixpenco of my property or a bail of my he 
to the man who has no other restraint but an enjoined decalognl 
Human cioods may say what Ihey please ; human feelinp J 
stronger than creeds. Those who have witnessed the MOi 
representation o( Indian cbaraoler by the talented Forrest, n 
recollect the spontaneous burst of applause with lAieli ( 
audience ever greets Metamora's noble reply, tvhen tempted 
imminent danger, to falsehood: " Mttamoro cinsrrr lief t 
heart, oven of the dullest, responds lo Ihe sentiment, and : 

• FranuM Wright'i Loctutes, p. 114. 

t Lot me not be rnidetiiood tn m-juo, thst h deolnnu Ii net, iti I 




AUTHENTIC IT r or THE BlIiLE. 9 

■tinctivelrhonouia the souice from wlmnce it springs. How Ion-, 
how{;coy?lliiig,c«mpnred to this. Is the samucbfaunlediestrBint 
of onhodoxy ! How would the generous entliusiKam of the 
audience have sunk, almost to contempt, h«d the child of the 
forest, fiesh li*om eoidb miGsionary seimon, hare e:cpie^sed II^ 
••Mdamora uiUlteUthelTUIh. for fear of hell fire!" 

But far am I from Testing the ciuie here ; fariLDi I liom con- 
tenting mjaslf with the half-way argument, that the heart ia a 
nobler and firmer basis of morality tiian the creed, and that the 
tprings of virtue in man lie deEpor than Ma belief. Tliis is but 
(rifling with the qnestion. If reTealed taligion were useless unly, 
its delusions miglt pnsi unchallenged by me. If its dreams were 
but related like other drcaitia, to kindle an innocuous, if an idle, 
imagination, it is not I, who would trouble myaelf about their 
relulatioii. Bat Bupemalurnl imugiuatious hare ever been, and 
now aiD, for wor^e than supcrfiuous — mischievous, frightfully 
muchierous. tluearthly dreams have been related in the thun- 
dering voice, and their reception euforced by the iton hand of 
tjnnny. Religion's bitter jnrrioga have brooffht, not peace on 
unit out n sword. Its scbiBms liavs drenched the world with 
iBRMent blood, aitd raised to (Lc honour of its God thousands of 
bnnun liecatombs. 

Melancholy and ungrateful is the task, to utter truths like 
theee; and this the rather, becmise the milder religitsi of our 
own limes often loaves to its professor yiHuea and cbatLtieu, 
«Mcb, beeaube it fails to annihilate them, it ohlnins the ercdit 
uf producing. Painful is it to me, rudely to touch one vens- 
t4t«d opinion, or startle one honest prejudice. But venerated 
upinions naist be touched, and prejudices mtat he startled, ere 
tnaskind can be induced, freely to " prove ail things and hold 
bsA that which is good." 

I speak here of revealed reSpion t that is, of a teUtf in lujm-- 
natural beings, oae or moiiy, to mhom tcorahip and cbedienca it 
Tendared; and not of ethical codes or moral precepts. I sj>eak of 
cdigion, diatinct from morality. And I pray your atlenlicn, sir, 
and oni readers', to a condensed view of a few appalling fiicts, in 
iUmtialioa of religion's moral influence.* 

I speak not of other religions than our own, because I am, io 
a measore, ooBcquaictcd with thu details of Iheii history. I 
know not how many thousands have perished under the wheels 
i>f the idol Juggernaut, nor how many millions were put to the 
Bword to establish the religion of Islam. But, thanks to theo- 
lo^cal le^arch, we do know something positive and definite re- 
^dlQE the histery of our own church. 

le^iltJi Bl 



s-se,; 


.«™lfc 




eoB t 
■.hhi 


017 tlirough Mvcnlei 


are dnwii 


jmiti. 


And Whml ;l1i 






uldH 


nk Uuil CHduHly'i 


^'^uld 


k«i\. 


l#cnn tl.t 




wUIogn 


of™ 


ii-a, murden, InlrilUM. peUM 


tloni, 


■Dd rtol.-,« 




«! U»t 




wdcd tolo tU fl.? 


oUime., wUhtml, 



10 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

Yet even here I am compelled by the limits of this discnssiflo, 
to curtail my illustrations. I shall not, therefore, run into as 
enumeration of the thousand and one forms of folly which dero- 
tion has assumed ; I shall not allude to the countless individual 
dissensions and national jealousies to which it has given birth; 
I shall not recall the inhuman tortures which ecclesiastical in- 
genuity collected within the inquisitorial walls, nor the atrodoiis 
cunning with which the holy tribunal nourished human vipers to 
violate the privacy of families and outrage the confidence of 
friendship : I pass over all this, and shall speak of one item 
alone, the actttal loss of life in religious persecutions and eccle- 
siastical wars. What the frightful total might be, may be faintly 
imagined by glancing at a few items. 

Every one has heard of the famous dispute regarding the pre- 
sence of Christ's body in the eucharist ; but we are cxceediitgW 
apt to forget, that this transubstantiation controvers}', which 
raged at intervals Jiroughout Christendom for centuries, cost, 
according to the lo «vest computation, the lives of three htmdrtd 
thotcsand human beiiigs. 

In like manner the quarrel of the econoclasts and econoclaiertt 
or in other words, the image-worship controversy (which by the 
way, produced a bloody civil war in the islands of ^e Archi- 
pelago, under Leo lY. ; and was the cause, under the Sonum 
pontiffs Gregory I. and II., that the Italian provinces were torn 
from the Grecian empire,) cost, as ecclesiastical historians calcu- 
late, ^fty thousand lives. 

Theodora, widow of .Theophilus, was induced (it is said by her 
confessor,) to institute in the third year of her regency, a furious 
persecution against the sect of the Maiiicheans : and of these 
there are estimated thus to have fallen in Greece, about the year 
8^15, upwards of one hundred thousand persons. 

The famous schism which preceded the burning of John Husi 
and Jerome of Prague, and the subsequent war of the Hussites, 
are estimated to have cost one hundred and fifty thousand 
lives. 

The lowest computation I have ever seen places the numbir of 
lives sacrificed by the holy inquisition tliroughout Europe, from 
the time of its first establishment by Innocent III., in NarLoiinu 
Gaul, at two hundred thousand souls. 

The religious war of Japan, caused by the Jesuits in the SfVin- 
tecnth century, cost, so history inform us, /row t/irce to four hun- 
dred thousand lives. 

Yet it is atheism, not revelation— so Robert Hall tells us <n 
authority which we shall examine by and bye— that is " an in- 
human, bloody, and ferocious system !'* 

But even these frightful massacres sink into insignifican'e 
befoic others still more appalling. What the loss of lives was 
during the " world's debate," as Gibbon calls the Crusades, it 
is impossible to estimate. There were seven distinct expedi- 
tions. When the first of these was announced, six mill ions of 



ADTllEKItCITV OF THE BIBLE. 1 1 

' liTFpiDi wanioia are said to Lave assumed Uis red crosa : yet 
doubtless a large proportjoa of these never rcai:hcd the Huly 
Luid, and man; Tetuined in safely. Bernard, ^t'hose enlliu- 
TOtttic eloqueneo chiefly aroused Europe to the aecoiid erusitde, 
bouta, that throughout the vhulii continent, uLen. the cspedi- 
tion tnsrcbed forlh, " isarcciy one man was left for the conaalation 
i/u^'en vjidou»." We are doubtless far below tlia truth, then, 
in assnming the loss of life during these religious nars at ifrt 

Bui one ^et bloodier record remains ! Las Cnsas, btshup nf 
Ciuapa, eBlunates, in his work on the Destruction of the Indians, 
(the materials for which he collected diirijig a residence of fifty 
yean in America,} (hat twelve miluliss of the unoffending 
abDriginca were immolited to the Christian religion throughout 
this Woateja Conllnent ! ! ! I check my pen. EIGHTEEN 
MILLIONS of homait beings sacrificed in religious contention ! 
And how little, etcn by anch a frightliil total, da we espress the 
tuOering experienced 1 the feara and anxieties of those who 
caeapodi ttie menial agony of the surrlvors; the millinns of 
widows — (he tens of millions of orphans — who lived on, to drink, 
perhaps, even a bitterer cup than bis who perished at once by the 
Bword or at Iho slake ! I can yet recollect the burning feeling of 
iadipiation, (more natural perhaps than rational,) with which, as 
a child, t perused in Richardson's History of the Discovery of 
Aoietica, the deeds ofCortcz, of Ihehloodier Pizarro,Hnd of theu' 
priestly associates and abettors; and how the conviction was 
stamped on my mind, in cliaractera indelible, tliat the tree 
wheoee fruit so poiaonoua sprung, was the deadliest curse that 
erer afflicted the human race ! * 

And this is the tree whoso Ctuitis declared to be "peace on 
earth and good-will (o man I" Peace 1 when it liaa kindled 
more of war, and abetted more of maasaore, than all other 
tourcea put together. Good-will! when its feuds have rem'- 
irated even to the domeatic hearth, severed the closest friend- 

tk fidlowlDff cbHraatorlttic extract from n Icltrrr ivrlttcn i>y a rerercDd 
Spul^ felher to hifliuperior in Spain, and quthttLl in Zrrisg's " History of 
Ke» Tort" " Can any bob have Ihe presumpdon ID Bay Uiese lavage pBgBDl 
kan jiridsd noy thing moro than an iiicunBiJcrahlt iccompenle to their 
batcaBton; in vnTTcnatrins Id Uiuai alittlti pitiful imt^t of This dirty Enb' 
tflDBf7 planet, in «xcijaDg4 for a glorioua inbcrltaacE: In LIlb klDgdom at 

Wit be abJMlifllODijcilculolion irjariliBE tho ladianB, that itwaaai^- 
nn, Dot RllgtoD. that omilumed the empire of Monlciuiui, anil buried llio 
poor natttes in gold mines, thero to laboLir and to die. I repl]f that thcio 
opeditiane and these oppreisliiaB, whenceBOeser originatinr, received, on 
aitoeeaiieDi. the eeclesiaeticai iBncUaii; that the Bpanbh aetllennerv 
DBiforsiily accompanied and encouraged in this bJoody work hy prlestB ; and 
that Ihc whole nllgioui infiuenitE of Spain wia exerted to hattcn the 
cllutropbe nhich dtprired [welvo mllUoae of innacent indiTiduala of 
ceti ud iife, to add to the glory eft laerciful Gcd ! 



12 AUTUEKTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

bhips, and split up the 'whole human race into discordant sedi 
and schisms, hateful and hating one another.* 

It matters not to tell me what supernatural belief and religiooi 
restraint ought to have done ; I show you what they have done; 
and that they found precedent enough in the Pentateuch to justify 
their doing. When massacres more bloody than these shall m 
proved to have been committed by heathen nations, it inll be 
time enough to thank God that we are not as other men are, and 
" that our lot is cast in a land of Bibles." 

Space permits me not, till next week, to advert to your aipi- 
ment regarding the immoral influence of scepticism, drawn firom 
the French Revolution ; that bug-a-boo, which is set up in Eng- 
land to frighten republicans, and in America to terrify free inquiren 
after truth. 

BoBERT Dale Owek. 



ri^*^*^^.*^^#i*>*- 



TO EGBERT DALE OWEN. 

LETTER II. 

New-York, June 25, 1&31. 
.Sir, 

A sceptic can very itell dispense with having the last word. 
][ his system is true, 'tis of very little consequence to prove it: 
'twill be just as well hereafter for those who now reject it, as for 
those who receive it. Not so with the Bible. If thatiaiiue, "he 
that believeth not shall be damned." Hence there is great pro- 
priety in the exercise of the deepest solicitude on the part of tbf 
adherents of that, to bring men to its belief; — which by the way, 
is not a belief in the books of *' Esdras," or any otliiT books d 
the Apocrypha. The Bible, sir, is the Old and New TestameniB» 
and not the Apocrypha. That the Apocrjrpha is sometimes boun^ 
up within the same lids with the Bible, is no more an evidence 
that it is a part of the Bible, than that the family registers in* 
scrted in some Bibles are a part of the same. It is ver^' importas) 
that this should be remembered, seeing we are discussing thi 
question of the aut/ienticily of the Bible. Surely I am not to b< 
understood as pledged to defend the Apocrypha in this discussion 
nnd this alone is suflicient to show, that that collection of writing 
is no part of the Bible. 

It is quite amusing to observe the tortuous course of the abettor 
of error, and the facility with which they adopt and discard con 

* I speak here of religion m by law or by public opinion established, a» 
ly salaried prieatt and tcritten creeds txutained. lleligrion, wht-n jtutfeie 
(|uiotly to spring up or to die auay at the dictate of unbiased conscioiK 
n lone— when undentood to be a private not a public concern — is ccmi>an 
tivcly harmless. 



V Jl' THE BIBLK. 13 

htfictory proposiLiuiu to serve Uieir turn. In his last letter but 
me, my opponent, to defend scepticism IJDni llie objection so1nl^- 
Umes urged against it, that it is af a, demoralizing tendency, took 
dke ground, thai the " light within" exists independent of oU 
ureedJ, and in spite of all creeds, exerting on influence which no 
failh, nor any leant of faith, can either create or deatrny. Who 
theo would have imagiaed, that the principal part of hia last letter 
iKiuId be devoted to the attempt to ^ow, that religious belief hitS 
been the cause of incalculable evil 7 

Bat utmitling all be says to be true ; admitting tliat Eighteen 
millionB of human beings have been sacrificed in contentions 
denaminaled religious ; it dees not hence follow that religion 
itielf has been the cause. To see what is to be attributed to 
religion, we are to examine lis injunctions, not the conduct of its 
prafessoTB. Suppose a member of a Temperance Society were 
to get intoxicated with ardent spirits, how imfair would tt be to 
allribulB tis intoxication to the Temperance Institution, which 
ntleily prohibits the use thereof! So of Christianity. How unfair 
to atlributf the wars and crusades of Christendotn to that religion, 
when its whole tenor, both in letter and spirit, is directly the 
reverse '. Christianity says. Resist not evil ; overcome evil with 
good ; bless (hem that curse you ; pray fur Ihem that despitefully 
use JDU, and pptaeoute you. "lis onlair then, I say, to attribute 
the aboBes which have obtained in Christendom, to this religion. 
Not are those abuses atlribulable to the Pentateuch. The com- 
mand of God to exterminate certain nations by hiio designated, 
Tonid be no license even to the Israelites, much Jess to others, to 
aterminate olher nations. Yet, after all, what ai^ tlic Crusades, 
iibat are all the religious wars Crom the time of Conslantine to 
the present, compared with what would have been, bad scepli- 
cum all this time borne away t The ten short years she did bear 
nray in one nation, she presented the world with such a scene of 
mnageand abomination as was before unknown and uniniagined. 
Aji eye witness of that great tragedy, and an actor in some c' its 
parts, (Grcgoiie,) thus describes it. " MultipUed cases of suicide, 
pDsons crowded with innocent persons, permanent guillotines, 
pciiurie* of all classes, parental authority set at nought, de- 
' 1 Li hccy encouraged by an allowance to those called unmarried 
':l^■[s, nearly six thousand divorces within the single city of 
:^, within a little more than two years after the law author- 
; them : in a word, whatever is most obscene in vice, and 
lilfu! in ferocity." Their thirst for blood not satiated by the 
d-rjtruction of the objects of their hate, they gorged themselves 
with the blood of one another. But the reign of the sangtiinai'y 
monBtcr was necessarily short, devouring as she did herself; and 
so argument was requisite to bring Ibe atheistic nation to iheir 
KLMea, and make tbem realize that the revelation which they had 
rejected waa necessary, not only for the safety of tlieir liaula, but 
oflheit bodies. And if in ten years, and in one nation, scepti- 
cism aoGumptished so fearful u ttoik, what wuuld A^ fuA \u,'»i 



J 



r 



14 ACTHESTlcmr OP THB BIBLE. 

done, lind ahe, mElead of Chnstiaiiity, been asceadanl dniiit 
tha last eighlean hundred yeais t WliJ, aif, lie hnmBn rt" 
would long ere Uiis baie become extinct, and nought but (he Its 
of wild beasts, less feiDciaus, would be seen in ptitcei ii< 
thronged by men, and echoing with (he hum uid bustJe ol 
induGtry. 1 admit, that men are bad euoogb, with ail fiie in- 
Irainta of religion ; aaifar fhia mtt/ Teuton would 1 object to Uu! 
nmoval of those lestrainta. In iho words of Frankliit to Piio' 
I would say : " If men ore bo bad leitA religion, whnC would tlu} 
be leil/uiut it ?" Eteti Meider, a professed deist, uid ■ lealou 
advocate of the French KevoluUon, speaking of thnt sTenl, j»j!. 
" Wn baie, in proscribing supereUtioa, destroyed ail reli^mf 
sentiment ; but this is not tha way to regenerate the vrald." 
What IhDngh there is here and there a philosopher, oni of i 
thousand, who, Toid of rehgious restraint, would not ron to the 
exceaaes of the multitude f What though a Socratea would <miy 
barter hia wife's chastity for gain, and a Home eiguse only Mcrri 
adultery I It should not be forgollen, that mankind in nneni 
are not philosophers, and that they nouJd lliciefiire da nmcA wtri 
even Ihan ihii, were llie restrainls of religion removed. WWl 
(hough the good man needs not the fear of hell, dot eien tin 
penaltiei d/ 2au, to drive him to hie duty ; is this a leasoo wtf 
the retributions of eternity and Iha retributions of the lav should 
not be presented (o khe consideration of bad men ? Sir, this luu 

and cry a^inst the resttitimng terroTS of telisiun, miebt Jnitu 

well be raised against (bo restrainls of law; and, to ha comb- 
tent, Iboso who raise it in the one case should do it in the otho' 
Let (hem do it, and people will ihen begin to see wtuther tliu 
disorganizing principle is lending. 

Id my introductory letter, I had barely room to intiodocfl id i 
very brief manner the first of a series of arguinents which 1 in- 
tend lo adduce in the courae of this discussiuu, tix., that t ~ ' ' 
tioD is necessary. 1 will now somewhat expand, in i 
establishing (his position. Indeed, (he whole Iwaiing a( M 
present letter thus far, has tended directly to (his piuiil. 
horrors of infidelity at the close of the last century, >ie a dM 
Btration of theneeesaily of revelation which wilt Dot soon be N 
gotten. But I will now present some additional » 
in continuance of what I presented in mj last. 

I argue the necessity ot' revelation, ttien, from, the state otlM I 
pagan world, both antient and modem. Among the Bi)Hn~ 
tht very maslen of the world, men were made to fi^t wiui <ri 
beasts, and to slaughter one another, foi the cntenainmanl 
the public. In this manner, twenty thousand lives hate ll 
SBcrilicod in a month I Staves were slaughtered for ai 
or thrown into fish ponds as food for lampreys I 
heathen nations, parents were perouited to dcstroj ii 

embryo, or to strangle, or drown, or expose them, vn 

Mokly or deformed; yea, Ihey were even ei^jained tboXO A 
.. .!■ .i,„i. — ^n distinguished legislators and «i - - - - 




OS TBB BIBLB. 15 

am et ridding the commimity of buttheiuome membeia '. 
a yniOica canlinues to IbU day, even amuiig Uie refined and 
fhtvud Hinduus and Clunew! Humaji sacrifices fonueily 
luled throughout the heathen wojid; and they alill preTall 
MDy healhen countriaa. Eiaa Greece and Home tad le- 
rse thereto on great occasions. The Bame practice existed 
mg the Egyptians, the Syriiuu, the Pcrsianii, the Fhenicians, 
the Tariona nations of the Kail, tOi>elher with the SuytliiaBfl, 
Thraciajis, the Gaula, and the Geinians; and ancient Britaia 
er ber Druids was likcwiac stained with the same bloody 
minslion. In harbariau Ashanux, and other cunntries of 
aiem Africa, their sitars annually reck with the bliiod of 
laanda ; and in India, of tens of thousands. Ajid America, 
own America, had formerly her Monteiama, offering np hi* 
lly thousand human victimn annually to the sun ! A aimilax 
ilice has Ukcwisa been found to pruvail throughout the vast 
i&c. Nor was their religion leu impure than sanguinary. 
■r rites uid mysteries were polluted with all manner of 
lenities ; and the imaginary practices of their goda were cited 
Lnctionand eaactifythe same. Idolntry every where abounded, 
the moat ridienlaus and demoraliztng legends obtained for 
He truths ; and those legends had, as inight he cipccted, their 
and legitimate effect. Paul's description of then: is true to 
letter, as confirmed by their own poets and histurians. They 
cune vain in tlteir imaginadoiia ; they cbuiged Ike glory of 
incormplible God into an imaga made like to corruptible 
. and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things; 

dishonoured their own bodies between Ihemscltes ; even 
■ women did change ths natural use into that which is against 
re ; and likewise also the men, learing (ho natural use of tbe 
lan, burned in their lust one towards another. And even as 
Jid not like to retain God in their knoaiedge, God gave them 
to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not eon- 
ent, being tilled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wicked. 
, covecouanesa, mahcionsness ; full of envy, murder, debate, 
it, mallgnily ; whisperers, backbitera, haters of God, deapite- 
pioud. boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to 
ntn, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natu- 
iTection, implacable, unmerciful." 

ich, eii, was the state of the heathen world, when the sun of 
eoutness arose, to dispel their spiritual darkness, and pour 

them the glorious beams of the gospel day. Philosophy, 
CO, and the arts, carried to the highest degree of improve- 
, had done what they could for mankind, and thia was (he 
t. The precepts of philosophy, being of human orimn. 
t»d authority to secure obedience, us must always be 
with the maxims of mere human wisdom, (a most important 
ti, by the way. for the necessity of revelation ;) and eon 
oae very preceiila themselves were faulty, conlaiiiing fal 
ipte«, and sanetioning vicious pracliecB. Noliwii. ■'"" 



rtant ^^^B 



I 



16 A.UTBEHTICITV OP TBB BIBLE. 

couJd effect the necessary refonn, bnt a system at leligion t 
good in itself, and of divine Buthority. Such a, system i 
CliristianEty. At her appearance, tlteae hideous allomiiutiaiic 
Hlantly ceoaed ; and among her primilive converts from heslb 
ism, scarcely a aingle vice remained. And such is its effcc 
this day, wherever embraced and obeyed in spirit and intn 
This is the religion that is destined to stop the wheels of Jug 
naut, and extinguish the blazing pyre, and civilize and bless' 
barbarian and Che sava^. "Tis the vorld'e only hope. In * 
have they looked lo philosophy, in vsin to their own inienlis 
Tbeii Socialeses and theii Platos bave been forced to sclent 
ledge their ignorance and Ihsir blindness, and their own nteil 
divine teacher. Not have mankind more to expect from infl 
lity. What has lAs ever done for them ? What idolatrous mil 
has she reformedP What impure and sanffuiitary rites bui 
abolished t What vice has she eradicated J What (uffering I 
she alleviated 7 " Into what obscure recesses 
That dungeons, liave bet pbilanlhropiHta penetrated, 
the fetters and relieve the sorrows of the helpless captive 1 
barbarous tribes have her apostles visited, vhat distant on 
have they explored, encompassed with cold, nskednesa, ai»1 1 
to diffuse the principles of virtue, and the blessings of ciri 
lion ?" No, sir, Christianity must reform the world, or It 
not berefonned at all. Philosophy and infidelity there aresni 
in the heathen lands already, God knoweth; and these do 
reform them. Chriatianity oIbiib will do the work ; and of _ 
even a Rousseau felt convinced when he said, " Philosojdiy on 
nothing good which religion, doea not do still better ; and lelip 
does many good Ibings which philosophy cannot effect at ■ 
And, sir, were it not for this same religion, those who n<rw •! 
to consider it mmecessary, wotdd themselves be groping in bMl 
darkness. Rouesoau admits, that the modem philosi^ber dec 
hia better notions on many aubjecta from the scriptures, firomai 
education, and from bring in a Chiistian coonlry, where, in ■ 
of himself, he imbibes some portion of that religious knawlc 
which the Bcripturea have every where diffitsed. To heef ■ 
thus indebted (o revelation declare that it is unnecessary, rami 
one of the wiseacre, who thought tlio sun unnecessary, b«e« 
it shines only in the day-time. 

Obigen Bachiui 



TO ORIGEN BACHELER. 



July 2, 18JI 
When you snail have proved, not that a belief in revelM 

. . ._. ._ -^n^'g welfare, hut that it is even o ~' 



r 



ACTHENTIC1TV OP THE BIBLE. 17 

biunftn bappinees and virtue, then it will be lime enough to 
tipte, tliat tlie sceptic need give himself no (ranble to dii' 
teminate Ma opinions. My poBition is, that supernatural beliefs 
make men soinelimes vicious and alinost always unh^ipy. I 
huve said indeed — and most strongly do I feel the faimesa of 
the aasertion — Ihat no failh, however tleoreticaJly rovoUing, 
can dry up the springs of virtue "in the belter portion of our 
nicies." There are spirits so noble, minds so bsautiful, that 
(heir pure and happy influence aeatralizes even the poison of 
■uperatition. Like Uie (aateliil bee, they are attracted by the 
Sowers only that are scattered over the pages of (he Christian's 
holy book, and they pass by the ni^tdiade and the hemlock. 
Vben the Nazaiene reformer bids us, " .ludge not, that we 
be not judged ;" when he eihoria us to " do unto others as we 
would others should do unto us ;" when be rebukes tho haughty 
Pharisee, and pleads the cause of the poor ; when he arushea 
not the bruised reed, stopping (be mouths and touching the 
GDUBciences of (he self-righteous accuseia, by (he memorable 
reproofs "He that is without blame among ye, !et Mm cast the 
first stone at her" — when words of gentleness and deeds of 
mercy like these are recorded — Ihe good and the gentle admij^, 
approve the record. And they pass by the bloody precepts and 
di^uaciDg natrativcB they find recorded in the sacred pages, as 
4 bee, the poiBon shrub ttiat grows up in h« palJi, 

Were such spirits only in Ihe world, little were the harm that 
lOperstitiDn'a self could do ! But there ore others (alas ! too 
man;,) who cull the poison berries, and give them forth through- 
out the earth, realizing here (he hell iJiey have fabled here- 
after. In the Bible, the tyrant seeks and Suds his defence, the 
inquisitor bis credentials, the conijneror his permit, and. (he 
(lave-Jiolder bis warmnt. True, the amiable moralist may 
there find his precept, and the good man his rule of life ; bat 
the texts fumisheii tn despots are not the lei» mischievous, not 
the less demorahziug, on Uiat account. 

¥ou (ell me that the religious murders of wMcb I have spoken 
are not authorized by the Bible. Let us see. 

The IsraeliteB (so reads the storv) were ihe chosen people of 
God, rescued from bondage by him, guided hy Ma arm, in- 
structed from his mouUi. Their leaders held communion, and 
received commands from the deity himself. How were they 
bidden to act t Read, with a quiet pulse if you can. Numbers, 
chap, xxxi., vcT. 1 to 16. Where, in all Ihe records of heathen 
barbarity, is there aught to match (his ? A nation annihilated < 
Imagine, if your very fancy shrink not from the task, the drama 
of death. Imagine the Hebrew soldiers entering, (a( tho com- 
mand of a God of mercvl) one of these ill-fated cities. They 
invade every house, and wherever a man la found they slay 
him without mercy, (ver. 7.) They pause not at the voice of 
tiatuTe. The heart-rcuding prayers of the poor women and. 
nBiighted cliildren fall uiihecded on their eaia. T\ie biOk. we 



18 AUTilENTICITV Ot THE BIBLE. 

Ftifled in their beds. The giey haiis of age go dawn, in Uim^ 
to [heir gnve. Ece evening, every bouse is a bomie of mDiddj. 
evei7 threahhold is died in goie. Before tlte sun sinks on tU 
devoted city, tvery v>ifii among ita tkouiands ii a tBidovt, andaat 
CiiM an orphan I The oeit moniing breaks on a pile ofBmoklq 

" Evett la the Lord commuiiled Mosea 1" 

But tlbe calastropho of tlie sacred drama i , 
voiy aoldiera shrunk from ministering to theii God's thirtt aElK 
blood I They took captive the women and ciiildren. 

The prophet of the Lord was viroth with the office™ of 
host. Their half-mercy ejcited his anger, and roused th* 
diapleasuie of an all-good cTHBtor. " Have ye saved the nc ^ 
■live?" he aaid. (My pen Alters as I bunscribe,) "KiUe 
vromBD ! kill every boy, eren the auckLing at the breaat '■ 1 
the women^cliildren for yourselves 1" 

And he was obeyed! Mighty triamph of superstition 
nature ! evidence too frigUtfuUy convincing, that men 
imagine monetcis, till tho imEgination is Tealiztd in themselvai ! 

My lendera ! can ye picWrn forth to yourselves the scene tU 
ia to follon P Do nut your imaginations ehiiuk in horror e 
from the task of conceiving its Buporhumau alrooily I llie t 
of thouaanda of poor victims,* assembled like aheap lot 
slaughter on the field of death i the swords, yet red iril)t 
blood of their Others and husbands, drawn on tjio wesJt, ' ' 
less, unoffending, and unremsting widows and orphans ? 

They say that a battle-ground, when the human slonn 
is a frightful eight And well may we believe It! The 
limbs, the mutilated trunk, the gay omamenls of war dyed 
with the stream of life, (be ghastly countenance and gtoxed r 
settling in death, and, worse than all, the piercing m 
some poor wrcteh who begs of the passenger, death 

and a blessed relief from agony — all this ia hurriblo . 

shake the strongeel nerves and sicken the hardest lieart- 

But who ever described — who, except tLe author of 
Pentateuch ever imagined — a field of blood on which lay 
mnrderod uorpsoa of Jlfin tiomand uroaten and childrmt t w 
pan could paint tbe scene that must have passed, ere 
slaughtered heaps lay there, a blot on humanity loo linil 
credence~an Ktrocity loo horribly savago, even fin oiftdnllt|' 
self to behave! 

Yet bear with the inhitman conception for a m 
ceivo the onset, too cowardly, too brutal, (o be 
in human language! Suppose the innocent blood 
gentle victims immolated I And then imagint 





^^ AUTHINTICITY OF TKB BIBLE. \9 

— ay 1 or if you please, an angel from helTen, — who poinl^j lu 
tha field of butcbery, and tells you : " These alaughlered heaps 
were murdered al tie command of a God of peace, of kindneas, 
of goodncHB inflnite, whose tender merciea ore over ell Mb ulher 
woriia 1 The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed 
bp (he name of the Lord 1" 

llweje an insult to your understandings, and a worse insult 
to your hearts, to ask you wliethor you could respond to a senli- 
ment so monslrously horrible, " Amenl" 

Shall 1 quote tor you still another csarople ? It is at hand ; 
I Samael, chap, xv., vcr. 3 to 33. 

"Slay both man and woman 1 infant and suckling ! ax and 
iheep, cunel acd ass." Saal spared not indeed the women and 
chUdien, but the king and the best of the cattle i and btc^usG 
be did »o, " it repented (he Lord that he had made him king!" 
(ver. II.) 

Have ye not yet " supped fall of honors ?' ' I can iumish 
jou with texts sulScicnt : Joshua, chap, x., ver. 24, 2S, 30, 37, 

"He leit none lemaining, but utterly destroyed all that 
breathed, <u tie Lord God of Itrael cammarvUd .'" 

And wherefore this demuniacaJ Bitermination of people allet 
people I It ta written : Joshua, chap, si-, Ter. 18, 19, 20, " It 
«u of the Lord to harden Ikeir hearts, AM Ihey lAould cone 
against Israel to battle, that he night destroy them utterly, lliat 
Ihey mi^ have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as 
dw Lord commanded Moses." The deity found not sufficient 
&ulc to eTi;u9e (he butchery ; Eo ke hardened Ike hearts of the 
poor heathen, lAai he mig/tt detlroy them ! 

Bre ray reason can receive, aud my hEart acknowledge, such 
atrocities as these for the doings of a benignant deity, may 1 
tot with my fetliera in the quiet grave ! 

"To see what we are to attribute to religion," (argues my 
oppoBent with much justice,) " we are lo examine its injuno- 
laims-" These are its mjimctions L the eipress injunclionB of 
God to his chosen people. And am I to be told that we are nut 
called upon — not even authorised — to follow an eiamplo cmanat- 
wg from a, source so venerable ? Nu r Tu what purpose, tiieo, 
i» the example recorded ? la that virtue in one age of the 
world which is vice ia another ? Was it an action worthy of 
deify himsdf. four Ikousand years ago, to preside at tho butchery 
of fifly thousand heretic widows and orphans ; and would the 
•ame acene brand a human actor with I'oolest infamy to-day t 
Did not Torquemada, that exterminating angel of the inqum- 
lion, find, in (lie pages of the Pentateuch, p<eccdent on piece- 
Jcnt aufficieat to justify atrocities fer, lar blacker oven llian 
kia ? Moses, the pieudo-chosen of God, was the prince of 
iaqaintots. Ifi slaoghlered, on one day, one fourth as many 
Tictimaaa the holy inquisition devoured in six centurjeal "— * 
with a burning crueKy, before which the flames oS aW n 



2'J AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLS 

piiasions pale into inaigtliGciinco, hii uliulce of victims was geni 
women — wss innocent inbuts alone 1 Ye talk of the he) ' 
bnrningH of Lisbon ur Madrid, as of Ihe doinga of 
f-pacB your pity — your eiecraCion — for tlia Midianilo anHwi 
fu' for that single deed, -which orertopped the accumulal 
cruelties of ages '. for that one day, which outdid the aggr^ai 
crimes of a. modern world I 
And we ore (old of gladiator fights, and Chinese eipoanre 
, sickly infants! and bid to imagine what Ihe world oM,i bei 
but ttir revelation ! — What it had been I If one modem ntlii 
hod executed one only order t» eminently atiocioua ■■ 111 
single command of Moses, (and it is but one of a hundred n 
cottied in the Pentateuch,) the incredible rumour would Iku 
rung &om land to land, &am continent to continent; and ti 
civiUzed world would have instinolively risen in mas^ to Kwet 
the mnrdereiB from the face of the earth. 

And thOBO were they whom God selected as his (liilditn ■ 
preference I they for whom he made a path through H 
Arabian gulfl they before whom he journeyed in a pillar i 
eland hy day and a flame of lire by night! they whasa In 
wore engraved by the almighty linger, and promulgated in Ihnndl 
from Moont Sinai ! they ivhose joumeyings were directed n 
whose actions (spirit of mercy ! ) were coinmcmdecl by h'Ti ~ 
people so sunk in (he very abaminations of cruelty, that 
the dull sensibilities of modem ciTilizaiian would hire bunt 
forth into one uniTersol cry of abhorrence, and united, with bt 
readier zeal than against the black flag of the Algenncj ' 
annihilate this scandal on mankindl 

And this is the pattern nation from the record of whi 
virtaea we are told "the modem philosopher dflrires his bet 
notions '." Theso arc the tales we are to palm on the i 
snspecting innocence of lisping in&ncy, that its inborn I 
pravj^ may be eitinguished, and its tender charities 
to all its fellow-creatures I 

If there be, in human reason and in human feeling, 
power to belleTB absurdities bo glaring, after having disliticll]! 
seen and felt what it believes, then must the present goneialiiil 
die out in their snperatitioas, and we must look to the nwtf '" 
olearei heads and better hearts. 

Nor is the Pentateuch a record of craelly alone. Tell mi 
crime so black, the vice so preposterous, that it was not prac 
among the selected people. The idolatry of heathen nali 
See Exodus, chap, xixii., vcr. 1 to u ; and see the ezampls 
of him who was thought to desotre the title of the " wiaei 
men :" 1 Kings, chap, xi., ver. 5. Their human saaiit„ 
See Judges, chap, xi., ver. 31, 39. The brute intolenBoa 
Islatnism P See Deuteronomy, chap. li., vei " — - 

chap, iiiii., ver. 37, 28. The unaatnrol vicea .. 

t aatinn of Juvenal and the odea of Anacreon I Read Ihe 





AUTHBNTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 21 

of tlie men of Gibeah, Beiyamites, the descendants of tbe chosen 
■on of Jacob : Judges, chap, xiz., ver. 22. 

I ought not, perhaps, to stop here. I ought perhaps to ask 
my opponent whether he, or any other decent man, would read 
.aloud to his sister or his daughter, passages so gratuitously and 
oDtngeously obscene as are to be met with throughout t&e' Old 
Testament. I ought perchance to quote, as others have don^, a 
dosen such passages as Ezekiel, chap, iv., ver. 12 ; or chap, xvi., 
VCT. 1 to 63 ; or I^osea, chap, i., ver. 1 to 6 ; chap. iiL, yer. 1 to 5, &c. 
And I ought to ask my opponent whether, in the course of his 
lifOp he erer saw greater indecencies in print ; and whether a 
Toong woman in whose hands should be detected any book (not 
Uielied the " Holy Bible,") and containing only a tenth part 
cf the sullying and unseemly imaginations that are scattered 
Ihronc^hout the Scriptures, would not lose her reputation for 
erer. This, it may be, is the course of argument I ought to 
parsoe. But it repugns me to enter into the disgusting details : 
and I therefore, for the present, here rest my reply to the argu- 
ment, that such a revelation as this is necessary to lead men to 
kindn^^", to purity, and to happiness. 

Robert Dale Owen. 

P.S. The .ength to which this reply has extended compels 
mo to defer all idlusion to the French Revolution till my next. 



.^i^^^ i»^«»^i»«i^^i^^i^^^4 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 

LETTER III. 

New-York, July 9, 1831. 
Sib, 

To say that " no faith nor any want of faith can destroy 
the influence of the light within," is saying in otlier words, that 
rtHffioua faith is not " incompatible with human happiness and 
Tirtue." But as this position, after having been strenuously 
inalsted on by my opponent, to screen his scepticism from the 
charge of being of a demoralizing tendency, is at length by him 
abandoned, in his equally strenuous attempt to stigmatize reli- 
gion with a similar charge, no argument will be necessary on 
my part to show, that it is of great importance that a man's 
TiewB in relation to religious subjects be correct. Let ua there- 
fine hear no more of the non-importance of a man's creed. 

The parade of blood and slaughter made by my opponent in 
hia last reply to me, was a mere appeal to the passions, without 
the least regard to the circumstances of the case. It is too 
obvious to need any argument to prove, thut the great arbiter of 



I 



22 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE, 

life and death can wilb os much pTopriely employ the aword ( 
accomplUli Ihe dealiiiction of a people as the earthquake, n 
Cunine, or peatjlence, or any other means. The onlj qunlii' 
u whether he did so employ it in tlie auua recorded m the 
Testament. Moat asBuredly, the agonies o[ death are no pMl 
when the dagger givea the falal blow, ihui when the earth m 
gulphs and eruahea her inhabitiints with her mighty conmlncM 
Death is a debt due to tialure by all the living : 'tis a dread ■■ 
an awful scene, appear as it may. Gut so far is the swonl fii 
being its most dreaded instrument, that it is mercy itaelf ea 
pared with some of its natural onea. Wilnesa the cancer, m 
Boming ilfifictim by atoms; the Tarioloid, punifyinghim •Bl 
and numerous other diseases, from whidi the nrati wonU 
a relief. I say then, again, that all the " floutish of tnmjct 
all the display of "raw bead and bloody bones," in my of) 
nent's lost letter, touching the case of the Jewish won, wb 
mere appeal to the passions, and might just as well have hi 
phiyed off against the God of nature. As well mi^ hefai 
brou^t inioTiew the warrings of the elements, a* on m^hbi 
againat t}ie existence of any God whatever, not exoepting i 
miile one of Plato, as lo pursue the course ho did in lelttiM i 
the God of the Jews. Yes, even against the existence of 4 
finite God of Plato, whoae being he has not ventured ti * ~ 
for 'tis idle to admit > God of sufficient power to snpt 
and regulate m any manner whaleter this iiLst univene, and Ji 
unable lo divert tlie course of the earthquake, or the toirenl 
liquid fire pouring forth irom the crater of the volcano. P«i 
ing his readera to immured Pompeii and the engulphed Udi 
he might have exclaimed: In the book of nature, the tpi 
seeks and finds his deience, (he Inquisitor his credoolli 
Where, in all the records of heathen barbarity, is them aOj 
to match Ihia J Cities annihilated I Imagine the sweql 
deluge overwhelming ouo ot those ill-bted cities. It iam 
every house, destroying men, women, and children, regudi 
of (heir heiul-rending prayers, atiiling the sick in Ihsu hi 
and bringing down the lioary locka of age in blood ID II 
gravel. The morning breaks on a pile of smoking ruin* ! 

Even as the Lord commanded the elements. 

Ye talk uf the burning of heretics, and of gla^torial a 
bats. Spare your pity, your execration, for the onlo-da^ 
Mount Vesuvius, and tie murderous quakings of the «aKh. 

SucJi, 1 lay, midlit have been the kngusge of my oppoH 
aa well as that which he did adopt. Such u the JanfMH 
the avowed atheiat; and most elBcieDtly too does hs jn 
against these who reject (he Bible on account of die Jn 
wars, and who nevertlieless do not reject the God of "«* 
And well indeed may he so ply it : for who are ye that do 1 
deny the God of the hurricane and the earthquake, of B 
and pestilence, of fire and flood of the miseries nf Hfb U 
tgoniet of dctUh ; and yet reject the Gad of tsrael t M 



^f AUTBBKTICITY OP THE UIBLE. 23 

tad Tev«Utioii rereaL a similar God ; *nd Uiu very olyectian 
nrged by my opponent, is an tvLdenoe in our ikvour. Admitted, 
that without ine command of God, the eilerminating Ware of 
llie Israelitpfl would have been murdei. So would be the dcioita- 
tioncatised by the elements, if wielded by man, uneommauded 
by infinite wi^om. But when the omniscient utten the dt^ciee 
—when he lets loose the raging winda, and kiudlcB up voltanoea, 
ud heaves the ocean, anil daita tlie lightning, and renda the 
ronh, md bids the BTCDging steel leap lioai the scabbard, to lay 
■Dme sinlhl naliou in the dust; where crawU the wietch auda- 
ctDua that dares say to him. What doest thou ? Come forth, ys 
pmy race, and Uy your sttength with the eternal. Encase yonr- 
idvm in armour impervious to bis tiercest thunderbolts 1 Amy 
TtmraelTei with the elements of nature, burl your fierce thundei:- 
B«Ila abroad, and hold the world in awe 1 Who, who are ye 
tbat aet yonr mouths against the hearens, and arraign the Al- 
mighty at your barf " Ham yo an arm like GodP or can Jf 
thunder in a voice like him '" Cease Iheo the unequal con- 
flict, " lest he tear you in pieces like a lion, and there bu none to 

It was not till the iniquities of the Canaanites were fiill, that 
God awoke to judgmeoL Their groaa idolatry, (heir bralai 
noBualitf, their vile abominations, tlieir borric! am! impious 
lites, rendered them so loathsome and abhorrent, that the earth 
mold DO longer endure them. Then went forlh the high behest, 
twDrd '. go Ihrougb the land I — It went, and cleansed that land 
bma its pollutions with the blood of its inhabitants. 'I'beii high 
fkeee of idolatry were destroyed, ibeir altars overthrown, their 
^Saa broken down, their groves burnt with fire, their graven 
MBi^es hewn in pieces, and the land which had been besotted 
nib the mast stupid rites, and defiled with the grossest abotiii- 
tolions, and crimsoned with human sacrifices, becamo at once 
the ^oty of the earth. There, wlioru had I'langcd the gongs of 
the Sarr god, and smoked the carcases of human victims, and 
nsouoded the shrieks of tortured innocents, now rang the higb- 
mmding cymbal, and ascended the incense of devotun, and 
pnled haUelujahs to the I^rd. And it was (here alone, in that 
had oDCe bo poUuted, that the knowledge and worship of Gud 
Vine preserved &om century to century, while all the world 
braides were groping in the thick darlcncss of spiritual midnight. 
Thov were the people enjoying the benellts of a reUgion sublime 
nd ^oriouG beyond human conception, while those nations that 
were infinitely their superiors in science, philosophy, and almost 
wtry thing besideB which the powers of man can oompsaa, were 
inncamtabty distanced in this moat important subject of all. 
Rinr vraji this 7 How. but that this religion was from heaven r 
And shall we be told that such a religion is not compatible with 
human happiness T Yen, shall it be said that this religion was 
unnecessary ? Then was it incompatible with human happiness, 
9 quenrh the flames thai umeMme^ 



I 



21 AtlTHKKTICITY OF THE BIBLE, 

the hnman TacB, and lo dry up (lie foimtain o( moral polbi 
that forced the Isnd to diagoj^ iU inhabitauta. Tnie, 11 
who succeeded to their places were not angtla. They w 
human beings ; aud when they traasgreuscd, God { 
tJiem. But, compared with what it bad been, Canaan i 
beaTBn. When Iheretoie we view this subject in the li^ dj 
hy the mighty nperations of divine proTidence on a geneial ad 
•Be can but bo struck with the resembluncc, and admireil 
wisdom Lhoroiti displayed. But. as I have already ladd, 80 H 

gay 1 again, that God's special command lo the Itnelilei 

exterminate certain natioiia by him designated, could be W^M 
warrant to them, much less to others, to ezterminatd oCAirir 
tions ; wbereforc, " the tyraut, the inquisitar, the conquenn, al 
the slaveholder," can find no authority in the Bible fbr Mi 
course. Nor does it in the least impeach the justice of GaC.1 
that he should have hardened the hearts of those to mib — * 
their own deatructiou, who so Lft had, with nerves full Ik 
Bent their otTspring shrieking la theirs. The saving of the wi 
children, is no proof of *' lust" in the IsraeUtes. Whether A 
were saved for aervanlfl or for wives, doaa not appear, 
case, there was nothing like tuat. And aa to the repnted i 
Bcenitiea of the Old Testament, whatever the faalidioua inajr ■ 
a man that pubUcly denounces marriage, and lecomnMr 
placemenii, and wntas "Moral Phyiiqlogies," may m i 
waive that subject. Still if he " ouglit" to have quoted whu M 
denominates obscene passages of scriplure, aud yet focebom Ik* 
to do on account of their contents, duty sils very looaely onlur 

A few ivordfl more on the aubject of the necessity of rei""^ 
will bring this branch of the diacussioa to a concluaioD. 

In my lost, I pjesented a brief view of the heathen 
I will now select from the mass, some of their best and w 
men, and see what even they were without revelation, 
bead of these perhaps atanda Socrates. Htm we find into .. 
painAil perplexity relative to the most important liuthi. i 
doubted whclher a holy God could forgive sin. He said l' ~ 
necessary to wait for some person to come and teach ui la 
behave ourselves toward God and man; that we knovrw' 
to pray, and therefore thai it would be better ni 
and tluit the chief good consists in knowledge. Not 
bis theory, be complied in practice with Uie idoU~ 
of Ms own CDunliy. He made use of pro&ne k 
guilty of impure amours, and prostituted hie wi& i 

much for ibis prince of heathen philDsopbers. Plata n 

He agreed with Sociatea, as lo our ignorance of 4n% U 
and man. He made Ihe chief good consiat in beioj iSe 
which conformity to God, however, he taught to be, "• 
habit of genius ;" which habit was lo be attained by c 
arithmetic, astronomy, and geometry, together with g 
eierciMSl 1 1 He tolls ui, (and Pylhagoraa a^, 
tlut the principle of good is unity, finity. quieecent, | 




( OP THE £IBLB. . 

nt nambn-, square, right, and splecdid; Ute prLaciple oTuvil, 
y, infinite, crooked, even, long of one aide, unequal, left, 
ire I He laught, that he may lie who knot's how to do it 
fit season ; and he made a distinction between lying with 
Lpa, and in the mind. Seneca agreed with Socrates and 
philosophers with regard to man'a ignornnue of duly. II»> 
there is something in which a wise man excels Cod ; that k ' 
■hould be tin admirer of himself alone ; and that Cud can> 
elp human calamities. He made use uf profane language, 
was imoioTa! in other respects, notwithstanding dl his 
jt in his tcritiagt, — and he likewise adtocalBd suicide, 

said he could more easily tell what he did not think, than 
he did think, cenceming the nature of God. He com- 

led revenge as a duly. He said that there v/na no reward 
brtue but honour, and (hat nobody was indebted to God for 
e. He, loo, advocated suicide. And many other of the 
len philoaophera advocated il, and carried about with Uieni 
oesni of committing it, and did commit it, rather than fall 
lite hands of their enemies; as, for example, Detuoatheue^ 
I, Brutus, Casaius, and others. Lyewgui allowed adultery 
e wilp Id certain cases, and Plutarch commends him there- 
Caiiaralides, the Pythagorean, tells the woman, thai she 
t bear with the husband's irregularities, since the late allowa 
to the man, and not to the woman. Arittippta taught, that 
■e man may steal and commit adultery and sacrilege, when 
irtunity offers. Whoredom and its kindred vices were 
tioned both in opinion and practice by lawgivers, statesmen, 
nophers, and moralists, and are cIiDracleiistics of heathen 
itiies lo this day. Theft was tolerated iu Egj-pt and Sparta 
in the latter country, and even at Athens, the seat of heathei 
lement, it was a laic, that infants weak or deformed shouU^j 
LiQed or exposed ) and the Athenians were permitted ta 
de and enslave any people whom they deemed fit to bo made 
^s. Berenge was inculcated by almost all the heathen phi- 
phera. Pride and love of applause were by them accounted 
ica. Baicide was considered the strongest evidence of 
lisro. While humility, patience. meeknosE, and forgiveness, 
9 regarded as marks of meanness and want uf spirit. Their 
s of God, and of their duty to him, of tlie origin of things, 
h« future state and its retributions, and of the highest gotrd 
nan, were confused, contradictory, and painfully unsettled. 
the last subject, viz., man's chief good, Varto, as 1 have 
ady observed, reckons up two hundred and eighty-eight 
stent crpiuions among them. Some say there were upward 
tuee hundred. 

1 the foregoing summary, wc behold what the wisest of men 
wjlhont revelation. We find tliem all afloat, without rudder, 
, or compass, imable to direct themselves, much less others. 
]j of their doctrines and maxims were absolutely evil, which, 
ig in accordance with Ihc depraved human hnaii, wuiW tati 





r 



I 



2j AI.1T11ENTIC1TY OF THB BIBLB. 

ready obedience ; but such of their precepla ta were good, HM 
deatiCule of aulhoiiCy to back iLem, and were of -rerj lif 
efficacy with the Licentious multitude, being conmdered bj thi 
but BB the opiaiDns af men, and in no wiue obligatory. A 
liencG their wgea nlways found it Deoessaiy to pieteiid a ifiri 
original for llUiir injunttiona — a demoDHlration of the neo 
of rcTelBtion. But with all their pretended orscles, aod 
famed pliilosophy, they could not preserve the aasa Horn pun 
faction ; and at the time that Ctmstionity made iti appevut 
b11 natiuiis, (he Jews alone excepted, were in the lowesi dep 
of moral degradi^tion. And thus do they continue tothitdi 
whererer Chriatianity haa nut been eelablisbed; thus will 111 
continue iiU ita establishmeDt ; and thus would it be with i 
■were it not establiahed here. My opponent should rec 
that any quotation to tMs effect in my last, waa liom the 
Bousaeau. Besides, it is in accoidsjice with fact. ludee 
it not been foi Ike light rellecled from rcielation, not oi 
■leatlien, but ourselves also, would have been many degrees 
heathenism itself j for what little of truth the heathen ' 
phets had, was borrowed from the Old Testament, or OH 
transmitted &om patriarchal times ; and the mperior ligfal whi 
infidels have, ia borrowed from ChrisUaiiily. So that, bad 
revelation ever been given— had neither the palTianhal, nat I 
Jewish, nor the Christiim dispensation been hnown ; — in ■ wn 
}iad not what tke Bible records been realised, men wonld alt 
hour be nearly on a level with the brutes — as is actually the d 
with the Hottentots and some others, that bsve from time ina 
motial been isolated from Iho great body of mankind. 

From this view of the subject, 1 would draw thii coadarid 
that a revelation has been made. For 'tis nnreosoBable toM 
poae, that God would make a world of rational beings, andlM 
them utterly deslitate of a knowledge of himself, or of the Ml 
on them incumbent. 

I will conclude this letter by remarking, that, on the sdll)! 
of the former French revolulion, I am fully prepared ; and ftl 
before closing this discussion, I shall bestow a passing naUai 
modem infidel philosophers. 

OmaBH 



TO ORIQEN BACHELER. 



July IG, 183 

How oElen, in reading the defence of a ayitem bj its p 
IS, do the words of my native oowitry'a sweetest post. Bo 



I AUTBBtiTICITT Of DIE BIBLE. ^'S^^l 

H ■' Oli nd •om« paw'r the giftie gU ui, ^^^H 

K loseeoDiKteaaDIhenaeeiial" ^^^H 

Hnlinljr we can examine all doginBj, how ladomillyjudga^^^H 
Mil Lxcept onr own ! ^^H 

M I poinled out to you, ot Hie Koran, such a la]e ot hoiror 



e 3Iat chapter of Numbers recordii; had Ihii couunand been 
jmpt's, not Mosea', to"1dll cTery woman, and Id kill all 
nale children, bat the womm c^hildren to keep aliie Tor 
Belres ;" bad it been Altali, not Jehorah, who was declaied 
Te presided over the field of blood ; how utterly onanawer- 
woald have been, in ^our eyes, my argument I how elo- 
Uy would you have iQieighed agaiast the brutality and 
Liouanesg of lalamisra ' In terms kow feeling would you 
moralised on the artful succesa of an impostor, and maamed 
the liail credulity of man I And haw triumphantly wonld. 
bave refuted tlie weak casuistry of the tiirbaned idolalor, 
ihoiild undertake to defend bis prophet, or his deity's Ibiiat 
blood I Suppose the dialogue : 

igen BacheleT. — And this is your defence of your prophet 
\ua God, that the same being who hurls the lightning may 
the sword, and no man may ask him, " What dorat Ihouf" 
AonKdan.^ln Allah's baucl are the hearts and the lives of 
realures; and shall a created worm deny bis right to bardea 
De or destroy the other P ' 

fl,— And wtat think yon of the bloody example here set Irf ■ 
vaunted prophet 1 Truly your Koran "brings not peace 0»' T 
, bnl a BWord." 1 

— The command was to the children of Islam, and against ' 
lolatious Arabs ; not to us, or against any modem heretics, 
a— Wliat ? and that which Mahomet did and Allab ap- 
d, shall not the Musselman now bo permilled — nay, be 
Mi, to imitate 7 To what purpose iLe record, if not for your 

^HJlah knows best ; I judge not 

^K~-Bd{ if f/ou judge not, your brethren have judged 
^K bare acted too. The example which Mabomet a 
Bnor caliplu and tteir tienlenanta have followed ; •— dB 
red moat consislently ! When the Moslem steel Siin 
gh the heretic heart up to its crimBoncd hilt, — when your 
iDgraven blodesf dtonk the mother's life-blood, or offered 
I Allah, as a grateful libation, the reeking tide from the 
liering infant's ghostly death- wound— 'twas your Koran 
"^"trded the precedent — 'twaa your prophet himself that 
d the slaughter. 

... ...J niiEi-Fdeil MaWct.— Utrtfsv't Hittory sf the Si 



if 





r 
t 

I 



28 AUTHBNTECITV OF THE BIBLS. 

IS. — Bui OUT holy propliet commuida ngt the 
act nou>. 

O. B.—Ont on tho j 
cliuaeii of Allah, ya ii ' 
Bbomina.tiuii is those daj's, he L9 equally hia abomiaatiDn in ( 
times. And il you acted up, not to the spirit of the limei, 1 
to the letLei and the spirit of youi' Koran, yarn Bcimilar vm 
even dow flash &am its scahbard, Dud my head would loQ 
tjie daat. 

II. — But youi head is aafe, Ihanka to the ciTilization irili 
OUT holy religion has wrought. If llipro bo violence eren iK 
that tile propliGt's namo and the Koran's ptecepta have ^re 
over half the civilized irortd, what would Iheie have been h 
the benighted natiocis stumbled on, their paths unlighted by |l 
lamp of Islamumf 

0. B.—By the soola of my fathers, but you exhaust my ; 
tiencel* Your Koran sanctiuua murder — wholesale mnraer 
infant murder — the butchery of orplians and widows; yw 
bettor nature bids you shrink from the bloody example; a 
then ye tail agnjnst tlie nature that whiapera peace and mercy, 
and glorify tlie book Uiat commands slaughter and war I 

M, — By the beard of Mahomet, but you slander our holy bosL. 
It commands not slaughter. 

O. B. — No ? Whet saya Deuteronomy, chap, ix., ver. 12, Ut 
The commnnil whb general, applied to oU iheii encmiea— U ff 
tmbelieveis. 

M. — Itis not addressed .. .._. 
0. B. — And does the command " thou shalt not steal" amdr 
to you ? It, too, was addressed to your forefathers only- TIb 
one is juat aa impera^vB as the other. And i 
Deuteronomy, chap. lii., ver. 2, 3? Is not thi 
mand to use Tiolence in suppressing every religion but your ownF 
Is it not tho very eaaonce of intolerance and persecution? """ 
it not imperatively command you to tear down our cross ani . 
the crescent above it ? to bum our churches, and build fM 
minarets on theii ruinsP Allah arnimoTidi to use the swoiaM 
the fitlesl argument. The command is an outrage on 'Cf*''^! 
on mercy, on common sense. The book that contains il ii «• 
divine. The Koran is a human invention, and lis AUab a lUteJ 
idol. 

jtf. — Dog of an unbeliever, you blaspheme ! Allah akbahlf 
Hia ways are unsearchable. Hia will is hidden from the -^ 
»ad prudent, and revealed imlo babes. And for the H 
Koran, what a holy light has it shed around il 1 " tlere ■ 

• M; M^Dd Mr, Bachcler, or rallif i mj pononlllcitlDii of blm. friMh 



OTHENTICITT OP THB B1BI,K. 29 

K lliii land so polluled, lias the knowledge and worship of Alkh 
sen pieserr^ from century to centujy, while all the world 
mideiwere groping in spiritual midnighl, Here are the faith- 
td enjoying the bunefita of a religion BUblime and gtorious beyond 
mman conception, while those nations who are infinitely pur 
uperiota in science, philosophy, and aIntOBt every thing besides, 
lare been immeasurably distanced in this most important sabject 
/ alL How was this? How, but that our Koran waa trom 
beaven ?"• 

And now, let my opponent suppose the tables turned upon 
lim, and that the Mussulman calls him to account for some of 
lie scripture pceceptii. 

JWHimteum.— Your Bible enjoins slarerv. Read Lctilicua, 
^llBp. XXT„ ver. 41, 45, 46. 

Or^en BadieUr. — But that command was to the children of 

If. — All! BO you haTe already forgotten how mdignonUy you 
vjecled Buch an apology from mc. But tell me, Christian ! was 
lorery a good thing among the Israelites or notr 

O, fl.— I cannot tell. 

M. — Not tell whether what your God commanded was good 
nevil! 

O. B. — It was good. The slaves were wicked idolaters, and 
hair masteia a chosen people. 

M. — And what think you of slavery among your people, the 
imeiicuiar 

O. 21,— It is a deadly sin.t 

M. — Yel the Africans were wicked idolaters and the Ameri- 
•na a Christian nation. Wherefore, then, is it a deadly sin ? 

O, B. — Our republic has declared that all men are free and 

M. — Bnt your Bible declares that some shall be masters and 
ome slaves. " Ye ahaU take thera for an inheritance for your 
bildien sfler you ; they shall be your bondsmen for ever." He 
hat runs may read. Answer, Christian I 

O. B.-^l have already told you the command was limited, and 
annot sanction negro slavery. 

M. — That very answer you refused from me ; yon catuat 
nawer. — Yet again. Your Bible inculcates a belief in wilch- 
laft, and has sanctioned and caused the death of poor, helpless, 
iraocent old wonjen, for a crime which modern knowledge tella 
a can have no existence. 

• Mv omonent's wonJi. tie hli IBM iBttCT, founh paragraph ; Mlah 'btAng 



» 



I 



■ TV OF THE BIBLE. 

O. fl.— Tlie proof. 

JIf. — It is ready. But jresteiday 1 lead the liislor^ ol joaz m 
believing nuliDti. 'Tis not a centuj^ and a hiklC sjd<:«, in 701 
New Englimd states, nineteen Chiislians vcre hanged and mi- 
presBtid to doalh — I'or witchcral't ! I'bay wure tried by a jurj li 
Chrisliana, before a Chriatian judge. The wisest men among je, 
eveu the learned Christian priest. Cotton Mather, pnbhcly l«ll- 
fied hia belief in their guilt, aad eagerly urged on lieir condon- 
nation. Yarn Bible justified hia nursery BupiMBtitioBB. Yoin 
Bible eipreaaly sanctioned Uie legal and cruel mummery, T — 
Sible aoaled the innoceol and miserahle wretches' doom. 

O. B. — You slander oui Bible, Mussulman. 

il. — I slander it not. It is vrilten : (Exodus, chap. 1 
Tcr. le,) " Thou shalt not suffer a witch to liye." It yout Bibli 
be Ijnie, there itre mlc/iea ; and these witcbes dojutlijfmfftrdialk. 
The Salem trials may hiTB been an outrage on common « — 
they were strictly in accordance witli your Bible precepts, 
ton Mather may have evinced ctediilily that would difgiue 1 
child just from the nursery, but ho was more of a. Bible Cbiit- 
tian than you. He believed in the 'i'ind chapter of Exedua. D> 
you believe in it. Christian ? 

O. B. — Witches may have existed (hen, and may no 

M. — And how were your New England falhen to gai 
they had ceased to exist ? or what authoilty have you br isj 
suuh conje<:turc ? Your Bible says not a syllable of it. Yum 
Bible, I rupeat it, caused, on the memoiable 22iid of Seplembo, 
169*2, an exhibition of stupidity and barbarity unequallel '~ 
modem hiBtoi7.* Bismillahlf Piaise be to oui pn^et lb 
my lot is cast in a land of Koians I 

Had I professed any acquaintance with the God of nature, i 
attempted any defence of his imagined government, jma up- 
menls addressed to the scripture-r^ecting deist, would, in k 
measure, apply. But you know very well that I have dow 
neither. Let those eiplain the dispsusations of providence alM 
Bet themaelves up as providence's apologiets. This I know, tint 
when there is recorded in a Bible or a Koran, or any other bool^ 
the murder of fifty thousand heretic women and children, llw 
tale is a Aorrible one ; and that when the butchery is Baid til bt 
approved — to be cotnitianded, by a God, the talc isadnaif/iil^iW 
Bioroione; a pre cedent of tho most frightful dcectiptioii ; amoit 
unequivocal, Bipr ess sanctioningofadegree of licentious brutali*; 
which not even such a sanction can induce tlie most abandonil 
ofoiodeni wretches to imitate. 1 challenge you to produce tat 

I fin icomtn f wvre bUKnl u iritcl) 

FiFbunisd ■- " will a nA ihing it ii (o ■» ucbl anbiuda at bdl 
- — :■'— SaJto. Witehaaft. BoUm edidoa. p. m 




s 



e Koran,* one single paKaage Ihat even appraachea the immo- 
llLy of Uiis ; one single passa^ in whic^h tne prophet of Mecca 
eadj as he nas to use Ihc Bdmitar argument,) even dialanlljr 
id indirectly ventuies audi nn QUtrage on the human reason and 
c hnman heart ; in vkicli the murderer of Sophyanf dniea, I 
J not '□ approve, hut even heaitatingly (a exc«it, Euch a whole- 
le massacre as this. You talk of the brutal Benenality, thevile 
)oiniiiation9, the horrid and imptona rites, th« human aacri- 
■£s, that disgraced Canaan. I challenge you, sir. to produce 
foinlesi shadow of proof, that all the conjectnrcd enormities 
immitled for centuriea among the Canaanitea matched ihin one 
^dm-barbariiyoflbe Jews. Cite tome onlyone instance of brutal 
■nsuali^ like theira who forcibly possessed thomstbes of ihirty- 
ro thtrusand young virgins, after hating first murdered thair 
[Others and their infant brothers before their eyes ! Itelate to me 
' oneviieabominationlilte this monstrous compound of alaoghter 
._ lusl. Adduca only ono horrid and impions rite that will 
impare with lliat superintended by the Hebrew prophet ; or 
aly one human sacrifice, like Che offering up of fifty thousand 
omen and chililten, on aunglefield of blood, to the Jehovah of 

But one ! I aak but o«e I and llicn you may talk lo me, if you 
'ill, of the knowledge and tlie light that succeeded to pagan 
aikncss — of the sublimity, and glory, and mercy of that religion 
lat replaceil tho idoLatty ofCanaan! 

"The sword" (you see fit to remind us,) " went through the 
tnd, and cleansed ita poUutions with the blood of ita iohabitants. 
'heir high places of idolatry were destroyed, their altais weio 
rerthrown, their pillars broken down, their groves burnt 
itb fire, and Iheir gmten images hewn in pieces." And in all 
lis, you think, there ia causa for infinite congratulation! Let 
le aoi you, sir. if modem missionaries were to imitate this savage 
itolerance, what tho world would sajp of them ? The pour 
sialics t>f Juggernaut arc sunk as low, surely, as ever were the 

* If fod do not hoppen to potscsi scopy. 1 have ope at yoor oeir^ce. 
ellf to asauBlnBte Sopbyui the 
iWenrtihip."""' " ■ "■ " --^"^ ..... 



up. il., TOT. 15: thbugti, lo my nund, even aufih dupbctly and otuvlty 
iwuds Uriali ii (ut inlu tin ihade bf the dtlibsue, cold-blwilcd tpiill of 
bdirlEV n"enffe which coidd dicLale (even wi a dea/h-bed fj to hlB 1011, the 
luenfalfl Kubfdrfnn by which the other's prouise or ptgtectinn wm to be 
ndod, «nd liii iinlbi^vBd enemy 10 1» murdered tn bi« old *ge. 1 Kuib», 
lup. tL, VR. il— ID. Uii liM dying «DrdB breUhed Dt hnlcid anU taliwd. 
IfBDgal atrugD ftod meUmcbDljI that men ehoidd set up chBjAcMrs ta 

right exunptcB tn the InhahitanlH of earth, and ctLOKA propIiptP ot Ht^clM 



I 



1 



32 &UTHENTIC1TT OF THS BIBLE. 

Csnaanites ; and, vritlioul intending any Teiy flattering comfU- I 
ment la you and your fellow-Christianji, I msy pUce you at leMt 
S9 high in the scale of humanity as the Jewa in Mo9e»' linl 
What Ihiok you, then, of arming against the Aaialic idolalat 
vhoae heart God has hardened against missionary preachiaff | 
What thinkyouofcleaasing their poUulioni with their blood,o(', 
overthrowing their altars, of hewing their great idol to pieces, of 
murdering their women and boys, fifty thousand at a time, titl 
taking their girls for yourselves ! You shrink, almost as froB 
an insnlt, at the bare suppoeilion ! I doubt it not. Yet it a 
your heait alone that revolts Iram the atrocity ; your Bibb ' 
countenances it. It is the apirii of progreBsive improvemeul lllil ! 
denounces and neutralisea the spirit of Uie Old Testament. 

You attempt to defend the gratuitous abscenilieii of theKrip' ' 
lures by attacking my opinions on morals. This, sir, permit ml 
to remind you, is no defence whalsver. If I were a Neio « 
Caligula, that cotdd have nothing to do with the question. Ti* 
obscenities would not change their character on that accomL 
But I evade not, rest assured, the implied a<Kuaation. The pib- 1 
lie have my opinions on marriage,* my remarks on pUuiiienUit i 
and my " Moral Physiology''^ before them ; I request tbM j 
eitber to suspend judgment, or do me the Justice to i«ad tliM^ i 
and when they have read them, I appeal to Iheii better reeliql j 
in support of the assertion I here make, that the limguagi tf> 
ployed is lioe oven from the slightest laint of indect-Dcy, and U 
I have not advanced a single sentiment throughout, which I bnf 
not adduced sufficient reason for believing to be eminently tttt^ 
docive to llie increase of unaflected chastity and rational vim 

You have succeeded in proving that the sages of antii 
were imperfect mortals like ourselves, f and that wo haven . 
in some respects considerable advance since their days. "Oil 

■ See my letter to the editor of the Boiton Trumpel, rtpublulwd u IM*! 

A In the Appendix to chLi volumn. '" 

+ See, for the oidele referred to. Note B in the Appendlt 
t You told me, > leiv diya slace, that jroa hail nenr read tt 

pablie, I trust, will not imtCfitc ;do in thus JudgioE 6nl vtd 

■mail. Nor do Uiey tecDI iaclined so to do. AllTBdy. <"'-' ' 

fiom ill flnt ippeannce. tbejiflh edition It called tc 

(July. 1831,1 engi^ in nnising [in the preu. 

ir authority K 
□ever lieird of 






i, uys qot a word of tJiena, biu fi 
1 orim RfltoloDate hub«Bd.*' 
e to Lfou-giu aad tde liiiifn«>i 
-'-•■ <n* tltoRTtlwr ftnbalg 



1 ber Uiem to read the whole omtgt, at gInB 

ele, ZymrrHi.voLi.. p. SO; Phiftdel^Ua edlHoa. 
(nra, nhenhc eiyi be ciuild more euilj tell wtiit bi 



ltd more euilj tell wtiit ba 4U iMt ll 
- ■'-- iiUice of Qod. Iwra - ' — 

it cpiQlj Hid by 4 



AUTHKNTICITY OF T[IB BIBLB. 33 

„ _n excellent arguinenl in proof that Oie wurld ia progipssivcly 
^fciproving, but no acgument nt all in proof of the necessity of 
BlBTelalion. Man was ignorant prpYious to eiperience ; he is 
■ Uly scquiring eiperience, and becoming wiser in conaequenoe. 
1 And here 1 am constrained to cocclude, without enlB.rging, as 
I I intended, on this luttei ar^mont, and without having found 
I appottunity to apeak of the Fieach Revolution 
' EoBEBi Dale Owbv. 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



New.Yoik, July 23, 1831. 

I laid it dou-n in my last letter aa a fundamental principle, 
I that the great arbiter of life and death had a perfect right to 
■ 1^ when and how Iho lives of his creatures should be disposed 
I tl, aod that ha could with as much propriety employ the aword 

in the chastiaement of a nation, as the earthquake, or famine. 

M neililenei!, or any other natuisl means. On this granai I 

ranlended, that the eitemuBation of the nations of Canaan by 
Ihe Israelitea, if commaQded by God, (whieb is the very ques- 
lioli in dispute,) would be altogelber proper, and perfectly lu- 
IfuAoa with his other operations on the vast scale of divine pro- 
Tidence. At the same time I admilted, that this very eilermi- 
utioii would have been murder, if uncommandcd by him. 
Conaeqnently Lt follows, tliat no juatiGcation of a similar course 
. towards ether nations not speuified, could be drawn from that 
Ljpeciai commission, even by the Jews, and therefore certainly 
t by others. Thia furnishes an answer to the plea of the 
lowers of Mahomet for their wars, and would be a sufficient 
tlMjily to the " missionaries," should they propose a crusade 
t the heathen. And although the former preund that 
juian commanded theirs, it should be remembered that pretend- 
ing Mid proving are two things. Wherefore, all that long 
diiklogno in my opponent'a last letter goes for juHt nothing at 
■0. That the laraelites were commanded by God tu do as they 
did, i« one object of this discussion to show. But they wore 
aM commanded, Deuteronomy, chap, ix., ver. 12, 13, to slau^ter 
aO the enemioB. By reading tbo two preceding verses, it will 
bo seen, that they wore Drat to offer peace, wlUch, if accepted 
^J» thoae to whom it was offered, was to preserve them from 
^H^aEhler. But certain cities which the Israelites were them- 



iBfly 



mn» to inhabit, were to be utterly dcstrovcd, that lliey n 
^ be conlaminated wilh the infernal aboor ~~''~~~ ' 



AUTHENTICITY OF TBK BTBLB. 



r 

■ heathan inhtiblluits ; to which con tarn luation they would hna 

H been exposed, hitd they intcrmmglinl with thorn. Why God 

^1 does not now command a similoi cuurse in relation to tin 

H heathen of Ihis day, he beat knows. Far aught that we finite 

^1 craalures know to the contrary, he sees good reasona, nn^Er 

^M eiiating Fircmnataitcea, for adapting a different method. Tii) 

^M much howFYCr I would say : that the cruel and abomisaUo 

^P rites of the heathen — their infanlieide, their cannibalism, their 

H human aacrilices, and their abscenilies ajid impurilieB, aaibl 

not to be tolerated by their ntl*r* ; and Ihat, if any cause undtr 

heaven, without the express command of God, would jnatify the 

interference of one nation with the intemnl concerns of anutbHi 

Chiisteadom would be juaLiSed iii sending her legions to tht 

I East, and terminating ihoae vile and accursed practice! ij 
force. That th-^ lEmGlitea, therefore, did not tolerate the baiU- 
roua rites of the Canaaniles when they took possession of Ibi 
counby, is a circumstance altogether m their favour. And u 
to the aervitiuU, and the everbuting servitude of the Canaaiuitt, 
this ia no argument for the slavery of the AfrUam a da>i or* 
moment. It is no reason that we shoidd enslave Africans, i«- 
cause God saw lit to direct the Jews, under their peculiit 
circumstancea, to make the Canaaniles Iheir servants. Nor i< 
the mere record of this or any other fact in history, any reaBoa 

J for its imilatioii. With regard to witchcieft I would say, thrt 
no vritch ought to live. Now, sir, pioTe that the Salem sufiercn 
were witchea, and 1 stand ready to justify the cotirse pursned 
toward Ihem. But if they were not witches, then there wu no 
aaaction in the Bible for their execution, even on the luppoli' 
tiun that this Jewish law is obligatory on us, which would »• 
main to be considered ; for that does not say, Thou shall wit 
suffer an imaginary witch lo live. But, by the way, pleaK W 
inform me what branch of modem kruneledgi tells us, ihit 
witchcrail can have no existcnco ; for I must confess that I be- 
lieve in the 22nd chapter of Exodus, as fully as erer Cottn 
Mather did. 1 have no notion of conceding one half the Bibit 
for tiie sake of dcfijnding the other. I believe there wen 
witches and demoniacs in Bible days, whether there *re asy 

It is truly comical to see how some men attempt to avdil 
difficulties by non-committal. Propose a subject for conmdeit- 
tisn, and up they jump upon the fence, leaving the opponnf 
sides to contest it as they can; and prepared to jump whilhO' 
soever victory inclines. The interests of a world, ™, tht 
eternal destiny of our race, may hang suspended on its decisiaD ; 
it troubles not them. For aught they care, it may go un* 
decided. They, prudent souls, are not going to Tenture lhe»- 
selves where me bnllets fly, and the bayonets gleam, and tha 
Bworda lirandi h. Not Ihey. They leave others to lighl IM 
battle ; and whtu the one side ge(a pushed, O ! Ihey doni 
belong to Ihnt side. Slinuld thp ti'le turn, and thi ' '"^ 



or THB BtBLS. 35 

gel puahed, why, they don't belong to that aide. And when 
the conflict is o'er, and the victoiy won, witli the gicOitcal self- 
complacenc; in the world they ezclum. We hie not of Ibo 
defeated party. No, nor of the victorioua one either, it mi^t 
be HnawLTcd. Tbay bad not the courage to enter the liata at 
all. And leas honourable is Ikeii course, than that of either 
of the belligerent patliea. The latter eonlend for important 
objects, and, deteated or victorious, mimifest therein a beconi' 
ing iatereaU WSiereos, they of the fence would soener see heaven 
and earth come together, than not eacape with whole akins. 
This, air, is precisely the case of Uio iudividuiil who perchea 
hinuelT upon Ilie moral fence between theism and atheism. 
I>et the Iheiat presi him with the absurdities of atheism, and he 
wilt instantly reply, I am not an atheiet. Let the atheist then 
aaeail him, and lie as readily answers, 1 am not a theist WeU, 
air, be no^ng then and welcome, and for once lake the conse- 
quences ; for, know thou assuredly, that 'tia the moat indefensi- 
ble of ail poaitiona. The man that lakes hia atation between 
two armies, tuns Ibe riak of getting peppered by boUi. Prepare 
then, sir, for the fete merited by all fence men, and stand, if 
thou canst, the cross-fire of Chria^anity and atheism. 

The fence man says, he believes no way. WeU, then, he 
does not believe the truth; for there is a God, or there is not. 
He therefore is in lault in believing no way; for he <yivfhl to 
believe the truth in so important and practical a cose as ihii, 
whether he has any belief in relation to lunar moialeri or not. 
Nor dooB he merely da wrrmg in farbeajiog lo believe, but ha 

acts very aanasonahly. It ia not supposable, that, in a case like 
the one before us, the eiidences on each side are equal, or that 
Ihere are no evidences. If the universe was crested by God, 
it does of course exhibit traces of tranBcendant wisdom ; if un- 
created, no such traces. It is therefore but for a man to open 
hia eyes, to be able to form an opinion the one way or the 
other ; and surely he who will not do this, is but poorly entitled 
to the name of a free inquirer, or a reasonable man- Besides, 
he certainly cannot be the loaerby taking aides; for there is no 
possibility of bis being right where be is. This be Imowa, and 
ii therefore inexcusable for remaining there. Whereas, by 
chaligiug his position, he would stand some chance of becoming 
right. He would lake one step toward it at leaat, in that he 
would then begin to exercise his reason. So much for the 
fecMar difficulties of the man of tlie fence. But he is not <□ be 
let off with this: for he has the burthen both of theism and 
alheianj to bear beaides. He says he does not deny a God, that 
is, a flnile one. Very well. Then he doea not deny the ab- 
Nirdity of the existence of a being able to roll llie wheels of 
nature, but nnable to kill a flea 1 Tben he doea not deny the 
propriety of the destruction of cities by the God of the earlh- 

Kike and the volcano ; and cinseqiienlly gets involved, after all, 
Ibe dilemma of the dei.it, nliich he tain would avoid. 'Sa-V-t 
^ I 



r 

■ til 



3C AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

1 on anutlier lack. He does nut, he snya, denjr 
atheiam. Well then, he does not deny iU ntHurdilivs : 
that the wheels of nature roll themselves; that all pogsiblB 
ippeBTunces of inlelUgen™ are produced by non-intelligeace; 

I, and Buimals, and v^tablea. make themselTGS ; 
that the world is eternal, ccintrar7 )□ demonslration. In : 
he haa to father all the difficulties of tLeism, all the absurdiiifs 
of atheism, and all the notuetue of nothingarian Lstn. If b 
satisHed with his position, let hioi keep his station i bul kt 
him not think to escape the deiaCa dilemma, in objecting 1( '' ' 
GodoflbD Bible and not to the Godofnatore. 

Now, sir, it is not (o be taken for granted that (be wai 
the Israelites were wrong. It must Grst be proved, thai tlic 
God who destroys cities by the convulsions of nature, did nM 
comEnacd those wars. Leaving therefore these wars out of tlte 
account till this is proved, I nek seriously if the condilion of 
Palestine was not incalculably improved by its change nT 
masters. Was it not an improvement to slop human sacriflCMl 
to abolish idolatry ? to check sodomy ? to overthrow oil manner ct 
cruellies and impurities J Suppose the Jews themselves occaidaa- 
ally fell into some of those very sins. Still, when the; did so, God 
punished them, and tliey repented and reformed. Surely this 
was for, far preferable lo keeping on in those abominable course)^ 
as the Csnaanites did. 

I havu not yet admiued (hst Iho Bible is obKCne. VHm 

(he Old Teatameiit was written, many things which appear 
obscene lo us, were by no menus so considenid in those days of 
primitive simplicity. But really, that an individual who in this 
lefined aie scouts marriafte, recommends Ihe kccpine of nui- 
tresses, (lor what else is placement ?) and pubtishea the msut 
of avoiding Ihe natural consequence of sexual intercourse, ihoull 
iiffect to have his (BoAslypnl lo (be blush by the artless ^' 
primitive style of Iha Bible, is distressing in the eitremt. 
had not indeed lend "Moral Physiology" in coime when I. 
wcolc my last letter ; but I had seen it, and bad noticed tb 
what I consider demoralizing and obscene. Since then, I 
examined it more, and 1 pronounce it without he^lalion lo b* 
one of the most abominable works of the day. It is not nece*- 
sary lo read it through, to see whether it is so or nut. A Uw 
passages would be sufficient to shew this, and lo put the n 

munity, but especially females who have any regard for ll 

ropulalion, on tiieir guard against it. And yet, Ihe individtld 
who sends such trash into the world, can make up a tembh 
face at the ancient simplicity of Ihe Bible ! 

It is eoueeded, I perceive, that we are, in lome respects, a 
Miderabl)/ in advance of the nations of antiquity in point o( 
wisdom and improvement. Cold admission indeed, and yet ■■ 
impoitani one. Now, sir, please to explain the cause o' -'-~' 
amlimance of those nations thai have not the Bible, in « 
of heathen barbarijiii down in ihis day. Then '"^''^ ""' 



r 



Ai;THKNTiClTY OF THE BIDLB. 37 I 

im imjn'oremi.'iits. They ore nof in advanca of aucJent 
Hlbeti nations in tliesc redpecta. Look at the moat en* 
iblened ol'them — the Hindoos and Uie Chinese. In HindusUat- 
ir; havi; three bundled and thirty millions of Gods. Theca, 
!(]' barn or bury Ibeir widows alive, dcslro; their ial'aDUi 
parti<:uiBrly their illegitimate oties, of which ten thousand 4 
mntli are said to be thas murdered in Bengal uJune,) immerse th* 
ck and the dying in the Ganges, suapcnd themselves on hook>, 
«rci'd through their flesh, and sacrifice Ihemselvea to Juggec' 
int. Their genarrU characterUtia are, jalsehood, pride, tytannyi . 
«lt, deceit, conjugal iufldelity, disobedience lo parents, iii> 
ititude. (they having no vord expressive of thanks,) a Utigtout 
lint, perjury, treachery, covetousness, gaming, sErvility, hatred, 
lengc, cruelty, privaW murder, and want of compoasion to Ihft 
■or, the aged, the sick, and tho dying. In China, alt ranks, Iba 
iperor not eicepled, worship a host of imi^iiary ipirils, that 
e Bopposed to preside over the seasons, mountains, rivers, &o. 
ley believe in the traiumigration of souls. They are oITendad 
[h their gods, when evenla arc unfavourable. Their genenl 
uaeler ia that of fraud, falsehood, and hypocrisy. Here, loc^ 
uits ue exposed to perish, nine thousand of which are coibi 
led to be annnally destroyed at Pekin. So much for the li^U 
oatuie, and the progress of moral improvement without revels* 
n, And eholj we be gravely lotd in the face of all these bxHit, 
it rerehilion ia tmnecesaary P Sir, aatne inlidela have more 
idoDT than this. Some inlidels acknowledge the necessity oC 
flatioD, and acknowledge too, that Christianity has been at 
alcolable benelit to mankind. Wa flnd a Rousseau admitr 
;, as I have heretofore shown, that "philosophy can do iii>t 
ig good which religion does not do still belter; and that. 
gioQ does many good things which philosophy cannot do at 
" likewise, that modern philosophers are indebted to Chrii- 
\ity for their best ideas. We Und a Herbert adtnitling, that 
jgtianity is the best religion; a Hobbcs, that the Scriptures 
the voice of God; a Shofteabury, that Christianity ought to 
nore highly prized, and that he who denies a Cod sets up an 
lion against the well-being of society ; a Collins, that Chris- 
i(y ought to be respected; a Woolstou, that Jeaus is worthy 
glory for ever ; a Tindal, that pore Christionily is a mmt 
I reUgion, and that all the docCrinea uf Christianity plainly 
ik themselves to be tlie will of an infinittdy wise and holy 
1 ; a Chubb, that Christ's mission was pn>b<Jjl3 divine, that 
sas sent into the world to cotnmimicale to mankind the will 
iod, and that the New Testament contains excellent cautions 
instructions for our right conduct, and yields much clearer 
it than any other traditionary revelation ; and a Bolingbroke, 
t such moral perfecliona are in God as Christians ascribe 
urn, that he will not presume to deny that there have bees 
ticiilar proTideDcea, that Christianity is a republication of '' 
gidn of nature, anil that its morals are pure. Vle^iits 




38 AUTHENTICITY OF TUB BIBLE. 

&nd (ha wisest of tliB heathen philueaphers deploring Uieir igaa- 
aDcD and darkness, und auknowledgii.g theii neecBail)' uf diim 
iUuminaCioii. 

Bespecting the case of Socrtttas, for the truth of vrLich tnj 
oppnaanl baa called, I eilraet the following froni Halybunoirt 
laquiry, pp, 13!, 141), " Arialotlc prai:tiscd uDnBLaial lujt, ul 
Socrates is foully belied if he laved DOI the same vice. Wieatt 
else could Sacralici Cirtadi came lo be a pioverb in Jutmil'i 
daytV " Ho isfrequentlyintroduced by Flula at sneBnug. tit 
ia known lo huta basely complied with the way of irorilup lul- 
lowed by his own country, which nas the more impious, that il i! 
to be mppa<ied to be against the pertnoftun of his own consdescB. 
Yea, we lind him with his lost breath urdaring his liieDd to Boi- 
fice the cock he had Tow^d to Ksculapiua. M. Dacier's ^olofj 
for him is perfectly impertinent. He is accused of impDieinuu 
will) Alcibiadea, and of prostituting his wifo's chastity for gw." 
Again, p. 314, "Plato lella us how devout Socrates wuinllv 
warship of the sun, and that several times he fell into an oMc} 
while Ihua employed." 

As to the case of Lycnrgos and Plutarch, I see not how 1°; 
opponent has bettered it, by the allusion to the arli>:le tawhhi 
he refers us. It shows that they approved uf the most ihamelii 
aad open adultery, and of the moat cruel desuuction of weak lul 

In the case of Cicero, ho finds il very convenient lo pan ml 
bis approbation of revenge and suicide. Will he tell ug wlielbn 
be " sympathises and agrees wilh him in" these, as well ai ii 
scepticism { and whether that philasophei was wiser ii 
tHspeds "than modern Iheologians ?" 

His compBiisoti of the opinion of Calicratidos with i 
public opinion, touching the privileged irregularities of hw 
is an evaaion of the subject. We are not discussing the 
of public opinion, but of the Bible. He must not expect, 
discussion, lo make the Bible accountable for (he opinion oC 
ungodly world, who do not make it their direclnry, u ho s'^^ 
limes undertakes to do, though most absurdly, in relation b> 



without the Bible, and wbal 
who decry it tBould be without il — if, indeed, they would' be il 
good B condition, which but few, if any of them, would bs, il 
much as they are in geneiral no Socraleses. And srs they: 
discriminating (^niusei indeed, to pronounce a book unneceiM 
snd even pernicious, were it not for which, they Ihemselvei wa 
this -very hour be adoring the sun, and sacriHoing cocks, I 
casting their sickly infants down some deep, dark Apotlktt»t' 
high conceit of theraselvea must ihty have indeed, to itni| 
that they are nslurBllj so much w iser than the EWges of all ga 
rations, that Ihcy need no oilier light than those men have h 



AUTUEKTICITV OF THE BIBLE. 39 

to enable Oieni to do bo much batter thun tiiej. Let Ihem bear 
in mind the wurda uf Kousseau. ttiat madcm philnsoplicrs derive 
theii best tdeoa bom Cbristianily . And, txtuing thia in mind, let 
Ihem no longer say that revelation is unnecesa&ry. And will it 
>U11 be pretended that revelation is unnecesBary J Weic I an in- 
I'ldel, I would not attempt to maintain a position bo manifeally 
nuteoiblB. I would admit its neceedly at once, bat argue that 
Itiii did not prove that one had been given. 

Oricen BA( 



TO ORIGEN BACHELER. 



4 



July30, 183i. 
Tu our readers, without further argument, I leaia the 
dixi^on, whether yon have proved ihe faomblc precedent re- 
linled in Numbers, chap, xxxi., and the express command ia 
Qeulerouomy, cbap. lii., to be merciful and moi^ or not ; whether 
fiat precedent and that command would, or would not, amply 
jQsIiiy the moat odione inlolcnmce and cruellies to-day { whether 
fie conqueror finds not in the one hia permit, and the inquisitor 
in the other his credestials ; whether the bidief in witcbcrafl is, 
t ia not supported ; and whether the Solcm mordera were, or 
tere not, immediately caused, by the law given Exodus, chap, ixii., 
«r. 16 1 whether the example of the diosen of God, when acting 
1 accordance with the command of a divine law-giver, be, or be 
at justification autHcienl lor the slavery of the south, whether 
ou bave adduued from the Koran or from the annals of the 
ntiaaril", one atrocity to match the Midianile massacre; 
rhelher the 4lh and Kith chapters of Kzekiel, and the let and 
rd of Hosea, are, or are not, decent samples of " primitive aim- 
licity ;" wbethar the morals of a nation that sanctiona place- 
latiia are, or are not, belter thoii those described by Mr. Tappan 
ad his feUow members in the lata Report of the Magdalen 
ociety of this city; whether "Mural Phvsiolo^" be, or be 
at, a moral, useful work, written with the moat ncrupulous 
igBid to propriety, and conducive to genuine chastity and to 
ational cultivation; whether there ia one " abominabla" eenti- 
\eat or expresiioo in its seventy-two pages, and, if there were, 
'hether that were the faintest shadow of an apology for the 
lUying imaginations that stain the scriptural columns, cr 
he'Ihcr it baa any thing whatever lu do with thia discussion ; 
ihtilicr the spirit of jiri^grcssire iin provemout, baaei o 




r 

I 



I 



ADTBEKTICITY OF THE RIBLK. 

mulcting eiperlence, be, oi be not, adequate explanatioD of llu 
world's ptogieM aiiica the days of old; and, finally, ■«-'■-■'— 
such a revelatLon 09 that now under consideration be, ot 
likely to aid in bringing about peace, decency, and ci 
sense upon eartli, or goodwill and etjightened charity 
njankind. 

Ifwe are to be continually reverling to qui former nibject li 
debate, this discussion will be inlecminable. It seemed to m~ 
even from the first, almost superfluous In adduce a ungla resM 
in support ot my undoubted right, when I am uninformed, I 
say I am ; or very learnedly to argue, that when 1 hBTe not 
single tact on which to predicate an aasection, I may be [■«• 
mitted lo make no asserlions. To reilsrate the re ' '' 

given, would be aoria than superfiuoi;s. It is all 
that you should tell us whaterer you please regardiDg the doii^ 
above the stars aud the intentions of omnipotence ; it is HW 
enough that you should assume to have been odmittsd, H it 
were, beliind the scenes of the sacred dnuna, to see its Ncnl 
springs touched and its millioas of actors prompted; but, sw- 
tiuoka, it is carrying (he jest somewhat too lar, to insist 
my being equally presumptuous; and, when 1 decline lo 
what I baye no data for asserting, to run on about fenc« 
pivots and non-committal. 

In a former letter, you alluded to the eicesses com) 
during the French Bevolntion, in proof how sanguinarj andhost* 
lious a world would be without revelation. 

No great political event has ever been so grossly — so viUdS 
misrepresented, as that to which you have referred. NeTsrvM 
a more noble or a more unfortunate struggle lo put don 
tyranny and intolerance and injustice, and to replace tbea 
a republic founded on the tights and liberties of ita ddv 
Never was there a period when the power of truth and of Jul 
shone more conspicuously than in the first months of Ihal ren 
tion. Never, perhaps, was there a public body at once id 
daring, more honest, and more moderate, than the ^^ 

Assembly of 1789 ; nor ever, probably, did a political party «* 
hibit more sincere devotioa to a good cause, than did the bnl 
and ill-fated Giiondisla. 

But times of great excitement are unfavourable to sober j< 
meat; and, ia default of experience, men are apt ^OA 
eiUeme to run into the opposite. Thus did cxceiues origi 
among the French republican party, by whidi their sublie ad 
— -— were but too ready lo profit. 

first, the extravagancies committed by those who 

escaped from the thraldom of legitimate oppression wcM i 

fully exaggerated into atrocities. Throughout nil the otka 

of Europe, men's fears were excited, and men's hetdl 




^r AUTBBNTICITV OF THE BIBLE. 41 

one of extrarogODce, and lo push the moat reckleas and violent 
aoDg tbe reTolationary democrati u> niiheard-Df acta af iojusi' 
s uid cruelty. Diapiised as zealoua republicans, these tools 
a corrupt aiistoccocy secretly Ingtigaled, and somelimes openly 
TpetiBled, the Tery atiocities which their maalera afterwards 
Jd np with well-feigned horror, lo the execration of their de- 
ded subjects I 

These assertions are not mode lightly, nor without sufGcient 
llhority. They are made on the authority of one who learnt 

the American leTolulioD the talus of Uberty, and thea re- 
jned to aid France in a similar attempt ; and who has been. 
temately and deserredly, (he idol of our country and his own. 
hey are made on the auiJumly of tie father 0/ Utii w much 
angered French renolution—qf Genehal Lafatbite. It waa 
,y privilege {and a valued privilege I esteemed it,) lo hear, 
om the lips of the venerable patriot himself, a detailed account 
' that momentous, political convulsion, its occult causes, and 
le secret conspiracies that linally wrought its failure. 

[ asked him if aught of religious or irreUgiaua perseculiun 
lingled with the democratic excitement of the times. 

"None," replied Lafayette; "if the clergy were objects of 
talouHy «r dislike, it was because they sought to arrest the 
larch of the great reform, the more especially as it touched the 
cclesiaslical privileges and possesaiDiiB. From the moment the 
igli clergy saw the administration of their benefices transferred 
> the municipalitiea, did Ihe^ become the enemies of young 
iberty ; and as such, not aa pneslB, were they hated or Buapectcd 
y the people. The working clergy, who often aided the revolu- 
Lon^ry movement, escaped the national odium." 

In proof of the general's assertion, that to the eflbrts of secret 
nd foreign emissaries must be traced the woiat of those atroci- 
ies, I refer our readers to several extracts from an original 
ocument* — a letter Irom an agent of the English minister, Pitt, 
3 some of his creatures in France. It is dated 29lh of Jane, 
793 ; thai is, about a month after the reign of terror commenced. 
"he otigiiul is in my possession, and at your service, if you desire 
Q see iu Its authenticity is unqnesLionable : it vras inlercepled 
y the republican party, and aflcrwards placed in the hands of 
ieneral Lafayette. 

Space permits mo not lo add more than one other fact, out of 
be bundreda that have transpired, in corroboration of these (in 
Europe now commonly receivedj opininns. I give it on the 
mlhOTi^ of a Parisian gentleman, M. Phiquepal, who was long 
Lud intimately aci^uauited with M. Pinel, and wh[> related the 
mecdote to mc. 

The celebrated Finel, of Paris, was called, in hia capacity of 
physidan, lo attend a member of one of the prtncipal revulution- 
iry conunillees ; a man who had diatiuguished aimself oa Ihc 



I 



42 AUTHBNTICITV OF THE Bl 

abcltor and perpolraloc of Eome of the ^ 
Hlaitied the umols of that ereatful period. The palienl eigerifi I 
inquired whal l*inel Ihought of hia case ; TequEBting, as ir " "^ 
of friendship, that danger, if thera were any, might not be 
'id from him. Finel replied by adiiaing him, if ha hulyt, 

ness to BiraDgD, not to delay an houi in Eettling it. 'Ilfti 
dyiog man appeared lo be deeply alfected «ith hia aJtmliMtfJ 
and I'inel, ivho had ever been a true and staunch iepDbbe>%fl 

n from the lirsl attack oa the Baatile, in vhicli he pt "^^^ 

assisted — thought the moment favourable to obtain sot 

into the motive* that had prompted the nhiof actors Ik _ 

iutionaiy Eiagedy. "Sir," he said, addressiug bis patient, "I 
would fain a^ you a question; but it may be a painful •> ' 

ik it,'' teplied the othei, " my time here a short, and 1 1 
nothing that 1 need conceal now." " Then," Tesumed PiBA> I 
"1 would aslt what possible motive you eould hare hii U T 
enact, under the guise of repDblicaniain, the bloody lionaatU I 
have ruined our cause." " Your qDcslion is easily anawUKL^ J 
returned the aick man ; " I had a pension of six ' 
sent to me from England regularly by Louia." 

And these are the excesses — tliese the atrocil 
hesitatingly charged to treedotn or lo scepticism! 
in England, as proof positive that republicanism is but UMlbi 
name for anarchy ; and in America, as triumpLanl evideiMl I 
^hat A world would be wiLbont religion ! The aigumenlB Al 
obtained, ia the one hemisphere in favour of royalty, and iail 
other of orthodoxy, are equally condusive. 

But have American protcstants ever considered how helen 
dox, after all, ia this favourite argument of thein! What in 
the religion that, (nominally,) prevailed throughout Fim 
previous (o the French rnvolution, and the neglect of « 
1792-3, shall have caused the mitrailladti' of Lyona, i" . . 
the noyada-f of Nantes, and erected the guiUotinee of Ann, ■ 

Urange, and of Paris? A religion of truth? Nay, but a ' 

able heresy, (so have Luther and Calrin expressed it) an ^ 

tion of lies, a religioc of Anli-chrisl, a fable of the lady K 
Babylon. And will Luther's or Calvin'a followers now tlgM, 
tliat to believe a lie was the salvation of anti-retolilticoHy 
France, and that the abandonment of thai tie gave tnrtblD '^" 
crimes and cruellies of '93? Is Catholici 



e disaipikt 
Itivaled F 



devihsh delusion convert the polite and cultii 
into a iovei of misrule and a delighter m carnage i Wu 
in very deed, this so much abused Homtsh supersiilion IhU h 
alone, for centuries, restrained the turbulent and 



F THE SIBLB. 



43 



Mighty 



ritiei of the French nation ? Strange power at c\ 
iaQneace fur good of a devicB of llie fathei of evil I 

1 return from this digreBsion to apeak of the Bubject mora im- 
HKdiatelj nndoi coneidiitatiun, the influence wliich Bible crcsda 
live had on the Biorality of mankind. 

I tuye akead; odTerted to the spirit of fanatlciBm which led to 
lieSaJem tragedy, and which was filial Ij arrested, not by the mer- 
obi or enLglilening influence of religion, but bccHuge the licli, as 
•til as the poer, began to be accuEed of practices similar (o 
>n'i of Endor. But I hare not yet adverted Ci) another foul 
n the history of those days of gospel purity ; for mitli all 
iana will admit the times of the pilgrim-Eiliitra to have 
Men. I oUude to the inveterate pereecution even unto death by 
Hioee very men who had fled from England in search of mental 
liberty — of the amiable, inoflenaive quakers. In the year lliliV it 
fcja^ that a law paased the Colon iai Conr t of MaBBaehuBetB^to 

itword and bla8pneinOn3"(lo£binea."~Th6ll: preachers wiife^de- 
!lSe37SJig:ttiHLy'J''fa "f tTie'Bt amte^IO^fe^'^Qguea'urd' vaga- 
lonJa :" if found^ wTlIioUt t!J6' parlicular jurisdiiilio" "^■'—'■- 
lieir Jwellmg was situated.Tliey were s.^' ' ^ '- '- - 
talked ^Diffie middle lipwafi^i tied to 
"Ttli roUEET lrn 
_gt5miHMjiHIo ^ ,„ 

gCt^rTrron_girTe tr Tnio iJ|er:" a 

ler etjial m tS^lr^tt tej' < ver<rti) bt pat io cleattT*" 

rSnarvelnot £Klme!T WhuaefcncnTtei^eaTEe divine author- 
Jtip of the books of Nimibeta and DcuterDnomy, and who 
IcriVed their nnmet from their zealous endeavours to introiluce 
'Bdipture purity," should have thought it pious and virtuous 
a imitate, (though in a very faint aod lenient manner] the ex- 
tmples approved by the God of the Bible and recorded by the 
Mlthor of (he Pentateuch ; but what 1 do manel at is, that one 
idfocale should be found, in this nineteenth century, to eulagiae 
—•7, or to anaua— a book, of influence so gcievouelj intolerant, 
■ltd of precedent so lamentably immoral. 

The origin of this hydra evil, which turns the veir ititer- 
:ha^;e of human opinions to a curse — of this aiiocco faUehood, 
Jutt breathes its withering influence over the world of the heart, 
Itying ap all kindly afleclions, and scorching the fair flowers of 
Mace and love and charity — the true origin of this master-cnor, 



ticular jurisdiction whergin 
re adjudged to be " strimwd 
d toll carf 3 tail, anj whip-' 



^iBJeJ in their 






and Maiy D^i, who hi 



a tbn year 1G5& mMag 

IB chiuitj of Ihp Kciv Eng 
laud eeplemlKt i. IMI, p 

Ti of Mwmaj'ote SMvonil 



, ItiSS,) frem Judge 



AUTHENTICETY OF THE BIBLE. 



44 

Intolbiuncb, may be Iracud lo the unfoundea luid muchimN^ 
notion, inculcated thraughout (he gospel pages. M<U (nu Miitf i> 
a oirtw!, to id rtteorded witA heaven ; and uittme belief (honeia 
smcere) a g>e», to be ptmUked teilh hell. " He that belieielh lO. 
is baptized ahalL be saved ; but he that believeth not ahill b« 
damned."" (Mark, chap, ivi., ver. 16.) 

Now, just belief is often a hlesung Co be rejoiced orer ; u 
would r^oice over a good conatitutiDn, or a, powerful bcuni 
is never a virtne to be praised or glotiiied. Poise beiief—cm 
the sincerest — is often a misfortune i no sincere belief i> i[aiilt.t 
Belief is not a thing to be cast aside, or chaDged, or rc-anuaeJ 
at pleasure, like a garmeuL A man loiglit aa rationally caa- 
mand me lo add a cubit to my stature as an article to my cretd. 
He might as well bid me glow with heat when the frceiiiiC 
north'Wind blons over me, or require me to shiTer with fuu 
under the rays of a tropical sun, as to expect me 
absence of conviction, or to doubt wtien the light 
shioes into my mind. 

Belief is involuntary ; a moral phenomenon similar 
sensation of warmth or of chill over the physical frame ; c«iul| 

• This FTjmiiinn ii alMbuted lt> Ifbus by his biiiKn.phcr Hut. !■ ' 
nffuratLte luifuage of the Eait. it mij^tit perhapt be intfrpntvd lo vmt 



m of gnnt namn, 1 mghl 






. _u- «jucatinn in QtvbC BriiAin. ) The vafic 
.nHUifun] dudOUTH delivered by BrowtiAli b 
the [TnlvanitT of Gluzow, Ths sJiliii il 



in Mondnj CIui.„ _ — ^-r --w - — . i3:^™ 

fill puMee," which. " i> ths dimonn* mi printed u the umbmI if 
priadptl prot^on ind vtudmtt of tho niuvEnl», ia kdaoM to I 
feuiud md liltiilv rctpecuble bad;," The Kiiliiseiit Itau ii&mU$ 

-— ^ -■--'-■» "~* — "- ^i^_-j i_ .xjg nuhflniij, and IB—'-' ^^ 

, wt:"TkeirtaiinB 

.J all llu tndi of Ihe tarlli. Ikat mm i/iaiTnr Ibu 
If, far belief, m •• ■ ■ - - - "^^- 



gttne forth to 



jj,j,,.. 



iml 1b. we Twuere, ba from bibVi 
I tb^ ere prrpcuvd to diicard. 



!Lu 



ITV OF T 



^ . ad deserting u9 unrequesled. That the 
inculcalae a. aentiment diametricaJly opposed to this most 
riant truth, u aloDO eiidcuce sufficienC that it is not of di- 
irigin. 

■as unirorthy of your cause, and unnecessary to your orgU' 
, to bring up the danders that haie, in eyeiy a^, been en- 
ly circulated against philoaophera. Without beliating Socta- 
id bis compeers perfect, we may be permitlad to doubt tl 
ilea that have e«er been circulated regarding them, emtoi 
hnn some auch souroa, probably, as " The Clouds" of Acia- 

RoBEHT DiLE Owen. 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



New- York, August 6, 182 

a cmelty or justice of the slaughter of the Canaanite* 
u Israelites, depends, aa I have already said, upon th^ fact, I 
hei that slaughter woa or was not couiinanded by God, 
h 'a the very point in dispute. Nor would a command tot ] 
htering them be a licciiae for slaughtering others; audit 
d not therefore justify a similar act "to day," noi gire 
conqueror his permit, or (he inquisitor hia credentials." 
nark somewhat similar have I made in relation to witch' 
. The command in the Bible for the eieeulion of reel 
les, is no aanctinn for the esecution of tmaginari/ onea. 
B then that tha Salem sufferers wera real witches — and 
t. too, that the local command to lbs Jo-w^ on this point is 
ng on ui — or cease to charge the Bibia with their fate. 

don't forget, by the way, to intbrm uie what branch of 
m knowledge provea witchcraft to bo impossible. My 
Bht in relation to Iho tlaven/ of the Canaanites is simitar 
Hblatiie to their tiaugkler. A command of God to ea- 
^Kn would apply to them only. He might, for aught we 
^Re reasons for their being enslaved, which would ezlM 
Wfter casp, At any rate, it is no sanction whatever tor 
davery of others which he has sol commanded. That 
Hand was local, not general. With regard to the Komn 
be Canaanites, 'tts nanccesaary to inqnira how mueh murder 
enjoined and practised. The proper inquiry ia, Had they 
■glT from God ? And tlie obscenity of the Bible— I admit 

Bffiing. It is well known, llial. in ancient limea, there 



f 



46 AVTUENTICITT OF THE BIBLE. 

was much greater simplicity Ihnii at preseni, and lliit eiprO' 
aons wbich shock the eai of modem refinement were (ben con- 
sidered allo^ther proper. Hence we find, in other ancient wit 
lings besides the Bible, the same kind of s^le j and it is lbm> 
fore tieadDg the latter very unfair];, to object to it on thii u- 
connt. As lo " placements, " it may be observed, that in a 
tioD vbeie that gencial sj-slem of fomicatioit is practised, t 
19 no diance for porCimlar kouses uf Ul-Iame ; but it is a itn , 
srtpiment, that the nalion, all of whose hubitjiliotij are brothrii^ 
are more mora! than another which has only tpraal oiiet. Hov- 
ever, jost Euch an idea of moraiiiy is to be eipected bam lb 
author of "Moral Phytiology" who iliinks that />uAiKBriiM • 
moml one. But, at any rate, one would suppose, that such >l 
individual need not have hia modesty so ejtvm'iKfjr torluieil bj 
(be honest simplicity of anctcnt wrilingH. Ooe word as in r*" 
progiessive moral improvement of man without revelation; I 
thai is, there is no such thing. Wherever Christianlly bail bi* 
been embraced, monliind keep on aa bad as Ihey were wiuS 
that mligion fiist made ila appearance on the earth. Yrt «f 
sooner is it received in any comitry, than it puts an aMaiH 
period to their abominations. But philosophy and infidoUn it 
not do this. These facU outweigh a thouiiaiid fanciful thaana \a 
the contrary. 

If my opponent reall;^ wishes to retain his position betm 
theism and alheiEm, be is welcome su lo do. But then he m 
not expect mc to Ut htm altise there, became erery eontnnilat. 

is answerable to his antagODist for the consequences of (he fA 
tion by him aEsmaed. If, to escape Ike diQlculties of theiBn 
were to embrace atheism, so be it ; yet, in doing (his, he * 
have to defend the ohairriitiet of atheism. But if he Ihin) 
has nothing to do by being a nothingarian, he does for once H- 
take. He says he does nut affirm or deny u God. Whf? I^ 
cause he sees no evidence on the subject. Then let bun a| 
his eyes, and exercise his reason; for 'Us (he height of imb 
ality to suppose, that the evidence will not preponderale ihcl 
way oc the other, when there is either wisdom immense or w 
at all concerned in the question. 1 do not ask hira to eigtM 
the regions beyond the alara, or (o pry inlu the unieveabd fOUSa 
sela of omniscience. But I ask him to look at himself and 4~ 
if his own frame docs not exhibit appearances of perlect waiA 
and consummate skill. Or will he say that it exhibiU IMvi 
dom, no skill at all J 'Tis the one way or the olber, and t ^ 
subject of reasoning too ; and, so far from being a fret iotrai 
he is no inquirer, imless he will exercise his judgment in M 
and tangible a case. If, however, be will be so unreaaon 
to refuse to furiu an opinion on the subject, let Idm 
consequences of that course. He says he acea no rea 
denyins a God. Very well, then ; u the dcstnictiera « 
by earthquakes and volcanooB is no reason for dl^DyiIlt IG 
of nature, neither is the desboclion of cities by llie ^ 







AUTHENTIC 



n Tor denying the God ol'^lia Bible. I:cl him therefore cense 
fOTH^e this objection henceforward, while he rstaiiiB his present 
poailion. Dot for^ettinn thiit he has the fooleries of ntheism to de- 
fend besides. Hod not this qneadon a hearing on the present suh- 
ject of discusaiDn, I should nolhaTe introdnced it; but it bn9 a 
mnst important bearing. Sceptics have yet to Icam, that their 
(haiti are aimed at the God of the univerBe, as trell as at the God 
of Israel, and thai downright atheists are the only consistent, 
ihorongh-going inddels among them alt. 

I doubt not, sir, but Uial Ihete was sufficient cause for a, 
change of goternmenC in France at the time of her former as 
vdlasher h 

in the nation; „ . , 

chance, had there her emitsaries to foment distuibances. and 
instigate Bij:cssea. Bnt to attribute the hostility of rovolutionists 
tofrard lAe tovereiga oflht unirerie, to a desire merely to revo- 
Uttionize their earthly govemment; to explain their viotencle 
against CArMfinittfy ittelf to be nothing more than an attempt 1o 
rebrm tAeir claavh ; to represent the creatarei of Pitt as IiaTtng 
been the anlhois of the principal auocities, when those atrocities 
were committed fay the nifcri of France — by her Robespierre, her 
Maiat, her Danton, and her other bloodhounds of infidelity, and 
saaclioncd by her f/alionai Acsemblt/, by the dtiiem of her eapitat, 
aiid even by the French nalion : — this, sir, is rather too great a tax 
on our credulity, and rather too little a regard to the history of 

It is well known that tho wriiingx tjf infidel philoaophere were 
the CAnse of that conTulsion, and that their leading object wafi 
i^e aubreiaion of religion. "Crush the wretch!" was a 
litTourite expression of Voltaire, their leader, in relatioti to the 
SanouT, in his correipondence with his brother infidels. And 
JDst before tlic breaking out of the revolution, the idea of moral 
oMigatisQ was exploded among the infidel clubs throughout 
Fcance, by which they were prepared for the perpetration of any 
enonnitj whatever Uiat would promote their diabolical plans. 
The p^at majority of the nation had become infidels, when the 
tmgnltinry drama was opened. The following vivid description 
of that day of infidelitv and blood is taken from Home's 
Introduction to the Study of the Scriptures. For his antfanrity, 
he refers to the Abb6 Bamiel's Memoirs of Jacobinism. Gifford's 
Rendence in France during the years 1792-5, vol. ii., atid Adcd- 
phui' History of Franre, vol. ii. 

"The name and profession of Christianity was renounced by 
iLe legisLilure, and the abolition of the Chiislian era was pro- 
claimed. Death was declared by an act of the republican 
government to be an eternal sleep. The eiisleuco of the deity 
and the immortality ofthe soul were formnlly disavowed by the 
Naltoo&l Convention ; and the doctrine of the resurrection OT the 
dead was declared to have bean only preached by superstition 
for the toiment ol' the living. All the religions in the world 



f 



I 



48 ALTHBSIICITV OK THE BIBLE. 

ivcce proclaimed to lie the daugtiters of tgnnrance snd pridt, 
nud it nos decreed to be iJie duty of the Canvnnlion lo unmi 
the honourable nfGce of disseminating atheism (nbtch «u 
bloaphemoiisly Btliimed to be truth,) oyer alt the world. Al I 
part of this duly, the ConTeation further decreed, that iti •»■ 
press renunciation of all religious worahip should, like iti iirili- 
tiona to rebellion, be translated into all foreign laiiguagei; ut 
it was itueitod and received in the Convention, that (he lira- 
saries of religion had deserved well of their country. Gonv- 
pondent wilii theiie professions and declomtions, were the efihtt 
actually produced. Public worship was utterly abolished. IV 
churches were converted into ' temples of reason,' in <*tud 
atheistic and licentious homilies were substituted for Ihe fn- 
scribed service ; and an absurd and liccatiouB imitatioD of At 
pagan mythology was eihibiled, under the title of the 'reyiioi 
of reason.' In the principal church ia every town, a taluij 
goddess was installed, with a ceremony equally pednrin. 
frivolous, and profane ; and the females selected topersoniffftii 
new divinity were mostly prostitutes, ivho received the BdnttoM 
of the attendant municipal officers, and of the mnllitudet wbM 
fear, or forc«, or motives of gain, had collected togclhcron A> 
occasion. Contempt for religion oi decency became the Isat itf 
atlachtnonl to Ihe government, and the gross itifnction of nf 
social or moral duty was deemed a proof of civism, ud ■ 
victory over prejudice. All distinctions of right and nrongwen 
confounded. The grossest dehaucker;' tciumpked. "II0 
proscription followed upon proscription ; tragedy foUowed iAk 
tragedy, in almost brealhless succession, on the thutni of 
France; almost the whole natioDwas converted into a hoidc of n- 
sassins. Democracy* " (uiir tin 1 1'l mi ili iiim m j.]""iiiiililliiiW. 
hand in hand, desolated llie country, and converted it intgM 
vast field of rapine and of blood.' The moral and sociil ttt 
were unloosed, or rather torn asimder. For a man (o nsOtt 
his own Either, was declared lo be an act of civism worthy rf • 
true republican ; and to neglect it was prononnced tobeiCfbH 
that should be pimishcd with death. Accordingly, woan 
denoimced their husbands, and mothers their sons, u M 
citizens and tntitois; while many women — not of the dtM (f 
the common people, nor of infamous reputation, but lespectdb 
in character and appearance — seiied with savage liaote 
between their teeth the mangled limbs of their nnndaN 
couutcymen. E'rance during this period was a Ihealie of enBM 
which, after all preceding perpetrations, have excited in Al 
minds of evenr spectator amiuiemcnt and horror. The i^mA 
suffered by that single nation have changed all the lustmiN^ 
the preceding sulferings of mankind into idle talea, Ud IM 
been enhanced and multiplied without a precedent, wilhMtl 
number, and without a name. The kitigdrta appeared lA Ij 
changed into one great prison ; the inbabilants into felom; HI 
.tha common doom of man commated for the violenca «f fli 



^^ AUTHBNTtCITY OF TKG BISLB. 4S 

■wnd and bayonet, tte sucking boat and the guillotine. To 
cOntsmplatiTe men, it Boemed for a Beasun as if Uie knell of the 
whole nation waa lolled, and the world summoned (o its execu- 
tion and its funeral. Within the shott time of ten :^eara. Dot 
less (haa three millions of human beings ore supposed to have 
perished in that single countty by the influence of atheism." 

This, then, whs " the nobla atniggle to put down tyranny !" 
this the *' period when the power of truth and of justice shiine 
Bu coospicuouslj !" And was Lafayette in very deed the lather 
iif a tragedy hke this P Not he. I will not hbel him by an 
adnitticrn of the charge. No, sir. He waa nut even for luSnert- 
Htg French monarchy, but only for reform. He the father of 
luch aa infernal rebellion against heaven and earth r Nay; be 
cuuld not even ride the whirlwind and direct the storm, but was 
himaelf compelled to flee his country to preserve hia life. And 
WM there in all this no hostility to religion ? What then tcoulil 
biTe hoen so ? Was it no religioua peraecutioa for these myr- 
midosa of hell to commit what Mirabeau himself declared in a 
nmibiT case to be robbery, by coniisiialing the legal property of 
the rhuich J tt> compel Ihc clergy to dubscribe a creed made by 
u infidel National Cotiientiou, or rcUnquiiih their means ot* 
subsistence ? The working clergy escape indeed 1 Yea I such 
"workiee" as Talleyrand & Co., who were ready to sign any 
creed, and swear fealty to any government, to retain their 
pUces. Such or Ihe clergy it scema eecaped the national odium, 
and that too for the »ery thing for whicli they ought to have 
receired it. From such hypocrilic demagogues may God in hia 
infinite meruy preserve the American church and nation. But 
wilt it seriously he pretended, that there was no conspiracy 
against religion, when the very doctrines of Christianity, and 
even Christianity itself, were proscribed? when public worship 
was abolished, and the cliui^es converted into temples of 
atheism f nay, when bU the religioni in the world were proclaimed 
to be Iha daughters of ignorance and pride, and when the very 
eiiilenco of Uie deity waa formally disavowed by the National 
Conrenlion? A strange church rejbrm this! Sir, I am as- 
lonisbed to witness such a disregard to Ctcl, to screen French 
iafldelity. Far be it from ine to attempt to excuse the conup- 
lions of the church of Rome. I admit that chuicb, without 
hesitation, to be the very Babylon of the Apocalypse. But at it 
it, it i] order and excellence, compared with infidel anarchy 
and miirulc. Nay, the fabled hells of the heathen had a com- 
paratively EHlulary efiect on the multitude, and held the world 
together. Nor is the crudest creed of the wildest horde that 
roams the desert, a hundredth part so injurious to the inlercsta of 
mankind, as is the sceptic's rejection of revelation. One stnli- 
ment only is more pernicious ; 'tis that which makes the Bible (he 
enauragcT of crimes that hurry ua hence, by sending 

sooner to heaven! No! sir; enough, enough have we i _. 

the reign of iiihdeltty, not to wish its re- instalment. We have 



^ 



ACTHEKTICrrY OF TUB BIBLZ. 

. lot tfitheut leveltttoD, t 
It U eDougb, quiie enough, to make Chrislen- 
/ pause, ere they lij aDolher. They will 
nelhiiiK mote than dreaming apecoliClDn, imd reckleta 
aemai of luls uoljcmoDs the wi>rid over, to uidnce them, aAer 
thii, to rebel agwiigt the govenmierit above. They haie leamt, 
IbU howeret God iDaj compariitiTel j wink at the tjrRomnn of the 
htatken, the cations of Ckrulcndom arc not to extinguith the HfU 
of retnlalion to tbenk luDchsafed, vith impiimty. They tin 

iesmt, that rerelatiaD ii eilrcmtl]/ necissaiy for than, n ■■-' 

they AoH it, both in point of iaieieat and obiigaliciii. 

Belbre noticing what my oj^onent says louchiDg (he peneeo- 
lion of the qnakera by the puritans, 1 will just bring into lie* 
his asserlions relaliie lo beliet lie eayi no sincere belief il 
faalt ; that it iB not to be cast aside, or chAoged, or resumnl I 
pleasure ; (hat we can as well add a cubi( to out slatote, H ■ 
article to out creed; that it is inToiunlaty, coxiing to u) W 
soi^t, and deserting ds untequeslcd. All this he says lo excu 
his Bvepticism, aod fault the Bible for tequiiing beUef in llii 
Now let na apply this rale to Ihe case of the purilanB, TlW" 
belief Ihat (he Salem aiifibrers wete witches, and that they tM-^ 
to execute them, and vhip and banish and hang the quab 
"was not a fault It was involnntaty. coming lo them 
nought." Nor ahoold he manel, Ihat an advocate of the BiUa 
ran be found in the nineteenth centniy. This advocate MiiM 
the Bible ; and his " belief is not W Iw cast aside at pleaiurtl 
it is involunlary, coming U> him unsonght/' But men will sC 
i;oui3e act accotding to Iheii belief. Why (hen does Bf, 
opponent denounce the purilans for acting according to Iheitll ' 
Nay, how is the Bible itself pernicious, if "no belief c~' 
destroy (he infloence of the light within?" How adm' '''' 
consistency! and with what facility do the abettors of ei 
fiom position to position for tlie time being! — I will add, b) .^ 
leaving this point, that ChtlBtendom in Ihe days of the pwitaV: 
had but just emerged tiom the darkness of the uiti-Chtistiall, 
apostacy, and that all parties partook more or less of the intirie- 
rant spirit of the age;— and, what is mare, that the Bible doeii* 
where enjoin the petsecution of quakers, and therefore, that ir 
makes nothing against that book, though that petsecution w» 
I'ver BO blamowoitby on tho part of the puritans. And I "ill 
luithet add, that 1 shall prefer the Bible and my own conscioar 
ness, before the theory of Brougham, or any other man. 

Ohiqek Bjcimni. 



bribnl! 



r .,„ 


KKTICITY 


OF IHE BIBLE 




^ 


>■ 










\ 


RIG EN 


RACHELER. 






' LErt 

!■ 

Ims alreftdy selected, 
|U of the moralily incu 
DM Testament. 1 might 
. _*.!,. n,_... I. „-„; 








AuguEt 13, 1B31. 
1 haMrd, one or two frightftif 
catad, by precept imil eiample. 
bara cnlled, almoat from evary 



c of the Pentatench, similar samples, 
iipport of the principle involved in the ■pattvitUxr i 
Midiaiiil(!8, we have general commands enough Tegaiding 
ulaters; such M Deuteronomy, chap, ii., »er. 16;" 
rii., ver, 2 ; chap, vii., ver. 22, 23, 24 ; t wiOi a hoat of olhew, 
Lng BUcb M declare heresy to merit inilant death, in anj' 
lew or Bttani^j for example, Deuteronomy, chap, xiii., 
O 10, and 12 to 15 ; also chap, xvli., yerr S : commands 
t'im unison nith the spirit manifested by God liimsetf, 
'lagi. xxxit., ver. 10, until pacified by Moaea, vei. 11 to 
>, according to Joshua, who takes pains to inform the 
btta, chwp. xxiv., ver 19, 20,) that the Lord is " a 
," who, " if they forsake the Lord and serve strange 
urn and do them hurt, and (iinsume them, after he 
■ them good." 

' '"' >d sanctiotia not public and general maBsacres 
imaada also cowardly, secret assaswnalioQ ; 
|. dup. iii., var. 15 to 22 ; and approves it. Judges, 
T,, Tsr. 24, 25, 36. FurlKermore, he enjoins deceit, w 
we should call tmndHHg, Exodus, chap, xii., ver. 35, 39 ; 
rs a lying spirit, 2 Chronioles, chap, zviii., ver. 20, 21,' 
rewards lying. Genesis, chap, xivii., vei. 19, and 
xxviii., ver. 13, 14, 15; also Genesis, chap, xxvi.,^ 
13; protects hypocrisy and punishes integrity, Genesis, 
XI., ver. 1 to 19. lie commands that sons be punished,* 
at times with death, for sins or omissions of Ihsii. 
s:} Genesis, chap, xvu.,>ver. 14; and again, Deuteranomy,i 



vsUuilbreathelh.'" 



F*« laid, doubtu 



I 



BbaH ^^ 



» 



5'i AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

chap, xxiii., Ter. 2 ;* and he himself plagues the Iiraelilel witb 
a three yeaa' (amine, until they act up tu Ilie spirit of nch 
wretched baibarity, by hanging seven innouent men, for liei 
father's miedeeds; (2 Samuel, chap, xxi., Tei. 1 to 14.i-) Hf 
descends to the dictation of tlie most childishly useleu livi, 
(against wearing linsey-wobey, &c.,) Deuteronomy, chap, loiu 
Ter. 5, 9, 10, 11, 12; of the moat whimgical rhapsodieB, Song «f 
Solomon, cha^. viii., tcf. 8, 9, 10 ; or Ezckiel, chap. liii., TCi. IT 
to 21 ;^ and himself acts a part whicb is only redeemed iioni iK 
imputation of cLildiahness by its teckleaa Inhumaoily ud 
extravagant Injustice ; slaying (2 Samuel, chap, ixit., Ter. 1 
to 25,) Eeventy thousand gullllesa men, hecaute David (al (if 
numing of the Lord.'i) saw Jit to order a cauia of Iht j!«^.' 
He dictatea a law (Deuteronomy, chap, iiii., ver. 13 to 21,) ia 
perusing vhich one knows not which mOEt to muvel al, lb 
brutal spirit of tyrannical suspicion, the outrageous disregard of 
the commonest decency, or the utter ignorance of physiolagicil 
faclB, it displays; a law so revolting to any one but a jealma 
savage, that at ^us moment it is, I believe, no where to te 
found, except among a few of the Tartar hordes, or in somcit 
the very nidesl provinces in the distant interior of RnallJ 
He ordains a test of jealousy (Mumbers, chap, v., ver. 14 to SOj 
that overtops all the absurd trials by combat, by fire, OT llj 
water, that ever disgraced the dark ages. But why enummU 

particulan? The whole story U of a similar atanip; ul 

MlchaJ^ the dBughier a! Snul ; " and aflir_ Ilial, Gad mu intnated }m Ik 



i An omnipdteDt creator DtJthe unLTCTte prDmulgnttn? decna rApiAv 
" Mwing piUbwB to wm-holM," taA " mtkiag 'kmhiett to hunt H-Uf 

^ So wo haiE it, i Buionel. chip. xut.. ver. 1 : but at I Chnnkkh 
Atn. ul., uhne tha lor; urn* tnruicUoii ti r«arded, it l> .SMn^ 

SMmT liBatantJodl So, from collating boUi toils, I.B iDIUl ■«'<**^ 

tfaErcbeeyi]iAacii}''sD<l till Lm^ liBIh 'not daae it T'" ciprofdj inptlB I' 
On* niigtit prove, by Ita wiy. from a compaiitoii oT Ih* 

trTii.) u alioTliii oii^'mUiion'mahtinilKd Ihoniand >"™iiy 
andrcd Ihouund : Iconpan S Suaul, cha^ uiv.. m. t. wlthl d 
JujI. Mi., m. S.) or die, ai 1 aaid hofcre, tbU or "— -^ "■■ 

m 17« " by (be AbW Ou^f D 




Ih, val, L, p.^; «ta(i 



■ enrioui itflry "d'mia 



elJubit ils tharacler one would lie compelled to quote il 

□□'«', vhat is the reply to hitn who adduces these speci- 
f ScriptuiB morality ? How lire we met, when we thus 
rom t£e Bible, examples of the grossest Tiee, laws of the 
dious tendency, precedents of the worst influence, bJI 
d, sanctioned, or commanded by the deity 7 How aie we 
Why thus ; " Slaughter for heresy is justifinble, if com- 
. by God. A command to the Jews ia not a command to 

was virtuous tonnerly to slay nations of idolaters, but 
1 be Ticious lo slay a single idolater to-day." Was ever 

ao paltry F excuse so lame 7 Is God changeable t Are 

to approve now what God approved then? And what 
rove, are we not to imitate ? If conduct dictated by 
limself be not worthy of all imitation, what conduct u 

of it ? If these deeds are not recorded as an example 
hat we may ft^low the steps of a Uod-directed nation, to 
mpose are they recorded ? Either such conduct was, ia 
Ight, or il was wrong. If wrong, the record is false which 
ols a Gad of goodness enjoining, approving, or rewarding 
i^t, it ought to be universally imitated to-day. Virtue 
ot change its nature in four thousand or four million 
If the slaughter of women and children because of 
f, if secret assassination, if deceit, if lying, if hypocrin^, 

shing SOUS for the Bins of fathers, nnd ti whole nktion tor 
1 of a king— if puerile fancies, if savage testa of virginity 
jealousy — ^in a word, if all, or any of the follies, barbari- 
d atroelliea for which I have above quoted chapter and 
be *icea, the Bible ehcourages vice, by precept, by 
le. Men will be vicioua to long ai they act in tht spirit ef 
ilaleucli. They con bo virtuous, ouly by refusing to imitate 
loses' God approved. 

eny this, is to deny that nny precept given to the Jews ia 
re binding on us. It is lo deny that there is, fur us, any 
nd is the decalogue, to refrain finm murder, from stealing^ 
lulleiy, from Sabbalh-breaking, from bearing false witness, 
netODBuees. To deny this, is to deny that the ten command* 
ire, in virtue of the record, of any authority for the present 
,an[s of the world. To deny this, is to deny that any pre- 
ny example, any precedent whatever, recorded from the 
e bepnniag" of Geneiia to the " Amen" of Revelaliimt, is, 
e of ltd being so recorded, uf the slightest obligatioti on 
: is to conatili'.te man a judge what he will imitate, and 
le will not imitate, among divinely approved examples; 

u our reidcrs, 10 takE their Blblei in their bmtB, ond dlipMiloo. 



1 



34 AUTHENTICITY OP THE BIBLE. 

which lie will obey and which he will diaobey, of God's eipn 
comnianda. It ia eotling aside the Bible, to make way for en 
mon senac and decent feeling. 

No. Do not £atlui youiaelf with any hope oF escape lui 
Tliere is none. Defer.d youi God's conunanda as virlQcnu u 
■worthy of iDiilatioo, if in common decency you can. Ify 
caiuiot, (hen confess, that they aie the leieise; conf^ H 
to set them up as examples before us is to seduce ua to lis 
cooleES, that the Bible tempts to Immarality — tAat ita itf/faMM 
potitiTely, «ndo>ibleiiis vidout. 

The CQuqueioi, the iaquijltoi, the slave-holder, the lM»i 
hanger' ^e not exctaed, not permitted only, to set theii m^ 
peclive parts : the^ aie commimded thereto, (if the scnptnn t* 
mspired) either directly by divine precepts, ca tacitly by 0^™ 
approred and Bible-recoided examples. 

" But," will my opponent urge, "if these really txt GcA 
commands, if historical evidence proves them to ' 
— To tliis if I reply, that the evidence is two 
thousand, six thousand years old. it has descended U 8 
through fens, almost hundiedls of generations. The record cm 
taining it has been laat and found again; has been prewmJ 
and interpreted from time imroemqriJ by those whose inloffl 
it glaringly was to keep up the notion of its infallibUily ; fimUl-' 
it has been franalaled by fallible men. No such evidenc* b 
piove the tufnlUbiliiy even of Uie mon leawmable, and naton 

and easily comprehended thing. InfaUSili proofnimt tomt^ < 
through an infallible channel. Now this channel is not MQi 
only, it is in the highest degree suspicious. And Ihut whicb 
is adduced to prove is not only not reasonable, not natnral,!) 
easily comprehended; it is (to our human reason] inconiiiU 
contradictory, miraculous, incomprehen^le. It is so Dlle;^ 
improbable (not to speak of its impossibility), that a ntigv 
being would suspect his very senses of hallucination if tt^ 
testified to its reality. Aud such incredible mysteries it ii Ikl 
we are bid implicitly to believe, on the evidence of obai 
Eastern legends, some thousands of years old I 

What I have wrilteu an the sutgect of marriage and f\i 
ment, I have written ; and our readers can penise it in 
Appendix, They, not you or I, are the judges whelhn 

• Ton term suTlotia to DbtaiD sn answer to the ijantinn : " Vtut ta 

irtiidil un MqiuimiBd. Cm you Idl me. in return, uliil brmdnifBi 
kaowled^ iDfonuB us thai the inbnbitiuitfl of Satoja do not watk M 

proof of the nriutentrn of wlichts. Bui in the ninrlmith Denturj, ti 
i.rtnw.esBuy- We nepd not Offbl -nindmUll- 



tti'i 






P Tim BIBLK. 



B of the Haiftiut PreEideut and the hoasea of (hi 
EipecUble porlian of his fellow-oitizena be or be not brolheU, 
Dd whether Moral Fhysiolr^ be or be not of bencfiuial influ- 
ace. They too roust judge for Ihem^lves (and this [ilune 
ppeitiuDg to the preaeat discussion ) whether euch chupten ui 
IB IGth and 23Td of Ezekiel, and fifty others of a sitnilur stamp, 
» characterized by simplicity or obscenity ; and also (thiB 
leniffia my opponeiit forgot to auBwur) wiiether they woold 
unse to read such simple passages aloud to theii sisters or 
Hightcrs ; ay 1 or to iheii sons or brothers ; for I navcr could 
ideistaiid why men should not be as regaidful of dignified pro^ 
iely in the company of their own sex as of the other. 
When yoa adduce some proof in support of your assertion, 
lat there is Co such thing as progressive improvement without 
ible religion, I will reply to it. 

An omaipoteat and benevolent Creator of a BuSeriug vorld, I 
ive already argued, is an imposaibilily. In auch a. God of 
itnre 1 am an atheist. For aught 1 know, yuu may succeed 

> showing the impossibility of Plato's dream. We should then 

> at a loss to portray a Cod, unless we can substitute some 
her eonceplion, or will resort to the original quaker definition, 
id declare God to ba Ue ipirii of rectitude wtthin us. Among 
wd men there are no onbelieTers ia smii a God, nor any SLCptici 
I his revelation. * 

The histoiy of the French Kevolulion 1)j Mismt, lliougli 

«s auiactively written than the Waveriy Kovcliat's, is now 
foeiatly admitted to be the most impartial that has 
T cotunlting it, at pages 275, 276, you will discover, (what 
lonie and his autlioitties seem to have been ignorant of) that 
leoi a mere petty ntuniciipa/ Jactitm,'^ not the National Con- 

SociMy of Frienii, 
faith I prornB. and no athetat ' 



s 




OF THE BIBLX. ^^H 

Tontion, tliiit BdToraled what they called "llie wonhnofn 
No such absurd dacreea a3 ihoae lo which yuu refir, lef 
the ncm-axlEltnce of God, and death being an elemal 
originated with the French legislature, ot were ibr a n 
sanctioned by the Fiench nation. On the contrary, the N 
CoDvanlion decieed, at the request of Robespiens (Sib I 
ber, 1733), " thai all outraga agaiatt, aad meraarei conk 
lie Jreedom of woriAip were pTohOnttd." Robeapiene'a 
on that occasion weie : " I luk you lo prohibit particular i 
itieB (the Camtatme) irom assisting our enemies by ud 
measures, and tbat no armed force may interfere with lliii 
relates to religious opinions."* And this very moilei'l 
that fearful tempest of opinion — ibis reckless man of l 
was, who instituted (9tli June, 1794), a " festifal in llO 
the supreme being," at which he oSlciated as chief 
auperintendiog the burning of a hideous effigy under 
was personified atheism. It was but two days after 111 
gious fete, tliat the sanguinary Couthon, under Robes 
express direction and support, brouglit forward the fain 
rather infamous) law of Prairial, which denied to the 1 
even counsel to assist them, iticreased the number of 
prosecutors from one to four, emptied the prisons and « 
the guillotines by hundreds at a time ; thus capping the 
of mad cruelty itnd indiscriminate slaughter. But in 

there wm not the shidow of anti-religious persecutjon. 
ecclesiastics suffered, they suffered as monopolists, not ta | 
it was a question of oppressive imposts, not of contested 
of benefices, not of doctrines. The bloody controversy w 
lical, not theological. When religion minsled with it, 
only as it mingles in all slru^les for liberty and improi 
as at this moment, for instance, it mingles with the que 
parliamentary reform in England ; where the great bod; 
clergy, fearing for their tithes, oppose a zeal the most aba 
persevering to the eflbrls of the reforming ministry. 

Aa to the real character of Bishop Home's oppoii 
revolutionary principles, his coupling together de^en 
atheitm, clearly reveals it ; not the less clearly, for you 
uatory note. The English bisboji conceives bis Brgmna 
equally cogent against republicanism and scepticism : Mid 
It proves a little too mi;cit for Amerjcims. 

Far am I ttom " denouncing" eilher yon or the New ] 
puritans for your bellefii ; or from imagining that you co 
your creed aside at pteasiue. I simply regret that you 1 
and I seek lo place before you and our readers argnnw 
may convinCB you and Ihcm of its error; thus induciil 
mildly and unconsciously compelUai/ you to relinqoish it. 

ROBBKI Dau4 







I 



AUTHEKTICITY 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



New- York, August 20, 1831 

i.^ipiinnl contiadictioTU, mie -statements, Bt>eujdltie9, &c., 
AEble, vhich 9ceptJc9 urge as objectiona agninst it, are ao 
STidencea of its original suthenliclly and uncnmipled 
'aliou. Nothing but regard to fact could have induced 
iteiB of Scripture to record many things contained iJierein, 
•e through whose hands it has descended to us, lo re 
ne, in cose there had been a possibility of expunging Ihem. 
lea IB demoDBtration, that the Scriptures have come down 
IS they weio originally written, and that they were written 
n eye to the truth. These two positions will, during the 

of this discussion, be seen to have a most important 
g on the question. 
I incQiabetit on the advocates of the Bible, so lai as relates 

general authenticity, merely to show, that none of the 
ions ot their opponents are insuperable; that Ibey ftW 
oua that do not invalidate other history ; and that they 
I of such B nature as to show the writers to have intended 
eive. But it should be kept in view, tliat meptici have 
Ities lo obviate as well as we ; that they have proofs posi- 

invBlidate, and not merely objections to urge. And gup- 
re are unable to make every thing perfectly satisfactory on 
it, ihe qui?.slion would then arise, whether every thing ia 
-cd so DD theirs, in thcii rtjeclien of the Bible ; and if not, 
'. is manifest that they have not succeeded in their abject, 
iluh as if imobviated objections were an insuperable bar- 
e aide of a question, Iheir own is involved in the dtlG- 
'". now proceed to notice the objections contained in 
's last letter. 

commanded the destruction of idolaters, I consider 
at all. They deserved death, the more especially 
y sai^ificcd human victims to their idols, and thus added 
T lo their idolatry. And were be in this day to command 
ttermination of me murderous idolaters of the East, the 

world would feel the justice ot the command, as much as 
lo that ot the cJtecation of a common murderer or pirate. 

mows. The same remark will hold, 'in relation to the 
talicn ot their idolalroQs, murderous monarchs, who could 
iroached in no other than a. secret manner. There is no 
difference betneen taking life openly and secretly. As to 
' uliles borrowing gold, and silver, and laiment of the J 
" " a but getting of them a small portion of tl "" 



r 






> 



58 AUTHESTICITY OF THE BIBLS. 

dne, for Iheir long ondhardeeivilude, and nnt"swindling"lliao. 
Id regard to Ihe lying xpinC irhich God employed to dettjn 
Ahab, there -was no compufsion in the east. God allied irbg 
wonld go and deceive him. The lying spirit answered Uul k 
would go ; iiherenpon God said, Go, He had his own chan. 
the same as wicked men have. And allhough God, as the rala 
of the lUiiTerae, may be able to turn it all to eome good aecount 
yet Ihey mean evil, and are thcfEfoie guilty. In l^ii sense. lb 
Lord may be said to do tho moral nil eiiattng in a cilf; K 
ertatt such evil — to mmit men to sin — to harden tbfir Amm, SR. 
juaC u he is said to hare put this lying spirit into the mimdi <it 
the prophets of Ahab. 1 deny that it is diown bj the MM^ 
that be " raearilt" lying, and punishes iatcgrily. The ftm^ 
to which I am referred show no sach thing. I deny 4»rt 
shows that he required children to be " puniihed'' Tai loentil 
iheir puente. As the arbiter of life and death, he cui aritr 
lifs to be taken for other reasons besides pnnishmeot. BnaJi 
V the children of wicked parents (say of dnmkidS 

_^ ..._..,.. ^____ _,.L ents,bia«i 

.__,. _._..._.. . .i: 

short of an abaolule rfmiol of (he God n/ «a(«™. will enaHe W 
opponent to escape this dilemma, and wield the cases related m 
the Bible against that. Nor would eren this denial enslile bin 
to meddle with the case of Solemm, for he was not the jt^ 
child of David and Bathsheba. Read the account, friend Ovn 
and don't qnote so iVom recollection, like Thomas Paine. Ain 
be a Utile more diffideut. too, loucbing thy omnist^ience. 
knuwesl thou that 'twould be " childishly uaeless" for a 
who knows infinitely more than we do, to prohibit the wi 
of "linsey-wolsey," and to condemn the sewing of pi!lo« ■ 

arm-boles ? Such a being does of course see more rr *" 

things than we do. Strange how friend Owon, who 
cessively " modest" at nne time, as to say he knows notUl% 
should at anolber for^t himself, and pretend to be ml^ 
omniscient. As to (he censos which David directed lo be twf^ 
it appears lo have been done through vain-glory, nnd In U WE- 
authorized manner. And the punishment inflicted Iherefon <I9 
very appropriate ; his great number of subjects, in vAuA S 
rioried, was lednced ; but Iheir being slain by an angtl ^^i 
Lord was no more a puniahrDent to (Afln, than to die ' '~ 
death. The law amongst the Jews respecting chastity, 
ealctilatcd to promote it; and, cons' ' ' -' ' - 
plicity of the age in which it was 

bmtal nor indecent; neither does it display an ignoiane* 
physiological facts, as Aristotle himself will bear me wimi 
And, as to their test of jealousy, inasmuch aa a miiade 1 
involved in that, it devolves on the individual 
to disprove the miracle. 

The. discrepancies in the accounts of the census of Dtti^ 
given in 2 gtunuel and I Chronicles, leUtive to the mmAtr 



AUTHKKTICITV OS THE UIUI.E. 59 

ghting men, and the number of years oi faniiiie, can be very 
Bsily accounted for, irhen we consldi^ the liabLkily of troa^ 
ciibers to make aach liltlo mutokes. Tbla does aul show that 
hoae miMakes were id (he uriginal Copy. Suppose, for instance, 
JIB of na were tu copy the Bible, (tbr anciontlif there was no 
irinting,} and were to make a blunder, by inserting n wurd or 
1 number different from the copy before us ; how puerile would 
t be, for any one to seito on (ho blunder which be might 
ind in our manuscript, and endeavour by tbat to show that the 
ni^nal copy was erroneous, or even Ihal our transcription was 
lot substantially to be depended on, because of a blunder or so. 
Cea, suppose there were some abaolute mistakes of tho kind 
radcr consideration in the original copy itself, what then F A 
tarmlne is not to be rejected ou account of mere mittuAta oc. 
:nrting In it, or on account of its not porfectly agreeing with 
tome other narratife of the samo thing. Nay, the probability 
« eren greater that the Bible is true, from the very ciccuma lance 
if its cuataining some discrepancies, than if it had contained 
loos; for, a very near lesemblance between two accounls ei- 
nm auapiciona of collusion between the writers. Thanks to 
Sod, then, for the discrepancies of the Bible: Ihey assist in 
prating it. Bring on eome more, friend Owen. Verily, thou 
tn rendering essential service to the cause of religion, Plough 
■i(h the same intentioo as did Joseph's brethren when they sold 
Ilim to the Midianites, or Judas when he sold bis Lord. Bui 

low trivial, after all, ore such olyflctions ! Who ever thoi^ht 

/ discrediting the oamtives of Liry or Polybius, because of 
Ihe discrepancies which occur between lAeiaf Whoeier doubled 
Ilia embassy of the Jews to tho Emperor Claudian, because 
Philo Buys it occurred in hacrest, and Josephus in seed-time? 
Who then ougAt to doubt, that David had a prodigious force at 
lis disposal, and a famine threatened to liim for numbering 
iem, josl because the nvmbtr of that forco and the iengtA of 
:hiit femino are differently staled in Samuel and Chromcles ? 
:i is arery general fault of sceptics, that Ihay do not Ihotouglily 
examine the vases to which they object ; on which account, they 
Onietmiea make most frirolous objections. Now they ought to 
now, that Ibu Jews made use of the letters of their idphabet lo 
lenole numbers, which tetters were analagous to our figures. 
3ow easily, then, can the numerical errors of the Bible be 
iplained, by referring (hem to the cnreless omission, add"' 
T alterBlion of a solitary numerical letter, in any given 
n tike part of a transcriber ! For example . in 1 Kiiigs, cha[ 
er. ^t>, it is said that Solomon had forty thousand stall: 
ones; whereas, in 2 Chronicles, chap, ii., ver. 'ib, tho number 1 
Islaleil at only four thousand. My opjioneut is entirely wel- 
time to this addllionitl objection furnished by myself, and ' 
umy more of the kind as he can Bnd. Had I mom, / ^i 
imiah him with mijre. They are pretty small cuncoma to 
l£iei against the mass of evidence m avotu of tho Bible, wLiah 



ACTHKNTICITY or TUX BIBLE. 



eat 

1 have uid repeatedly, that oven the Jewa would ham Jot 
no right to slaughter the CanoanileB without the divine contmiiKl, 
and tfa^l tbeit slaughter would have been murder under mdi 
circumstances, t have likewise said the sa-me respecting tin 
slaughter of the modem heathen. This is Dot making i thiu) 
immond now which was moral then. Let God coniinaail i 
thing in any age, and it would be proper to obey. But beoiiiw, 
under the different circnjnBlaDces of different ages, he aJopU 
differtint methods relative to some thiugs, it does nut fullnw thil 
hs IB changeable, but, rather, that he is unchongeabie ; ibr, ncrE 

tain manner, and act in the tame manner at another lime mtdtr 
differail circumstances, this would indeed be, to he changeabif. 
Nor does it follow, that general commands are not binding m ui. 
because local ones are not. For instance, we consider aunclni 
boond to obey the moral law of God, aa given in the tencmn- 
mandmcnls, although wo do by no means feel bound to cbsem 
the Jewish ceretHonial law, notwithstanding it is " recorded,' 
well as their eilermination u[ the Canaanitea. As well ni^ 
it be asked, For what purpose Ls any thing in history rsconlid. 
unless it be to be imitated ? as to ask such a question in relllton 
to that eiterminatiou. As to the fallibility of the cIlUDll 

through which the Bible haa deseended to us, it Ig no man tt 

than tliat of ottier hialury. That too is thousands of yeui <il^i 
has passed through the hands of many geiuirationa ; has bM 
truLskled by Mible men, &c. Thus we see, that, in innlidU- 
ingtke Bible, sceptics overthrow all history. Their rule AeR- 
foie proves too much. Here I would just remark, that iJu Bitk 
has not been "lost and found. "^With regard to witchcnR.il 
would seem that my opponent has given up lus idea, that modem 
knowledge proves (An ( to be impossible. And if I were (oiHCrti 
that it proves that Hatum'a inhabitants can't "walk on lk« 
heads," 1 suppofle 1 shoidd havo lo retr^ot too, as well as hs, a> 
less indeed it doei prove this. But one would suppose, liiM,<^ 
this retraction, and his acknowledgment of his inabiLty lo dii- 
prove witchcraft, he would not denounce an otdklmiiU for it D 
is worthy of remark, however, that, notwithstanding he "^ 
the idea of witchcraft to be so glaringly absurd, he doca n 

a single reason to show it lo be so. Will he, in his neit, 

ua with some of his convincing arguments on ibe sul^ect, imiciil 

The articles on placement and marria^ arc noticed in 
appropriate places. 1 will just remark at this lime, thai 
President of tlayti can live in foniication, as well a> Mtj 
man ; and that he doei live so, if he lives with ■ worn 
whom he is not married. — In answer to the questiuit, wl 
I wonld read E^ekiel, &c., aloud to - - — — .i.--i 




ACTIIESTlCirY OC TilK niTlLB. 



n 



l and 10 llic ivliulc irorld. Bui even iT / nere to deom 

Uoity of thou ancient 'writmga not BUfficiently refined 

. m ears, a Moral F/iysiahgi^l needs net mike up & 

fkce Ihcreat — or at nny thing else. 

thank my opponent for having at last virtually aroved 

wlf an atheist. An infinite God he has bH along disavowed, 

DOW he denomintiteg the finite one of Plalo a dream; and 

lot make it dream his God, And as (hrre are 

._ . there are iio Elheisls in the God of the Ilinksite 

ikers, (which ha seomB, on account of the earthiuake and 
[;ano dilcmmu, disposed to maku his own,) it fullows thai they 
-e BO God — unless indeed it be themselves — and I readily 
iceda, that "Bnoh" Gods as tiey nre, "are noi responsitle 
volcanoes and earthquakes;" so that my opponent ha* 
) do now, bnt just clenc up Ihe dillioullics of atheism, 
overthrow the Bible. I nil! meiilion him BevBral at 
Ilioe, which I tniat he «ill noi oi"rlook; and when ha 
' have answered these, I have Bevcral mnre an band for hint, 
for his mere psstime jiwt tell us how earthquakes aiifl 
emptioos cau^e themselves ; and, likewise, whether 
"' ' " ' 'urn; whether a mind does not appear to have 
(he case; and whether it is as reasonable lo 

__, all possible appearances of ialellijence, as exhibited 

__ ooBilnlotion of the human frame, and in every thing we 

■n u likely le bo produced Itj non-intelligencei aa b; in- 

' "" "0. Theie questions are not foreign to our present dis- 

They ore the consequences resulting from the present 

occupied by him to assail the Bible. This position he 

dsfend, with all its absurdities, or not attack the Btbla 

Let him therefore full not to do the one or the .other 

defend or abandon it. 

ihing the anbject of the Frpnth Revolution, ! mnst ron- 

m utterly asLonished, that a, man who pretends to I'om- 

infbrmatiDU, and who would not pass with the public for a 

" should venture statemenla so totally at variance with 

and with ihe knowledge of millions of living witnesses, 

le in his last letter. Were I to make such random and 

3ad assertions on any subject, I should espect to be uai- 

' tcprobaled for my reckless disregard of facta so notorious 

I should expect every one, friend or ^e, to advise me to 

mute. What, sir ; are we to be told that it was but '• a 

mtuiioipal faction, a paltry local club, consisting of some 

- a doKcn wild fanatics, that for ^Jea weela obtained the 

loy, and compelled the National Convention lo order ihf? 

...... Of reason to be substituted for the Catholic worship ?" 

'Ve lo be told, that the French nation did not sanction these 
lings, and that in all this there was no religious persccu- 
I aay again, I am astonished at tlii^ nllor disregard of all 
'■ "nganddead. One might as well undertake to deny, 
any revolulioa at all. b'oi 



I 
I 



62 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

hat, I p.Te fuur or &ie anlliDrities. What 1 am noi 

quute, la Irom ScoLt'g Life of Kapuleon, whicli 1 will 

offset Buy day ogainat the unauthorised aBsertions of a sceptic^ 

when labouring thereby to show, that intulclity is not iitimiaui ~~ 

muikmiL 

" The Aaeembly had determined, that, all prejudices apart, B.. 

Eropeity of the church ahoutd come under coofiscatioD for tlu 
eneilt of the nation. It was in vuui that the clergy exjcUimil 
egamat these acta of rapino and exlurtioD ; in loin lluit Ihaj 
dialed themaelvea as on existing part of the nation ; in tuu thU 
they resounded in the liall the dcdaralian eotemnly a^lopted, Atl 
property was invioiable, save upon full compEnsation. It vu U 
" " urpoae that Hiiabcau was reminded of bis luipuge, 



I 



rob ihem. Robbery is equoJIy a crime, whether perpetrBled 01 
the most proQigate atheist, or tho most bigoted capuchin.' IlHf 
oasumed, for the benc&t of the public, the whole right of proptfl)' 
belonging to the church of France 1 But the majoritj cj IH 
Kational Aasembly had yet another and e^en a more riolMt 
experiment to try upon tho Gallicim church estabUshmsnt It 
wu one which touched tho consciencea of the French clerg]| in 
the aame degree, as the farmer affected their fortunes. A dnl 
constitution was framed for the clergy, declaring tLem tol»Bj 
independent uf the See of Borne, and Tcating Uie dioia « 

biahopa in the departJUEUtal authorities. To this conititatilini 
each prieat and prelate was required to adhere by a solemn oalll> 
A aubscquent decree of the Assembly declared the forfeiture m 
his bunoflco against whomsoever should hesitate. Their depeoi- 
ence on the See of Rome Was a part of their Creed, an article of 
their faith. Few, indeed, w-ero the priests who accepted ik 
constitutional oath. There were in the number only tliTM 
bishops, one of whom was Talleyrand. A decree was aucm>4 
passed, that the clergy who refused to take the oath EhooU Iw 
liable (o deportation. Almoat all the parish priests were drim 
tram their cures by the absurd and persecuting fanaticism of llut 
decree of the Aasembly, which, while its promoters railed agsinat 
ilUbcralin and intolerance, deprived of their office and Mt 
livelihood, soon after of liberty and life, those churchmelt iriio 
would not renounce the doctrines in which they had lHen *i^ 
cated, and which they bad awom to maintain." And io Ik* 
infernal September four days' massacre, they were the peculiV< 
objects of insult and cmelly. But more on tins aoon. 

" One sect of tbe philosophers, aufficieutly formidable 
a time to gain the ascendancy, declared that it was not ens 
for a regenerate nation to have dethroned earthly kiags, 
she stretched out the arm of defiance toward the powers «i 
superstition hud represented as reigning over boundless spBcc 
unhappy man named Cobct, Censtitullonal Bishop of JPtii% 
brought forward In full procession, and, with lean and IMM 




irrCITT OP THE EIHI.E. (j3 

l« to declare to Ihe Conveotion, Ibnt ChrisUnnily was a 
pieoo of priestcmfl, and Id disown, in Bolemn and explicit Icrme, 
llie existence of the deity; for vhich he receivBil a fnlcrnal 
embrace from the preaidenl of (he CoriTenlion ! Tho ivortd for 
Ihe first time hpard an assembly of men, horn and educated in 
cirilizHtion, and asauming tie right to gorem one of the Quest of 
Ihe European nations, uplift their united voice to deny the most 
mieratt truth -whicli man's aoul receives, and renounce unani- 
oioualy the belief and woraMp of a deity. A female, dennmi- 
Dated by them Ihe Goddess of Reason, a mere dsnclng>^[l of 
the opera, and of a lewd charflcter, was uslieted into live hali of 
the ConventiDn, by the Municipal Body of Pari", and placed oa 
the light hand of me president. To Ibis character, as Inc fittest 
tepresentalive of tliat reason whom they worshipped, the Na- 
liooal Couventiou of France rendered public homnge I ! 1 Thia 
iinpioua and riiicnlaua mummery had a certain feshion ; and 
the instalUtion of the Goddess of Reason was renewed and imi- 
tated threugtiDuE the nation, in such places where the mhabilants 
desired lo ^ow IhemBelves e^ual to ill tlie heights of the revolu- 

"The churches were, in most districts ef France, closed against 
jiriesta and wonbippers; the bells were broken and cast into 
cannon ; tho whole eocleaiastical eatttblishment was deatroyod ; 
ond the republican inseriQ^on over tho cemeteries, declaring death 
to be B perpsluai sleep, nimouncGd to thoae who lived under lliat 
doTninion, (hat they were to hope for no rcdreaa, even in the next 
"world. Intimslely connected witli these laws affecting reli- 
pon, was that -which reduced the union of marriage to the state 
of a mere civil contract of a, transitory character, which any 
two persons might engage in and cnst loose at pleBsuic, when 
their laale was chnnged, or their appolife grslificd. Sophie 
Amoult, an actresa, fnmoua for tho witty things she said, do- 
Bcribed the republican marriage as tho sacramcut of adultery I 

The September massacre, to which allusion has already been 
made, eiceeds in atrocity the power of tanguage to deacrfbe. 
The number of individaala accumulated in the yarions prisons of 
Paris, amGun(ed to about eight thousand. A banditti proceeded 
to llie several prisons lo execute the infomal scheme. Oat of 
Iheir own number, Ihey formed a revolutipnary tribunal, beforo 
whom the priaonera, draf^d forth from their dongeons, were 
tried. When a victim received sentence of death, "he was 
Ihrust out into the street or yard, and despatched by men and 
women, who, with sleeves luiAed up, arms dyed elbow deep ir 
hlood, and hands holding axes, pikes, and sabrca, were exetu- 
lionets of the sentence. They often exchanged places, I 
judges going out (o take the executioner's duty, and Ibe exc 
liuners, with their reeking hands, sitting as Judges in their tii_ . 
ThoBB who intercepted the blows of the eicculionota by boldingl 
up Iheir hands, suffered protracted torment; while tboao who 
offered no show of struggle were more easily duajaU^haA. Woti^ 



64 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

ladivs, especially those belonging to the court, were thus murdered. 
The Princess de Lamballe, whose only crime seems to have 
been her friendship for Marie Antoinette, was literally hewn to 
pieces, and her head, and those of others, paraded on pikes 
through the metropolis ! It was carried to the Temple on that 
accursed weapon, the features yet beautiful in death, and the long 
fair curls of the hair floating around the spear T* This hellish 
scene continued four days; " prison after prison was invested, 
entered, and, under the same form of proceeding, made the scene 
of the same inhuman butchery. The Jacobins had reckoned on 
making the massacre universal over France. But the example 
was not generally followed. The Community of Paris were not 
in fault for this. They did all they could to extend the sphere of 
murder. These infernal crimes were protracted by the actors for 
the sake of the daily pay of a louis to each, openly distributed 
amongst them by order of the Commune ! When the jails were 
emptied of state criminals, Hhe assasins attacked the Bic^tre, a 
prison where ordinary delinquents were confined I" So resolute 
was the resistance which they here met, that they were obliged 
to fire on them with cannon ! Truchod announced to the Legis- 
lative Assembly, that four thousand perished in this massacre. 
" The bodies were interred in heaps, in immense trenches, pf*' 
pared beforeJiand by order of the Community of Paris; but their 
bones have since been transferred to |he subterrannean cata- 
combs which form the general charnel-house of the city. In those 
melancholy regions, while other relics of mortality lie exposed all 
around, the remains of those who perished in the massacre of 
September, are alone secluded from the eye. The vault in which 
they repose is closed with a screen of freestone, as if relating to 
crimes unfit to be thought of even in the proper abode of death, 
and which France would willingly hide in oblivion. 

" In the meanwhile, the reader may be desirous to know what 
efforts were made by the Assembly to put a stop to a massacre 
carried on in contempt of all legal interference, and by no more 
formidable force than that of two or three hundred atrocious 
felons, often, indeed, diminished to only fifty or sixty. They 
issued no decree against the slaughter ; they demanded no sup- 
port from the public force. Where, in tiiat hour, were the 
Girondists," so celebrated by their admirers for all that is great 
and noble in principle and character ? " Whatever was the 
motive of their apathy, the Legislative Assembly was nearly 
silent on the subject of the massacres, not only while they were 
in progress, but for several days afterward." 

At Nantes, hundreds, men, women, and children, were forced 
on board of vessels, which were scuttled and sunk in the Loire ; 
and this was called republican baptism ! Men and women were 
stripped, bound together, and thus thrown into the river; and 
this was called republican marriage ! Crowds of citizens were 
piled together in dungeons, where the air was pestilential from 
ordure, from the carcases of the dead, and the infectious diseases 



AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 65 

of the dying. l^Iien, women, and children, were to be seen sprawl- 
ing together, like toads and frogs in the season of spring, in the 
waters of the Loire, too shallow to afiford them instant death, the 
uppermost of the expiring mass praying to be thrust into deeper 
water, that they might brave the means of death. Humanity 
forbears to detail the hundred other abominations there com- 
mitted, compared with which, the sharp, sudden, and sure blow 
of the Parisian guillotine, was clemency. At Lyons, a black 
flag was hoisted by the besieged on the Great Hospital, as a 
sign that the fire of the assailants should not be directed on that 
asylum of hopeless misery. The signal seemed only to draw the 
republican bombs to the spot where they could create the most 
frightful distress, and outrage, in the most frightful degree, the 
feelings of humanity. The judges of the revolutionary committee 
were worn out with fatigue — the arm of the executioner was 
weary — the very steel of the guillotine was blunted. Collot 
d'Herbois devised a more summary method. A number of from 
two to three hundred victims at once, were dragged from prison 
to the Place de Brotteaux, one of the largest squares in Lyons, and 
there subjected to a fire of grape shot. The sufferers fell to the 
ground like singed flies, mutilated but not slain, and imploring their 
executioners to despatch them speedily. And all this under the 
direction of the French Jacobin Convention ! I ! These were the 
philosophers who, looking up toward heaven, loudly and literally 
defied the deity to make his existence known, by launching his 
thunderbolts. The party to which they belonged, during the two 
or three years they had the ascendancy, imprisoned three hun- 
dred thousand of their countrymen in the name of liberty, and put 
to death more than half the number under the sanction of frater- 
nity." And 'twas not till the Corsican came into power in 1800, 
that persecution ceased, by the overthrow of infidelity. Then it 
was, after ten long years of anarchy and blood, that measures 
were adopted " for tranquilizing the religioua discord by which 
the country had been so long agitated. Buonaparte (such 
was the decree of providence,) became the means of restoring to 
France the free exercise of the Christian faith. The mummery 
of Reveilliere Lepaux's heathenism, was by general consent 
abandoned ; the churches were restored to public worship ; pen- 
sions were allowed to such religious persons as took an oath of 
fidelity to the government ; and more than twenty thousand 
clergymen, with whom the prisons had been filled in conse- 
quence of intolerant laws, were set at liberty on taking the same 
vow. Public and domestic rites of worship in every form were 
tolerated and protected, and the law of the decades, or theophi- 
lanthropic festivals, were abolished." 

And was there in all this no religious persecution? What 
then f* religious persecution ? And was this the noble struggle 
to put down tyranny and intolerance and injustice ? Was 
this a period when the power of truth and justice shone con- 
spicuously ? Are wc to be told, that these acts are to be atiri- 



66 AUTHENTICITY OF THB BIBL?. 

buicd to amere municipal faction, of a few weeks* staiidiiig! 
No, sir. It was the uifidel Jacobin factloxi, headed by the 
demoniac triumvirate, Robespierre, Danton, Marat, and other 
kindred spirits, organized and operative throughout France, that 
brought upon her all these woes. And though, when Robes- 
pierre became the sole dictator, he deemed it policy to check the 
most outrageous of these excesses, he still remained an infidel. 
He did indeed propose to the Convention the recognition of 
the deity, whom Uiey had previously disowned ; but this was all. 
Christianity he did not recognize. He therefore remained an 
infidel — and a heathen infidel too, decreeing that a day in each 
decade, (for the very week was dianged into ten days,) should 
be dedicated to some particular virtue, with hymns and proces- 
sions to its honour. True, he instituted a festival in honour of 
the supreme being ; which festival would have been taken for a 
pagan one in a pagan country. " There was a general muster of 
all Paris, divided into bands of young women and matrons, old 
men and youths, with oaken boughs and drawn swords, and all 
other emblems appertaining to their ages. They were preceded 
by the representatives of the people, having their hands full of 
ears of com, and spices, and fruits." When the ooremony of 
burning the efiigies of atheism, ambition, egotism, and other evil 
principles was completed, ''the young men brandished their 
weapons, the old patted them on the head, the girls flun^ about 
their flowers, and the matrons flourished aloft their children.*' 
Well miffht he, two days after such a religious fete, bring for- 
ward no matter what law, for all the influence which that would 
have upon him. Admitted, sir, that he was a man of blood. 
So much the worse for infidelity ; for he was an infidel too I 
And this infidel guillotined his fifty fellow- citizens per day! 
Such was the quantity of blood shed in the place of execution, 
that it became necessary to make a conduit to carry it ofi*'. 
Marat, once his colleague, usually calculated on two hundred 
and sixty thousand heads, to satiate his thirst for blood. 
Danton, the other of the sanguinary trio, was for great massa. 
ores, and do7ie with it. **He murdered to glut his rage; JRobes- 
pierre, to avenge his injured vanity, or to remove a rival whom 
he envied; Marat, from the same instinctive love of blood 
which induces a wolf to continue his ravage of the flock, long 
after his hunger is appeased.** These three men, sir, were re- 
presentatives of the moralf the enlightened^ the refined city of 
Paris, and leaders of the dominant party of the nation — all 
infidels, valuing the lives of their fellow men not a straw. Paris 
was infidel ; France was infidel ; and their persecutions and 
murders were both religious and political, levelling at once the 
altar and tlie throne. All belief in future accoimtability was 
removed ; all moral restraint was shaken ofi" ; infidelity reigned ; 
f.nd here is the result. *Tis in vain to attempt to hide its 
enormities ; to talk of petty municipalities, and foreign cmis- 
bunes. The French nation are involved in those crimes ; ihcix 



AUTHENTICITT OF THS BIBLF. 67 

hands are dyed in the blood of their king, in the blood of their 
priests, in the blood of their patriots, and in the blood of one 
another. May the Lord grant, that the day may be far distant, 
"vdien principles which lead to such results as these, shall gain 
the ascendant here — ^principles which my opponent is industri- 
ously labonzing to disseminate. 

Origen Bacheleb. 



TO ORIGEN BACHELEB. 

LETTER YI. 

August 27, 1831. 
I pray you to bear in mind, that it is the authenticity of 
the Bible as a record from heaven which I question, not the 
general truth of many narratives therein Recorded. It contains, 
doubtless, like all other ancient histories and remote traditions, 
both troth and falsehood. I look upon the biblical writers as 
ignorant men, who mixed up, as Livy and other ancient writers 
have done, fable and history. Such obscure, ancient evidence 
as this may sometimes furnish jdausible grounds for belief of 
what is not, in itself, improbable. It may suffice to afford us a 
xeasonable probability, that certain great changes happened ; 
that certain remarkable men existed ; that this kingdom was 
destroyed, and that empire established. Nay, some even of the 
minor details may chance to be correct. The Romans may 
have stolen the Sabine women while witnessing the celebration 
of games in honour of the god Consus : the Benjamites may 
have stolen the daughters of Shiloh, during the feast of the 
Lord at Bethel : Mahomet may have had four wives, and 
Solomon seven hundred : Idomeneus may have sacrificed his 
•on, and Jeptha his daughter, in pursuance of a vow equally 
foolish and cruel :* Joshua may have slain hundreds of thou- 
sands of the Ganaanites, and Geesar of the Gauls : Moses and 
Aaron may have been believed prophets by the Israelites, and 
the Delpnic priests by the Romans; and in both cases the 
hierophants may have gained places and wealth and honours by 
the belief. There may have been — doubtless there were — 
bloody wars, frightful massacres, treasons, burnings, savage laws, 
and expensive ceremonies, both at Rome and Jerusalem ; for 
these were in accordance with the barbarous spirit of olden 
times : and then again, the dark picture may have been relieved 

• Sanctioned, however, Loiticus, chap. xx\ii., ver. 28. 



68 AUTHEKTICITY OF THE BIBLS. 

by episodes of human affection, such as the friendship of David 
and Jonathan, or of Damon and Pythias. All this may be ad- 
mitted, not by any means as certain in its details, but as pro- 
bable in its general outline. But what then? Because we 
believe, on Livy*s authority, that Rome was governed by consuls, 
arc we to credit his miracles also ? his fables of soothsayers and 
marvellous signs in heaven ? of showers of mil'.c and blood ? of 
oxen speaking ? or of a woman changing her sex ? And, in 
like manner, because we may think it likely, on Moses* au- 
thority, that Israel was nilcd by judges, are we therefore also to 
believe, that God divided the Red Sea before his favourites? 
that he caused the sun* to stand still to aid one tribe of bar- 
barians in slaughtering another ? that he burned in a bush with- 
out consuming it ? that he transformed Lot's wife into a pillar 
of salt, and himself into a pillar of lire ? that he rained manna ? 
that he caused Balaam's ass to speak, and so on ? 

Historical evidence, even the most authentic, is scanty and 
insufficient enough, to furnish proof of events even the most 
reasonable, and occurrences the most natural and likely. There 
is the difficulty of obtaining impartial information, even on the 
spot and at the moment, and when no especial motive exists fair 
misrepresentation ; there is the greater difficulty, if the spirit of 
partizanship mingle, in the slightest degree, in the transaction ; 
the still greater difficulty, if the historian be removed from the 
scene of action ; and this difficulty still infinitely augmented, if 
years or centuries have passed, between the deed and tht» 
record. To this, in the case of ancient histories, written before 
the invention of printing, must be added, first the scanty oppor- 
tunity, as the work was never generally circulated, of its errors 
being corrected ; secondly, the almost impossibility, either of 
obtaining or transmitting written records, unaltered by the 
carelessness, or the whim, or perhaps the dishonest intention, of 
the scribe ; or perchance, mutilated or partially suppressed, by 
the librarian.f 

To talk, therefore, of ancient history positively proving any 
particular occurrence whatever, however natural and probable 
that occurrence may be, is to speak without reflection. To talk 
of thereby proving miracles — that is, occiurences out of nature, 
out of probability, foreign to our experience, discountenanced 

• If Joshua had known any thing of astronomy he would have written it, 
" the earth to stand still." The sun stands still at all times. And yei a 
book exhibiting such palpable ignorance of science claims to be divine ! 

♦ William Penn, than whom to a brjje portion of the citizens of this coun- 
try, higher authority cannot be quoted, in arguing that the Bible cnnmt bt 
the rule of faith arid practice, says : " I would fain ask of them (those who 
contend for the scriptures being tlic rule,) how they are assured that tbry 
(the scriptures,) are not miserably abused by carelessness or design: sine* 
we see, that using the utmost tlili^^pure, both translation, transcription, ai.<1 
printing are subject to :mm''r(»u<? mistakes, and those somctimp* ^«''7 
maerial, against which ihr scripturo iisclf can be no Icuce .' — I*t'im\< ikff^t 
ff'orkf, London, 178i; vul. i., p. .3<)i, 




AUTllCNTICITY OF THE BIBLE. U9 

a puah absurdity to the eitceme. To imagine 

y „, Iself HO eminenQy fallible, can prove infalli- 

bJUqiilB to nobkle the plainest diclalDa of common sense. A» 

WmUBtB REVEIJ.TCON CiS COME TO WIN THHOUOH HIS SENSEa 

-u«i«. It cinnot be retordad, wilhout loaing iu infallibilily. 
Iluumol be transinilted, even from a single generation, without 
beuijiiu; nt onus a human record, nnd thurcrore a fallible 
(ndciice. By Joseph ia hia dreuni,* the anRel's declaration 
(Uulbeir, chip, i., ver. 20) " tliat which ia coaceired of thy 
vif; li uf the Uol; Uho^t," may have b<^en felt to be tevBlation. 
fi) lu, it can only, in lAe very nature of things, be human (eati. 
Olfdji diilanC, uacertain, falliblB, human teaCimany : faitible, 
S'lM ill wry naivra, however true the circumstance, hoverei 
trulWDitky the dream may have been. Without denying, there- 
l"!, tliat Uin angel of God entered Joseph's bedchambar, »a 
iDij Bost poaitivoly deny, that men now haTe — nay con pDaeibly 
luio—even tho most distant approach to infallible evidence of 
Uiii, ihioagh any wiilten or printed record ; or through any 
(ilkr medium, esoepl a siinilar, personal revelation. Such an 
ubUible revelation caunot be imparted (and preserve its iiifalU- 
bililyj from one man to bis brother ; far, far less to his distant 
PMlEtitj, Supposing its reality, it ia a revelation confloed to 
mi bieast and to one lifetime, lis infallibility is tolally destroyed 
^ Ilie very first remove, and its probability easenlially weakened, 
I ■t"' <n iacreasing ratio, too) by every aucceedini; one. 
^KM llnii speaking of the foliibilily of ihe Bible revelation, I 
~'~' a antiq^uarian subtleties; I collate no laboured Malo- 
rcbes, I inquira not wliat right the council of Nicet 
K.ilf Laodic«a) had to deeido, by its canons the religion of 
f VMld ; I ask iiot by what authority its reverend mem- 
B-ldmitted some books as canonical, and rejected others 
||)>l)crypluU 1 I agitate not the question, whether any of the 
RgMpels were ascribed to the aathors whose names they bear. 
In liie days of Irenieus ; I refmiii from all eipresaion of doubt 
''le Terauity or saui^-]: of the Christian Others ; I meddle 




I 

I 



not nitti the inquiry how unlettered tisliermeii, Epeakitlg Svriiq 
should have Icamcd to write gospels in Greek, nor hov HoM 
could record Ills oim death in the FenLateuch. I leave to aOia 
moie deeply read in controTeniial loie, the taak of digginf; i 
thesa learned arguroenla. I Bpeak as a plain man lo plin mei 
of such Ihingg na all can eiamiiiB and judge, without the aid 
Lardner's folios oi Uoisley'a ciitidsma. Enough for me, ai 
enough flurely for any reasonable inquirer, that the Bible Ii ^^ 
record written hji men, copied by men, translated by men, piinltt 
by men, traosouttcd bj men, through tens or hundreds of gou 

I peruse it much as I would any other ancient, party hiitanf 
When I read the history of Jeeug for inalance, I can at littui 
beUcfc its tnirades as those recorded by Livy. But the ~"' — 
of Jgsos' life and character (making allowimce for the i 
ceptiona or misrepresentations of hia biograpbersj I am d_, ._ 
to believe. Jesus' history, apart from the marrels with whick 
igaorance has diafigured it, is pretty much the history of " 
democratic reformers. He pleaded the poor man's cause, i 
was called the friend of pubUcaus and sinners; be spoke iiai 
bypociltical forms and idle ceremonies, and was denounced a. 
Sabbath breaker and one who set at nought the law; he eipow 
the aelfisbneaa of the rich and the powerful, and IhuE incum 
tlieir hatred; he attacked the priesthood of the day, and bylM 
machinatioiia he loht his life. 

This ia a picture loo true to nature, and too sadly Tended tj 
the analogy of all history, to be refused credit, merely bsntt" 
its ouClinee are awkwardly filled up. Besides, there is, nan 
up with the mystery tbat bedouds Jesus' biography, too mc 
of gentle, tolerant, high-minded principle, and loo ranch of 
liberality and a benetotence beyond the character of the bigote 
age in which he lived, lo warrant the supposition that it wwil 
the biographers' invention. Ignorant men invent morrtls nl 
myateriea, and imagine adventures and intrigues, and pnil 
heroes and tyrants. But they seidom invent tolerant deouirat^ 
precepts, or imagine unpretendinif deeds of mercy, or point pBlk 
reformem. The inference ia. that the picture drawn in ItM 
gospels hod its original ; and that that original was ■ win Iw 
amiable man; too wise and loo amiable '" ''" --.Jft— i-mI if 
npprecialed by those who undertjiott to writ 

Aamefiit Ming. / ni»fUain Ihal Uie Sort vf GaS Med. Wdtt im 
uhailf crtdihU, bwauie it u monttrQuilg ^a%rd. ' — ------ -*-- -•^^ 

hatiHtheaa buritd hi riM again ,- and thai I lake 

etWH il if manifallg impoinbte.—I}e Sptclaeiilit. C. S3. 

■ WBlHFe, iKildn. what I enoiider BufflciEDt Ii 
vxiilen« of the Jentsh philosopher. TboUui. in 

KH^pUml luthorily it o)illgi>d to rmpgcl the truth," « 



ADTHENTICIIV OF THE Siaj^. 71 

ivbbiiuugS I am, lliat if Jesus could now retutu upon partli, 
il wouU vex liim not a, little to Bee how hia wuids and doings 
have been warjicd and mystified, and to find that the record of 
thai life whitb he appeara to liare eacrificed in attacking one 
■uperatiliaa, had been made the comer-stone on which to erect 



Yet wilhal, I do cot set myself up as an apologist for all that 
ire may faiily euppoae Jesus to haro said and done. Perfection 
is not the altrihnla of humanity j and the aage of Nazareth had 
donbtleBa hia faults and failings, like othor men. I only say 
UlU I aai so much of enlightened benevolence oven in the 
gub]«d transcript of hia sayinga and doings as contained in hia 
biography, that I cannot but rank him Ba one of the beneiaotors 
of bis apeciea and reformers of his limes, and that I cannot but 
teflBi that he found no belter biographers than Matthew and hia 
[ollow cvangelista. * 

Vour deiaico ot the morality of the Pentateuch, I leave with 
our readcia. Your explanation of cuntradicliona by auppoaing 
oirelesB scribes, is very piobably correct, and is proof positive 
Ih&t tlie Bible is not an infallible record. Vour opinion regard- 
inj Ejiakiel ia a matter of taste, in which I differ ftom you. 
Voor i^ument adduced in proof that I and all Hicksite quakeia 
"e atheists, has already several times been replied to. Youi 
ijneBliciis are but samples of a thousand regaiding the world and 
ils origin wliieh it is very easy and very useless to ask, and quite 
impossible 10 answer. When I pretend to all knowledge, it will 
t« lime enough to put them to me. 

It ia some time sines 1 havo chanced upon such a flagnml, but 
/ will auppoao unintentional cunfoimdiog of dates and oventa as 
is cvntained ia the conoluslon of your last leilcr. I muEt needs 
dissect it fur the benefit of our readers. 

Fiist, you have it long list of grievancea and outrages, viz. : 

1. Transfer of ecclesiastical bcnoficoa to the municipalilies. 

3. Declaration cf independence of the See of Rome. 

3. Abjuration of tlic miserable Gobet. 

t. Old. story of the Goddess of Keoson. 

5. Decrees ot death being an eternal aluop; shutting up of 
churches; &c. 

6. Drownings at Nantes, &c. 

AU these you adduce as triumphant refutation of my formerly 
(ipressed opinion, that " there never was a period when the 
power of truth and of justice shone more conspicuously than in 
liejirti moHtha of the revolution."t 

n»i, bad auBicred dnth, by IhE' Hiitonce ot the procuralor Fontiui PiUle." 

lelteri (o Wittiam Shorl ofihe 131* April and «* Miguil, 
Db these TBry vkw^i been fivca by iu in the Free Epquiter, 
hibUvuiou of hiH Miiaoiro, we iDl|[bt well Uvn been im^ 

as lltUrlitd ynu ia<v HI, in fiuoliog from me, la amU. 



f 



/2 AUTHENTICITY OF THE HIULB. 

Now, sir, you knon-, or ought to knoir, tliat Uie Frendt 
ReTolution comoieDced in 1789 ; you know, oi ought to Inxnik 
that 110 excesses whatever ware cummitled for tvm whole ynx^ 
thcrouller ; you know, oi ought to know, thut a more daring, B 
more honeBl, and a more moderate public body, has rarsty II 
ever (even on the admission of its enemira) been cbarged iriA.' 
the desIinieB of a nation, tlum the National Aaatmbl}/ of 17SS* 
from its lery first sitting ia June, 17S9, to i<a Tolimtnry djnolv-. 
tion in April, 1791, You youraelf must have admired— or, K 
yoa bare not, every £riend of freedom who ever penned III 
Ktiiriug story has — ttie glorious spirit that dictated the ftmat 
Tennia Court oath ;f the admirabJe and digoitied daring of Hi 
celebrated 23iii of June 4 the enthusiastic disinlereslednM I 
the memorable 4th of August ;} and so through a long list ofi 
laws, and noble sacrifices to Ubeity, until the great federaUon 
the 14lii of July, 1790 ; when the king and people met, ■ 
father and his family on the Champ de Mars : and when 
amiable and imbecile Louis took that oath, n-hiuh, had he k^ 
iFhat years of slaughter, and then of slavery, might hare ' ~ 
spared to hia ill-liitf it people ! 

You know, sir, or ought (o know, that these two , 
exhibited one Hceae of allemale baugbtiness and weaknesa <■ 
the p,irt of the French court and ila monarch, jusl aa Lotit 
happened to be governed by his own better judgment, or byAl 
advice of his false Fourtiers, or of the intriguing and unlbiliiialf 
Hoiie Antoinette, and one scene of mingled firmneas and if 
bearance on the part of tho Aasembly ; that the 
almost with rapture, the lease appearanco of reluniing modMUla 
in Louis.ll and that it woa Dot till they had been cheated M 
outraged, again and again, by a corrupt and hypocritical cnB' 
that they learned to distrust, and to act with severity. 1* 

know, or ought to know, that of the a'- '— '-^ 

noticed, the Heofrst only have any thing 
of the Assembly or with the events of It 
alone I have ever thought of approving. 

The Asaembly did (December 2, 1769,) put the nation il 



. 37. TlKiulh "IbU Ibej n-oold never tepomte mlil 
p. 33, 39. Tlin da; irhea [he Auembl; dcolu^ " it i 



t MigBtl. p. M 
piiinilit&ffl, ]Danop< 



e independent of tUe Seu 
o( Rome : wilh nil the rest they had as tittle to do as you oi 1 
hsTH had. 1 npprova bnth these measures. The clergy, aa 
Migael well eipressea il, "were the depositories only of the 
■beneflces of which they were deprived." And to leave the 
vhole ecclesiastical Dstablisliment of regenerated France under 
itie control of ita ambitious and cuuning Roman pontiff, would 
have been tittle less than on act of niadness. Both these 
measures were purely political.f It is not very marvellous, 
however, that Matiry, on the part of the clergy, and Cazalis, oa 
dial of the nobility, should denounce such propositions as robbery 
ud persecution, and tlial the modern prieathood should echo the 
dennnciation. 

As to the opinion of that prince of novelists, lli.it most seduciDg 
and most toiy of modem writers, Walter Scott, it is perfectly iu 



Xa\Bas of fmnn. If 




of Bonu, he 

iiUhaprlct to the number of dcpartmfinte. the coaraiinit} of the eocleaiaBtiDa] 
*lUl Ihc civil hnuitdories. the namin^tion of biihups bv the elccton ifho 

Ghoptvn. vii ihe FtplaciD^ of i^BTiona hy ciirs-re^— such wna thifl pUn. A'tj 

Kt ^f it made any encnjarhitient f>n IhniUigmaa or worship "f thf; chtrch- 
ilOBf lime the bithoin and othi!r cedi'suisdcs ne.-e nominnl.!d lij liie 
pwple: ud as to Ihedioccean limita, it was an opcriition purely n.itlipiial, 

W Ihe clergy mm moreaner nmfTouSs protiilcJ Jor: noil if the htirh 
di^lurice i-BW thrif rirenuM diminlehed. iho rarM.wlio [otmtil Ibc mint 



74 AUTIIKKTICITT OF TQE BIHLK. 

nccordanco wifli Iiis conduct Bt a late anli-refnrm 

Itoxburgb, Scollund, when, though in inisersbla UmMi, 
Tcnerable defender oi' the things and powDfi" "' ' ""- "'"" 
and detlaredf "that if he were to Idag hia 111 
Ml attendance at that meeting, he would willingly ^eld m 
breath in opposition to the measure now before parlUnMiit." 
he sure, the infamous system of boroughmongering wUeh 
meoEare (the famoiis Defonn Bill,) aitacks, has hitherto (UM 
British seuHte with the paid crcuturra of an unprincipled ~' 
tooracy; but rotten boroughs, Sir Walter IhinltH, as wd 
eccleBiaslLcal benefices, are properly that has been boiiri* 
paid for ; and he is willing to aocrifice hia Ufa to mainodl 
one, and hia reputation to vindicate the truth of Ih^ tt 
Within hia own splendid domain let the author of Waw 
eserl his fairy prerogative I No rebel will there OM op 
question hia auUiorily, nor any Terolution snpprvena to diitl 
the gorgeous dreams that arise at hia bidding ( but let i 
abstaia from sn attempt to perpetuate the magnificent follie) 
hasspent a lifctimo in dc£i:ribing; let him not tnmsmule (^ 
admiration of the novelist into pity or reprobHtion of the mi 
nor force us to remember, that he to whose Promethean fimcj 
ere indebted for the pleasant wiling away of many an idle 
mnjt yet be identified with the politician who opposed re 
and the hiatorian who abused reformers. 

Tlie 2nd, aid, 4th, and filh, in your list of oompliuiilii I 
I repeat it, the acta of Ihc Comrmme of Fans, composed of a I 
mad fanatics and foreign traitors, who, for some weeki, M 
awad the eoncfntien of 1793, and even fbund occaiionil ioilW 
of Iheir lyrannical follies ihrou^oul the provinces. Tot S 
duration of thoir authority, deel roved by Robes^en^ 
December, 1793, is proof sufficient haw Utlte the natiiHl' 
disposed to endure their extravagances.' And evenlbit' 



authority they owed to i/ie enmtisa of IHertg. !□ a 
every tbing depends upon a first refusal and ft flm 
On their heads who hangbtily refused tho mild and 
reform proposed in 1TS9, and thus roused the pMn 
oppressed and indignant people, and who, for mora _.. ^ 
whole years, chafed that people's patience, basely abusB^'' 
easy temper, and thus stirred up the sleeping eIetM~ 
violence and anarchy, still adding fuel to the Same, by i 
ing over all France their own paid creatures, who, tamm 
republican cloak, were rewarded aocordiug to the deep 
the atrocities they might succeed in instigating, ^ " 

, Mat ot n 




AUTHESTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 



75 



Uytiis al the door •>{ the principlea tbey traitoiDiul; outraged — 

«ii llieir heads be viiiled the Bbmae of those deeds tlmt are felaet; 

chuged to iafidelit; I 
As to the 6th count in your iadLctment, rogording " le- 

pnhlican baptism " and " republican muirlage," " what could be 
ilionger proof," aa LafiiyGlte remaihcd to me, in a caavetaalion 
to which 1 have already alladed, " what conld he stronger proof 
llutt it was tlio salaried enemies of reform, not its hot-headed 
biends, who insligaled tlicse inhuman crimes, thin that the 
Ume repufctosin was tjiua carefully and officiously coupled 
vilh whalover was most revolting to tho conunou leellngs of 
muiidnd t" 

I have already exceeded tLe limits 1 had prescri 
MJt and must thereibre await your reply. 

RoBBHT Dale Owen. 



b 



TO HOBEBT DALE OWEN. 



New-Tork, Septamber 3, 



3«, 

I am by no means disposed to slirink ft-om the defence of 
llieltibieaa " a record (i-om heaven." Indeed, if it is not such a 
Kxord, it is not anlhentic ; for it claims to he so. I shall not 
itmcfore admit, that it is liable cveii to the mistakes incident to 
Qvnmon autheatie history, much leas to those of mere tradilion. 
liIuiU not admit, that it contains a roiituie of truth and felse- 
Wj, fable and hlBtory, like the works of anoiont heathen 
nilerB, and that its miracles have nu belter proof than theirs, 
'uo fully prepared to show (he contrary. I am prepared to 
■iow, that its claims to a divine original are folly sustainad. 
Bat were 1 not thus prepared, I conld defend it on oUicr grounds, 
M that the advocates of the Bible are bound to do, is, to show 
Ibtl there is raHoaal eoidenee for belircmg it. I know of no 
obligation derolving on ua, to furnish stronger proof of (his book, 
tian is necessary to prove any thing else. There is what men 
admit to be proof of past evenla, by which they discrimlnata 
between history and fable. Thero is what they deetn to be 
■aSlcieiit evidence of things, to entitle them to credit. This 
connsls, not In the nature of the things themaeivee, but in the 
natuxe of the evidences which attest them; as their rejection 
of some narrations in history, probable enough in theDiselres 
considered, but nnaustaioed by the proper evidence, plainly 
•hows. Nor do they reject thu accounts of the prodigies and 
JBtractea contained in (he ancient heathen writings, because tliey 



A 



I 



ai'esiicU HGco^iiits, bui Ijecsiisc Ilioy li.ive not fml.ble eridpi^ 
to susUun Ihem — Etndflime whicli ihej consider proof of el_ 
Ibings. Why do men believe Ihat b. greM cuii^ueror Lrsd 1 
the name of Alexander, snmBmed the GrtBl? Kot becuMB 
thing ii piobible ia ilaelf, but because there ia rational 
for baiiering it. It is very easy Iq lest Ihia, Jiist writi 
an imnginaiy hero, couluiiiiug no iniiinsic impiobabililka «l 
and Bee who will believe that such a character ever existed. 
above all, write it book like the Jjible, tilled nitb dEM 
wonderB, and niiiBCles, together with oaTnes, dates, ana «i 
tries, and see if it nill then be received. Thtu -we see, ■ 
there ia vhat men consider proof of pnst events, by whiA ' 
are induced to receive some things, and reject othtM. '~' 
not absurdly require mioh proof as in the natura at Ihlig 
Dot exist. They have no doubt that Alexander the Gmt 
although they did not see him, and have nothing but _ — 
testimony to that eS'ecl. Neither do they consider the 
bility of his exieleiice at all weakened,,on account of iU 
happened so long ago, or on ani/ other account. Nor hava 
any belief in the healhcn prodigies, not hon-ever because 
ore merely rBCorded, or because they are sa 
ao long ago, (for they would not believe lii'iiu/, verial bi 
testimony to this effect,) but because Ihey do not consid 
evidences themselves veracious. These are the rules whidt 
^od sense of mankind has taught Ihem Id apply in Ihe : 
lion of their beliaf in relation to tnuUlion ancf history, 
irere they to depart from these rules, and adopt the obsui 
of scepticism, requiring a kind of proof to command tbeir. 
vhich nothing of this nature can hnvo, they would at 
all history, all evidence, aud might as well shut np. 
of ancieiil lore and their courts of justice "" — ^ 
down in the limited sphere of their own p 
To carry out the rule, they should read no pnaaii', 
even the daily papers, nor hear oral commu 
They should believe nothing at all, either ■ 
who are they that write or utter declarations, but meii7 
bow do they kuow but thev mistake, seeing it ia so diffiool 
them la obtain " impartiiJ infunnntion even od the spot, K 
the moment, and when no especial motive existii fbi miarepicai 
lion ?" How do they know but they are swayed by ■ qiiilfl 
" pnrlizanship t" Nay, a greater difficulty still. Percbanca f 

narrator was far "removed from the scene of a 

who would think of beOering any thing, unless the inS,tU 
who relates it saw it himself? For example, one mas I 
another that Napoleon died an exile on the rock of 8l. Hdl 
Did the narrator see him die there r No. Well, ihen, t. -_ 
" reiT dilScult" to believe this story. But Loir " infinlmf 1 
the difficulty (laginentcd, if years and centuries hire [ — ' 
between the deed and the record !" Who will believe U 
yearB and centuries hence ! Who would be so credulotu M 



AUTHENTICITY O 



77 



Mr thing which "record" aaya took place yem sad 
hi(|i>1 but the mure etipecinUy, thomandi of yeard a^o, 
Reient hifltory," aaya Aleiftnder, and (he Caaars, and 
Jhnagiiuuy buings, Sourished > Fuf you muaC know, 
Me tmcient histories were written beloia Ihe InTeiilion 
bin consequence uf which they were never generally 
nnd therefore had but a scanty opportunity of having 
H corrected." Add to Ibis "tbeainiosL impossibihty, 
■laining or traosmittlng writteu records, unaltered by 
boess, or the whim, or perhaps the dishonest inten- 
Ktcribe, or perchBiic« nnttilated or suppressed by the 
¥ Who, under all thtsa circumatances, would ever 
K^nliBg ancient history as any thing but a very 
Kp novel, and present hislory, and all teslimony, as 
Hbt qoestionable ? This, sir, is scepliciam carried out. 
Bn see, lbn.t lbs rule which eceptics adopt to dis- 
Bnbte, would overthrow all history and aU testimony. 
fltlUTe nothing therefore to fear for the Bible, wi:ie 
fit on the evidences of common history j for, if they 
blhrow (he former, till Ihey shake the confidence of 
m the latter, it will be eome lime before Ibcy succeed. 
^ tCl time shall have grown so grey, that unborn 
shall doubt the existence of Washington and 



1 
I 



t They would do well, Iben 
,for 



What 



J possess their s 



Are 



Ine a thing, because 

e even (o suspend Judgment in such a cose } No, 

VwisG we should believe nothing at all, how well 

led. Thus we see, that a thing may be entitled lo 

ugh we may not be certain of its tratb. Well, 

B we have not "infallible oTidance" or a "personal 

of the truth of the Bible. The question of ita 

which is (he very question under consideration, 

on this circumstance at all. The inquiry is, not 

tfty, but the probability, of Ibo evidtnce of the Biblo. 

RKa IS not, Bote atrong aie its evidences 1 but, Ha> it 

f It is not, wbclber wa should beUeve it ttrongly or 

It 'Whether we should beliete it. And surely, it would 

I^Tule lo adopt, to ditbelieve a thing because it might 

'otla evidences in lis favour, and thus disbelieve 

— refuse to scamper out of a house when it 

xd as falling, merely because we might not 

e the case. I should deem it more rational to 

;■ btlief, than an improbable imbelie/. Should a 



78 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIJILB. 

he not poBitiiel; to believe 7 But then, in a. cose mToIving 
etamal interests, sceptics lell lu ibey wont somelhiiig man) 
probabililiea. Wh;.— If the Bible should not piove ' 
scepticism hna no hell fur them Sot having believed il ? ^ 
ihen is the danger? But huw much do tbej beltci the ci 
being sceptics 7 Ate there any thing more than probabiltl . 
ihe case of scepticianif Nay, if the Bible is ptobaWj I 
(which is Ihe question we ace now considering,) the p 
oiliLies are againtt scepticism. And if Ecepticiam siiould n 
tnie, the Bible Am a hell for aceptica. So thai [here it • 
ful risk in embracing scepticism, and none at all in believing 
Bible. Judge then, whether 'tis the more ' ' 

the Bible, allowing it to be only probable, oi ._ ^^ 

believe in infidelity at a tiemendaua risk, against prababl^ 
iir to believe in the Bible without risk, in accardance \ 
probability. 

Bill, as I have already said, I rest not the tutijeel b 
Bible has cnofe than probable, more than common 
evidence. 1 am prepared to prove, if any thing can 1 . , 
by testimony, that the miraclea of the Bible are facta, and I 
ilB propbecies were written before they were fulUledj i 
canaequentlv, that it is not only authentic, bat divine. I 
prepared lo show, that it is morally ctrlam, yea, more, thM I 
abtolulelf/ certain, as a matter of our own observation, tiaiB 
daily fullilmcnt of its prophecies before uur eyes — so eeili 
Ihat not onlv the tcoptii^ wbo lias na lisk in lun b; embm 
it, but the Jew, the Mahometan, the I'agan, threatened m I 
are with hells of their own, if recreant to their own fiiilh, 
with the greateal safety imaginable, embracQ ' " ■' " " 
God, in bis intlnite mercy, has given us a h 
cvidtnco of this book, than is necessary 
justice, by affording ua grounds barely suffii 
belief. He has so overwhelmed us with proof 
il is necessary foe the sceptic absolutely 
stop Mb ears, and dght hiaway down to min. 
And those who are unbelievers under such 
deed deserve double damnation. Far ni 
be in the day of Judgment for Sodom an 
them. 

There were several nates and remarks in ihe last letto^ i 
which require a passing; notice, before 1 proceed to the l 
□f the French revolution. That respecting Ihe sacrifiM 
daughter by Jephlfaa comes first in order. Ni: 
milted that after having made his tow, he w« 
tion V> fulfil it. this would not be admitting thai 
makini) tlie ddio iUelf. No passage of sutiplure 
elsewhere directs any such vow to be made. 1 . _ 
thai ne vow ihat il made should be broken, ll^fl 
lullest manner, ahow Ihe sncred nature of a vow, mil, __ 
the strongest possible baniei against making piucipiS 



r 



UTTBKSTICnT or TSI B 



«0Hng Uien M no ek^Kc to Ktntf. B^it^wtitti^ mij 
"two inM&ncM m Ike -miait Mmarj ^ As Jn^ v^n ^bh 
life vu uciifictd ia Hat waj, vit, thtf at Ac bm i< JwphAa'j 
daugliter. uid IkU in Ike obb if Mb Ac BntiK; aad )■ 
DL-i(ber of thcK euec dU Ac r- r ilarf Mtin rh iiii "mrf 
Aa rrault thAt followed. His mmI; aMs Mt bck m if Ac 
Jewi nndeiBtood Lentica^ ^V- xxnL, ■«. SB, ■■ iMeBinif 
to preacribe bmoui lamfiea. Sir A* / w ■■dci^nl i^ W 
■Djmeuu. As to Ac ttanA n^ectiic Ac w^ maailafta, 
this ia too petty mn otQecAa fa ■ JkK tatii mefbc to trgt. 
No Bceptint icnErr 4a«U Imtni to Bii pakiT tiifla. 
Vby, aic, with aU onr kunMge af ^Mombt, ire taft of tlie 
5un'a ruing and jcClMf , Ac, aa naAlv aa JU Maaea aad Joalnia. 
And tuul Ihej louniB cm an sadb aboot aatraacaj, they would 
liave sKpresaed thenuelTea jaM aa Atj did, •■ all thoae poiiua. 
tPt should Bay the nm nood tSSl, if Aa eaiA wieie to itop ia 
bci caie«r. eveii is Iliii day of adraai^ — aad a^ rifU too. I 
apprehend my opponent ia am a Tny Aaiaagb a^naoB^ at h> 
would nift say it "Btands atOl at aM ti^aa."-— Hia aaaeitinn. tbU 
" ihe whole Eupentrnctnra i€ CkiiadasiCy nali on a dnom," 
ibda-i him to be aa little of a thaotnpaa, a* (he other one jsat 
noticed ihowi him lo be an lateinBmtr. Joaeph, to be aore, 
tad a dream ; but ili>ea it Aetctbve Mknr, tint no otie beaidea 
hod any thing el-w ? How ma it with Haiy F How was it with 
(he wise men of (he east t How wiih the shepheTdg ! How it 
the baplimi. tranafignnitioa. cmci&doD. renurection, and ascen- 
lion of Ibe Saviour ^ ChristianitT reat on a dream indeed I Abuut 
u correct as the rest of hit repreKntatiotUi. — Ilia off-hand blow 
at the Nicene Cmincil 1 will pany. by oiHertiug. Uial the way 
m which they decided avtoe books lo be canoDicaJ, and some 
tpurioua, was jiiHt as teery ratjonai man decidea between truth 
and fslHehood, vii., by an eiaminBtiaii of eridences, and not, 
like the sceptic by Jambling ali togelfaer, and rejecting ihem en 
moHf, without eiamiiiition. 1 luspecl that my opponent will 
nul be lo aceptical aa lo doubt that a NIcene Council was held, 
notwithstandujg the animponul tinceitointy relative to the 
dale when. &c., eapecially if he keeps in mind what I observed 
in my last coDcuniiiig Philo and Josepbiu. And, during the 
coBise of ihia discussion, I aball (ell him who wrote the " four 
gospell," BO that (here will be no need of his "agilating that 

ruealion." — The "Tcracily and sanity of the Chrislian fathers" 
will myaetf Tenture to endorse for. I conceive Terlullian meant 
UDthing but what I should mi*solf be ready to say, viz., that, 
is a religion ernanstini; from infinite wisdom, we shorl'sighted 
eraaturea are (o expect to lind some thinfcs which to tu perehsnce 
qipear ahameful, absurd, and impossible; and thercrire tliat, 
wore the Bible to conlain nothing but what is consonant with 
oiar Tiews, wo should have reason lo believe it lo he of hurann 
iaTeDtun. and fa leia ootitled to credit than il is now. — lie. 
(pMtiiiS tha ability of the unletteied Giueroiaa to vrile in other 



r 



I 



AUTHENTICITY OT THB BIBL-f. 

tongues than llieir own, why not so, as well aa to apeak in tbtN 
tongues 1 Mimclea remove mountainB. It would be Bomawlnl 
ditlicult, however, for a man to writs after he waa daattj mi 
hence we are not to beiieve that " Mosea wioIp an acconnt of 
his own death." I hope frienil Owen will not forget to tell ■ 
who says he did; for I should not believe luci a (latemsut 
creduloua as 1 am. Yet, aa he concludeB not to speak of tbnp 
of whicli men cannot judge without reaort to boolcE, 'tis donblr 
ful whether we get much of an answer. How unfortunats it il 
that books happen to he written by men 1 Wonder why tdmt 
Oven writes hooka. Better wail liil some of the wilditf 
angiU which his education scheme is to produce, shall hare Mt 
produced, and prepared for the work. One thing, by tbe WM 
I can scarcely express my admiration of his IranaceDdaidf 
excellent rule for detecting errors in books. It will gave til ut 
labour of searching into evidence, and woidd be a foM 
expeditious made of despatching cases in courts of jnMiHt 
Mark now. It is thia^ Believe just as mnch or just aa uttlaK 
you please, wilhont regard to evidence. This is what I ahMil 
call settling questions by steam j and then (a think how il- 
lallible a test of truth it establishes by which all would, ^ 
courie, arrive at the same results. — My explanation of the codIHi- 
oictionG in the Bible, noticed in my lost letter, I am witlinftli 
risk ; and I still say, that Ihey do not render the Bible iOiK 
fallible, WilUam Penn to the contrary nolwilhalanding.— lljr 
qneetiona touching the world and its origin, are indeed iB' 
po^ible for alheisla to answer, involving, as those questioni i», 
theii acfaeme in a la,bynnth of absurdities ; and this oogU K 
"" make them 



I have but little more to add to what I have already said at 
the subject of the French revolution. In applying one ■enUnn 
of my opponent's to the whole of that revolnlioa, which ha 
applied merely to ita commencement, I was not fiterii% coosA 
Still, I consider I was virltutUy so, inasmuch as be made olhai 
statements of a ftifpi^Hr character, which he appUed to tlvt 
revolution without qualiRcalion. Speaking of that erenl, ht 
says, " Never was a more nobJe or more unfortunate sDugglt U 
put down tyranny," &c. And he calls Lafayette the fi&aU 
It. There is no distincdon made here as to its different pai«di) 
and I should certainly consider these passages equivalent ta 
calling it " a period conapieuoua for tnith and justice." Wft 
regard lo my confounding of dates, &c., I would obaerre, thltr 
have done no such thing. I have spoken of the French Mtdniv 
lion, wllhout regard to particular dates, I have spoken of it si 
Bu iuHdel concern throughout, which it was, I do not is> iiT W^^ 
llie proposition, that the first months IhereoC were months 4 
justice. It was then that the church of France was robb«4| 
MtTObfau himtelf being judge. Kay, even Mignet thomt lU 
whatever he may aiairt to the contrary. He shows that A 
pcbpcriy of that church hail bevn " consectated lo (he olMq; 



ATITHEHTICITY OF TUB JIIBLE. ^1 

Dot to tlio jK>Mnim«i><, " by tho piety of the kinffi and Iho fahh~ 
faL" Well might ui iafidel Mirabeau pronduacti such confisi-a- 
lion robbery. It n-ag more ; it waa sacnlege. It wm then, too, 
thai the clei^ were compelled to (iolale (heir consciences by i 
violatioii of th^ir oallia, ot forfeit tlieir means of subsiiileiice. 1 
dent that tlie AsBenibly of (hat period were an honest nnd a 
modente pablio body ; for Ihey imrapled on their Jtins, unii 
■tuunefully abused him, in addition to the gacriU-gioiis rubb<:iy. 
Ac., aboTe noticed. I deny that ihe king and people met like 
fadier and cbildien in the Champ de Mara. At iLaC very 
mamenl. he waa yirtually neither more nor leas than iheir 
piiaoDcr. I deny dint he broke his oath, tliat he manifeBlcd a 
Itanglity spirit, or that hia queen wsa an intrifuer. Snch 
tlindera befit only the venomoua tonguea of their inflJel 
murderers. With regard to the -tToraliip of tha goddess of 
leason, and the doctrine uf annihUation, I say again, and I am 
conBtmed by alt hislory relating to the subject, that ihey were 
not merely ParuiDn. but Hotimtal concerns — the blasphemous 
Kene in the conicntion being but (he opening of the impii:UR 
dnima. The werahip of (he proGlituIe goddess obtained iiir a 
time thronghoHt the nation,* and (he rooKo, "Dea(h ia an 
eternal sleep." was placed over the entranees to their grate- 
yaids! The work of a mere Parisian municipality indeed! 
But suppose it was bo. What is gamed to infidclityF Paris 

m the Terr head quarters of ihat— and (he htail qiiariera, too, 
of anarchy and bloodshed — the city, as I remarked in tny losl, 
which selected for i(s tepresen(aii»es the Ihree infidel hell- 
hounds, Robespierre, Danton, and Marat. Admitted, (hen, for 
ujument's sake, Ihat the municipality of Faria n-ere the cause 
of all these atrocities. What were the members of that munici- 
pslity, and what were their constituents, but iuBdels } Nor 
dull I admit, contrary (o ail eiridence, (hat these atrocities were 
initiated by foreign emissariss. No, str; they were ttie spon- 
nueons effusions of infidel beneyolence, liberality, Irtierly, and 
ajsiUty ! The christening of their murders and abominations 
vilh the names of rcpublicaa marriagti and bapiisra; were 
endenlly but sneers at the Chtiitian institulions of marriagB and 
haptiim. The idea that Wallet- Scott is not a correct historian, 
beouise he can write novels, and has certain poHtical opiniim?. 
istbont as logical as iuiidel ideas in general, and requires ]. > 
idditioDBl notice here. 

It will be reoDlleded, that I introduced the subject of iV.c 
French revolution as one evidence of the necessity of revelaliuii, 
nnd IS proof ot the pernicious influence of infidelity. And, sir, 
It ii such evidence and such proof. Were I disposed to invent a 
talc u H conflmiation of a. Iheury, I am conscious that I could 

* Am Ao tit« TamurtD}^ goddrH of liberty, T know not the putlrultri- 1 



f^l 



*UTliEKTICITY 



nut proilucfl one su mui-h in Ihe piii3)nge, se is this e 
hislory U) Ihal fur v.hkh 1 haye addnced il. The mini . 
iui {iiTUBBJ, Keats as if amLking ]r;iia a frighlful dresm. 
thing liiit f.he seal of hislnr; ein^UmiH'd upon il, could ererm 
us regard il otbeiwiBe ihan aa an idlu tale, a Ggment of 4 
imBginaUon. Human nalnro aeems for a time lo have hum ] 
chnuged into infernal, and men lo have delighltd in lotmcDIiiii 
one anolher for lormrrit'a sake. There was something so ia- 
eipressibly horrible abaul ihe SepteinbEr maasHcre, the procent- I 
iD({B at Lfona, Nantes, and other places; itEty, thioughoiit altJ 
Fiance, during the whole lung reign of terror; something If 
rtvoUing and mppalling in Iho aang_froid «ith which the guilk' 
n'ua plied, and human life sarrihced, aad the God of b 
driied, that il is almost diHicult to believe, that detite iooi 
were nol for a time at tbe head of affairs in that ill-fated o 
try. The French r<;vniatioD, sir, will stand a beacon lo iH 
future ages, lo warn mankind to beware of war with heaTes— 
and with heaven's sacred book. Nor will they be in vmfri 
basie to turn away their eyes from a memenlo of so fearful is 
pari. Slow, alow will they be, again lo embrace prin«i)ilM 
which hare once led to such results. Une such expeiimecl oat- 
weigha a thousand argomenta. 

To prove the necessity of revelation, I have likewise adduetd 
the caso of ancient and modem heathen nations, and abom, 
that Ihc piost enlightened of them wem and are ■unkeS il lb> 
lowest deplhs of moral degradation, polluted with the 
abominations, and crimsoned with the bloodiest ritra ; am 
wisest philosophers have confessed and deplored their n 
darkness, and have disagreed on Ihe most obviuus and ii 
truths ; that what little glimmerings of light they Aunt pi 
were reflected from the sun of palriarchal, or Moaaical, o 
lian revetalion ; ihnl ihey could not bring even this In 
the mass of mniikind, unbacked as il has always been by Aril 
authority ; that Ibis consideration has always mduced UKII tl 
pretend lo such authority in special and importaut cases, thBnIl|f~^ 
showing in tbe clearest manner the necessity of re 

these philosophcTs have inculcated demoralizing si. . . , , 

led immoral Hies; and that, as those Dations which hare langbeafl 
isolated from the great body of mankind, have no know' ' 
Gnd, there is reason to believe, that, had there nevei 
revelation given in any ago, there would at this time be i 
knowledge on the face of the earth : from which I have 
that il is reasonable to conclude a revelation Las been given, ii 
asmuch as it is not aupposable, that God would make a warld j 
rational beings, and IcaTe them entirely destitnte of an; la 
ledge of himaelH I have shown that Christianity bag a '" 
influence whereter it goes, overthrowing the alMiminatioD 
heathen, and ciTilizIng and enlightening them, thereby ci 
BD mankind immense temporal benefits, (lo say noinu 
,) which, according to the admUsion of Bou 





iJUDTHESTlClTV OF THE BIBLE. 83 

^__, . .iletotBtet. I lare like«iie broaghl 

into view the monl phenodunaa, that the Jevi who had the 
Seiiptum. inferior Ki Ihej were to die Gie^i uid Romans in 
poinl of sdence and refinement, ««re iidnnltij their lupeiiois 
ui moral «iid religious ImoirieAge. I hue produced a host of 
intidel writers who coticede, (hat ChiiMuBilT lui a goodly iii- 
fluenee. The resall of sli whidi i>, tint, if a; lerelalion has 
been made (o mankind, it ii fnanmaUe the Bible con- 
Uina it. It will not, I su^eet be jaetended bj mjr opfBueat, 
(hat anj other religion can comfete iritli that book on this 
pniDt. Asuredt]r Paganixni omaM; and aa to Habamelanisin, 
a ihat is true, the Bible is ; for (hat lecognisea the Bible. In- 
deed, it is genenlly odmiOed bj inUcts, ^it Christianity has the 
grvatest apparent ciaini to a diiine dti^iBal of my religiaiis system 
Khatever. Deists generally, and Hert>ert in particnlar, adtnlt, 
that '' Cbiinianily has manifeally Ae adraUage of all other 
pri'lenilers to reveUtioo, as in lufwl et tbe intiinsic excellency 
uf the natter, so likewise in leipect at the leaaana that may be 
^aded Ibr its tmth." And Herbert likrwiae deaominales it 
Ike bt-tt religion. Blounl aay^ " it is not safe to trust to deiam 
alone, without Christianity jollied to it." Hobbea calls tho 
feriptuies the toice of God- 'nndal c ip reta himself to the 
Hme effect. Chubb aaya, that f^uisfs mission was pnAalitv 
dirine. and Ihat (he New Teauunent yields mnch clearer li^C 
lUn any other traditibaatr rerelatton. Botiogbroke admits 
Christianity to be a repuhiieation of the taws of nature. Clbboo 
UTS it contains a pure, beDeroIenl, and unirenal sjatem of 
nbicB, adapted to erery daty and condition of life. 

The case now stands (has -. that rerelalion is neceaeary to tbo 
pod of nunkind, and indispenoable to a knowledge of God ; that 
it is not Bupposable that God, luider these circnmstancea, would 
tint gire one ; that it is therefore pTFsnmable that one has been 
pnD; and that the BiUe, if any, a that rereUtron- 

Ou,'ra BaCUeIXB. 



k 



TO OOlGEIi BACHELER 



Septembe* 27, IMl, 
The Bible is either infallible or it is not. Aa proof posiUre 
of its in&llibility, yon are abonl to addnc« ancient historical 
nidence- If we sapposE the Bible story irae, its tmlhs m«* 
have come to some criT oar anceatora, who lived agea a^, with 
dirine evidence i or, otherwise eipreased, <u lite leord ef OeJ. 



r 

I 



84 AUTHBNTICICt OF TIIE BIBLE. 

But, tnlc or not, to us it comes with historical eridenoe 

ur otherwise expressed, aa the Kord of man. The vord of Gm, 

TtconUd by matt, becomes, of necessity, the word of miui. 

But (bis word of man (yon will oigae,) may be true) uid, U 
tme, the Bible precepts are ditine. 

To piova the Bible Inie, it w abioluleli/ neceaiary to prom, if 
ancient hiiloiy, that tniracUt bappenad. I deny that, ~ 
able being, this is possible. 

Li»y informs uH, (Ub, 5, cap. 36, &c.,> that Ronn 
by the Gauls and deliiered by Camillua. He info 
(lib. 7, cap. 6,) that a wide gap suddenly opened in . 
furum about the year 300 B.C.; that l£e oracle decUnd 3 
would never close until Rome threw itito it whatever she had rf 
most precious ; that Curtius, a noble Koman youlh, armed J 
self, mounted big horse, and, declaring thdt there was not 
more precious than a. self-devoting patriot, leaped into Ibe 
wMch (the gods being appeased,) instantly closed over his 1 
Both Uiess stories, of Camillua and of Curtius, real OB 
dsely the same authority, that of a bislorian fomed foi 
learning and candour, and living soms Ibree or fonr bnl 
yeaia after the events happened. Do we believe both! 
We believe Camillua' story, though some fifty yeua older 
the other; and we disbelieve Curtius" adventure. Why f U 
□□e simple reason ; tl u miraeulota. Livy's leputaUou tt ~ 
historian, however fair, cannot weigh against a mirocla. V 
con more readily believe in the narrator's credulity than in ll 
namtioQ'a troth. 

Thus it is demonstialed. that when the same evidence vwuhl 
for a probability and au im[)rabability, we may receive lb* Ml 
and reject the other. A miracle recorded in an^ htstoiy H| 
one, we disbelieve, becauie tt ia a miracle. We justtj' rMMT 
that it is far more probable that the bistorian is deceived Of 
deceiver, than that events should happen which are utterly I 
variance with our onn and all modem experience. And du 
alt your ingenious verbiage about disbelieving probabilitic*, 
about heathen miracles being disbelieved merely ' 
historical etidonee for Ihem ia not good, falls to 
Livy has as fair a lepOtation as any ancient historian whateva 
but neither bis history nor any other book (except the Kble^ 
the Christian, the Koran to the Mahometan, ibo Tolmad ta tl 
Jew, the Sbasler to the Hindoo, and so on,) brinp to U 
rational mind, now-a-days, even the shadow of a conviction H 
a miracle ever occurred. 

If we saw a modem miracle onrselvea, wo should niipl 
le conjurer of a tnck, or uur senses of hallucination. If <i 
rest and dearest friend related to us a modem mincU^ ' 
should look with doubt and fear in his eyes for Hymplom* </ i 
nity: and what we thus mora than hesitate to believe, wl 
"-nmgly attested by our senses, or the testimony we m 
t upon earth, we wtiuld fain establish by records Iwei 




OF THE EIBLE. 



k beards Scottish highloniler declare, 'with a voice and manner 
■ch left DO donbt whaleyer of ins sincerity, thai he possessed 
■ftculbr ol tecond tig/it,* and he related to me the instance in 
h lie had exercised it. I disbelieved him. Why? Second 
_ a a miraele. 

s Dr. Cotton Malher'af " Magnalia Chriati Atneticana," be 
tes bow New England was, in the langua^ of that ptiiod, 
Kposed to war Irom the invieibte world;" how Uie in- 
■■ ■- - ifflicled with demons, and so wrought upon by 
pine, lang;uish and die; how the demons 
ud, fiiR one house and then another; how a spcctie ship 
_Bd the port of Sdcm, steering in the wind's eye with her 
\» squaiod and her sails full ; bow some Bupernaiural light 
te upon her, and her alone; how the Rev. ZebcdcB Stebbin, 
'wiug the ship to be " a device of the prestigious spirits," 
ed on the assembled multitude to sing the 4Cth Psalm ; how 
, _te ship sailed on. and on, and od, though no noise or voice was 
laud on board, until the masta and rigging suddi^nly fsU into 
Iba Bea, and ttie mighty spectre vanished ; tben again, how, a 
jhort time prior to (he Indian war of 1675, noises and bowling* 
were beard in the air, accompanied with the beating of drums 
u in a battle; and so on. "Flashy people," adds the doctor, 
" may burleaque these things, but when hundredB of llie most 
•ober people in a country where they have as much mother wit, 
COrtainlj, as the rest of mankind, knoui Oun to bs true — 
; but the absurd and froward spirit of sadducism can 
L them. I have not mtnlioned to much aa ons thing 
l not be JutHfied, }f it he required, by the oaihb d/ 

■ eonnitent peraotu l/ian oan he found to ridicule ihete odd 

. n iruih, we have in his book, accounts of trials con- 
d with all Iho imposing forms of jurisprudence, in which 
r penons were convicted of holding communication with 

and we have, what is still more remarkable, voluiUary 

IS qf partiei aehnowledging themielvea in leagne vjith the 
So far, therefore, as the records and archives of legal 
(Wuils may verify the truth of any accusation, they have veriited 
Ihe miiaclea of Now England, Can we obtain for a single 
miracle of the Bible, evidence an oath — the direct cridetice of 
h mdredfl of sober witnesses, as Dr. Mather said he could for bis 

■ of wonder. Can we obtain the recorded, authenticated, 

I lupenilitiaQi ol ttw HlgtUiuidan tonahlnf tUi gpvdn of pTophaCla 




r 



I 



8S ADTaKNTlCITT OF THI BULK. 

cTideeoe of fitn: omirK of I u'v ill proof of ChriBtiinity, 
DUi in pioof of Sftlem witchcrallr 

Ho. If hialorical eviduOGe, clear, distinct, offltially rec 
and therefote of unquestionable, and even uuqueslioDed ai 
tjdtf , oan prove miracleB, it Juu prored those of New En^ 
md demonstrated (lie eiiateDce of wilchea, prodigies in the 
spectre shipa, and fifty olher romantic tales. If it cunrot,™ 
becomefl of your corner-stone argument? and wheimpoa r 
UiB supBrstmcliire of the belieTer'a failh ? 

In the face of this masa of eyidenoe ive do not beliere ColW 
Mather's Btoriea.' Why? For one Bimple reason: Ih 

It is true, we know nf no raolive the New England 
could have to deceive i on the contrary, he was pladnf llil 



I 



character for varacity in imminenl danger, by aueh 
appeals. Nor do we eee haw he and IhousiinilB of his eaojoiji 
men feye-witiiesseB, he Bays, of these miracles.) could biM 
been deceived. Either a apeclro sliip did came in, in die *iM 
of Mr. Slebbin and Ihe aswmbled inhabitanla of Salem, at It 
did not. If it did not, it does seem passing strange, that OB 
assertion that il did, ehould liave been published, i " 
■ ■ ■ ^le, by 



selves ; and that af^er all IhiB, it should remain uncontradicted 

And yet, thongli wa ore unable Batialactorily to account fall 
(Mb, (hough we cannot readily explain how [he reverend getS> 
man could be either a deceiver or deceived, though the etoM' 
happened, not two IhouBaad, not even two Amidrtd yean an 
and not in some distant land but in our own country — still, hI 
y/B sturdily disbelieve. W)iy? For the same reason thai 
reject Ihe fable of the cro»s which Constauline and hil i 
beheld in the air, or of the apocalypse vouchsafed to the Crtm . 
Godfrey i—becavn thet» tlaria an oB mirtKulav, end Vwn^ 
incredible. 

If (he authentidly of the Bible ia to be eslabliahed, you 
look up some more effective vouchers than dreamsf oi leg 
to cBtablisb it. 




■.Tci'lHEa 



probably amrt, atlribnto Mwr'i 
■ -i — u ui mntasrily for r- ' 

■«n hf Uuj. (Luki 

mraiuB Luke doet not pritofld ta! 

thai be rriales, whereu UUOiM 

if Jeiui; (MUIhsw, chip, ix., m 



bdi 



87> ' 

I piaj you observe, does not (however you may haT« 
twi« il) impeach Iho utility of liislory in iu propwt 
tiAre never denied, that hisloric&l evidence ma; ofteu 
-""■aMe proof of whftl is not in ilself improbable. H 
e our ressonabls belief in the eiistence of Alexander 
, _ Jt certainly not in the tale of hia miiaCDloug cDDcejn 

Enk it lefer to believe than to doubt. Upon the wm« 
it vere Bafeal to believe in all the reli^ona in the world 
iJhristiaD, Mahomcdan, Je^'iah, Confacinn, Hindoo, and 
; because it ia btit ensuring the matter by halves to 
e only. If we believe in Ihem all, and if one Ikil nt, 
nhaps, may aave. 
^ment tliat aueptlcs may lose and cannot gain ii a 
and might be ui^ed as a plausible reason why it 
belisre. for elample, in MahomelaniBm : seeing 
hradise of lovely gardens and cooling stieama, with iti 
houria and blissful pleasures, may lie gained, if Allaii 
God KTtd Mahotnet be his prophet; and if Allah be not 
id and Mahomet be an imposter, there is noharmdonoi 
ir there be not a Paradise in another world, then 
been a happy dream of anticipated joys in this. 

tbae ani Ibe onfv two Irita Ibo Ihr u mv ineinDrT aetvci mO 

!wb;" (MMthew, chBll. Ii 



idwpbriJiiBenlyleuDed, Uial, " > isviour, nhlcb wai Chrtit jg| 

'■dare irmrd Ihil Ihia Ib IIcbo'd of'Ged;" (John, chip, l) ^^ 

I tlH tnnBflgnnliaii, cmetSiiDii. mnd ucenriDii, then li no- ' 
^in K aimilu recard. Not > ngrd abrnit Uw Holr Oh«t, or 

wiHT In all this. And at to Itit aipreetion " Son ol God,'' II i 




1 



wbal rvcn ichooiboy 
H hat (nr li ftuppDMd 



iaBtd Dniler 

,VB.7. 

nquHl BT aulhorilY for •peiking o( 
[ IMlBa. J Kingi, ciuip. uii., \er. 8 1 



r 



f 



AUTHENTtCITV OT THE BIBLB. 

_ .. a the hnJanee of profit and losa fairij alruck t il 
cbuiceB ikll in fcTDUT of the leliitioiiiataiid all ogainBt the SC 
la there nothiCK to be thrown into the opposite scate T 

Surolj much. If doctrinal religion be a. fall&cj, it is a lillM 
preifnutt with miEchief. It c^icilGs feoia thiLt uc wilhout foundl 
tion ; i". consumes vnlimbie lime that can nerer be rec^led, f^^ 
raluablc talents that ought to be better employed ; it dm 
T from the layman to support a " '' " '■ '""" 
' ' ' in theii ' " 



elect to look upon their less fayoured fellow-crealuras aa hi 
men and publicans, living in sin here and doomed to pei 
hereafter ; it awakens hanasung donbls, gloomy desponi . ,, 
and fliful melancholy: it turns our thoughts from the Ihh^ 
of (his world, where alone true knowledge is lo be found : vuifc 
Qion ill, it chains us down to antiquated orthodoxy, and S>rbiA' 
the &ee discussion of those very subjects vhich it most conccnr 
us to discuss. If such a religion be a deception, its votlriM >K 

What becomes, then, of the assertion that if the belicra 
do not gain, he cannot lose t Is it nothing to lose lime uj. 
talents, to waste our labour upon that which is not tnM^ 
snd our money on that which pro&telh not? Is it H)> 
thing to feel, that the human beings who BUrcound u* lr« tW 
children of the devil, heirs of hell, and sons of perdiUon I Il« 
nothing to think, (hat w-e may perhaps look across the pelt 
gulf, and gee some ose we have loved on eorlh lurmeDled is ibt 
fiery lake, and hear him ask us to dip a linger in water ^bit >, 
may cool his parched tongue? Is it no evil (o lire in disqDW 
by day, and iu fear by night 7 Is it no loss to hold back «M' 
tmlh oversteps the line of orthodoiy ; and, when there oU|lll tt 
be free discussion, to shrink before we know not what, a&wd M 
^ forward, lest we should go wrong? Is all this no loss 
It not rather the loss of all th^t a rational being values moi 

He is a bold man who endorses the doctrines of the aj . . 
lathers ; especially if he happen to know what it is he is endoil- 
ing. What do you think of your namesake, Origen, anil lot 
opponent, Celsos' discussion, regarding power over demoait, 
Origen, ia his reply to Celsus, (chap. 6,) says; " Then CdsM 
says, that all the power which the ChriMians had was owing N 
the names of certain demons and their incantations of ^M 
But this is a most monstrous calumny. For the powerwUt 
Christians had was not in the least owing lo encluuitineilta, I« 
to their pronouncing the name JESUS." Was there nuKh, J 
you ihinlc, lo choose between the two idle fables ? 

EuSEBlua, one of the most zealous of the Christian latlM 
and (he writer on whom Chrislian divines fJonei and riii*M 
for instance,) chiefly and most implicitly rely, faeadsdhapter 31,1 
book 12, of his ■• Etangt Ileal Preparation," Ihua : " How F, " 
" Q .s A Medicine, and fob 



defeads tbii. id be sure, by tbe example of the writers of the Old 
TKSIBmeni. Your DBraeeake atows ibe same principle ;t (sea 
Moaheim's DisflertatiDiia, p. 203.) So doea Chkysostou, Bishop 
of Cooslantinople, (ibid, p. 2l)[i.) 

The same doctrine is openly sanctioned by others. BialiopB 
Bynesids, Jerom, Ghegohv. Ambbcibb, St. AunuaTiN, Hilirt, 
m. ai you doubtleai know, also among the mostilluslrioua falbere 
lad most accredited luBlorians of the church. Hear how they 
qieak to one anolber, 

" A liltlfl jargon," laya CreBOryof Nazianien, (Bishop of Con- 
SMjIinople, nnd suniamed "The Divine,") " is all that is necessary 
lo impose on the people. The leas they comprehend, the more 
Ihey admire. Our forefathers and docloiH of the church haxB 
often said, not tehat thty thowjhlt but vihat nircamilancei and 
itccnMily dklaled to tlte>n."X 

" Tbe people," saya Synesius, Bisbop of Ptolemais, early in the 
fifth century, "ar» denrou) of bei?tg dfciived. IVe cannot act 
atherteiia rttpictiag fAem."} And, a little farther on, he says, 
»ery honestly : " For my own pari, to myself I shall always be a 
philosopher ; but in dealing wilh the mass of mankind, I ^all be 
B priest. "II 

St. Jerom, in mentioning a. foolish story circulated by the 
Christians at JeTUsalem, about the blood of Zacbariaa Glainicg 
certain stones amid the ruina of the temple, says ; " I do not find 
fault vilh an error vMch proceeds from a iiatred toward the Jetri 
Uid B, pious zeal for the Chrialinn failh."^ 

The impartial Mosbeim specially Includes iu the same charge, 
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Hilary, Bishop of Poicliers, and 
Augustin, Bishop of Hippo, in Africa, "whose fame" (says the 
cccIesiOBticsi historian,) " filled, not without reason, the whole 
Christian world." Seehis "EcoleBiaslical History,"!., 310, "" 



'»ould willingly" (these are Mosheim's 
'* except them Irom this choige ; but In 


quaint and 
iit\ which is 


hones 


words) I 
respect- ■ 


■ I rafar you to Hio efilion at the " E.MgeUcal Prepsrati 
by PtamdB \iBcr, Pkm, 16M, U p. 60T. 


U" ofEUHblui 1 


* The eelebratca BUhop Hor.lcy, ArclideaMin of 81. Alban 
iu hii controYEii^ with Dr. JoHpg Prir.Uej. Al page 160, 
"m* wtim Ihe pnictico of using unjniliflable means lo icne 
Oftaij BTQweif; ind OriE^D Utnulf wu nrnm^ iu defonden 




ri^ 




on^o.«. a. 


1,1. 


— """ 


1 Udots pall (nlo Iho moalta of hi> " Veile 

■Btimeat, tboURli mure nakedly eiprcMed : 

" There, ye <ri.o sainti. bchoW you 

To unuM bo dupM aiid viciims. 


(olloSen.a. 


snuui/' Khm 


1 CkH-l "Ecclala.lic^." p. 115. 






d 


It4>em.tOB..i..,p. 113. 


_ 


■ 


J 



r 



I 



90 AUTHESTlCIXy op THE IllBLK. 

bble thFin tbeee reiierB.blo fibers, obliges ua to IntalTa thu 

the general accuMtion." 

Indeed, (as Dr. Chapman, in his " Miscellaneous Trasl^ 
p. 191, lells us,) "The learned Mosheim, a. foreign divina M 
loalous ttdvocale for Christianity, who, bv hi ■ -a^ 

deserved the esteem of all good tiid learned mi 
fears, that Ihose who search with any degree of a' 
wrilinga of the fathers and moat hoi j doctors of the fourth cenlUI] 
uill find than all, Kilhout txceplion, diapoted to lie aitd denim 
it/if-neter the inla'esti of religion requiiv it."' 

What do you think ot the Bouree Ihrough whic 
llistorieal evidences have come down to ubP 

It Deeds not that 1 reply to your unsualained a 
ing the French lievolutiun. The wisdom, moderation and i 
interesledncss of the National Assembly of 1789-9U,t iImti 
lating weakness of Louis, the intriguing spirit of liis >ii ' ~ 
wife, the base interfereQce of foreign courts, to Tuia 
hopes of liberty^all these are fads as univaraally admiunl 1| 
the well informed among Europeans at the present day as M 
which modern history reuorda. Every one o/lieaa lau MtyCnM 
to me, ut perional comieraation by General LafaytUe AiNwal/^l *M 






», noie s, MaikSta'i 
in altataUJtrt* 



aunr of lie CkrUtim. , . 

(o atiall>,iBucVoffraudanddeceiiliim,ifilwai litelg llieiiKtMiaM 
bnaard Ike oUainBitnl ilT any comidrroble giioiL" AQd s^ib, IFMUI 
the riii|(«l wriliQ^i uEtnbuud to Kcrmo liiiaieeislui, hi ni>; 'O 
pewt, from ppidemx begund all e^ceplion, tbat ■ ptrnieitiiii mj 
la ibe ichooli of theEgmluni. Plau>niiu, Ff ihagurauia, 'anil . 
euly riHO^niKd by tia CiaiBtians, uid idod found uuanv tbc 
pbtjaLia, nuaelv, Aal they who jaade it their bu^iimit Xa deeetp 
tifpnunoitTig thecatueojltathtweredeiervingraiherqfcoiitmi 

HetiucollKtedprooronpraorarililhinhil "Hi luriala per niMtl''* 

e I ctriiliMii 

he leBinod DudivFll. In hli •■ Diueri. Seaacil. Marljr.," mkuiilitl 

^'■-"1^ more pronfa Df BucLent Chriatlu fdr^rieH, "Uum^Ul' 

._ r....<. . ^^ piMjoTtha'-"- — " 




OF THE BIBLE. 



91 



^ 



enthuBiastn ihat moiBltned the old paliiot'a eyea, 
reiulutiaa wbtcti you prunouni:e tu be "infidel 
It ia of po avail, theiefore, for an apologist of 
call them "siatidera of venornoua tonguea." 
Mplics were Ihe most nclirc in Ihal greal atniggla for 
id ia what democratic slruggle have Uiey not 
To go no fnrlhcT than the history of thit 
ire the leadera in Ihe American revolution! 
I Jeffereon, Ihe vetmi-i of the immortal Declaration f 
I John Adams, whose eloquence probably decided Ihs 
'Vhat Franklin, thai most practical of 
What Ethan Allen, the hero of 
B orthodoxy br innre than 
ition was "intlde! through- 
If Bceptieism ia to be abused for 
s, k't hsr at least have credit for Iha 

mocracy and scepliciam do go ' 
ut, in Fiance, in England, and . ' 
arrayed on one side, and the ] 
Reform is opposed to religion. 



le fiulure of the 
iecaa of the oihi 
i.HoiDe ipoke troth: 
' At this very rnor 
pe, the Sierait a 



d orthodozy hang together ; the see 

I the cross may sanotify the sceptre. I 

now. Cite to me one solitary inalai 

y erel supported political reform, or 

jHuty ever opposed iL 

'"■wn this letter to a conclusion. I neec 

of the necessity of revL'lalioti, built n 

1 asBumptions, except to ask you to 



luml WuhiDgian c 






1 



I 



I 



S9 iDlHKNi-lUITT OF -rue BiBLX. 

m Lettf J. and m Uttir VH. 

ITiBt "Ni«\;rj itots teach a Thnt " Ruvelation ia io> 
Cod, and Ihni the healhen ars peneable tn s. knowled^ 
therefore without excuse for God." 
»onhipping idols." 

It is a powerful arpiment against llie lefonning efdcacj of 1 
Bible, thai public opiuinn is sLill, even at tbis da;. Si nai 
lightened. 

I have nerer said that lawa have- no influence. As soon 
you show mc what a discuesion icEpecting suicide hoi to do id 
the question before us, we will enter upon it 

Experience makes men wiae. As it increases in age, (heiafi 
[he world increasea in 'nisdom also. It is idle assumption la 
Bttiibute all iMs natural improvement to on; pseudo-ucnt 

RoBEaT Dale Ovek. 



TO ROBEKT DALE OWEN. 



New-York, September 17, 1831. 
Sia, 

It should be remembered, that the qneation nnder diioutri) 
is not the mfatUbUity, but llie authenlicily, of Uie Bible. To H 
that nothing short of iafalltble testimony entitles a thing to CIl 
dence, is at once to embrace uniyersat scopticiEm ; for, what bl 
human testimony has auy history, or any passing event whiil l 
do not ourselves -witaesE ? I shall, hoWever, show that the Bit 
does not depend solely on thia testimony. Nor shall I assent I 
the proposition, that such testimony renders tlie word of Ol 
man's word. If another mdividnal were to relate what 1 lu 
said to him, Ihoaa words of mine would not become his; I shoa 
Btill remain their author. 

But the greatest obstacle to the admission of the Bibia 1 
sceptics, appears to be its miracles. Yet, what is there ibcredit 
in miracles, in themselveg eonaideredP All who do not ibl 
lulely ifenj a eoii— even the fiuile God of FfiKo— must 
that, for aught they hold to the coutrnryi miriiclcs are p 
And, limited as they are tn nisdom, they must likewise aomi 
that they know not but they are called for by the interssS 
the universe. Moreover, it is reasonable to suppose, that 
revelation from God to man icoiM be accompanied by minwli 



I 



AUTHBNTIClTr OF IBS BIIJLE. 
th(^ ume. And. in accordance with Ihia idea, 1 



i the Jews requiriui of ihe Saviour Uiu very evidence of 
I di*ine mission, Thl BLhle, then, U more credible at a reve. 
ion, than if it did nut pretend to mirndeg. Indeed, revelation 
elf is a miracle j and hence, to object to it becauu it cantoioa 

SGCount of miracles, is the height of absurdity. The aiAeial 
die only individual who can consistently r^ect miracles— and 
: Cma bare credulity. He bilievei there is no Qod to perfoim 
em, and conaequenlly belienea that things do themsehiei. Mi- 
cles performed by any being are not half incredible euougli tbr 
n. Jf you want Aim Co believe a book, just insert therein 
nt lelf-perfonaing isapouibility — some real MuQchauaen storiea 
inA he's your tzian, for oU Ibe world. But that deiita or an- 
agariant should make miracles an objection to revelation, is oa 
eir part a very inconsideiala absuidily. 
Hiracles, (hen, in themtthea eomidered. are not incredible. 
beir credibility or incredibili^, therefore, depends on the evi. 
iUce by which they are sustained. The nJe, that we are not 

beUeve ic the Bible miracles, because some other accounts 

lupematural events arc incredihle, %aes to destroy all discrimt- 
ilioa between truth and falsehood, hjstoiy and fable, and is as 
nch as to say, that one thing is false because another is. Thii 
lo a inadmiBaiblo. Now, as to the Bible miracles, they stand 
I ground peculiarly their own. They were of a. tangible hind, 

whii^h there was no possibility of deception : as, for eitample, 

e deluge ; the cotif nslon of tongues ; the destruction of Souom 

i GomoTrha ; the plaguea of Egypt ; the parting of the Red 

■t and Jordan ; the stopping of the aim and its retrogression ; 

e healing of the sick, tho lame, and the blind j the r.iising of 

: ioA ; the speaking with new tongues, &c., &c. These 

Igtble miracles were performed in the presence not only of 

jnds, but of aharp-aighted enemies, who did not pretend to 

gj diem, but attributed tJiem to the agency of the devil. 

ej were recorded by oye-wilnesses, and, by being recorded , 

loe periods in which they occurred, were open to disproval, if J I 

J could be disproved. And they are confirmed by surviviog ' I 

mimenls utd institutions, and by universal history and tradi- I I 

L Have the miracles of Livy all theaa etidances P By no ^ ] 

uu. As he lived three or four bundled years after they are 

I to have happened, ho was, of courue. not so much as an 

-witnesB ; and however faithful a Aiilorian he might have 

a, he cotild only write in relation to them on the authority of 

m; and how veracious they were, would remdn tobe.EOn. 

red. At all evenis, we do ml reject his account of 

gB because they are miraculous, but because titey lack 

do we reject any other prodigy whatever on ttus ac 

if Ihe Salem witchcraft has nothing else against it, it 
d. Those however who reject this, give other reaaoQS, 
bore assertion, that "modem knowledge shows it to 

impossible," is not oaa of Ihoao reasons ; for this goes n 



1 



9 1 HUTUENIICITY OF THE BIBLIi^ 

mutb Against BiUa witclicraft, as against Salera K 
ia incumbent on my opponent, therefore, to malce „ 
surtion, or letract it. 1 call apon him, ttien, once mon 
the one oc the olhei ; for it oonceins s. proposilton ot thi 
Let ua, therefore, hear no moie about Jauic the Giant-Ki 
BGB this case lairly met. ] 

It is worthy Dt observation, that my appoucnt hM, m 
letter, exploded one of hia D-ivn posilioos. Ha aayi ' 
belicTO the story of Caraiilus, though some (ifty yean oU 
that of CurtiuB. Thus it aeems, tbat mere length of tS 
not lessen the credibility of a thing. Still more wOTtky] 
is ii, that he abandons nhst he has itll along considendij 
evidence, Tiz., the Bvidencea of his suuecb. He wouldij 
sooner doubt his senses, than believe in a miracle. Vn 
if one's own senses are not infallible evidtnee, we V»)ft\ 
ing to hU ovm rule relative to infallibility, as well nndel 
prove nothing, present or past; and he would do bette^ 
forward, not lo lay BUch stress on what he calls bMioI* 
experience. But this rule, after all, is very aibnudj 
would he doubt his senses, rather than btliuve in a n 
Do tbey tell him there can be none ? This they tad 
But if Ihey could, why not doubt them in this case, MJ 
in the other? Does his rnuon tell him there can 1>i 
H ia reason ia limited and fallible, and is founded on hii 
senses or eiperiEnci;. By what rule, then, would he j 

mifadfl, if witnasMd by hiniself— a mifaclfl *f tlie BlUl 

By what rale would he reject such a miracle, otMifwI 
miracles of that book are ? The leslimony in lAffir fil 
much atrongei than mete judicial aatlis, or the ewiftttiDtd 
of those intUviduals in the Salem wilchcraA conoein, at, 1 
own ahowing, were under the influence of the/uMw^ 
for it is the testimony of enemiea >a well as of biends. j 
not now into the merits of that csae. I would liierel| a 
neither the Salem witchcraft, nor any other marral at ■ 
stands on Ihe same ground in point of evidence, as do m 
cles of the Bible. Not a single instance can be prodmU 
laming aU the kinda of evidence wltich thty do. And, 111 
though all other supernatural tokens foil, the Stuiptuie ■ 
stand unshaken. ^ 

With regard to the miraculous birth of the Sariinttl 
treats not on the subject at all, and, of course, does nol I 
it. He nutea, however, the miraculoua occurreucex at II 
tism, showing him to have been a divine personage. Bll 
as well aa Matthew and Luke, doei speak of his mill 
birth, " In the heginninE," saya he, " was Ihe Word, i 
Word wss with God, and the Word was God. And tbj 
moj niorfe jfejA, and dwell among u! 
had a vaion on the subject. Her 
scribed m literal, and is not denoi 
had hia account from " Iho followers of Je^us." But if: 



" Not is it said lU 
□terview with Uabrii 
linated emiun; ul 



AUTHEKTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 95 

would he none Lhe les9 to be depended an on 

; fur B lisioii is of a sacred nnlure. And so ate 

e& Mnttlion deacribes Joseph and the 'wise men to 

would leem from their proving literally true. 

litaculoua conception of Iho SaTioni was furelold 

bundredg of yeais befue hia birth. Nor ii the apella- 

~ if Godi applied to others. The Jeira considered his 

f thus to have been blasphemy, making himself equal 

But my opponent seems not lo consider the purport 

ir proposition. That was, that the luperilruettire of 

depended on a dcaam. But thai does by no means 

rely on these accounts of the miraculoM conception. 

moe of the star and the angels at the SsTiour's birth, 

« Holy Ghost at bis baptism, together with the uller- 

joice from heaven on the latter occasion, annoimcing 

Ip; the uUetancH of a aimilarvoice at his tii»iBfigu[B4ion, 

^pearance of Mowa and Eliaa at that time, as also 

IfiuBlioii itself ; the utterance of a voice to his glory on 

— in Jerusalem ; the acknowledgment of his divine 

the demons whom he exorcised ; the miracles he 

iLtted even by his enemies ; liis own claima to 

jOiB iioDdrous scenes exhibited at his crucilixion, extort* 

mteation of his sonahip from his cruciflers ; his resui- 

e&siou; and the fulRlnient of his predictions ; all, 

toluvebeen ftdiTme being, and Lis docuine from 

diet mngular, that a man who pretends (o criticise the 
leal knowledge of Joshua, should not know, that, in 
^ve lhe earth stand still, it is necessary to stop the sun 
'With, and consequenliy, that tho command of Joshua 
poly adapted to the ideas of the people, but perfectly in 

''- — nomy — nay, just as we in this day should 

simQar case, notwithstanding all our astro- 

i advise my opponent to read the account of the death of 
I more. Will he jual qvoU the passage vhicb snya that 
_vJ Ms own death ? and likewise the passages in Kings 
ptides to which he has referred me, for proof that the 
float and found 1 

ijt not B conceded point on the part of Eccptics, that 
iij, if any, is the true religion, and that no other reli- 
ijur one moment compete with it in point of apparent 
i 11 would then be to the purpose to talk of Judaism, 
^-nimn, 4c. But even in such a case, it would be a 
arse, to adopt Ihpm all, inasmuch as that, being con- 
one to another, they cannot all be true. The proper 
be adopted in a fase of this nature, would be, lu ex- 
B prelenslona of all, and embrace that one which should 
best. Yet, were the question merely between sceptt- 
any out reiigioii tchatener, involving, as a\\ ie\\f,\uua &a. 



s 



r96 AVTHENTICITV OF THE BIBLE. B 

eternal consequencea in (he adoption or rejection of tie Bran^-fll 
would be the moEl recklesa inl'muntion, nol to examine lbs nb I 
JGCt witli the deepest attention, and incline to Ihe reli^ons ddt I 
KS tlie safe one, eien in case the weight of evidence OB eadt I 
were equal, and the Ecalea were not to jireponderate either laf 4 
What madiiesa, then, to reject Christinnity, ugainat all iti arcn I 
whelming mass of unajiswerable evidences, becatise, peichano^ I 
we do not know il to be true, and rush into a state of onprmn J 
unbelief, luisatisfying if true, fatal if not no '. Unj, if leligvu) N ■ 

I a dream, it ia a pleasing one, and is so much clear and Uliafiilpitj 

to man on eoith, witlunit nay riiik. ' " Why will any mui,'' ■)■ 
Addiaon, " ha so impertinently officious, as to tell me ail lUsl 
fancy and delusion 7 Is there any merit in being the msaBgl 
of ilJ news I If it is a dream, let me enjoy it, since it makna 
both the happier and the wiser man. Were it possible fix ir*^^ 
tiuug in the Christian faith to be erroneous, I can find no iS to 
sequencea in adkeriag to it. The inGdel himself must allow,ll 
no olLer system could so effectually contiibule to the heigblail 
of morality." And even Byron, with all bis dark and gkni 
scepticism, had tlie candour to make the following conftMia 
"Indisputably, the firm believers in the gospel have a ps 
advantage over all others — for this aiiaple reason, tliat, if U* 
they will have their reward hereafter ; and if there be no ha 
after, they can be but with the infidel in his eternal Ble«i, lutil 
bad the as§iatBiice of an exalted hope lliioagh life, iritlunlHl 
sequent disappointment, siace, (at the worst for them.) ' otti 
nothing, nethuig can arise,' sot even sorrow." 1 do not pr«M 
sir, that this is evidence of the ImlA of religion. 1 spn^aR 
merely of its consolations. And, in this respect, all religionid 
superior to cold and cheerless scepticism. Man needs rvliin 
even in thit life, to sustain him under his load of tiiaJs ondioii 
lions. Yea, the prospect of annihilation, to a rational inind,ll 
in it something dread and appalling. To cease to be j to c«M< 
know ; to cease to exercise our intelleclnal faculties— and H 
focGver ! Who that ever realized intellectual pleasuiai aad t 
sweets of existence, does not shudder at the Ihooghtt Aati 
to the fears excited by leligion, the good man has Ihem tM,tt 
the bad man needs them as a check; so that il is OM tli 
ttrongeat raconunemiiifioiii of religion, that il is a "tatrortoll 
doers." The time, the talents, the money, devoted to the ntgd 
are vastly overbalanced by its good effects on society, to I 
nothing of futurity. Thus it is of immet^se advaDl>g« to 1 
world in a temporal point of view. It does not turn otu llwrat 
from social duties, but affords a most powerful incentive tovi 
lance therein. It does not forbid the discussion of any sntQi 
or hold u» baok from following truth, lead where she may i 
oa the contrary, it directs us to "prove oil things, and AoUj 

■ that which is good." And tliere is no risk of a Aefl in belin 
it, supposing scepticism to be true. TAit wu the rial of wl 




r" j -' J"' ' - Jl" • • •" 

.(Mng &r *(&■«■«]■> Ae; ace BOC Ai Is A* 



ipBfaBaca. niBiteiHaa EnB m hitter caa^ 
1^, Aom Alt Oe ^nda rf Oriifge ptJU 
>M bM aae «f war adiHMM sf Ac Upd. M I ikn 
~ Bid ■■Ff'M ■>"« 'f Ac Cbrittm fcftm 

d» JnM not jnlitot tt« Sli p^t*. TWydid 



, bMB M ii»p«MJ; Cv Ae; vrre bM in (tam 

bhHaBanand ttnad. ad ■ tk kods i< ill. vtm 
BcMx n fad CdMi Md Bui; oUnt gppa> J 



B fednid ia Ac aMC of 



UCM; tbM Ac SMa M vrntkr af eredtf, bee 

Ite omr-^ aacniaMidafiic mAc FnKk i«w 1 
Bt — ihiaFf, if —tWtir hiatiktl rriiwo OB 1 
' Aiv Tk KaiicBt Aae^dy ^ IWM* mIM 



douM ootniMcd ia kii 



a rid&w b> Ae bl>i«Uaui4(.| 
wbstDck lit fife. TWIb-J 



knOMIKU fnUodL ncf MX IhAhJ Hf Hist, 

It BU !■ BDI lariia BBcfa H ttdr Imm . - It HW — I 

nScBtb tBtbcdufworikar t rU ft u .i m tun nr ^t* I 



^ buIi^ *L Iki had « 



P8 AITTHEXTICITT OF THB BIBLE. 

triguing" of UU wife consisted in her attempts to coimtenct dal 
weakiicss, and save that life. Mont wondeifdl intriguing thill 
With n'gard to the interference of foreign courts, I haye nol. 
asserted, to the contrary. 1 hare only said, that this interferenei 
did not occasion the infernal scenes of bloodshed and abomiiiB; 
tion exhibited under the sanction of the rulers and people W 
France. And as to Lafayette's approbation of that rarolvtua M 
it wa* managed, we know to the contraiy. He was neithor cf 
the Girondist nor Jacobin party, but of that of the constitutiflai' 
who were for a limited monarchy. And of that party he xemaini 
up to this day — that is, so far as relates to France. No doaU 
his eyes are " moUtened" when speaking of that rerolutlon. Hi 
remembers the guillotine, and his flight from his country to afoU 
iL And it ^^-as the sickening horror which the recollectiflii of 
that engine of murder induced within his bosom, that madehifll 
raise his voice in behalf of the life of Polignac But do net 
mistake me. I am no *' apologist of legitimacy." *' Bom, rir, 
in a land of liberty," it is natural that I should prefer a repohUe 
to a munarchv ; and I do so. If, however, the denouncing of Al 
munlers of the infidel French Jacobins, is to be an apologist of 
legitimacy, then the American people are so ; for the outrsgei of 
the former French revolution are very generally reprolNited m 
tliis coimtry. Nor do we consider that revolution a struggle ftr 
liberty, but a strufrgle between infidel demagogues for power, uA 
a piratical crusade against the world. We have not forgotten 
when an impudent French directory- had the audacity even to 
demand triuutb from %ts; and when our Washington was caDed 
from his retirement, to lead our forces against those foes of the 
human race. But the lame attempt of my opponent to proif 
those petty infidel tyrants to have been republican patriots, il 
not so fliigrantly outrageous, as his statement that Wa^iingtcin 
and the master spirits of our revolution were sceptics, A man 
wanton and unfounded calumny was never penned. Washington 
a sceptic . Americans, sir, will treat this Ubel with its merited 
indignation Washington was the principal supporter of ii 
episcopal ciarch in the vicinity of Mount Vernon. The anec- 
.ioto of Potts, the friend, discovering him at prayer in a grore, 
for the success of the American arms, is too familiar to people in 
Ijeneral to need repeating here. In Hosack's Life of Clintoni is 
the following anecdote. " While the American army, under thB 
command of Washington, lay encamped in the environs of 
Morristoi^^'n, N. J., it occurred that the service of the communion 

JuJaITJIu ITifi" ^^° "toPTX^ not at means, no matter what kind, to attain 
nS S^Xil^T^^' "'^'y ^»^ "°*» "k« the Jacobins. kiU for the sake of kifl- 
lh?,'h«^?. te '^""^ ^^-je totally void of moral courage, and at the time «f 
l«t5ai-HliTo''^''i:^ of September, ^hcn they Tvere the only party in tha 
Leps ative Assembly that Thad the power to ^vo it a check. \hey looked 
timidly on. issuing no decree, demanding no ?oree. to arrest the VortT rf 
butchery perpetrating on defenceless prisoners by two or three hi^^ 
pubhc murderers I Such wcw the " bravp* "Me Girondists ™"^ 




iJfiri 



-a picabjieriw uUe. h' I, h« Ac I af ■ nUc ; 
taux pie the Lotf s lanfeiAa m yi li* Mbiaas ^ ' 

Uwe." The Bood Kffi^>I« ^id rfK;lte 

Vindd ascerluB il £«■ yiH^C ^ I giMae IB >•■ «i 

OB that occanoD. Thwi^ > Bsba af a> ^^>c& <f B 

Ibave no exctiuH* finiiSticK,' Tk DacMiB 

4 cordial vdcoMe, tmi An p«al » ■■■< maad ^& the 

camoiunicwata Ae oert SoMiA. Scnaipe Amh Oia! ^kia 

larewetl addroa (o Ike Ab 

Qua wi8C: " or an the d 

political proeperit.. , , 

pntii. iDTaiDwmU IW >■« cbk OatdhMa^p . 

Mho abould labooc ta aobMtt Aae giBM |alMi ■( k^aaakafm- 

iiiiii. rii - 'i ' I 'T 'f T- '~'ir [f Tr -if riri i f lis 

nrliririan. rgnaBj'wi^ tW finaa m^. m 



■Here polit 
cheriah th 
vith pabUc « 
is the security Sw f _ 
of religions obBgttiom o 
l&eiila of mnaucalkn ia awtfc ti jaatiee > Aad k( a 
D indulge me toffomtkm, Aat BMafi^ saB ti 





J ytm to be vod <f p w - — 

bere or aociety ! And TH, kaR jk Ac njaritr u'cWm 

e of jDUfselTM, <■ Oc Hoe nmd-ataml nmmMm <f 

. when the whabi Ot, pdfic ad iriMc, ^ifaM ilw. 

triooa indiTidual, fiTfs thata^faaiiaa Ae Bcf Saawr. momt 
fai, would 1 belicTo Jeflcmm oc ItSttamft ■aAa', Mmh^ a 
IkIm caJmnnUior, than WaahJBgtan a ^ ■!■"'■" TlicfB ia aaa 
KnteDM in the extiBct from tlM a^Aa* jaM wMd vtfefc ^ 
aen«* special note. It ii "" - - - - - 
ibrbul u> lo expect, tbal il 

tof leligions principle." 
t wBte\j aa an oputicm, but at a 
id it at the *«ry period the «_, . . . _ 
tot. There, religion bad been dlacstdei, i 



lenoeofi 



100 ALTHBSTICITY Of THE BIDLB. 

inoralily went wilh it. — Now for Franklin. Hi . 

courae of usefulness which he pursued, lo Ihe influence of I 
wrillea by the Salem-unlchcraft man, ColtOQ Malher. C 
"Essaya to do Good." And in Lhe tirst Congresa of thai 
Sutcs, he made the foUawine motion : " I beg leiiTe to 
that henceforth pisyers, imploring the as^tance of lei 
and its blessings upon oui delibemtiona, lie held in this sj" 
every morning boibre ire proceed to business ; and that 
more of the clergy of this city be requested to offldale in 
■eivice." This taotioii he said be urged, after hsTin^ alla'- 
Ihe slow progress which was made by Congresa in p 
inatteis, " bom lhe counnciug proofs which he had leo 
Gml ffOBemt in the affairi nf men. And if not a sparrow I 
the ground without, is it probable that on empire can An 
out, his aid P We have beeo assured in the sacred writing 
except lhe Lord build the house, Ihey labour in vain thatl 
it. This I iirml; belierej aud I also believe that, wilhont 
concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political buil^ng. 
better than the builders of Babel. And mankind may h ' 
fsom this unfortunate instance, despair of estabUshiag , 
ments by human wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and < 
quest." Thus Franklin. Ah to Jefferson, enen he was not 
of your thorough -going Fren^ inRdels. He could say, in 
of slavery, " 1 uomble for my country, when I reflect that 

18 juBl, and that his juafice will not sleep for bvct." "' 
quite as religima as Echeaplerre, whom my opponent 
to turn oS' upon the Christian ude. But it seemi hL . 
«t^C!BiUy so for Congriai, who altered his draft of the i 
tion of independence, and gave it a more reliffiove Umi 
"what was John Adams f" A member of a congre, 
church, if 1 mistake not. And so was Samuel Adimi^ 
brother — Samuel Adams, tho patriot who had the higli LonDOL 
being proscribed with John Hancock, by the British king. In 
same act which proclaimed pardon (o atl the rest I Bmt '*" 
was Ethan AEcn— and what of him ? Why, quite an ill&< 
&ir weather; but let a atorm of aSUctiou come, and ip 
would he quail. When his dying daughter asked him i 
eho should believe, his doctrine or her mother*!, he le, 
"Believe your mother," WeU, sir, who neitf Su^on 
should myself introduce one- There was Patrick Heray, "*"* 
daring eloquence in the Virginian House of BnrKowet, g 
the first impetus (o the ball of revolution. In a leltm lo 
daughter, in 1796 he says t ■'The view which the 
of our country presents to my eyes, is greatl; 
the general prevalence of deism, which with me 
name fur vice and depravity. I am, however, much 
teflecliag that the religion of Christ has, &om its first ura 
nnce in the world, been attacked in vain, by all the wits, pnila 
phers, and wise ones, aided by every power ot 
triumph bas been complete. What is there u 



ITT OF THE BIBLE. 101 

p.ot Ihe present deislical wrilen or professors, that can com- 

W them with Hume, Shaficabuiy, Bulingbroke, and othenf 

4 Jet those hLive been confuted, and their fame is decaying; 

'XDUch that the puny effoiU of I'aiae are throvn in to prop 

It toClering fabric, whose faundaliaQB cannot stand the test ot 

mac" In lus will, he lail Ihia testimony in fiTonr of the Chris- 

tiui religion: — "I have now disposed of all my property lo m; 

Ibnily -, Ihcre is one thing more 1 wish I could give tbem, and 

ihat is the Chiistian leligion. If they had this, and 1 had not 

giTen ihem one shilling, they would be rich; and if they had 

not this, and I bad given them til the world, they would be 

poor us th mm rtal Henry. Who comes next p Suppoce 

V tak pa Is the wholesale. Suppose we lake into 

» ar th AMEBioAN FEDPLB at the period of our 

OS the time of Waahington's inauguration, 

wh Ba then in Europe, gave the fallowing 

this unu^, for the inl'ormation of thoso who 

m gr g hither ; " Serious rcUgion, under its various 

IS y tolerated, but respected and practised. 

Ui m unk wo nhdelity laie and secret; so that persona 

li gr Bg in this country, without having theii 

■h y m<>etmg vilh either an atheist or an inGdel." 

b w th rs, such the people, who achieved our 

cpd e — ra h w unliko the infidel anarchists of Franoe 

U lie ti Mr ntioul And it is weufferable, Uiat a 

Xnuign th g us our institutions, to oui national charac- 

tL and UT his should como among as, thus to misrepre- 

Cen and on uc ogenitors. 

H asks m instance, in which a church party ever 

nrppoiteii political reform. I refer him then to oui own revo- 
lution. I refer him to the declaration of the inSdcl Hume, 
touching the Puritans, vis., that liberty in England took its rise 
*ilh them, and that they wore its lealous sopporlers. I refer 
tiiiD to the Froleslsnls of France, whom he himself has repre- 
aenCed as the Giends of liberty. 1 refer him to pure Evangelism 
Vhererer it prevails; and now I ask him to point me to one 
infidel cabal that are not real anaTcbists. Bisbcp Home did 
indeed speak truth. FrenoA " democracy and atheism went band 
ia hand ;" but, as I have already said, and asl have shown in this 
letter, tiat was not A»\erican democracy. Ho, it was not trtu de- 
tnocracj. It was a stale of petty tyranny, trom which the gigantic 
despOtiBin of Napoleon was h comparatively happy relief. 

After the proob which I have given of tbo necessity of reye- 
lalioi), to hear my opponent denomlnale them " naked assmnp- 
Xiiciaa," is truly queer. My propositions which be has placed m 
Juxta-positioD, are not discordant, as ho would seem to SDpposa. 

B*»^irmi in the comieiion in which ihey were written, it will be 
bat they signify neither more nor less than this: that 
u sufficient to teach the existence of a Cod, and there- 
liAit men arc without excuse for worshipping idols; but 



in uiie Eenae, mdiapeaBiilile, to aucb knowledge : IhU ii 
Ihef K>i7i not Oiltaic Co this knowledge without iGvelalioa, 
tiity might or net- 
It ia s. moGt marrellouB argument against the Bible, t 
who do not mate it fieir rule, hold nnenlighlened opJai 
fallow TiciouB courses. Thia is log^c with a mtsMB. 
What then would be their opinions and practices if Uu; 
make it their rule r And this is the eatulpur of le^iN 
rake and scrape together all the deviliry of an nQgodl 
their own included, and then band; it about as tha m 
Chriatendom, and the " morals of Christian cities ;" lo 
devil themselves, and then hold up their own condoe 
dence that tlii Bible has a very bad influence. Wonda 
men Ihm. Will they juat tell us liow bad injldetitg m» 
who don't tmbraca that f Bat then we are told, Uist ■ 
sent" religion ought to be efHcaciuus. and make all m 
Indeed I How do they know this J Are they Gods llw 
Do Ihey know juHt bow much influence ij^iia wisdv 
see St to exert in tbia case; How wise are these genl 
at once, for men who " know nothing about it" at snot 
Wise as they are, however, they aeem not to consider 1 
has a little reoion and agency of At) mm to esercise. He 
than bo ratiormlly acanmtaUa beings, thej' use K devl of I 
to show that they have no reason, and to prove fllU 
brutes ; and, for my part, I do not feel muck diapoaed li 
their dottiine, bo far as relates to themsdies. 

The argument agaiost the eHieacy of a belief mfiiiyrt 
abiiits, ia equivaient lo saying, that " laws have no in 
If the terrors of lima are elBcBciouS in restraining n 
crime, the terrors of etecni» much more. 

The question of suicide has tltit concern with oni * 
discussion, viz., that the heathen sages, without the li^l 
lation, thought it an allowable deed. Please tvnc to a 
its merits. 

t will let Rousseau reply lo my opponent, touching! 
improvement of mankind without revelation, seaini 
atuharity will probably weigh more v\\h tim than n 
own. He Bays, " The solid authority of modem govi 
and (he less frequent revolutiona, are inconlestably doe 
tianity. It ha^ rendered governments themselves leMMi 
this is proted by facts, on comparing them with Boata 
ments, Heligiun, better underatood, excluding Itiulii 
given mure mildness to Christian manners. T)i\a chu 
Ihe work of letters ; for wherever they have flotllidied, I 
has not been more respected on their account ; of 1 
cruelties of the Athenians, of Ihe Egyptians, of tb 
-emperors, and of the Chinese, are so man; pro<^" Bl 
on this point. 



r 



OF TIIS BIBLE. 103 

m, BB I oonoeive, clBsiIy shown ihal rereialion Is neces* 
thai it is reiuonsble to Buppose (iod has giica cine ; and 

one has been given, it ia Ihe Bibla. I liave aonsidered 
uius ol' lliat boak in this respect, bo far as relates to 
ea. Before proceeding lo lie coasideiation of its other 
CCS, 1 will just remark, Ibal the ciicumatance, that aaiih 
I Bacon, Newton, Locke, and Milton, haie been believera 
liei the moat Ihorougb examination, it caonot, whether uue 
(e, bo that groalu abentd, wbimsical, selC-contra<)icti»7 
nrhich sccplio* pretend, but is entitled to the moet TeapeM- 
:d Ihorougli examination ; the more especially, as Eome 
[niahed intideb, with all their fHHlinga and prejudice 
d agaioBt it, liave, by such eiaraination, hecome "ion. 

of its truth : likewise that, as its oppoaers arc generally 
f immoral habits, it leads to a suspicion, that the gruuiid 
IT unbelief is a feeling of hostility towards its holy pie- 
ind Gearful sanctions, lather than any solid reasons against 
lienticity ; which idea seems to be confirmed, by the deuth- 
tnors and recaiitnliona of some of their number. Having 
remised, I will proceed to the conaideiation of its remaioing 

piiBcy is one, and a most impoitant one, of those evidences 
)hecy, recorded hundreds of years before being fulfilled — 
>cy, which is even fuUilllng before our own eyes. This 
would be sulBoieat to prove die Bible divine, were theis 
tier evidence. IntemaJ evidence is another proof. Tha 

coDtains evidence of Ibis description, anfllcient to satisfy 
mdid mind. The writers give the dark as well as the 

side of the story. An air of sincerity and truth prevails 
;tu>Ut. It contains apparent discrepancitt, which shows 
te writers did not act iu concert ; and yet it contains real 
pDJ, which shows that they must have drawn from reiUity, 
g as they did withont collusion. Names, dates, and places, 
1 eivea, the scenes being fearlessly laid in the midEt of lbs 
ed world, claiming credence, courting investigation, and 
ig contradiction. The divertity of its stylo proves it lo 
lud different authors. Its gradaiiont of style from that of 
loM ample to the moA reSned, exhibiting language in ils 
^, manhood, and age, show It to have been vvritten in the 
mt ages of the world pretended. Tho obscurity of many of 
iwioDS and expiesBiona, showing its writeia to have been 
raant with ciutuais and localities to us unknown, bespeaks 
tliqtiity. The references from one book to another show 
lue was in circulation before another. The different dia- 
of tbo various books prove them to have been written by 
of different coualries. Numerous incidental coincidences 
'. between the different aulbora, such as occur only between 

" runs. There is nought of the style fictitious, in CBiies 

"■■--- -led conUadiction, ai 

.rnple ; which shoWR 




104 



AUTKEMTICETY OF THK BIBI.B. 



that truth, not fiction, must have been the object of the wrii 
The sublimity of its stjie, the giacdeur of its conceplixau, 
the nature uid eicelleuce of ita doctrines, prore it to be nl 
human. It coalaina maajr things which to our limited wla 
appear unwise, just aa a religious system coming trom fRJi 
-wisdom must necessarily appear ; and, in thus coirespan Jing ' 
the a^Btem ofnature, it ahowa that it was deVived fVom th« ■ 
source, tl claimBjust the kind of evidence of its divine ori( 
which men need to convince them thereof, viz., miracles sod; 
pbecy. And, to crown all, it produces on the mind 
influence, in perusing its sacred pagex. 

The consideration of some ad^Iional kinds of evidence it 
poned 10 a future cumber. 

Oriqen Bicail 



TO ORIGEN BACBELEH. 



September 24, 1S)1 

Be the ScriptuieB lutheDtic or not, they are but a hni 

record of a divine revelation ; a man -translated Iranscrtptof 

word of God. This is what I have said, and what 1 mK 

you will not denjr. It is a dlstinclioii important (□ he MiM 

"Miiuci,e" — says Johnson, "an effect abora huidMt 
natural power, performed in attestation of some truth ;" tat 
leiicograplier's definition threes with your views of Ihl 
importance of miracles, to prove thai the Bible precepts ar> I 
God. 

I dfnythat a miracle' can prove to man thtdicint origit^ 
precept, or the troth of any assertion. 

If we imagina an cxscurrence clearlyand distinctly out of Bil 
and above human agency, wo may suppose it to ailesl loniff 
naiuraf agency; but how are ve to decide whether thatagBOC 
diviia or Saianict 

«e might rationally believe, on the authoiily of 

■who lived two thousand yeara ago, the occurrence of """ 

which we should suspect for Juggler tricks, if tbej 
ir owa eyei at the present day, SuppoM 




AtlTHBNTlCITY O? THK BIBLE. 105 

I beliaf to uncieut etoriea \hst obtained credence 
CoC wilchcraK and secondjight, and huve been handed 
I Quoitgb ages of craft and igDoiance, to conuadict 
boveiful analogical evidence whicb our senses can 
--™ae much more than all this. Suppose 
1 beauty coming down to ua on a Bummei 
niided by gloiy too biight for our mortal eyes, 
~II MTiriOB ef mUBic that should ravish onr moital 
e the electrical effect which sncli a vision would 
.._ c how present and positive would be the evi. 
„ jomatural agency lo any whicb eon exist in legen- 
■jf. Think how many hundreds would believe and 
^ one who believes and tiembles now. Conceive 

eand Bver-present influence which such a being 
over mankind, from the mdest savage to the 
pi bending all hearts to bis will and all knees in Ma 

|Bn in such a case, when eveij ttang whicb can now 
ibi leTeUtion by her most devoted believers, might 
I irith Ian-fold force — even then, what security could 
I that this being, in the semblance of an angel of 
li not a demon of darkness f that hia power were not 
to of an artful fiend, and his counsel the counsel of 
JBt? Almost all Dations that have imagined spirits of 
rail lure imaged two, a spirit of good nnd a spirit 
fapd Drt]iodox Christianily boa her God snd her, deriL 
tif we may credit the stories she tells of him, is very 
J subtle, very rebellious, and withal TCi^ successful 
Dn. In very dc&ance of his maker, he deceived (so 
fctale) oui first mother, under the form of a serpent; 
PB exertion of wily craft be so marred tfib fair work d 
what it lepenlcd the great architect that he had made 
et _. .„■, Q^ ^^ declare it lo be impossible, that he 
s, her posterity, under the form of an nngcl, and 
t lbs benevolent purposes of God, by deceiving and 

1, shall man distinguish between eelnlial and infer- 

If miracles are wrought before cm eyes, to en- 

1 precepts, how shall we mortals decide whether the 

IB to us trom heaven or hell ? You will perhaps re- 

E^ noAtrv imd practical coruequenttt of the precept." 

^» could — then to what purpose a miracle, if, after all, 

adge for oniselvca whethiir the command be just or 

B every Bible muracle proved as clearly as any propo- 
"nclid ; what have we guined P In opening the book, 
'1 to decide between God's and the devQ'a autbor- 
a am decide, you will say ; it bean the internal 



r 



I06 AUTIEEHTICITY OF THE BIBLX. 

Btamp of a dirine origin. To me it does not— but grant it (I 
Cmi we not suppose tbo evil one Miiting a book, which. In 
neak and buiM nature, should bear the semblsnce of a d 
stamp ? Can we not imagine the father of lies, getting: QL 
clever forgeryf mixing in, s.mid hia detilish su^eatioin, ■ 
sniScient appeBjanca of goodness and wisdom, la blind otir 
and clieat our judgments? On the supposition of ihe b 
■upenmlural origin, we cannot deny that litia may be so. 

Thus, even wlien records appear the moat authentii;, and 
cepls the most divine, and when Ihey aie altealed by u 
miracles, the evidence that they are from God must eve 
to any reflecting mind that entertains the idea of a 
of leal and of power to deceive, most slender and unsal 

What shall we say, then, when the miracles are di 
not disproved f when the lecorda are lepup^nont to ieascitl,A 
the precepts at variance wilh our mord sense f when, Im ■ 
Etance, we hear of fifty thousand women and children slau^ 
in one day! or read a command to "save alive i 
bceathelh !" 

It is from the mlernat evidenci alone, recollect, (hat ■we M 
decide this matter. And wliat says the interna! evidence rfj| 
Midianite massacre ? Is mH cam ihaoine 



To prove — positively prove — Ihe Bupematural origin of 4 
Bible, then, is not to prove that we ought lo believe id UMpf^ 
obey its commands. One human reason, afler all. If , !n ' jf 
case, the Judge — yes, the icU judge, whether a prcoert.lM 
atbad,and whetlier it ought to be received or reacted. It^ 
that miracles, if they really happened, would be both b 
and EuperBuoua. 

So umch for the ulilil;/ of mimclea. As to Quar m 
might almost sullice to reflect, that marvels and pmdin 
eoldum been seen but at night, when men's eyes -"■*- 
or lead of except in dark ages long gone by, i 

was Hxclt«d and deceived by oracles and 

cannot bear the rays of tlie sun, nor a 

modem knowledge. Every generation sees less oF'{g 

ila predecessors. Onr grandfathers and 

D firmly in apirits, and haunted castlea, m 



almanack. Or, if some stray marrsl a; 
OUT own times, it is usually scoffed at ai apurioua, or f ' 
absurd. 

And thia brings me to speak of the relative fore* «f « 
for the Bible and fur Salem wilchcmn. Did we not ka 

Eower of onrlj prepossessions, it might well appear to ua bi 
le, that any man, in his senses, should outrage cooratoi 
by the aascnion, that the Bible mlraclea have sttvngei bi 
evidence than Cotton Mather's, Compare them. 



AUTHKNTICITY O! THE BIBLE. 107 

!e Miraclei Caaan Ualirr-i Uiraekt 

8lo have happened Are aaid (o have happened 
' ' 1 to six alioat one handled ind fortj 
yeBraago. 
)t, eonntries. In our own conntry. 

itioD of print- After tlio inrctitioa of prict- 

ing. 

in Uie Old Were recorded in his "Won- 

lU, regarding den of tbe Innsible WoiM," 

ed into wrob: regarding which there bas been, 

, viken,vihere. there can be. no dispale. It 

; language, thej was writien in English, by Cot- 



: original manu- 

, . _ inccirecllj 
id truuUted. 
fded by men fcrr 

il their own words. 



and has deBCended to our lime. 
The original edition is alilj pre- 
served in our libiuiei. 

Were reroided by a New 
England Doctor of Diiinitj, 

who obtained a diploma fnun 
the UniTersity at Ginsgiiw, waa 
elected tdlow of the Hoyai 
Society of London, and wu 
imivcrsslly esteemed as a Hum 
of probity and lewning. 

Were open to all the world, 
and read by tl ■ ■ ■■ 




r 



OF THB BlBIdj^^^l 



3^0 Biila Uiracln Cotlm Mot] 

Were first collected together Wero printed and p 
{Uipae of the New Teslament) by the author, 
more than three hundred years 
after tliey ' ' ' 



It seeds not that I further puisne, &s 1 easily DU| 
parallel. The most Gnperhoinl ohaerrer, alter stich a slau 
the case, 'will hardly re^it GatiaGed with youi asseition,' 
legardelhe Bible mirnc lee, " there was no posmbilil; M 

You seem half inclined to get out of the difficulty by 
Cotton Mather's stories. But that would uot matetial| 
matters. You will hive hundreds of similar marvela l| 
beaides, begihning with Prince Uohenlohe's; or, if Ilia] 
appear to you too modem, wilh some of the Alhanaaiu i 
catholic nuracles. ' 

Do not imagine, 1 pray you, that the German prince's n 
however out of fashion at present, want for CTidonce, M 
of the strongest kind too. If you will lake the tid 
peruse a pamphlet is^ed in this city in 18'i3, tnd i 
" Miracles wrought hy the intercassion of Prince HohS 
you will find the account of three separate and Terj dl 
related narratives of (alleged) miraculous curea pa 
" through his most serene highness' prayers ;" one on Hij 
Lalor, one on Miss Mary Stuart, both of Iceland, and , 
Miss Barbu? O'Connor, in England. These Me iaij \ 
by a host of regular depoeitions, on oath, before t mu 
names, dates, places, evi^ry minute particular being ma 
and every imaginable reference given. In Ihe latter i 
have (strange to say I) the depositic" '' "■" — ' " 








admirable opp^jti^iitj te 

thousand veais htace, (6 _ . _ 

anniMlatcd,; my li ini^r w ai^^ (a *«ar nsiO 
<S[^5e minifies "HiBdoa gnB^ )aediirf|r Atit vwa^ 
■ihtre was no pa 
<nled by fye-»ilwi. ■»■ tf fte pfrirJi » »lii* fcy otCMeJ; 



by UI7 Baaat, pnwcrf ire Mi i ig Amb «( dK B 

' met m OcfBcaan art aatj ol t 

tmaae*. «k* Cd Bst pm^ to dcav 
Aes," wt ndwl, -l* dM dnO." bat 



1 anilMe Mtej «( Tliwimiii. 



but of 

them,* but 

" to the mfliKnce *{ Ike vol M ife bod*." How . 

Mj atioagei \a Oe nUncB k Oe bU Aaa tar I 

miisclee ! and if we 

giatencT were it to Itaak af n>iifit Ifce fafar' 

Take, ' ' -' 

Id the To 
bared I 

I dispatched from Canbp 

mlLolica in (he Gimm, aa^ ia < 

vinee, dcpriifd Ihe gvili? at Aeir . 

tim hot}' conloaon rnafjta - ' ' 

mirKclc ii ""■-"^ by Vicl«r, 

B, biitoiy of the penerataoD, . .,..,.... 

Victdc'ainiidcaTe: -tf aaraK Amid dnala a( Oa « . _.. 

lepair (o CdBMaataiflc, aad itfia ta fee (fear Ni< MrfM9 

igan at ftdtinniia, Ae M b Jataa. Me vT Am« MfaM 

~4iibii>iia«ladiHtiaAe|Bba ■< Ike CBpow ZmMw 

i^cEled b; (he •knW l iii | i l^ ii. _ " Hew to M «fpal 

laM» 



Be ttBtOt* (te 



md A> ami miCkM Ai^^. lUa 
r, a> Afrirm b^<>h wte |«W*ll 




<rai>ttlaaii/iWifc»ML li i m J <■■■■«< Aa ■■■■■ m C«a 
s.fUBtr^iar^iH-'a - 



110 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

all. At Constantinople we find an unexceptionable, dispaatnoiuie 
-witness, iEneas of Gaza, a PlcUmiic p?i^osopher, who has tfans 
described his obserrations on these Afincan sufferers: "I teas 
them myself; I heard them speak ; I diligently inquired by -wliBt 
means such an articulate voice could be formed, without any 
organ of speech ; / used my eyes to examine the report of my 
ears ; I opened their mouth, and saw that the whole tongw had 
been cojnpletely torn away by the roots ; an operation which the 
physicians generally suppose to be mortal.*'* 

It is actually startlmg, to observe the degree of historical 
evidence which may be adduced, to attest a falsehood I 

What proof that will, for one moment, compare with the 
proofs of this Athanasian miracle, can be adduced in support of 
a single miracle of the Christian Scriptures? None, Tic 
dullest must see, the most bigoted confess, this. 

Will you have another specimen in proof that the miraGtes 
performed by that " holy catliolic church" which you, notvay 
politely I think, call "the verj' Babylon of the Apocalypse," 
•ire not mere clumsy {ind barefaced juggler-tricks, which none 
but the ignorant crowd believe ? The Rev. Mr. Forsyth, a 
British traveller of tistc, talent, and learning, gives us, in his 
book on Italy, an accoimt of a witJisred elm-tree in the Piazia 
del Duomo, at Florence, being suddenly restored to vegetation 
by the body of St. Zenobio resting against its trunk. The 
reverend gentleman's words are : " This event liappened when 
Florence was more populous than now, and the most enlightened 
city of Europe : it happencvl in the most public place oi the 
whole town ; in the presence of many thousands then attending 
the solenm removal of the saint from San Lorenzo to the 
catliedral. The event is recorded by contemporary historians, and 
is inscribed upon a marble columji, noio standing where the tnt 
stood ; a column erected in the face of ihdse who saw the miroek 
prrformed, and who, certainly, if the tale were false, would not 
allow so impudent a story to insult them." — Forsyth's Itabf, 
p. 341. 

Yo\i see tliat the " very Babylon of the Apocalj-pse" has 
'•surviving monuments" for her miracles. Quote to me one 
surviving monument of the Bible miracles half so unexception- 
ably authenticated. If you caimot, either give up that test of 
authenticity, or believe at once in St. Zenobio. 

Thus, you see, it is not one or two marvels j'ou have to get 
over. Once set up the principle, that plausible historical 
evidcjnoe suffices to substantiate miraculous agency, and you 
will have to swallow prescription after prescription of that 
** medicine" which Eusebius honestly tells us, he administers 
"for the benefit of those who require to be deceived." 

* Jl<:neM Gaaaeus in Theophrasto, in Bibliotb. Patniin : torn. vUit 
I p. 004, 6«5. 



AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. L 1 1 

The veracity of the Christian fathers, you say, has little to Co 
•with the authenticity of the New Testament. Little to do ? 
Why, air, it has every thing to do with it. Every particle of th-.: 
direct hitiorical evidence for the autJienticity of the boohs of the 
New Testament hanga upon it. How, in common sense's nani". 
would you prove the Testament historically, except from t:.-." 
ecclesiastical history of the firdt centurj', when its books, if gennin-j, 
were written ? And who are the authorities whence our ecdcai- 
istical historians derive what tliey discover, or think they dis- 
oorer, of that early history of Christianity ? You need not sm\':y 
be told that these authorities are the ancient fathers of the 
Christian church. If you have studied Lardnur and Jonos au 1 
TiUemont and Mosheim, and tlic rest of our celebrated clmi\]i 
historiaiis, you know, for instance, that they hold Eusebius to I'j 
the very sheet anchor of reliance for all they adduce of i!..- 
history of the three first centuries. TiUemont* says oi' him : 
" Witnout Eusebius, we sliould scarce have any knowlcil _' j 
of the history of the first ages of Christianity, or of the 
authors who wrote at that time. All the Greek authors of the 
fourth century who undertook to vn-ite the history- of the diurcii. 
have begun where Eusebius ended, as ha^ing nothing: cori.-:-.I«.i.iu'. •.• 
to add to his labours."t But TiUemont does not think it neces- 
sary to inform his readers that this samt.- Eusebius, " without 
whom we should scarcely have had any hnoir^edge of the first ages 
of Christianity or of the aui/iors who icrotc at that time" uscl 
"falsehood as a medicine and for the benefit of tliosc who 
required to be deceived.*' If he had, he might hn.ve intlui . ! 
veiy rebellious doubts in their minds, how much cif that hist<.ii y 
which vouches for the Testament's autlienticity was medicinal 
and how much veracious. 

Untenable, therefore, as yoiur position was, you must yet "en- 
dorse for the veracity and sanity of the Christian fathers ;*' or y. -.; 
will seetheverv materials of aU ancient Christian history (in; I 
consequently tic external evidence for the New Tesuimt nt. ) 
crumble to pieces before your eyes. 

The early fathers " had not the i)ower," you assort, " of making: 
olterations in the Scriptures." Why, sir, there is not a siufrlo !». • 
in ecclesiastical history more notorious, than that they not only 
had this power, but freely exercised it too. Bisliop Marsh, in lii> 
Michoclis, than whidi,I cannot cite to you higlicr authority.: 



* TtllemoDt was bom In Paris In 1637. His Ecclesiastical History is in 
sixteen volumes quarto. 

t Quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 359. 

% The learned Bishop of Llandaff may satisfy us of this : ** The Intr.>- 
doction to the New Testament," says he, "by Mlchaelis, late profwsor at 
Gotttngen, as translated by Marsh, is the standard work,comprehendinpr <'•• 
that is imporUnt on the subject."— Qto/^ed in EUsley*8 Annotation* vn thi 
GMsels, vol. ii., (the Introduction,} p. xxvi. 

1 2 



112 AUTHEXTICIXY OF THE BIBLE. 

says; "It is a certain fact, that several readings in our common 
printed text are nothing more than alterations made by Oiigen, 
whose atUhority was so grectt in the Christian church, that tmmk^ 
tions which he proposed, though, as he himself acknowledged, sop- 
ported by the eyidence of no manuscript^ were very genardOjf n- 
ceived"* 

The quotations given by early polemics are, you seem to tildnli; 
evidence that the books of the New Testament, as being in the 
hands of all, could not be altered. The veiy quotations haTOen to 
fundsh evidence, that the books then received as holy, and those 
now constituting the Testaments, are not the same. "It is to 
bo lamented," says Michaelis, in the work I have just quoted, 
** that various readings which, as appears from the quotoHont rftkt 
fathers, were in ihe text of the Greek Testament, are to be nond 
in none of the manuscripts which are at present remaimng."t 

As to our detecting the forgeries of Origen or Eusebius, or any of 
their contemporaries, by referring to ancient manuscripts, tha^ Jim 
are doubtless aware, is an impossibility. They lived and irrole, 
Origen in ihe third, and Eusebius in ihe fourth, century. Bnt iff 
manuscripts of the New Testament of earlier date than the tixA 
century are lost.t We must trust, then, in this matter, entirely to 
ihe honour of those who tell us plainly that they thuik it virtnoos 
to deceive, in order to advance (wluit they declare to be,) the 
cause of truth. 

It cannot be considered very marvellous, that the laborious 
Lardner should have confessed, that, " the history of the New 
Testament is attended with many difficulties,"} but what « mar- 
vellous — what may fairly rank next to a modem miracle — is, thit 
any man of common sense should ever dream of getting over diem. 

I have occupied so much space in speaking of the great leading 
facts and general principles, (as conceiving these the more impor- 
tant and pertinent to Uus discussion,) that little remains to me to 
speak of men. Our readers will judge in Washington's caae be- 
tween the authority of Jeflferson and Gouvemeur Moms on the 
one hand, and Hosack on the other ; that is, if these authorities 
are supposed to contradict each other ; which, to me, they by wf 
means appear to do. Both may be correct. Washington may 
have been an episcopalian in the days of the early revolutionaiy 
war, and a deist in 1799. A sincere deist I believe him to have 
been ; and as such the anecdote of Potts is easily explained. As 



• Michaelis Introd. to New Test., by Bishop Marsh, vol. ii., p. S68. 
t Michaelis* Introd., vol. ii., p. 160. 

i '' No manuscript of the New Testament now extant is prior to the tixih 
century.**— Michaelis' Introd., vol. ii., p. liil. 

The Codes Bexa, deposited in the University library at Cambridge, It 
■idd to be the oldest. It was found at Lyons in 1562. See BtcAos Jlorik, 
vol. ii., p. 229. 

I Lardner*s Credilrtliti/, vol. i., p. 13«. 



OP THE BIBLE. 113 

let the extract from the ForenEll Address, a, HJcksile quaker (and 
such on one you have declared to be Ihc next thing to an atiidsl,) 
would SBj as much. They, too, hold the aense of religious dbliga- 
tion to be indispenaable. How they eisplaia the term relipoii is 
another matter ; and vho can T^nture to tell ub how WnahitLEton 
oipiained it i* It ia well known that the patriot hero, on his death- 
bed, soughtnone of the consolationB of religion;* and it Imabeen 
mnfidenUy stated to me (but as I have uot podtiie authorityf at 
hand to subatsJiliate 1Mb, I slate it hypolhetically,) that he auLually 
leftised spiritual ud, when it nas pioposi^d 1o SEcd for acler^man. 

Any thing like indignation at my simple statement of opinion or 
this matter, is much out of place. 

But not only ahail Waahingtoa hare been on epifiCopoHon, but 
John Adams a congre^tionaliBt— 'John Adams! wlio wrote to 
Jefleison, " This would bo the boat of all possible worlds, if Iheia 
were no religion in it."^ It only remaiuH lo moke Jefi'ersona 
presWteriiui, and Fmnklin a methodisi'l, and then the list will be 

Does it not strike yon as somewhat remarkable, that amenpt 
this so very religious nation of 177fi, "where infidelity was so 
rare that one mi|^t live to a great ap: without meeting it," three 
fourths of the very men who look the lead in political cmancipalioil 
were, what you uall infldcla 1 and not one of Ihera distinguiahed I 
for iiwlouB piety r | 1 

Bat enough of men. The best and wisest are fallible, and majf 1 
err in opinioD like theii neighbours, and no conclusive argumeirft 
eta be drawn, on either side, from such a source. 
" t the opinions quoted by you from Addison, Byron, snd.^ 
"""li, go for what ihey are worth. I 

uurtion, that " the sablimlty of the Bible style proves it 

i ■aperhaman," reminds me of the following : " The Koran- 

Tr peraona attached to the Koran, find nothing eloquent or 

'— ' TOt of the book. They assert that Lebid, one of the 

IS poets of the Arabs, became a convert upon reading 



, Hr) day afirr ill dealh,hy Tnhlaa l*ir, an ejic-iulllin', BBil ftir- 

rt by OtDrge Woihlngton Bauct. of Fredericksburg, tbe oUiec day, to 



114 AtJTHEKTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

three or four verses of the second chapter, which he bcliered 
inimitable in their style."* 

I need not advert to my opponent's caricatures of my opinions ;t 
being -willing to trust me sagacity of our readers in detectuu 
these, and their candour in judging me by my oton worth, Wila 
them, too, I leave the decision, whether you or I have subotaa- 
tiated OTir positions regarding the French Revolution; whether 
yonr proofs of the necessity of a revelation be " naked aasump* 
tions" or not; and whether my argument contained in the ecu* 
torial article on the "Morals of a Christian City"t be fair Of 
unfair, sustained or unsustained. 

Of the evidences of prophecy I shall speak in my next letter. 

It is childish to urge that my opinions regarding suicide hsre 
the remotest bearing on the subject before us, any more than my 
opinions on the metempsychosis or any other ancient doctriiw. 
Were it not that I know why my opinion is asked, I should not 
even have alluded to the subject again. You learnt my senti- 
ments on suicide, from personal conversation with me ; yon be- 
lieve them to be impopular, and desire to have the benefit of their 
unpopularity. I will not disappoint you ; the rather, because I 
care little who knows my opinions, on any subject. I conceive, 
then, that when a man is situated, so that no one is dependent on 
him for support, for comisel, or for affection, so that he has hi» 
oA\-n interests only to consult in making a selection between life 
and death, he is of right entitled to that selection. He is, in that 
case, the judge whetlier existence be a blessing or a curse to him; 
and if, unfortunately, he should feel and know it to be the latter, 
I perceive neither justice nor expediency in condemning him, 
against a deliberately formed detcrniination, to retain it. 

I ask pardon of our readers for having been betrayed by (what 
I fear must be called a selfish) desire to avoid even the appear- 
ance of dissimulation, into the expression of an opinion thus ir- 
relevant, supererogatory, and uncalled-for by the subject under 
discussion. 

One only point in my opponent's letter remains to be noticed. 
He speaks, as it is fashionable enough to do, of the " coldness and 
hcartlessness of scepticism." 

Religion has been called the poetry of reason ; and we are told 
that its dreams are so fair and beautiful, that, even if baseless 
none but a rough hand or a careless heart would disturb them. 
As poetry is often tolerated for its beauties, even when a rigid 
analysis discovers folly in its sentiments, so, it has sometimes been 
argued, may the pleasing imaginings of religion be received and 
approved, even though they may be imaginings only. 

• D'Herbelot, mot Alcorax, p. 81. 

+ That " because one thing is false, another is j" that I estimate ti>t 
truth of records merely by their age, &c., &c. 

t See Free Enquirer, vol. iii., p. 312. 



rUE BIBLE. 115 

_. itif I adopted this opinion. 1 would not chooBe tlie Cluisliin 
rcU^on, with ila grave and unadunied tcremonixl, and its abstract 
doctrineG, and iU long homilies. If ire look la religion as the 
poetzy of life, let na hare the glowing mythology of Greece at 
oricv. Let ud agiiiii people the monntains with Oieada, and the 
ffnwe with Dryads. At erety fountain let a yoong and heaudlijl 
Nniad lean over her magic urn. Let us cloths the Gods witli 
hunum frailtica and passions, that we niiiy feel for andinlh Ihem. 
Let them lie moved to pily and warmed to love. Let us re-ealah- 
llih the Cmirt on Mount Ida, in all its classic magnifloence. Let 
' 'I r' venerahle bSbet of tho Gods aasumo his throno by the side of 
:? stalely queen. Let the majestic Apollo be there; und Venus, 
; her heavenly beauty ; and Pallas, in her peerless wisdom. 
Iii^Ukl Iris again as the Berial messenger; and let tho graceful 
Ganymede approach, and tender the nectar ^blet. £aniah all o\u' 
cold, dull sermoiis, and overthrow o\ir great brick chnrchos, and 
let OS attain liavc liic temple of marble, with its gorgeous rites and 
uplendid paintings, and its 

Give ns incense-breaUung altars, in groves sacred to the graces 
and miiaea. Give us the song, and llie dnnce, and the quaint 
festivBl. Teliosnotofabali of fire revolving on its axis, nor of 
«satellile shining ivilh reflected ligit: but let the God of tiny once 
more yoke his golden Bteeds, and the gentle Diana descend to her 
sleeping Endymion. 

TTiat was a religion of poetry and of beauty, and of rich iroagi- 
iialions; and if it be these we seek, let us have It once more. 
TcU us not that scepticism ia cold and heartless, because it disd- 
pates a few day-dreams about Hie prophet of Nazareth and his 
virgin -mother. How bright and glorious, compared with these, 
were the dreams that Christianity dispersed I 

Let me not be underalood thai I regret lie dreams, bright and 
glorious as they were ; they woro dreams of ignorance, wh'MC 
Gwcinating InSuenee cheats the reason, and le^ula the mind off 
from the important realities of life. I do but say, that if we siwl 
have poetical rnncieB, those of the Grecian mythology are infinitdy 
more beautiful than any in the ChrialJan revelation. 

But tvhy should his creed be deemed cold and hea: 
looks not beyond this earth for hLi hopes and sympathies ? Is thece 
enon^ hero below to fill the heart and warm the feelingaPi 
■'■" prospects of this world so very barren of inlerest, flie' 
i nature so very powerless, the lies of affection so ver' 
weak, that heaven must 1111 the void ? When about 
lui act of benevolence or justice, shall it fail to bring i 
B we bear in mind that wc are but Btrangcrs and 

. here, and that all ia vanih and vexation of spirit ? When 

hjvoly ^ospect is spread before mc, rich in summer beantj', 







r 



I 



..mst T pause and look up to a. Gort of nature, ero I can fedH 

mild and cheering influence ? Or if, in the paths of Ufa, I ' 

aome noble and generous spirit, must I think of the crealor, i 
1 Ciin admiie and love the creaturo of his hand J 

Thcie may be iJiose in iriiom habit has LTeated such * 
natural wanta; and who, to enjoy this world, must fiisl 
anuthi^r. I ram but say far myself, that this is not my cut 
have fouud, in sublunary scenes and among siiblunaiy ba 
enou^ — and more than enough — to occupy my feelings, an 
interest my heart. 

Robert Pale Owi: 



TO ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



New York, October 1, 1831. 

S.R, 

It should be constantly kept in riew, that the question nai) 
diaciiesion is the avt/tenCkiti/ vftht Siih, imd not /toa ffrxif i 
Utprooft. That it is " a human record of a divine revelation, o 
n man-translated transcript of the word of God," docsDOl,lh(n 
fore, in the least affect the question. As to the hypercrilioni ot^ 
the term revelation, it is atteily gratuitous. When we sty da 
Bible is a revelation, or the word of God, we do not meaa llut 
God wrtrte it, but only, that what is therein allrihuted to r 
hi^ vroidl, u so ; Just as words which we might utter wotlld tt 
ours, even if recorded by anolter. 

One would suppose it time for sceptics to cease olyecUng to ft* 
tniracles of the Bible, if it is so difficult, as my opponent COf 
tends, lo decide what a miiaclo ia. They will not preteod flM 
they are acquainted with Ihc whole arcana of nature. How An 
do they knoTV,. that whatis recorded in the Bible ia not m r~- 
formily to natnreP Why then do tbey object toitT Thej 
perhaps retort by asking us how we, who are likewise ignotu ,^^ 
some of the secrets of nature, know those events were mincM^ 
even on the supposition that they tianspictd. In amtwoiiW 
would say, let it be admitted, tiiat the scripture erenta jnit ilM 
tioned occurred, and we have not the leoat caticem but thiit IMI 
kind will regard Iheut as miracles. But how extieiiiely illM 

because it contains accoimta of miracles ; at another, arguiA^ tt 
they were perhaps no miracles. But perceiving tlut ueilbtf 
il,d«k T,Amf;|Q]jg ig tenable, he, prudent man, chartgcs his pontio 



AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 117 

&d aigues that we liaye no means of distinguishing a diTine 
liracle from an infernal one, and therefore, that we know not 
mt the Bible is from the devil, even if its miracles are real. 
nds is his last resort» and it will therefore be worth the while to 
Iwdl a little on this point. 

First, then, if miracles of any kind be admitted, the existence 
yf bdngs superior to man must likewise be admitted ; and this 
it once demolishes atheism and nothingarianism, and removes 
he objection to the admission of a God. In the next place, it is 
not to be supposed, that if God were to make a revelation, 
sither internally by his spirit, or externally by a miracle, he 
wcmld be unable so to reveal himself as to enable his creatures 
to realize, that the revelation by him made was divine, and not 
infernal ; and being able thus to reveal himself, it is to be pre- 
nimed he would do it, so far at least as to prevent sincere 
seekers after truth from being deceived, however he might per- 
mit captious cavillers to be led astray by the delusions of the 
devil. And thirdly, it is unreasonable to believe, that whatever 
the power of the devil might be in this respect, he would be per- 
knitted to take the helm of the universe, and thereby moimt the 
eternal throne. Now the miracles recorded in the Bible are of 
a kind requiring in their performance the command of all nature. 
None but the creator could divide the sea, and stop the sim, and 
hush the tempest, and perform many other wondrous deeds nar- 
rated in the Bible. Such events we should be in no danger of 
inspecting for "juggler tricks," were they to happen even in 
onr own enlightened day; nay, although it were a day of 
"witchcraft and second-sight;'* or their performer of impos- 
tnze in accomplishing the same ? Incredulous as sceptics now 
•re, they would, in such an event, be compelled to admit, 
as did their kindred spirits of yore, that real miracles had 
been performed ; though, like those ancient infidels, they might 
be led, by their hostility to the heavenly messenger, absurdly 
and maligoanUy to attribute his godlike deeds to Beelzebub, 
instead of ''yielding to him their hearts, and bending their 
knees," as they should do. Nay, has not my opponent said al- 
ready, that he should suspect Ms own eye-sight of hallucination, 
if he thought he saw a miracle ? He needs not therefore urge 
the antiquity o^ the Bible miracles as an objection to ^lem, tho 
more espemlly as mere antiquity is not an objection to his be- 
lief in other things. The fact is, he is evidentiy deter- 
mined not to believe, be the evidence what it may ; and 
he needs not, therefore, complain of the kind of evidence 
W which the Bible is sustained. Nor must he expect in 
(his way to arrive at truth. A man that rejects all evi- 
dence, even that of his own senses, has no means left 
npon which to decide upon questions at all, and places 
himself beyond the reach of conviction and hope. Such a 
I, liowever, would do well to relinquish all claim to the 



118 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

name of a free inquirer. But suppose we could not be 
of any ihing^ (which is the unavoidable result of his role 
touching the fallibility of the senses,) still, we should at all 
events, even under such circumstances, believe some things, and 
disbelieve others. What then, though our senses miffht de- 
ceive us, or, if not our senses, yet some " being of light and 
beauty on a summer cloud?" What though it were potsibk 
that we miffht be imable to decide with certainti/ between a 
heavenly and an infernal messenger ? I would ask if the riak 
is all on one side ? Might it not be the case, that the snperna* 
tural messenger would be di>ine, and that we might be liable to 
punishment in disregarding his message ? But what beoHnea 
of my opponent's other argument, viz., that if a God exist, he ia 
able to make us know him ? What is this but saying, that ve 
can distinguish between divine and infernal revelations ? Aa to 
the deception of Adam and Eve, I shall not admit that they 
were necessarily ensnared by the serpent, knowing, as ibef 
did, that God liad prohibited what the serpent enticed then 
to do. 

The idea that an almighty being cannot reveal himself to hit 
creatures in such a manner as to enable them to know, tbat 
what he reveals is from himself, is so repugnant to reaaan* 
and so self-contradictory withal, that but very few, even of scep- 
tics, will adopt it. One man can convince another of w 
identity — can demonstrate that he is an individual of whom the 
other may have heard — and yet, cannot an infinite being, pos- 
sessing all possible resources, enable us to distinguish him from 
the devil ? Who can seriously believe so barefaced an absur- 
dity? 

That the Bible miracles, &c., are disputed, is no argument 
against them whatever ; for what will not some men dispute ? The 
occurrence of motion and the existence of matter have both been 
disputed. And, as we have seen, my opponent is ready at any 
moment to dispute his ow7i senses y rather than believe in a 
miracle. 

I have no where asserted, that the Bible miracles have 
stronger historical, evidence than Cotton Mather's. I have 
merely said, that neither the Salem witchcraft, nor any otlwi 
marvel of any age, stands on the same ground in point of evidetMt 
as do those miracles ; and that not a single instance can be pro- 
duced containing all the kinds of evidence which they do. This 
I am prepared to show ; which I will now do, so far as relates 
to all the cases adduced in my opponent's laat letter. 

In the first place, the miracles of the Bible were such as nona 
but the God of nature could perform, and in the cases of whiA 
there could have been no deception, and no possibility of their 
being occasioned by a natural cause. Take, for example, the 
cases which I have several times already brought into view, tiLi 
the Deluge, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the diviilinf 



AUTHEKTICITT OF THE BIBLE. 119 

)f Uie Red Sea and Jordan, the stopping and retrogression of tlic 
ran, and the raising of the dead. Not a miracle in the list 
Keiented bv my opponent, is of a description similar to one of these. 
Seomdly, tney are attested by universal histoir and tradition, and 
ue connrmed by the physical appearances of the earth, and by 
momunental and institutory memorials the world over. Thus, 
were there not a Bible in existence, its leading facts could be 
penued in the annals of the human race. Not so with any of the 
marvels noted by my opponent. Thirdly, they were performed 
openly before the community, friends and foes ; and on the strength 
of their own intrinsic evidence, they compelled the assimt of all 
parties 'to their supernatural character, being of such a nature as 
to leave no opportunity to assign them either to deception or natural 
causes. None of my opponent's cases arc thus conditioned. A 
heated imagination is generally supposed to have had much to do 
in the case of the Salem witchcraft ; but no one will pretend, that 
it could have had any thing to do with the miracles of the Bible 
to which I have referred. Tliat witchcraft was not similar to the 
Bible miracles, but was of a nature which left room for deception in 
many of the cases, to say the least. But that Cotton Mather wrote 
the account thereof, no one pretends to deny. My opponent's 
parallel, therefore, between tlie Bible miracles and Salem Ti^itch- 
craft, is just so much labour lost, notwithstanding all its display on 
paper; and it might just as well have been run between ancient 
history of any kind and that same witchcraft, so far as relates to 
antiquity, distance, transcription, translation, &c. &c., as between 
the Bible and that witchcraft. But I deny that we have no vouchers 
for the veracity of the writers of the Scriptures but their o"wn word, 
or that their writings have ever been exclusively in the hands of the; 
catholic churclL — The miracles of Hohenlohe were cases in which 
there was a chance for deception, by connivance on the part of the 
subjects of those miracles, in feigning sickness ; oi they might be 
amigned, as the protestant physician did assign them, to natural 
causes. Besides, here was but one protestant evidence in tliis 
case ; and, of course, there was a chance for falsehood or bribery 
imd^ these circumstances which would not exist in case of the 
witnessing of a miracle by a promiscuous multitude of all descrip- 
tions of persons, as was the case with the Bible miracles. 

The story of the resuscitated tree at Florence needs more evidence 
than the declaration of one man who lived we know not how long 
alter the event is said to have happened. Let us have the date of 
that event, the names and characters of the historians who record 
it, and the religious character of Uie inhabitants of Florence at tliat 
period. Let us know whether there were any protestant -witnessi's 
uf the same ; for catholics can, as they suppose, get pcurdoncd of a 
falsehood for a very small sum of inoney^ and g(;t canonized for 
deception in the service of Uicir church. To make this miracle 
parallel witli the miracles of Uie Bible, it is necessary to show that 
the spectators were enemies, who would not admit its occurrence 



r 



» 



120 AUTHEHTICITY OP THE BIBI.K. 

if thej conJd, by the most rigid scrutiiiy, possibly detect uiy imj 
tion ; and likewise, that some of those who recorded it were i 
tniea. Then, the hLttorians Ihemsehee mnst be credible and 
knovn ; and it must be Hhown, that they lived at the linie ; 
tended, and were the real nuthors of the accounts of ^iti n 
!□ sdditlan fo ell this, it triiut be made to appear, that (he 
itself has been contimiaUy assailed by subtle oppoaeis ertu ki 
its occnnencc, without their being able to explode it ; and tti 
has been so notcrions to all tlie world, that there has beea e* 
imaginable opportunity, from tliat day to this, for those iriio do i 
believe in it to inrestigate the subject. And ncrw let me wk* 
nrailie historians ILathave recorded this ntiiBcle ? IfinditHll 
the list of pretended miracles on which catholics the mOBtidv. 

The case of the tongveleai talkers eomes now to be coiuraod 
It ia necessary, in the first place, to prove by Bslisfactory 

that Victor was the author of this acconnt, and Dial it yna 

geiy of lie dark ages. Nest, it is necessary to Bhow, that the '■tab 
community, fiiends and foes, had access to the palace of ~ " 
and admitted the reality of Oie marvel ; for there was a fkr { 
opportunity to bribe one Platonic philosopher, than there .., — ^^ 
have been to bribe t/ie public. Besides, it must ihrlher be pn)w4 
that the confession attributed to this philosopher wae not a ibiga]; 
foisted into the account daring the same dark period 

just now alluded. Lastly, it must be shown, that this at 

been a matter of notoriety, and open for the LnvesIigatioD of Jll, 
from that lime to the prcaenl. Prove a/( these thiDgs, aadliril 
thenadmit its reahty, but not that the Bible miracles are not ~ 

Thus have wu seen, that not one of thecaiies vet adduced; 
on the same ground with scripture miradea. 'But while ItaM 
little faith in the " lying nondeiB" of popen, I am very tat<K 
running to the other Gxtrcmc, and saying, that because IluttW 
some felsfl miracles, there have never been any other. Fwfc 
very reason (hat there are such miracles, we have grounds f 
poaing there have been true ones ; just as when we see cod— 
money, we have reason to suppose there are true bills. NOf iP I 
believe, that Gad has leA himself without witness 'as ' ' 
even in this very age oftlie world. In my next, I inter 
tL mass of irresistible evidence to show, that he does, ii 



nothing supernatural in modem days, shall no longer be mpl 
against ancient niiracles. Could nothing of the kind, bowem. 
be shown, this would be no serious objection to those llrTnl^f^ 
seeing infinite nisdom knows best when to cause mijadct, txi 
when to forbear to cause them. 

The pertinacity of my opponent, in continuing to petsist 
futile attempt to prove Waaiington an infidel, directly in the 6v 
of his whole public and private cbaracter, ia truly astoniduoc. " 
i* not that the cause of Chnstiamty will stand or bll by Ihe ndi 



AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 121 

opposition of a great name, but it is to shield the reputation of that 
iUustrious personage from the stigma of being a hypocritical infidel, 
that induces me to present what follows. 

Bancroft, in his Life of Washington, says : " He was as eminent 
for piety as for patriotism. In principle and practice he was a 
Clmstian. The support of an episcopal church, in the vicinity 
of Mount Vernon, rested principally upon him ; and here, when 
on his estate, he Tvith constancy attended public worship. In 
his address to the American people at liie close of the war, 
mentioning the favourable period of the world at which the 
independence of his coimtry was established, and enumerating 
ihe causes which unitedly had ameliorated the condition of 
human society, he, above science, philosophy, commerce, and all 
other considerations, ranked * the pure and benign light of revela- 
tion,* Supplicating heaven that Ms fellow citizens might cultivate 
Ihe disposition and practise the virtue which exalt a community, 
he presented the following petition to his God : ' That he would 
most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love 
mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and 
padfic temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the 
moine author of our blessed religion; without an humble imitation 
of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy 
nation.' During the virar, he not unfirequently rode ten or twelve 
miles firom camp to attend public worship ; and he never omitted 
tins attendance when opportunity presented. In the establishment 
of his presidential household, he reserved to himself the Sabbath, 
free from the interruptions of private visits or public business ; and 
thron{^out the eight years of his civil administration, he gave to the 
instiMions of Christianity the influence of his example" Ramsay, 
tnotfaer of ms biographers, says : " He was the friend of morality 
and religion ; stea£ly attended on public worship ; and encouraged 
and streng^ened the hands of the clergy. In all his public acts, 
he made the most respectful mention of Providence, and, in a 
word, carried the spirit of piety with him, both in his private life 
and public administration. TLq equanimity which attended him 
throu^ life, did not forsake him in death. He was the same in 
that moment as in all the past ; magnanimous and firm; confiding 
in the mercy and resigned to the will of heaven. He submitted to 
the inevitable stroke with the dignity of a man, the calmness of a 
philosopher, the resignation and confidence of a Christian. His 
body, attended by military honours and the offices of religion, was 
deposited in the family vault." Weems, another of his biogra- 
phers, says : " I have often been informed by Col. B. Temple, of 
King William's coimty, Virginia, who was one of his aids in the 
French and Indian war, that he has frequently known Washington, 
on the Sabbath, read the Scriptures and pray with his regiment, 
in the absence of the chaplam; and also, that on sudden and 
unexpected visits into his marquee, he has, more than once, found 
him on his knees, at his devotions. The Rev. Mr. Lee Massey, 



122 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

long a rector of Wasliington's parish, and from early life his inti- 
mate, has frequently assured me that ' he never know so constant 
an attendant on church as Washington. And his bchayiour in the 
house of God/ added my reverend friend, * was so deeply rere- 
rential, that it produced the happiest effect on my congregation, 
and greatly assisted me in my moralising labours. No company 
ever withheld him from church. I have often been at Mount 
Vernon on the Sabbath morning, when his breakfast table wm 
filled with guests. But to him they furnished no pretext for neg- 
lecting his God, and losing the satisfaction of sotting a good 
example. For, instead of staying at home, out of false complais- 
ance to them, he used constantly to invite them to accompany him.* 
His secretary. Judge Harrison, lias frequently been heard to sax, 
that ' whenever the general could be spared from camp on toe 
Sabbath, he never failed riding out to some neighbouring chnrd^ 
to join those who were publicly worshipping the gi'eat Creator.' 
And while he resided in Philadelphia, as President of the United 
States, his constant and cheerful attendance on divine service iM 
such as to convince every reflecting mind, that he deemed no lewe 
so honourable as that of his Almighty Maker ; no pleasures eqnil 
to those of devotion ; and no business a sufficient excuse for neg- 
lecting his Supreme Benefactor. In his last illness, he behsred 
with the firmness of a soldier, and the resignation of a Christian. 
He was once or twice heard to say, that, had it pleased God, he 
should have been glad to die a little easier, but that he doubted not 
that it was for his good. Silent and sad, his physicians" (Drt. 
Craig, Dick, and Brown) '* sat by his bed side, looking on him as 
he lay panting for breath. They thought on the past, and the tear 
swelled in their eyes. He marked it, and stretclung out his hand 
to them, and shaking his head, said, * O, no! don*t! dontJ* 
then, with a delightful smile, added, *I am dying, gentlemen, 
but, thank God ! I am not afraid to die.* Feelmg that the honr 
of his departure out of this world was at hand, he desired that 
every body would quit the room. They all went out, and accord- 
ing to his wish, left him — with his God." 

Such was the man whom sceptics who liave not even read hi* 
life, (as my opponent informs me he has not,) have the effroniay 
to claim as an infidel — a man who recognized the Scriptures ai 
revelation, and liieir author as divine ; who was a member of a 
Christian church, and constant in his attendance on pub ic wor- 
ship ; who was habituated to the reading of tlie Scriptur. s as a 
religious duty, and to acts of private dovotii>n ; and who, to his 
dying moment, remained stedfast in his religious views. And 
these circumstances by tlie way, show pretty clcurly in vhat 
sense he used the term religion. And on what ground j* do tbey 
presume thus to traduce the illustrious dead ? to brand him 
virtually with the character of hypocrite and infidel, when ali 
America, all the world, know better ? Why, a mere conjedun 
of one who pretended to be in his secrets, and who was therefore • 



AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 123 

f he has told the truth, by having exposed this secret. I 
ere cor^ecture; for it seems, Gouverneur Morris did not 
. Washingtoii told him he did not believe in Christianity. 
s not uncommon for many, when they express an opinion 
a*8 sentiments or character, to express ihemselves in this 
ly, meaning to be understood merely as expressing their 
Besides, it is worthy of remark, that this is mentioned 
iington*s secret view of the subject, thus directly charging 
h being secretly what he was not openly, and even different 
lat he professed to be, thereby making him a base hypo- 
well as an infidel. Again, it is not a little marvellous, 
*erson himself should not have stated this on his own au- 
instcad of giving that of Gouverneur Morris. Had not he 
jportunity, by personal acquaintance witli Washington, to 
his infidelity, if indeed there was any Uiing of the kind ? 
Washington so consummate a hj'pocrito as to elude 
1, even by his penetrating eye ? But is it not very 
ihaX Jeflcrson may have made a mistake in this item of 
oal, 83 he did in several other instances. At all events, 
1 will sooner believe that it is even a forgery, if they 
ribute it to a better source, than to believe Washington 
been an unbeliever in the Bible, in direct contradiction 
jstensible character. Suppose, however, contrary to 
J, that Washington did, towards tlie close of his life, 
sceptical, this has nothing to do with the question in rela- 
fhich the characters of Washington, Franklin, and others 
reduced. That question was. What was the character of 
who achieved tJie liberties of our country? And it will 
. moment be pretended, that, at the time of the revolution, 
^n was not a believer in the Christian religion. 
John Adams, suppose it were true, that in his dotage he 
ewhat sceptical, it would not hence follow, that he was so 
ne of the revolution. As I said in my last, I am quite 
t he was a member of a congregational church. And 
Adams, his brother, certainly was. With regard to 
I, he wrote his own memoirs at an advanced aye; in 
3 states, that, when a young man, he was sceptical ; that, 
iding scepticism, he adopted the Socratic mode of dis- 
by asking his opponent questions, as the easiest and the 
ethod; and that, in this way, he sometimes obtained 
which neither his cause nor his arguments merited. The 
; is his epitaph, written by himself a long time before his 



124 AUTHENTICITY OP THE BIBLE. 

THE BODY 

of 
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, 

Printer, 

(like the cover of an old book, 

its contents worn out, 

and stript of its lettering and gilding,) 

lies here food for worms. 

Yet the work itself shall not be lost ; 

For it will (as he belieyed) appear once more 

in a new 

and more beautiful edition, 

corrected and amended 

by 

The Author, 

How egregiously do men miss it, when they undertake to mib 
assertions in relation to things concerning which they have sot 
informed themselves. How supremely ridiculous for strugBt 
who have not even read the lives of our distinguished men, to 
undertake to teach native Americans concerning their chancter, 
who are conversant with their biographies as schooUbookiy fron 
their very childhood I Shame on tJie few Americans wlw wifl 
suffer themselves to be fooled in such a manner .^As tomytn- 
thority relative to Ethan Allen, here it comes. It is contained in 
the New-York Observer of July 17, 1830. It is as follows. "Dr. 
Elliott was well acquainted with Col. Allen, a celebrated infidel in 
Vermont, and made him a visit at the time his daughter was sick, 
and near death. Ho was introduced to the library, where the 
colonel read to him some of his writings with much self-conmli- 
cency, and asked, * Is not tliat well done ?* While they weie mns 
employed, a messenger entered, and informed Col. Allen thtt his 
daughter was dying, and desired to speak with him. He imme- 
diately went to her chamber, accompanied by Dr. Elliott, ^ 
was desirous of witnessing the interview. The wife of Col. ABen 
was a pious woman, and had instructed her daughter in the prin- 
ciples of Christianity. As soon as her father appeared at the bed- 
side, she said to him, * I am about to die ; shall I believe in the 
principles you have taught me, or shall I believe in what my 
mother has taught me ?* He became extremely agitated, Ms chin 
quivered, his whole frame shook, and, after waiting a few mo- 
ments, he replied, * Believe what your mother has taught yon!' 
So much for the sincerity of Ethan Allen's pretensions to in- 
fidelity. With regard to the statement relative to the small 
amount of infidelity in this country in our revolutionary diys, 
my opponent will recollect that ^Franklin was its author, whom 
he has tried to claim as an infidel, and who undoubtedly knew 
quite as much about the religious character of tliis country at thit 
time, as did Mr. Owen, who was not then horn. And u t» 



t of the latter indiiidiul, Out three fuurtlis it! our 

% political eroancipntoia vece sceptics, 'lis altogfthet a 

a A5scrtii>nj "whirh he hms iio authoritj whatever for mah- 

id which can sb^lutolj be disprored. 

JliQE, then, has be ulteiljr failed in his altfmpc to pioie cur 

BlutionBi)' potiioU ioCiJels, and in making out our revolation 

Tne instance in which infidels h»Te led tlie van of reform . 

connlry was at that period peculiarly free &oiu infidelity, as 

'' ~ n seen by Fianklin's slatemenL It was an eminently 

ad religioua coonlrr, as Ihc instilulluoa and customs of 

ind all go to prove. And thia will account for the good 

id auspicious result of oiir leTolutioaary struggle. Oiir 

II were not pro&i^lc infidel FaiisiaDs. Our nUeis were 

Ksuigainary infidel RobespierTeB. . Had ibe; been so, it ia 

to see, tbt we should haie shared the direful fate of ill- 

d Gallia, and crouched beneatli tbe yoke of a Napoleon, 

xlief&om tlie 1b^ tolerable one of infidelity. But, to iv- 

« the subject of the authenticity of the Bible. 

)t my opponent know, thai a i:irary was established at 

ore than five hundred ycaia before Christ, and that 

used to write on parchnerU ? Why then talk of 

papipvsf As to the writlen moiaiBumI on plastered 

\, mentioned Deuteronomy, chap, ivii., tpt. 2, 3, il ia 

I itrous proof that that was Uic only made of wiHnu 
f the Jews at that time, aa our monumenta are thai tee 

a (hat the Others of ibe church could moke altem- 

B Bible without betiig detected, because Origcit made 

a itself. How ifi it knowD that he mado 

I, unless those altemtions were detected ? He did iu- 

liona in the doctrines of the church; 

. . ■e condemned. 

The concGssiona of opponents arc always considered as so 
: Loli ptire gold ; and tlierefore the quotations in my last from 
"Ujseau and Byion, relutire to the excellence and importaaea 
: the Christian religion, are "worth" cuusidemble to oursida 
:' the question. 

The sublimity of the Btyb of many p"'' "^ ^h" Bible, ia 
.. kjiowledged 1^ tt^ beat of critics, both Chiialian and infidel, 
. be superior tn any other writing whatever. But this was but 
I. of tho internal evidences by mo addnced in my last. Why 
. ' not the others noticed i 
I appeal to what I bave written, as evidence that I have not 
rLcatured the opinions of my opponent. The render coa 
..imiue at his leisure. 

Thosubject of suicide has a most importimt bearing on (be 
qtiestion mider discussion. It seems that the greatest heatlitn 
phtloBopbers justified it; and this, amon^ other thingrt, 1 pro- 
duced as evidence of Iheir moral darkness, and tlu^ii iittcSiAV-j 

. Of tbiG 'ig|it of rsraJslioD. It waa thciefoie incuntbcTA tm. \aj 



[ 



I 



126 AUTHESTICITY OP TUB BIDLK. 

opponent, wlio liad denied ita necessity, eilher (o relr! 
the existence or auch an evil oniang ihoae heathen w 
clercnd the evil itself. He seemed desirous to Evade I 
subject, bj passing it over in silence, slill insisting that i\ 
lion was unnecessnry. What less could I do, Dnder 
circumstimceg, than lo draw him out 1 He hud indeed told t 
in common comciaalioQ, before three Or four other iadiTidni 
that he did not disnpprore of suicldo under certain diaa 
stances ; and this mnde me Elill more desirous la draw from lu 
a public STUwal to tliat effect; not foi the sake of eiposiii; ii 
to pr^udice, but for the sake of exhibiting infidelity to the pH 
as it now is, in all its horrid features, thereby enabling Ihem I 
be duly en their guard. Thank heaven! I have Huci "■"' 
and now the conmiunity are given to understand, thai Ihi 
leader of the day does Dot disapprove of self-murder, i 
considered, but only a9 nrctiiiataiti.es may happen to rendet i 
inexpedient— just what might be expected from nm »h 
believes in no future retribution. This doctrine annihitlUl 
moral obli^tion at once, and all sense of moral evil. Ai' 
though he has accompanied his admieiiian with many modiSo 
lions, it involves a sentiment truly diabolical, and one wlw 
takes a wider range than at first sight meets the tye. Eta, 
man knows his own sorrows better than another; and if ft 
taking of one's own life, at any tale, were to he comadoti 
allowable, he would be his own judge, whether his snffinil| 
were sufflcienl to justify him in the conunis^on of the Iw 
deed, He might very easily atgue himself into the beUtC OH 
it would be a greatfr evii lo him to live, than it would b* M 
others a benefit. Seeing that many widows and orphasl M 
along very welt in the world, he would naturally coneludb tul 
his own might do the same. And should he deem his lib V^^ 
burthensome lo be endured, and suicide no intrinuc crim 
quickly indeed would the ties of •conjugality an 
be simdered, and the purple stream be made to uow. ado, i 
deed, if at death it will bo all the same with the pinte, t 
murderer, the self-murderer, and the lirtuons men ; nviea M 
crime are of so little consequence ; it makes but little di 
what men do. And especially, if the taking of life, iiUl 
eonudered, is not wrong, the heathen do aeli in destroying Ihrit 
deformed and sickly infants and decrepid old people, and tkU 
ridding aociety of ita burthensome members. And now, lir, Ai 
not erade this question, but have the moial eoucage lo aMW 
it, for it has a concern with our discussion : Do tUe betthcB < 
well or ill in tliua relieving Ihemselvea of Uieir barthent 
utility la the test, most assuredly sueh a stale of things wolM! 
righL If murder, in itself considered, is not wrong, the fMll 
such cases would vastly oveib stance the evil- Tlus is Mti 




AUTItEfiTlCITY OF TUB BIBLE. 127 

of (hal whkh Blotis and mTaiiabljr abolisLea the aame. One 
word before I quit this poiul, and that is, that it must be obvioul 
t« all, that the foregoing sentiment relative to the talcing of life, 
must tend greatly to proraoto murder as well as Buicidp, making, 
as it dooB, the killing of a mati and a beast intrinsicall; the 
lame. And, to be surf, why not inlrinaically the eame, if man 
has no Eoul I 

Tbe hesTen which my opponent would choose, ia precisely 
what might be eipected from the depraved heart of man, viz., a 
■enwial one. And his Gods, too, he would have correspond 
with his heaven — ^Gods possessed of " human liailtics and liumnn 



Yes, he would really prefer the darkness of old heathenism, 
to the glorious iight of Chrialianity — the paltry, grovellinp, 
wallowing aenauality of a mythological Elysium, to tiie purity 
and holiness of heavcQ — the infamous Gods of the heathen, la 
the ndorable and infiuile creator. Who could believe, Itiat on 
individual could be found Ik all Christendom that would advance 
8 sentjcaent like this ? And how evident it is, that a man 
posaesaed of such feelings with regard to iLe spiritual worid, 
must be eternally excluded from the kingdom of God Ihim 
incapacity to participate in its sacred cnjoymeuts, if for no other 

We see nothing as yet of the passage of Scripture whicli says, 
that Muses wrote an accoimt of his own death, nor of thai 
which says the Bible was lost and fuitnd. Neither have we yet 
been shown what branch of modem knowledge proves witch- 
craft to be impoaaible. Indeed, my opponent acems in a fair 
way tu prove, not only that it is not impossible, hut tliat it once 
actually existed at Salem. All that be has done thus far 
lelatiie to the subject, goes to prove, not to tUtprove, witchcraft. 
And the same may be observed in relation to popish miracles. 

tnstead of directly clearing away the mass of rubbish con- 
tained in my opponent's last letter relative to the interpolations, 
misrepresrntaliunB, and liistorical evidences of the Bible, I shall 
present direct etidenee of the genuinenoss, authenticity, and im- 
cocTupled preservatioti of that book ; in doing which, I shall 
make a few brief extracts from several writers on lioee aabjects, 
na contained ia Watson's Theological Institutes. These ei- 
Iracta I make the ralhor, because much of what is contained 
(herein is mere iiistory, though blended with, argument. I aball 
begin with Watson himself. 

The first step in this inquiry is, to aacertum Ike fr.' ' 



128 AUTHENTICITY OF TUE BIBLE. 

and actions of the leading persons mentioned in Scripture as tiM 
instruments by whom, it is professed, the reyeiations they con- 
tain were made known. 

With respect to these persons, it is not necessary that our 
attention should be directed to more than two, Moses aad 
Christ, — one the reputed agent of the Mosaic, the other the 
author of the Christian Revelation ; because the evidence which 
establishes their existence and actions, and the ]|>eriod of both, 
will also establish all that is stated in the same records as to tha 
Subordinate and succeeding agents. 

" To the existence and the respective antiquity ascribed in the 
scriptures to Moses and Jesus Christ, tJlie foimaers of the Jew- 
ish and Christian religion, many ancient writers give ample tes- 
timony : who, being neither of the Jewish nor Christian religion, 
cannot be suspected of having any design to furnish evidence d 
the truth of either. Among these writers are Manetho, Chere- 
mon, ApoUonius, Lysimachus, Strabo, Justin, Pliny, Tacitm 
Juvenal, Longinus, the Orphic verses, and Diodorus Sicuhia. 
Justin Martyr expressly says, that most of the historians, poet^ 
lawgivers, and philosophers of the Greeks, mention Moses as the 
leader and prince of the Jewish nation. 

" As to Christ, it is only necessary to give the testimony of two 
historians, whose antiquity no one ever thought of disputing. 
Suetonius mentions him by name, and says, that Claudius ex- 
pelled from Rome those who adhered to his cause. TaciiW 
records the progress wliich the Christian religion had made ; 
the violent death its founder had suffered ; that he flourished 
imder the reign of Tiberius ; that Pilate was then procurator of 
Judea; and that the original author of this profession wai 
Christ. Thus not only the real existence of the founder 
of Christianity, but the period in which he lived is exactly 
ascertained from writings, the genuineness of vi^iich has nerer 
been doubted. -^' 

"With respect to the scriptures of the Old Testament, the lin- 
g^agc in which they are written is a strong proof of their an- 
tiquity. Tie Hebrew ceased to be spoken as a living language 
soon after the Babylonish captivity, and the learned agree that 
there was no grammar made for the Hebrew till many agei 
after. The difficulty of a forgery, at any period after the time of 
that captivity, is therefore apparent. Of these books too, there 
was a Greek translation made about two hundred and eighty- 
seven years before the Christian era, and laid up in the Alex- 
andria^ library. 

*' Josfephus gives a catalogue of the sacred books among the 
Jews, jh which he expressly mentions the five books of Moses, 
thirteen of the prophets, four of hymns and moral precepts ; and 
if, as many critics maintain, Ruth was added to Judges, and 
the lamentations of Jeremiah to his prophecies, the number agrees 
with those of the 0\<3l Testament as it is received at the present 
day. 



^P ACTHESTICITY OFIhX BIBLB. 129 

" The SiuDarilans, wlio sepataicd bom tbt Jem, man; tmil- 
Jred reua before tbe birth of Christ, etta befine the BKb;^aB^ 
captirity, halo in Iheir tanfoaie a Poiuteiich, in the Dwin ex- 
actly Bgteeing with the Uebceir; and Ihe pa^D miters before 
cited, n-ilh msny others, speak of Uoiea Dot doI; aa ■ lai^Ter 
Bud B prince, but u the author of books esteemed lacreil hj the 

Theso books could never have been mrreplilioilslj put forth 
ia the name of Mases, as the Ai^iuneitl of Lesue most foil; 
proTes. 

" Could any man, now at this day, inrenl a book of sfalotea 

nation aa ihe only book of slatntea that ever lltEj had knovD > 
As impossible was it for the bo<As uf Hoses (if thn were in. 
Tented in any age after Moses) to have been received for what 
they declared themsetvcs to be, viz.. the Gtatoies and mimicipal 
law of the nation of the Jews : and to hare petsoaded the Jews, 
that they liad owned and acknowledged th^ books, bH along 
frinn the dajs of Hoses, to that day in which they were first in- 
vented; that is, that Ihey had owned Ihem before they had eva 
so much as heard of them. 

" But DOW let us descend Lo the utmost degree of supposition, 
viz. Uiat these things were piaclised before these books of 
Moses were foi^d ; and that tlu»e bo^ks did only impose upon 
Ibe DBtion, in making them beliere ihat thej had kept these ob- 
servances in memory of snch and such things as were inserted 
in those books. 

" For example, suppose I shontd now forge tome romantic sloiy 
of Bttange things done a thousand years ago ; and, in confirma- 
tion of this, should endeavour lo persuade the Christian world 
Ihat they hud all along, from that day to llus, kept ihe &rst day 
of Ihe week in memory of such a hero, an ApoUonios, a Barcoa- 
has, or 3 Mahomet ; and faod all been baptized in his name ; 
and sworn by hia name, and npon that very book (which I had 
then tbrgcd, and which they never saw before) in Iheir public 
judicattireg ; that this book was (heir gospel and law, which iboy 
had ever since that time, these thousand jeara post, universally 
teoeired and owned, and none other. I would ask any deiat, 
whether he thinks it possible that such a cheat could pass, ot 
such a legend be received as the gospel of ChnstxiiD» : and that 
Ihey could be made to believe that they never hod any olhei 



gospd? 
lliis 



able reasoning has never been refuted, nor can be ; and 
if the books of the law must have been written by Moses, it is 
u easy to prove, that Moses himself could not in the naturo of 
the thing have deceived the people by an imposture, uid a pre- 
tence of miraculous attestations, in order, likd some later law- 
firvta among the heathens, to bring the people more willindy 
lo submit lo his institutions. The very inslaneea of miracles no 
fires rendered this impossible. "Suppose," aa^ja \\io WiXWi 



r 
I 



> 



I 30 AUIHESTIC1TY OF THE BIBLS. 

writer, "any man should pretend, Ihat yealerday he dirid^ 

Thames, in presence of all ihe people of Lunduii, and can 

the whole city, men, ivomen, and children, ovei to Southva 
on dry land, the waters standing like walls on bolh sides; 
say, it is moinUy impossible that he could persuade the po^ 
of London that this was true, when eieiy man, womar " 
child, could contradict him, and say, that this was a no.—,.^ 
fiilschood, fot that they had not seen Ihe Thames so diTidsi 
nor had gone over on dry land. 

" As to Moses, I suppose it will be allowed mo, that he « 

nothare persuaded six hundred thousand mentbathe hadbliKl|lI 
them out of Egypt, through the Bed Sea ; fed them forty yetr» 
without bread, by miraculous manna, and the other nMUn M 
fact, recorded in his books, if they had not heen true." 

By these arguments, the genuiueness and authentici^ of tb 
books of Moses are established; and as to those of theprnpluM 
which, with some predictions m the writings of Moses, compiJM 
the prophetic branch of the evidence of the divine authori^ cf 
Hie rerelations they contain, it can be proved, both from JeiiiA 
tradition, the list of Joaephua, the Greek translation, and ftoB 
their being quoted hy ancient writers, that they esilted muf 
ages bcfoie several of those events occurred. 

We have seen the manner in which these mloa are apj^fd. 
to the books of Moses. The author thus applies them le Ibt 
Gospel : 

" Baplism and the Lord's Supper were instituted Mpeipelul 
memoriala of these thinp ; and they were not instituted in aOc^ 
nges, but at tho very time when these things were said lo bt 
dune ; and have been observed without interruption, ia all lie* 
ihroQgh the whole Chrisitan world, down all the way ftom iSit 
lime to this. And Christ liimself did ordain apostles and other 
ministers of his gospel, to preach and administer the uat- 
ments, and to garem hia church, and Ihat always, even untotb 
end of tho world. Accordingly, they have continued by regilD' 
succession to thia day, and no douht, ever shall, while the Mrlh 
shall last. So thai the Christian clergy are as notorious a nit- 
ler of fact, as tJie tribe of Levi among the Jews. 

" The truth of the Gospel history (independent of the qoMtiiin 
of tho inspiration of the eacred writers) rests upon the suw 
basis with the truth of other ancient books, and its prtimM* 
arc lo be impariially eiatnined by the same rules by which ■« 
judge of Ihe credibility of all other liistorical monumenb. ApJ 
if we compare the merit of the sacred writers, as hiiloriaii, with 
that of other writcrB, we shall be convinced that they are inferint 
to none who ever wrote, either with regard to iwnitofjf i^f^ 
mm, aequa'rilaitce teilh/aclt, candour tf mind, and reterctajlt 
tnHh" 

No public contradiction of thia history was ever put foiia Ij 
the Jewish mlers to slop the progress of a hatefiil religion, 
though Ihcy had every motive to contradict it, bolh in jostika- 



AUTIIKNTIOITY of the nlBLE. 131 

(i*f themselves, wh 
" Just One," an 

K of the spreading dt 

Wo bore alreiidy q'loldd the lestimunica ofTacitus and Suet- 
JSm to the existence of Jesua Chiist, the founder of the Cliris- 
tUn roligiuD, and of hia crucifixion in the reign of Tiberius, and 
during tha pracuralflrship of Pontim Pilate, the time in which 
Ihe ETnogelisla place tLat event. Other references to heathen 
nuthore, who iuuidentnUy allude to Christ, his religion, and fol- 
lowerB, might be given ; such as Martial, Juvenal, Epicletus, 
Trajan, the yoonger Pltny, Adrian, Apnieius, Lucian of Samo- 
aala, and others, some of whom abo afforded teatimonica to the 
(leslruclion of Jerusalem, at the time and in the eircumatances 
predicted by our Saviour, and to the antiquity and geiiuineneas 
of the books of the New Testament, But, as it is well observed 
by the leKroed Lardner, in hia " Collection of Jewish and. 
tfealLcn Testimonies," "Among all the testimonies to ChriiCi' i 
anity which we have met with in Ihe first ages, none are mora i 
taluitble and important than (be testitnonies of those leamad 
philosophers who wrote against us; Celsl's in the second cen- 
tury, P0RPHVB.V and lIiERocLES in the third, aud Juliah in the 

Tlie historical evidence of the antiqaity and genninenesa of 
Ihe boolcd ascribed to Moses, and those which contain the history 
of Chiisl and the GstabliahnieDt of his religion, bein^ thus con. 
plete, (lie integrity of the copies at present received is the point 
next in question. 

With respect to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the list 
of Josepkus, the Scptuagint translation, and the Samuiitan Pen- 
tateuch, are sufficient proofs that the books which are received 
by us Hs sacred, are the same as those received by the Jews and 
Samaritans long before the Christian era. For the New Testa- 
ment, besides Oie quotations from almoM all the books now in- 
daded in that volomc and referencea to them by name in the 
eatlieat Cbriatian writers, catalogues of authentic scriptures were 
published at very early periods, which, says Dr. Faley, " though 
numerous, and made in countries at a wide distance liom one 
another, diBtn- very little, differ in nothing material, and all con- 
tain the four Gospels. 

" Farther, at certain slated seasons, the law was publicly read 
before all the people of Israel ; and it was appointed to be kept 
in Ihe ark, for a constant memorial against tliose who trans- 
gressed it. Their king was required to uiriK him a copy qf thii 
law in a book, out q/ that which was fi^ofe t/io priesit, the Lf- 
vil£», end to read therein all rfta days of Ais Ufei their priests also 
were commanded to teach the children qf Israel ail the statuti^ 
Itkich the Lord had apoiea to thtai by lite hand of Moses; and 

rwere charged, not only to make it famihar to themselves, 
to teach it diligently to their children ; besides which, a 
prohibition was annexed, ag^at either nraka\% ^.-a-j 



r 



I 



132 AUTHEBTICITT OP THE BIBLE. 

addition to, ot dimiimtion irom, the Inw. Now, Bach pieixflt 
&a these could not have been given by an imposWr who mt 
udding to it, and wlio would wish men to fo^et rallier OM 
eiyuiu them to lemember it; for, aa all the people vere obliged 
to know and observe the law under aerere ponallies, they wsf^i 
in a manner, the (imslees and guardians of the law, as w~" " 
Ihe priests and Levites. The people, who were lo teach _.... 
children, muat haye had copies of it ; the pricats and Letilw 
must liaie had copies of it ; and the magistratcB must hiTS iti 
copies of it, as being the law of the land. Farther, aAitlto 
people were divided into two kingdoms, both the people oTIitUl 
and those of Judah Etill retained the Bame book of lite law: ud 
the rivalry or enmity that subsisted between the two kingdooii 
prevented either of them from altering or adding to the law. 

" Lastly, the Offreemenl qf aU the maauscripla of the OU 
Testament (amounting to nearly eleven hundred and flfly)«liutl' 
are known to be estant, is a clear proof of its uncormpled p» 



' Although the vanous readings, whiuh have been disoonBJ 
by learned men, who have applied themselves to tJie coUeettWi 
of every known mrmuscript of the Hebrew scriptiiraa, HUMlt' 
to many thousands, yet these diderenees are of so lilUa vVif 
moment, that theit laborious collaliona afford us scarcely in 
opportunities of correcting the sacred text in important pouag* 

" EiiusUy BatisfBctoty u the evidGDco for tbe integrity tA 
uneurruptnoas of the Now Testament In any thing maleriaL 
The testimonica adduced in the preceding section in baialf tf 
Ihe genuineness and auUienticity of the New TcBtomcnt *i«, in 
a great measure, applicable to show that it has been tTansmilted 
to us entire and uncormpled. But, to be more particnUi, VI 
remark, that (he uncomipted preservation of lie books of iJtt 
New Testament is manifest 

" First. Fmm ihnr cmlenli ; for, so early as llie two finlcts- 
tnriea of the Christian era, we find the very some fadi and Ikt 
very same doclrinn universally received by CbrisliaJtl, whid W 
of the present day beliere on the credit of the New Tf ' 

" " " " ---''rml corruplion of Ika 

i Ivstige of juc/t a eot..^-.^ — 
3l be corrupted during the iifc o( 
ineirauiDDia; ana oeiore meu' aeath, copies were diapCTsed unou 
the different communities of Christians, who were sc«n<nt 
ihroQgbout the then known world. Witliin twenty yean ate 
the ascension, churches were formed in Ibo principal ciliai of IM 
Roman empire ^ and in all tlicso churches, the booki of t^ 
New Testament especially Iho four Gospels, were read u a-pnt 
of their public worahip, just as the writings of Hoaet ui Al 
prophets were read in the Jewish synagogues, NorwOBldli*' 
use of them be confined to public worship ; foe these books win. 
not, like the SybiUino Oracles, locked up from the vvnuH af 
Ihe public, but were ex'^oaed to yublic investigation. wbUtfV 



AUTHENTICITY OF TliE BIHLE. 133 

controyer^et, Iherefore, arose among diffeient Becis (and the 
chiurch was very early rani willi floree contentlona on doctrinal 
pointfl,) the Scriptures of the New Testament were received 
and «.ppealed lo by every one of them, as being contlusive in all 
nialters of conlroTBrsy. 

" Third. From tic agrcemtni of all Ha maimieripta. The 
lAiXyfAnuaiKf rarions leadings wMch lire said to be fomid in 
Ihc mamiscripta collated by Dr. Mill, and the hmtdnd and Jlfty 
t&ouitiHd which Giicabaflt's edition is said to contain, in no 
dep-ee whatever affect Iho general credit and integrity of the 
leit. 

" Fourth. The last testimony to be adduced for the integrity 
aud unconuptnesa of the New Tealament, is furnished by tile 
ayretmtnt of the ancieal veriiom and quotations from ii, vihicA are 
made in lit tBriliiigt of Uie Cftrishorw if fhe first three centurieg, 
anil in (hoae of the mccceditig fathers of the E/ntrch." — RomCi 

How inaigniflcant, how contemptible do all the canllings of 
scepticism appear, relative to the numerous manuBcripts, the 
vanous readmgs, the interpolations, the alttratlons, and the 
mislraiislBtions of the Bible, cotnpared witli such leasoniiig, 
such evidenco as this. 

One point more I will bring into view, with which I will 
dose th^ letter ; which point is, the rapid spread of Christianity 
during the firBt ihcee centuries, and its glorious triumph over 
paganiam, with all its Elysian fields, its human, deities, its 
oracles and prodigies, its pomp and power. Here again I shall 
make further extracts. 

" The fact to be accounted for is, that the first preachers of 
tlie gv^>el, ihough unaupported by human power, and uncom- 
mcnded by philosophic wisdom, and ercn in opposition to both, 
succeeded tn effectmg a revolution in the opinions and mamiera 
of a preat poitinu of the civiliied worldt to wbicli there is no 
parallel in the history of mankind.* 

Tacitus, about A.D. 62, speaking nf Cliristianily, says, — 
■' This pernicious superstition, Ihough checked for a while, broke 
out again, and spread not only over Judea, but reached the city 
of Rome also. At first, they only were apprehended who con- 
fessed themsetves to be of that sect ; afterward, a vaai multitude 
were discovered and cruelly punished." Pliny, the governor of 

* The iikccf H of Maham^ tboiigh sometiiae? pnah^ forward u a pajAl' 

.» i_ •_ *.-- t-.t — ^ .t ^Qg empTojed and Uit H^ct produced, a per- 

conquoft and cDmpulii^Dii i ll» eFeet wai to 
Ji, the lutunil pBulons of men lor phmder 
it Burtly uguee cither a very ftiul jndgment. 

Mod veic perEOitded, wttn Qify 
AmbUm impostor to Ihn hope of 




I 



134 AUTIIEHTICITY OF THE B 

I'ontos and Bithynia, near eighty yeiura aller ihc death of Cbn 
in his well-known leltet tu Tr.viitn, observes—" The eon' — "^~ 
of this Buperstition hn^ not only invaded cities, but the S 
towns also, and tho whole L'ountry." He spoaks I 
temples having been "almost fonaken." To the 
the Christian fathers speak. About A.D. 140, JuElin Ik 
writes — " There ia not a nation, Greek or barbarian, Oi 
other name, even of those vho wander in tribes, andU 
tents, among whom prayers and thanlcsgivii 
llie father and creator of the universe 
crucified Jcsns." In A.D. 190, TErtullian, in hU Apo 
appeals to the Roman governors — "Wc were but of THtO 
and we have filled your cities and towns ; Ilie camp, the sa 
and the forum." In A.D. 220, Origen says — " By the | 
providence of God, the Christian religion has so flonrished 
increased, that it is now preached freely, and without molt 

But the great ract is, that in (he year 300. aritttmitg Am 
Utt atablithsd religion of lie Roman empire, and papaiiitm 
aboliahed : and it follows &om this event, that iLe nli 
which thus became triamphant aiter unparalleled triala 
iufferings, must have established it^lf, previously to ita ts 
ing (he sanction of the state, in the belief of a gre<t inqln^ 
of the one hundred and laeiittf milliom of people suppoted la b 

containGd in tlie empire, or no eniieiOT vuuld hare been inn 
onougb to make the attempt to change the religion of so vial 
■tate, nor, had be made it, could he have succeeded, 

The increase of Christians implied even more tlian mitMh 
such was the holy ehsraelcr of the majority, during the rd 
tinuance of the reproach and persecutions which fbUowed ( 
Ohrisliao name ; Huch the patience with which (hey suIRh 
and (he fordludc wiUi which they died; that tbe inJhtoM 
(lOiJ upon their hearts is as manifest in tbe new and hallo* 
rharacter which distinguished them, and the meek, fbr^lfl 
and passive virtaea which they exhibited, to the aslonishinOBl 
the heathen, as bispoaer in the miracles by which theii ttloltiiM 
was first drawn to examine that truth which they afterwaid te- 
lieved and held fast to death. 

To give the preceding view of the spread and triumph 
tianity its full weight, and to show that it mutFt have *" 
pagated by snpematural means, let us consider tbe ~~~ 



■low progress made by modem missionaries (possBsaed 
miraculous powers,) in l/ieir attempts 1o spread it in h 
lands in our own day. If this consideration is not snffidcsl ' 
break down the obstinacy of scepticism, one resort more teoHH 
which I know iconld do it. Here are the human nl*, ll 
greater part of whom are to this day involved in the darkae* 
a moral midnight, practising the moat stupid idolatry, poUale 
with the most illthy abominations, and crimsoned with the ma 
murderouB rites. Suffning humauity stretches forth her bsnA 




r 



iCTilENTJC) 



P THE BIBLE. 



on wbo aie more enlightened in iKesa respei^U, imploring 
compisaion and Jcuidly interposition. Where now are 

Iwelxe seeptifs, to go forth and achieTe the mighty moral 
icipatioD so confessedly needed ? Assuredly, amODF! men so 
hI, benevolent, and enlightened, as sceptics ore, a fan ought 

found ready to embark in so osetiil, so necessary, so mo- 
,ouB, ftu enterprize. Come forth, then, ye npoalles of 
elity, ye Carliles, ye Taylors, ye Wrights, and ye Owens, 
prove to maukind your genuine dcvotioo to their real good, 
bandooing the bosotn of civilized society, tiaTorsing moun- 
ond deserts, wearied, cold, and hmiBry, suffering erery 
■tion, btaviiig erery danger, enduring every indignity, and 
Being your ease, your health, and all temporal conaiderB' 

whaterer, even that of life itself, for the umelioralion of 
condition of the pagan world. And when ye shall have 
ied the for distant regions of the East, adopt ye precisely 

a course as ye youiselTes say was adopted in spreading 
Btianity. And if, ere you shall have grown grey, yo slrilra 
□tacle dumb, or dethrone one heathen divinity ; if ye check 
TUBhing wheels of a Juggernaut, and oxtinguish the hlat- 
imeral pile of the aelf-immolaling widow, and civilize and 
klize your fellow beings : Ihen would you give loss dubious 
ence of your philanthropy than do ye now in slicking to 

chimney comers, and calumniating those already engaged 
JB baEevoIcnlBnterpriaa;* and would likewise do more lo- 
ts lie overthrow of the Bible, than by merely cavilling 
nst it to all eternity. Go then, if 'tis so eafiy a nialtor to 
gform a pagan Roman empire into a Cliristian state, and 
onslrato this to mankind. On with your sandals ; away witti 
; superlluous garments; purse or scrip take ye none; and thiu 
mtied, hie ye to the " celatial empiio." There preach in ■ 
ign. tongue withont its acquisition. There display your won- 
IB works, and utter your predictions. Then should 

easily Iho old pagodas would be demolished, and snpe 



135 ^^^ 

iloring I 



.way. 



ObIOEN BlCHI 



Inif the diTine ii^unclion, to gt 

aprfteod, tbe Isitlcr do aot pi 
ty go and prcuti tt thcm^l 



136 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLfi. 

TO ORIGEN BACHELER. 

LETTER TX. 

October 8, 1831. 

I proposed, in this letter, to speak of the argument which 
is deduced from prophecy.* 

In every age and in every nation there have men been foond 
who thought it their interest first to excite, and then to gniaij, 
the credulity of ignorance. Ancient and modem history, pro&ae 
as well as sacred, is filled with stories of soothsayers, oncleik 
predictions, presentiments, and all the et cetera of prophetk 
pretension. 

In looking, however, a little more closely at the subject, m 
shall not fail to remark how commonly it happens, that pro- 
phecies are so ambiguously worded, that the prophet's infallib^ 
is safe, whatever may chance. I need hardly cite to yon, ii 
illustration, the well known answer of the Delphic oracle to King 
Pyrrhus, when he -wished to aid the Tarentines against Ae 
Romans, and desired to be informed what would be the issue of 
his projected expedition : 

" Credo te, ^acida, Bomanos vincere posse ;**+ 

or. that to Croesus, King of Lydia, 

xpoLffOQ ^A\vv diaOaQf jjieyaXtjv apxw ^taXvtrn.X 

But you will tell me, perhaps, that though this apply to the 
Delpliic, it will not apply to the Bible oracles ; these latter 
being always clear and unequivocal. Let us see ; and, as a 
specimen, let us select the only prophecy you adduced in yotur 
eighth letter — the most famous one, probably, in the Bible— that 
of Isaiah, regarding the miraculous conception. 

• As in the case of miracles, so here also, it is no easy matter to decide 
-what is (supernatural) prophecy. When I see a man drink daily a quart of 
rum, I may predict with safety that his life will be short ; yet shall I not, 
when the prediction is verified, be entitled to a place amongp prophets. There 
are men who see more clearly ahead than their fellows, and who predict 
what others think unlikely, but which, nevertheless, comes to pass. In one 
sense, these men may be called prophets. 

But this objection I wave, and shall take it for granted, for the sake of ar- 
gument, that we can always decide what f* ^an can and what he canDot 
(unaided by supernatural power,) predict. 

+ The translation reads either, •* / believe that thou wilt conquer the Bo- 
mans" or " that the Romans will conquer thee." Pyrrhus adopted the for- 
mer version ; and, when he lost his life, the oracle rescued its infalUbility by 
explaining, that he ought to have adopted the latter. 

X "If Croesus pass over the Halys, he will destroy a great empire." Tt^ 

emjjirc was his own. 



Ahthbhticity o 



THE B 



aLE. 



1.17 



The prophecy {as lecoided, cbnp. vii. of Isniah,) is on tlil.-t 
vim. King AL&z is attacked by two atlicr kings, Roiiin nnd 
I'ekah. Isninh, by God's diTeclian, comforts Aliuz, by titling 
him that they shall not prevail against him. God bids Abaz ask 
a sign in confirmation of this prophecy. Ahai declining, God 
saj-s he wiU give him a sign ; (ver. 14, la, 16.) 

" Behold, a virgin ehall conceive and bear a son, and shall 
call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that 
he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For 
befitre Ike child s/mU kitaur to reflise l/ia ecil, and chooie the goad, 
tAa land thai <Aou abhorrest thall be Jortaken of both /ler ktnffs." • 

Now what, in the came of common sense, has this to do with 
the coming of Christ T Were Pekah and Bezin killed " before 
Cbiist knew how to lefuee the evil and choose tho good ?" Is it 
not the tery essence of childishness to argne that Christ could be 
Ihe virgin-born, jbAo tuas to be a sign to Ahai, is&ise enemiea, God 
aald, ihould paiah era the child ubi old enoagh to kanw good front 
evil t Theologians are laughing at us, when they place among 
the contents, at lie head of the seventh chapter of Isaiah, 
" Chrat promised." 

But now, aupjiosB Ihia were a passage such as common sanso 
might construe mto a prediction that a Christ, bringing pea(« 
and happiness on eartli, should come. There is a mach more 
distinct prophecy of his coming in Virgil ; and you wUl not 
argue, I think, that Virgit is among the prophets : 
6 inlegro lechrm 




133 ATTTHESTrcirr of tbk bible. 

(hen, be a prophet, hnw n 

lo believe in the inspiialion of both, and to s 

lifnccforth bound up in the Bible ! 

But other Bible prophecies, you may perliiips still atgw, M 
mora ancquiTDCB.lly 'worded than Isajnli'a. True; Iliat mf 
lemaikable one imputed by Mark (chap zri., Tcr. 15, Ac..) i 
JesuB : " Go ye unto all the worliC and preach the gosga W 
eveiy creature. He that belieTeth and is baptized ab^ bl 
saved, but he that bslieveth not shall be danmEd. Jud&ai 
tigra shall jbttom them that believe : in my name shall theTCW 
out devils ; they shall speak vtth netv tongues ; (hey sbw tlk' 
up serpents, and if Ihey drink any deadly thing, it shall tNtbu 
them ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recona.' 

Here, 1 admit, is a clear, distinct prophecy. We are loli 

tlainly haw believers shall henceforth be distinguished from m 
elievcia. The Giithful, it is foretold, shall be known by Uua 
aigns ; rattlesnakes shall not bite them ; arsenic shall not poiM 
them ; the sick shall recover under their bands. All this li fid 
imd oponJ One trifling circumstance remains to be considtwd 
tehether me Jmd ihia prophecy fuffiUed. Fortunately ve 



ea«ly discover. In our dayg, as In the aposUes,* that ■ 

" '"iiMe that believe and are baptized." Do these signa fbllo 

m! Do they lake up the spotted mockeson, or the d( 



I 



ccpperhead, with impunity ? Can they drain the hemlock U . 
yet escape the fate uf Socrates ? Do they aupcisede Ihe meJitil' 
proCcsstan by tho laying on of Lands?* 

Answer ine. Are these things so 7 You know ihey ue H 
Yon know l3utt the poison of the death-hcib and (he TenoB i 
the reptile ceacii the life of him who believes as of himlrf 
believes not ; and that death is afrested as little by the bnd i 
piety as of scepticism. Yuu know Ihat not a word of 1UA% 
prnphety la ftilfilled. And yet you persist in the asscitiaii, ""' ' 
writer thus glaringly convicted of falsehood, is inspired I 

But it was tn tlie cariy asea of the church, I think I ttfv jn 
itrgwci that this prophecy alono applied. And who, I pray !«■ 
so restricts it. Origen Bachcler may; Mark docs not. YtHi*iIl 
excuse my preferruig the latter, and taking ihe passage, "'I'' 
tBritten, nilhout any reservation whatever as to lime; the sm 
eaperially as Matthew, in the corresponding passage, rocordl ^ 
words: "Lol I am with yon always, mm onto IhtMdif^ 

This "end of the world," it is true, was cot imagined by 4» 
evangelists lo bo at the distance of two ihonaand yeare. Mnlli«* 
makes Jeans declare ; " Immediately afler the tribulation of llW 
days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give b* 
tight, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powtn of lb* 
heavens shall be shaken. And then there shall appear the lift ■■ 

* Tb[i LTfrmupnt vns flnt hrnCLchpd, 1 buUcre, by Ethuk ASm, Uui rti*]l' 



AUTHENTICETV OF THE BIBLE. 139 

the Son of man m licaTcn ; and Uicn aiiall oil the tiibcs of tlw 
earth moura, and they shall ace the Son of man coming in ihe 
rJouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send 
his angela with b ^at sound of a trumpet, and they ahall gather 
li>gBthcr the elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven la 
the other." "Verily, liay aalo yiru, r 



This is aa plain as a prophecy can be. It lelU ua, in dialinct 
detail, t!iat the end of the world and the da; of judgment should 
came, before the generation in which Matthew wrote should pass 
tway. It kta passed, and another, and another ; and yet the sua 
and moon have not been darkened, the atara have not fallen, the 
4Il^ls have not gathered tugelhoi the elect, and the world exists 
still. t Time, then, (that great revealer of tmth) has, dirocliy 
and positively, given (he Ue to the evangelist ; but the evangelist's 
unerring inf^bility is stili defended, aU the same ! 

One appeal to tho childish prejudice of birth I have passed 
aver is siicnce. Fcrmit me now, since a second ia attempted, to 
remind you, that unless we can steer altogether clear of national 
sectarianism, the public will conclude, (and most justly too) that 
we are unworthy to set our names to a grave discussion like this. 
The public feels (however lightly we may estimate its discern- 
ment) that he only merits respect as a controversialist who feels 
uid writoa m a. ciliien of the wiitid. Wcie I, foi imtance, to 
waste our readers' time in an attempt to prove the truism, that 
if merit there be in American citizenship, it belongs to him who 
owes his rank as a republican to a deliberate act of selection, 
and not to a mere accident of birth — -were I, I say, to louoh upon 
any thing so irrelevant and ao personal as this, every man of 
sense Wuuld strongly feel that the episode was highly indecorous 
—just Bs indecorous as were, on my opponent's part, an implied 
assectiDn, that no one bom on the eastern side of the Atlantto 
mii^t speak of the country of his adoption, or express an opinion 
legardicg her great men. But too much of this. 

For every thing I have said regarding Washington I haoe giotn 
w aiUhoriti/. It ia not you, it is our readers, who are the judges 

tt that authority is worth. The records of American history 

Mriy Chriitian}. as in dutj and CDneLiltncj hound, bolietrf 31, Mu. 
In the piimltivo cbnrcb.^' says Gibbon, (vol. i., chop, ii., of Jiii 
-uvDoniT and fall,") " the infliienoc of truth wbs tery portcrfaliy- atnrnglh- 
cncd bj an oj^ion, which, however it may deseire respect for its luefajn^i 
mid Illt]q1lit7. hBfl not been fannd a^eable to eiperienae. It iru univBraallv 
InlHiTCd that the end of ttia wocld and the kingdam of heaien '•eie H band. 

The Tuinnfl learned eoDUnctiCdtoni, when, in Bpite of St. Mallhew, Ui«]r 
bund Che weiid atlU pataEsdng In exlBt. havQ been hard pushed to defend thv 
tvangeiiat. Eraamue enlieled In his defence Ihe aid of aUu^^nr)' and meta- 

peoBtttog anj portion of Bcripture lo be atlegnriaed BWay,! chow rottuT to 
uninuate tbiU, far wiHv nurpMBB, the pious decepHoB vrai \Kra*M*4- 'JO VaSt.* 
fitcc—^'C CiUon, roL L, Dole 60 oichap. xv. 



140 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

fiimish no name that carries with it greater weight than that of 
Thomas Jefferson ; and though you may not happen to know this, 
it is not the less true on that account. When I spoke of Wash- 
ington's death-bed, I had the account written by an eye-toitnesi 
lying before me. And most strongly does that account corFoborate 
my opinion that Washington's religion was of the most liberal 
stamp. No clergymen around his death-bed. No protestatiom 
that in the dying hour religion afforded him aid. No praying. 
No repeating texts. No asking for a Bible to read a chapter. 
Not a syllable about the redeeming blood of Christ, or the saTiiig 
efficacy of divine grace, or any of the rest of it. Not even a straw 
for the orthodox to catch at and work up in tract form, as "The 
Dying Testimony of that distinguished Christian, George Washiof- 
ton.** True, the father of his country died the death of a patriot; 
he died as he had lived, in dignity and peace ; but he left behind 
him not one word to warrant the belief that he was other than a 
sincere deist. Not one sentence you have quoted proves any 
thing more. Elias Hicks, too, spoke of the " divine author of 
our blessed religion ;*** he, too, prayed and read from the 
Bible ; he, too, spoke of " the pure and benign light of revela- 
tion ;'* he, too, regularly attended public worship ; and he, too, 
was a man whose integrity was proverbial. What shadow, (rf a 
reason have we for believing that the religion of the Hero of 
Moimt Vernon was more orthodox than that of the philosopher of 
Long Island ? Yet the one you claim for an orthodox Christian ; 
and to the other you almost refuse the title of a deist. 

I am amused by the way you dispose of John Adams and 
Benjamin Franklin. The former, you think, was religious "w^hcn 
young and sceptical when old, the latter sceptical when young 
and religious when old. Of Adams, therefore, you say, that he 
was a sceptic only in his dotage, and of Franklin, that he was a 
sceptic only in his inexperienced youth. 'Twould be no easv 
matter to find a case which might not be got over by special plead- 
ing like this. 

Your attempt to prove Franklin's orthodoxy by an epitaph' 
which seems to me more like a witty old printer's joke than a 
serious outpouring of piety, may be met by numerous quotations 
from his own writings. I have only room to adduce one as a 
specimen. It relates to the celebrated Methodist preacher, Whit- 
field, and shows clearly enough by what principles Franklin was 
influenced, when he showed favour to religion or kindness to reli- 
gionists : 

** Upon one of Whitfield's arrivals from England, at Boston, he 
■wrote to me that he should come soon to Philadelphia, but knew 
not where he should lodge when there, as he understood his old 



• You assert, in commenting on this phrase, that Washington spoke of tl.o 
p.uthor of the Scriptures as dinne. Pray adduce the passage that supports 
tJjis. Not one that you quoted does; xiox do I believe Uiat euch a passage cvi 
be found in Washington a "vmlVnga. 



r 



AVTIIEMICITY Ot THE BIBLE. i4t 

Friend and b»sl, Mr. Benezel, was removed to GennantoiTl]. My 
auswei VBE, ' Ynu know my house ; if you can make ehiil with 
its Bcanty aecommodstions, you will be most heartily weleome." 
Ue replied that if I made that offer for Chjist'a sake: I should not 
mis of a reward. Audi relumed : ' Don't let mc be miatakeu i 
it was not for Chtiat'ti sake, hut for your sake.' One uf our com- 
mon acquaintance jocosely remarked, that, knoviiig it ta be tlio 
nislom ol the sainta, when they received any favour, tii shift the 
borthen of the obliga^on from oS their own Moulders and place it 
in heaven, I had contrived to fix it on earth."* 

If you can persuade the public that a man wlio could write 
thus was on orthodox Chrisliaii, you will deserve credit for coa- 
eiderable ingenui^. 

You must permit me In doubt the anecdote of Elhan Allen, 
until you produce some better hiHtoiical evidence than a quotation 
from the New York Observer; the more especially as ie story 
has H good deal the air of a. made up one. 

But sufficient of individuals, the best and wisest of whom have 
had their abare of error. Instead, therefore, of tuilhcr discusang 
the private opinions of disringuisbcd democrats, let us turn to the 
book itself for evidence who thar legitimacy does or does not obtain 
support &Dm religion. 

Id Paul's epiatle to the Bomans, (he thiiteenlh chapter, at the 

"""tseiWe read: "Let every soul be subject to the higher 
. ; for lliere is no power but of God ; the powers that be are 
led of God. Whosoever, therefore, resiateth the power, re- 
I Ihe ordinance of Godj and they that resist slutll receive la 

I know not what the private opinions of those sturdy patriola 
««re, who, in the old Philadelphia State House, appended their 
sigMlUres lo the immortal dociuncnt. But this I do know, that 
when they did so, it was in detiuicc of the Bible ; it Wfts iu direct 
violation of the law of the New Testament. This I know, that, 
if deity be the author of the Christian acriptures, the signers of the 
declaration resisted the law, not of the King of England only, but 
otUie Godofheaven. 

Needs it to remind you how emphaticaLy the text quoted sup- 
' I conclusions una drawn? "Tliere is no power but of 
The power of George III., then, was of God. " He that 
Leth (be power rc^tcth the ordinance of God." The great 
the fourth of July, llieii, was a bssistinq of qdd'b otiDl- 
Jefferson, Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock, and 
Ihe KSl,Jought agamtt God, George Washington led on his 
— ag^ist Ood. Every revolutionary blow was directed 
God's anointed ; it was a blow aimed against the 
'loe authority — an act of rebellion, subversive of the ordinances 
"-■■. Ay, let us not veil the truth 1 If a being lelm cannot lie 
lAa Bible, Ihtn George V'aahington and trayioldier wAo 
• iVanWin'i Msmoiri, wiitlea bj tumieU. 



I 



iL'TlIEKTlCITY OF THE DIBLE. 



ft 



irreaislililB. Fur my own part, did 1 baliovo Iho Bible uid 
to reach heaven, I Hhauld l^el ceiUim not lo find one lerolntii 
suldisr there. I should know, Ihut the poor Poles, who an 
pouring their life-blood like water on the altar of their cosntij^ 
independence, shall never see the face of their oDended in»lt"'- 
but ahall sink &om the dark battle-field to llie darker ueai 
everloatLQ^ miaery, there to expiate, by an etcmi^ of lortn 
their reckless impiety in resisting the ordinances of Qod-^ 
bodied in the manifestoca of the EmpciDr Nicholas I 

Whether, in this case, the celealul or (he infeioal r«^oiM 
the preferable place of abode, is a queatton which I abiluD A< 
agilaCing. 

Ill speaking of roiraclea, I have hitherto chiefly turned mi 
marks towards those of the New Teatamunt ; because, if A 
Eiblc miracles can be supposed lo hare a shadoir of tmtli dx 
them, these are they. The vast antiquity, extending Cu bejtl 
the limils ofwrillen history," of (he Jewish books, the ulterd 
scurity which therefore attaclies lo ihem, but, far more llian I 
these, lAeir own interna; ecidence, on which I haTe already 4w( 
— Ike odious immorality, the unexampled cruelty, the ml^^ 
obscenity, and the unintelligible childiahnesH, which ' 
characterize the Old TcEtament pages — all thesa cry out ■ 
even to the dullest eara and hearts, against the fancy that 
deity was Iheii author, that I deem it a work of supeic _ 
to weary our readers with one additional aigument. Bat Sw I 
1 might proceed to teroiud you that no enligblenod — "' 
thinks of denying that there have been, not one ' 
inundations — delugcB if you pleaae — which have 
at v'luiouB periods, various portions of the globe ;t and 1 
aak you what " monamentsl and institutory mcmonal^ lb* 
over," confirm, as you assert they do. the deslrucdon of fl — 
and Gomorrah, the retrogression of the sun, the ditiding et '_ 
Itcd Sea and Jordan, &c.; oi what leading Bible TNwa<W>(l 

imlg mode of preBcnine the laira spoken at is Ihnt I Tunc lUuito** 
miut be Hupposn! Uinl tlien. e* ddiv, the tnott dunblo inllvHl of mNM 
tb«fl vt highly priud docmnentB mjnid be wJcc»d. T«t wv Ig JE rfj 

(U'enitKl iiaUi>iiiU^y loiportfint Dut the muter Ifl immiiteriJiL 

in3iiiie<tepi}fiilB, rosatT tenmlna. ke. But theje ^oologiui pbedsnuH t,^^ 
pruoDi of iiatural Kcaieacei. produced in Uiarreni nod gndiul nhjiMlg 
■ olutloniof llie^o\it. ll,uiiSlE'x>\»Biam«& vioTing imirMukw*** 




Pin .iiiLi. 1 1,1 

the vnlline of the Bible hiiloiy, discoiuiectfiil with its mnrvels, I 
have never denied ; it may be true, it may not ; ) I might ask, I 
say, wlmt leading miiacles of Iho Bible are proved " by ihe annals 
of the human race J" 

But enougliofthe Old Testament. Itia too barelily in diacord- 
ani^e with the compaiatiyely enlightened spirit of this age, to be 
much longer defended cr tuleral^. It is already cost aeidc by 
thousands who still cling to tlie Christian Testament, with its soU- 
ened morality and its more modern and more deeent narrative. 
The Chiiatian miracles form almost eiclosively the substance of 
modern creeds and the foundaiion^tones of modern faiths ; to 
them, then, let US give a httle altuntion, and sea how they com- 
pare with what you call "tho lying wonders of popery." 

1 think it the very height of imprudence in a Bibla apologist 
lo any one single woi'd against catholic evidence, or to breathe 
even a hint that " catholics can get pardoned for a falsehood for 
a veiy smaU earn of money, and gel canonized for decoption in 
the service of their church." It is scarcely three hundred yonra 
since the very name of proteslant tvhs first known.* Look for 
Christianity previons to that time, and whnt do yon And ? 
Catholicism. Ask who, before that era, had Ihe keeping of the 
archives of ChrisliaDily ? Calhohca. To whose honour, throagh 
ceDlories on centuries of mental darkness, were entrusted ^e 
divine manuscripts? To the honoiu' (in your own phrasa,) of 
tho "very Babylon of the Apocalypse." To whose integrity must 
we trust, when we believe in the miginal geauineness and the 
faithful and uncomiptcd transcription, and transmission through, 
fifteen centuries, of the gospel pages ? To the integrity of the 
"very Babylon of the Apocalypse." Who ai'e the sole au&oritiea 
from whom Mosheim and TUlemont draw their eeclesiaatieal 
nanalives, or Jones and Lardner their hialorical prooii of 
Chiistianily ! The bishops and fathers and other distinguished 
sons of this same Apocalyptic Babylon, who. you remind un, 
"could get canonized fbr deception in their service of the church." 
In a word, who have been the theologians, defenders, martyrs, 
lualorians, representatives — and, until three hnndred years ago, 
iLe id/b advocates and representatives — of the Christian religion J 
Catholica. 

Host uidncky, then, was your awertion regarding the small 

degree of credence due to caihoKc testimony. You forgot, that 

a council of catholics, who "could get canonized for deception," 

selected the Scriptures for ua. You forgot, that Hie Christian 

<<i:rch vras, for more than athonsond years, a nonentity, unless 

' 'holy catholic church," of which the pope is the head, bfl 

';^iied Ds EUch. tn short, you forgot, thai in rashly meddling 

li litis stone, you were shaking to its foundations the whole 

. li^lian edifice. 

■ 11 nas fltal emplojeJ, llitUer?, during lie ditt at Bfliti. in ftit -icii 



\ 



I 



H4 IrTHENTIClTT OP THE BIBLE. 

Bo much for your objections to the " lying wonders of popery, 
on the score of the insuffideucy of roeie coUoKb sTidencc. 

My authority for the Fiorentine aiiracle I hare already giw 
youi expreasinj;, at fhB same timE, my surprise, that a bavelll 
who displays li^ughout liis work ao much taste and learning I 
Mr. Fotayth, should hnvc been dcceiTed by its (Rpporenl 
evidences. 

You ask for more Boliafectory evidence of the J.-. 
niiDCle of the speakeis vithout (ungues. I have alieadjdl 
to you the particular work, volume, and page, in which Vid 
writes aa 1 quoted for yoiu 1 have pren you a coltaUi 
authority, namely, the French ecclesiBStiDal historian SuitK 
adducing, also, volume and page. The passage I died &« 
£neas of Gaza, was &Dm nia well known Dialogue n ll 
Immortality of the Soul, the authenticity of which hu nns 
been disputed, any more than that of Victor's works, of idiilA • 
complete edition was published, in 1696, by Pitiscas. And }M 
are still dissatisticd ! You still want, perhaps, soms " 
mental or institutory memorial." This, too, you can 
The emperor Jubtinian himself acknowledged and refentd 1^ 
the miracle in a pajtelaal edict, still eilanl." Besides this, lb* 
historian ProcopLus, of whom it is doubtful whether he vu ft 
Christian or a pagan, mentions the oircumstancefl in his "" 
with the Vaudals and Golha."t I'he pagan Marcellinui ti 

to it in his Clironicic ol the Timesi:^ and Gregor;, raiD 

" The Great," who was sent, at the Ume, by Pope Fdlgia W 

as Nuncio to Constantinople, has left on record hia t c " -"" 

its truth.} 

Tiuae men all lived within about a century. They all l 
to their personal knowledge, or the public notoriety, for the _ . , 
of their narration. Victor invites aU to Zeno'a paloco, MhI Mil 
lengea investigation ; and that auch investigation, thus jnUMf 
challenged, was permitted, appears from the alalenient of MtftT 
If, under all those circumstances, the miracle was not a "matWi 
notoriety," what can be? The books I alluded to were all pol 
lishcd, and open to investigation. That the passages Ut B 
intcrpolationa I cannot take upon me to say; but if they ne. 
shows to what extent, and with what success, these tnnsa^lii 
forgeries were carried on ; and an additional doubt is IfaaS 



racy of llie gospel manuscripts themselves. 
e there must be a flaw somewhere. But 
rvo is, the great difficulty in diseovcriDg it. i 
'n you : Can you furuisb me one tenth aa niach proof 



But «4iillb| 
inl 



gingle Bible miracle as I have given yom 

If yon still adhere to your rules of historical evidencefbii 



• JutHaiaa CMtJ. 


lb, L. lit TvM. 




*PrQn}»ut.dtSiU 


Toiidat., lib, i., op. T<i., p, IM. 




f MarcilUn. in Chrc 


i-.V- 45. \ GTEgor. Magfim. Dialog.ti 


.,» 



oe THE uiuui, 145 

1 do sot see luw you con hcaitute Lcig. Take heed, lest, after 
all, I do Dot seduce yuu youiself into a, belief in this veiy 
"lying wonder of popery," and lempt you W invest wiUl the 
same sanctity St. Matthew and St. Alhannaius. 

You are about to adduce evidence of some genuine modem 
Diiiaclee. Tbia 'm cousisteut. And if you succeed in establishing 
these, then we shall hava somelhing like analogical evidence for 
ancient ones. But, to save trouble, let me beg you to bring far> 
ward nothing in regard to which yen cannot give us name, place, 
dale, and express reference to the confirming witnesses. 

I Lave not liine nor space lo follow up my argument r^arding 
the iniposaibility of human scnsea diBtin^^uiaiiiiig between divine 
and Sntaniu agency. Nor is it necessary. Your argument that 
it it itot to be iuppoaed, that God would allow the devil thus to ape 
Lis power, ia founded on a mere matter of opinion of yours. 
How can you tell what a being, "whose ways are not as our 
ways," is litely to permit or not to permit? He allowed the 
devil, if tbo Bible speak trulli, to oLeat mnn once ; why no* 
then, a thousand times t For my own port, ui regard to a 
earthly concerns, I trust my human senses ; for 1 feel that, i 
such mattcis, tbey are trustworthy ; in regard to immaterialitfea, 
supernatural ageucies, marvellous appearances, and so on, I- 
should distrust ihem, even were apparent piodigiEs acted before 
me. Why 1 Becauso I underrate the value of the evidence of 
uni senscg, that sole origin of all true knowledge F By no meant. 
But because tbeologicai phenomena, if such esist, a"" '"" '"~ 
removed &om our cognizance, and leo completely fore „ 
nature, lo be rationally submitted to earthly testa, or judged by 
the liroited perceptions of humanity. 

That to a disease of the senses, commonly termed haUoEinatic 

ar« to be traced many seemingly miraculous appearances, t 

glitcned physician will deny. In a late literary journal, pub- 

' ~n Ediuburgli, ia an accotmt of such a caae. The pauent, 

' vith an aitack of inflammation on the chest, saw, Dn« 

a chair, at the left side of his bed, a female figure, 

ti he immediately rcct^ized as that of a young lady whu 

'-M two years before. Being loo weak to nse from bed, he 

'-' to touch the figure wilJi a stick, which had been left: 

_ , o knock for the nnise ; but as soon as he placed a real 

m tbe chair, the imaginorv one disappeared^ It re-appeared. 

a several times. " When Le shut Itis eyes or turned ' ' 

. ," saya the narrator, "he ceased to ace the figure ; by ii 

, ing his hand he could hide part of i., and it was ^own, like 

any mere material substance, by llie raya of the fire which fell 

upon and were reflected by it. He never suppoaed it re«l, but 

VB9 unable to account for it on any philosophic^ principles within 

lli g knowledge. He spoke of it as the eflcct of imagination, pro- 

^■beed by the perusal of 'Tales of Wonder,' and otber ^loat 

^^■ties, when a boy." This case occurred in December, 1°"" 

^^B similar cases may be found recorded in miM [^ lioi 

^^^■luoD pfaj'siolo^ and [ffllhuli^. How uua\^\unwf& 'CooJiSa 



r 



I 



146 AXiTHENTICITV OF THE BIBLE. 

E'cal dreBms have had a Bimilnc oiigin, it in impossible to ct 
te. That Ibo escited biains of religioua cuthuansta hsTe 
■risited nili nmny Huch, -we eajinot douhl. 

But thiLt it would load me too fur, I might enlarge on the dv 
nnd mmal eflbcts which auch enthusiasm produces. But, ia 
land of rerirals and camp meetings, the details were EDpetfliu 
The American public need hardly be leiuinded, how (Jten 
convulsionB of conveteion aie succeeded by the ravings of i 
aanily,* or by that moody iDGlanchDly whi<^ seeka in suicidii 
escape from unearthly dreams of horror, too lri|;ht&l tbrmoit 
enduranee-t 

■ In the "Conrier and Enquim'" of this moniins (Seplemba-M). tli 
one of Utosc dailj tranffpiring incidmla. whioh altcu tUi mott b^UMt 

•• On fheeya^g of Ihe eighth lastwUKt.Btifbm UUler oT New Cmn 

midnigtlt Mn. MiUer analia lior hneb^d oa nHauol of a H»K thmilkl 
■iDnn Uien n^s. He sunuiE rrom hi> bed, beian Id prtj, iqdm tU fl 
dsf of Jad^nient was comuig, Ko. He Ihon eciied hii wife Bud oomBOH. 
atnldngrmd failing her BBvcreli; Impresaed, as efar BQppoiM. niltnJlB 
that the dcvlt had tniiaClirmed hinudrintoherHLeness. BFUi«iadw«i 



hei^«r 

vh»t, and poimded their lifi4da withUBtono; Ihrijwing otie, ab^iAoi* 
year old, through a ifindow intn the fwUar. Wh«D the niightooan nlnC 
■ he; fbuDd him atttin^ opnr the window, twin^iaf a tiub I« Imp tha itm, 
ont of thfl cellar. The little girl nua foimd to be qoiu dead; IM bofioa 

"The huaband waa remored to imderin a Judicial Invealigntloa, aal M 
unce been eamBiilted Ibr trial The wile atm Ucs lulTariiis Cron penaa 

"Mr. MlUpT iraa univen^ly toflpected by Ids iwi^boutr ■« an afii|ln 
loan, and kind and oB^tianale loUa family. But oil bii earthly |»uij w i 

" The cauae of this domeilic diealatlon ie Inld in s aingte <nJ[d, lir, ■ 
l?r waa a nligiout rnajiitK, Alxiut two montliB tluee, a ' four Aa^jt' nntt 
waa held in the ebureb to n^cb ha belonn ; and a« is uboal on m^ iNi 
alooa, all the moat fii^tful Imagining of judjrmenr. the devQ, aoilaaB 
leai hen, were brou^t to bear on the weak anCUniid. The impnaiimm 
dueed on Mr. Miller wai llllle Ilkclt to loH ila itrcDgtb in Iht atSMM 
wlildi he breathed ; tor prayer meetingB, eenftrencei, aDxieua "^'^Ha^ ■ 
ware alm»t aa frequent aa the retuminr eveniitf ; and Mr-U'Waaao — ^^ 
atoDt BttenitanL For Bve di;g pretioui to Ibe lavsirt of U* diOteO* 

Bo far the aceeunl, which, fur brevity'! aake, I have tomewbal •M^' 
from the Dri^inaL Had any dein^ ael can f^t and enooura^ed by tamf\ 
led even to one inch horrible cataatrophe, it would have nuc 6oib VJat* 
niniita,uaiiunan>weral>lc proof oflhe-'fi^hlfUIcaaaeqaencei of inadahll' 
k daily paper, I find no ten Ubb/M 



OF TUE BIBLE. 147 

And tliia leida me lo advert once more to llie subject you havo 
so irrelevantly dragged into tliis coDtroreisy, as a. convenient 
scarecrow ; I mean, m; opinion regatding suicide. It is all very 
well, and, of course to be expected, that you should disapprove il ; 
but tile fuss you malce about it, as " B honid feature of infidelity," 
and a "disbolico] sentiment," is altogelhra: out of character. 
Fiisl, il is uo feature o( inJidtUty ; my opinion thereon was formed 
before I was a sceptic, and is the diaiacleristic of no partioukir 
creed : very likely many who agree with me in other thinga would 
int here, and many who dusent from me in other opintoDs 
U agree in this. But secondly, it is samewhat too much In 
UsXiM as a *' diabolical sentiment" Ibat which was cherished 
d approved by the high-souled and liituons, if even mistaken. 
of ancieot Greece ; which has euch names as these of llic 
t Brutus, of the incorruptible Cato, of the self devoting 
; which 1^ been excused o ' " '" ■ ' ■ 




s paiod lo bii eiirtroce Iqi Ui» 

X I 'retiiJ or religion." Tbr 

■wp intfl deep diitrsB in consqfncncc vT faac^iji^ h^v" 

ai br^ A iliDTl Uuu tHfnr bu di4lh, lie iru at wgjlL _ 

. _ . be of pulUl ddintun, *ilica he etcUmed : ^ rrepuo 10 

w itoiT of Ania hu a1wi.p been, fur De. ODe of (he mnt to 
ti in Hnoail hutory. Ba faiubaud. Psto* CeciDiu, a Bomvi * 

' -' '~T "S™* Clandini, ibc accomp—'--* "-■- 

m^ aceradBtun. and ipHmiiiioc 

planned thpdann-inbcTO«Dbr«uA,ud(hFn[vet'at'd it lo hv haEbuad, 
nilhlhememor&kwsnl*; - It i) aot p^nhil. Poba '." 

I aitx. Himettben ritta ■ npj- of bnolilld Knee connneniDialive ot t>o 
Himui malTDa'i eoonge and coutaacy, vf which I iIjU lutictDtKT tin Ihne 




f 



^^ 




^ 


U8 


AL'THENTICITT OP THE BIBLt 


1 


half the 


gtent draroBtuits and poela, ancient sad modein^-ll^l 


Pope,* 


or instanee, by yonr IkyouritB Addiso 
and I know not how many others— it 




Muore,t 




much,! 




yon might C^M 


deranw 


erroneoia, a sentimml snpported by sue 




Mistake 


me not. All tbia U no reason at all w 




nhuuldbe approved, but it is a most excellent 


.vixr^tJiSs 


should n 


[>l be so ontrazeous about it. Nor was 




caused K 


e to ado)<t it. It was tbe stiU, small 


oite of H>U<H|. 


which b 


ds me judge all things by the seyere 


and unbendlq 


standard 


ofutiUty. I enter here into no defence 


of tbe piiK^l 


tliilUao 


t the place for it, I aak you not how, if 

"' It la not painful, Pn*m r— Ay 1 
Bndi words could Artia By, 


nuipaaMim 




Her life's blood rbh wmj : 






ProfoMor of ■ purer eieed. 






Nor .onm. n« yrt condMui <he d«d. 






Whiob provw. unaided from Bho.c, 






Tbe deep reidily of loie 1 






Ages, since then, have sn-epl swiy. 






Tot mu Is woBBn'a lo've aa etrrmf. 












gnu lootbes the mother lad tlie wift 






Her dierishtd ones, 'mid c»ro and strife 






• It ii not p»infnl, PcMus'— sliU 










• Pope' 


"Elenr OD in unfortnuKti Toane' Iddv." 


who. aattilt Wl 


rpdnceS [o oiLBr.w"iii a foreim cduhCtt, 'diid by her ok 


Jls^Jf""* 




1 1 n«J haidl. oile ireni that sweeteal and most 




Ibe folio- 


Jig haiarded lines: 

'■ Oh ever beanlaons, evrr Wendly. leU 
Is it in beaien a oi ims to lore tm well I 

To Ml 1 lovcr't or a KoinUi's part I 
Fut thiiie who nobly live, or hoi'ely die 




4 TTios 
Into the Tl 
Hon-. Ofleb 
hHidBil, 

I 


ory of Eustaie Budfell, a relation of AdiIieoD'g 
amu in Die year nst. Is wtU luinwn. He left 

rated tragedy of Calo, npen at the noblt. Kom 
enriUed on a ellp of paper, the lino i 

Must needs he right " 

* " to^cS™ w'ehSr'SilJS^ 

Hii bonds at flrtt. 
Would pine beneath them iTowly I 
What A)ul. whnae wrongs degrade it, 
° vnum thus ilTwiaK 


^HSS 


L 


At«l«<na,^prin| 
T the Uiroae M \&. -l™ i=»4. W- 


1 



h Uioril 



ADTHESTICITY OP THE BIRLE. 119 

Uio right over his oim lifu, hp can dplejata ilmt right, rs he does 
to the gOTernraent of hia country, when he Bnbacrihes lo a Hocinl 
compect which dccreea among iu punisbmenlfl thnt of death." I 
lea*e all this as an unwarrantable digression.f and turn (o ex- 
amine the arguments quoted by yon in support of Uie Bible 
■alhcnticity, from the most eminent Christian polemics. 

First. Wal^n and Leslie set about proving the existence of 
Moaes tuid Jesus. 1 hiive never denied eilher; hut 1 confess I 
sm surprised to tind the proofs bo scanty.^ 

Secondly. They adduce evidence to prove the authenticity of 
Ihe Old Teatament, What evidence i Here it is, and I espe- 
cially pray our roaderE* attention to it. 

" The Old Testament is very ancient. Witness the language. 
It was translated into Greek 267 s.c. Its books are enumentlcd 
by Josephiia. (Josephua wrote about the year 70 after Christ) 
It oould not have been forged, because it contains the lava and 
customs of the Jews ; and unless Uiese had been tlieir laws and 
Oitsloms, the Jewa could not have been made la receive them as 
Aach. Its mtraules must be true ; for, if not true, Uie whole 
uation, when they were published, would have rtseo up to cnntrs- 
did them." 

Let our readers carefully peruse the extracts you Imve given, 
and say if this be not Ihe lehale proof adduced. 

It -was Cheslcriield, I believe, who said to his son, when about 

ti Filler on public life, " Come, and sea how easily the world is 




ji for thai of the Al 

■ak. but you taken Iba uooblc careftill; u 
PhTriolorv. which Ins lo lirgoly Ulraclml yi 



I, gufideit nidmee ef 



I 



I 



150 

goremed." We mi^t mosL sLrictly npply a Bimilar aentiTDCd 
here, ajid eay, " Read, and see how easily ue iroiid is daped." 

The Old Teslameat is very ancient, as ne may see by II 
language ; tAsrefore the Fenlaleuch vas wiitten by Mosei aba 
fourteen hundred and fifty years before Christ ! JosephuB^ Gflei 
hundred yeaca after, quotea the books as fenuiue ; therefin l3i«^_ 
are genuine I The uUiuuons to and deaenpiions of ihc mannd 
and laws of the Jews as contained in the Penlateudi, ( 
with the actual laws and institutions of the Jev 
all the miirvels mixed up with them must be true I The 
clee would haye been contradicted as soon as publisiwd by M 
if not genuine ; llierefore tliey are RHnuinc 1 

I should be ashamed of myself if any child of cQnunoD Mph 
city whom I had educated to the age of tweiye, coold nM i! — 
at once the flimsy fallacy of such reasoning, unaided liy a i 

hint, except from his own common sense. Who denies that 

may ho eome truth in the Old Testament ?-— that some of At 
□ullinea of the story, including the details of Jewish la'mut' 
ceremonies, may be corroct r Not I, for one. And bectusi Ikot 
is some truth in IJvy, are all his miracles to be swallowed 1 Wba 
denies thai the Old Testament existed 287 B^,! Not" " "■ 
but somo few years intervened between 1450 B.C. an 
Suppose it could be proved (which it notoriously caoiu: , 
Pentateuch did exist, just as at present, say one thoiaand )«srt 

before Christ; what then? Could not a historian lie wilh'" 
ponity five hundred years oiler (he events he preteuds to lee 
(and those in a remote and most barbarous age) hsppenedF 
Would there be any thing so very miraculous in a man ciulecliai 
the wild legends of his nation, embodying thitse i 
and declaring it authentic 1 And where were the ' 
and children lo contradict him," sod "say they 
falsehoods f" They had been, for five hundred years, 
graves. Or was Uiere any thing bo inconceivably m' 
such a historian rooking tho history of the origin and 
the Jewish law correspond to the law as he found it ? But I 
my time in reliiting such bubbles as these.f 

• Thtj talk jiul a> if Moses had had a 

Uiloir, plaDlag Mb book, vbcn i^ubli 
\% mJ^CbK immediitriy Aintndkted 



II It wen not a tosIe of Uide. I mli^t nmirk npoo fba naa wyM* 



Er-publiCHliDD. 
. __ ... not a mule of tirac, I miiil r 

ffld*TaScnt"r^viiij7y'ia~lhc Jeii CTmy'aibb.a JV^ Tttai ft*^! iijiilW 
Uugbt U in Uicse eatty dnys lo Ihdr children, and Ihutforc nut hin IWtl 
eopTofit; (why w.by Ibo w.jt do n« we taaoh our r"' — "^ ■ ■ — 
liffi of the laidivlUKiut wycapjrof them?)— effbtti 






■.'» 



ACTHEKTICJTY OF THE BIBLE. 151 

t.ct MS look now, for n momcnl, at the pioofe of the Buthcnli. 
city of the New Teatiment, whirh nlone, indeert, ara worthy of a 
serious reply. Let ua sgnin cnndenBC the argument. 

" Proofs of genuineneaa of New Testament ; — Bapliara and 
Lord's Bup[iEr.» Merit of (he evanEsliata as historians. (No 
proof of iSis given, i^icept bare assertion.) Qaotalions of llie 
fatlierB and even of adversaries, from and ailer the close of Ihs 
second csntury.t who cite ftora some portions of the New Testa- 
ment, the former to defend nsd the latter to refute tLem. Inci- 
dental allusions of historians to the sect of Chrietians. To this 
we may add a former aTgumcnt of yoiiis, riz. : the admission of 
Celmia regarding the miracles of Christ, which he attributed to 

How what does nil this amount to ? Simply to this. TTiat in 
the reigns of Claudius and Nero, a sect csislcd called Christians 
Who denies this t Not I, foe one. That about the year 180, 
eertwn manuBcripls, similar to jrartiona of what are now hooks of 
the New Testament, wore in existence. Who denies (his ? I do 

But what of it 7 Ant the books genuine, because a certain 
sect, one hundred and filly years aller the death of Christ, thought 
tlicm so ? Are the miracles therein recorded to be impUcilly 
beliered by ns, becaose certain men, liTing a century and a half 
after they weie said lo haie been performed, believed, or rather 
tvitl they believed, them f Or are these miracles proved, because 
an opponent of these men, nearly as ignorant as they, ascribed 
them to magic ? Pagan miracles can be proved in the same way 
7^ etirly Christiana ihemselves held die very same opinion regards 
Hijr Fajpaiism ai Celiua leema la have done regarding C/irtstvuiuly, 
"The Chrialjajis," saya Gibbon, "who by the interposition of 
evil qorits could so readily explain every pretemaluiBl appear- 
nnce, were disposed, and even desirous, to admit the most ex~ 
Iravagant fictions of the pagan mythology.''^ If the admiaaiond 



And thm. loo, there ii positire praof (IT vc ue to tnul Uie rpcord] 
■■"-"■-"■-iBUniHililMlf, IhBllieljODkwas Tiot reifi ffoek^ to ■■- - — 
e day. of Joshua, (B.C. 1450.) lo those of Nebaa 



nvatd in Ike Uuo a/ aU. For one Ihonaand yean, thm, Ihej wer* lEooranl of 
imdDcdected to po-fonn what wu eonlained in thia vei7law nhich. )'ou 
irould bin hava ui bellsve, th^ heard repeated lo Ihem eiery xvenlh daf! — 
Sfe A'(*Miao*, ohap. Tiii., EBpeeiailj rer. 14 and IT. 

* Hov. In common lense'a name, eon the nist^nce dF certain ceremoiilcs 
DDiT. intva IhQ perfonpHnee of ccrtdb miracle? two thouund year? ago ? 

) Innaus, the very Btti nho ia even pretended to huie cited Uie eraiiEO 
liitt by Dune. wrote frasa VJS lo l»i, 

! Dftlini and Fotl, ohap. i». Lest you complain of niirepreaenlalion 
frinn B historinn who, however uoivereaily recogniied lu impartial, has a 
lome^vhmt heterodox rppulatlan, you sh^ hare Uie BMlhoriij of Uip fnlhcn 
Utemwlvea. I refer you to Juatln Martyr, in his Apolo^^ Major., by Mlieihi' 

14-19. 



152 AirTIIENTIClTY OF THE BIHI.B, 

of Celsus prove tlie miracles □( Christiaiiit;, Ihose nC ibe 
Ciirietiaiis must be equally allowed to prove the imnuJa 
paganism. Are you ready to believe both ? 

Mow, it is tnie that the evangelist are cited by Celsos in 
second century, by Porphyry goma time alter, anil by the CI 
tian falhei: (icnFtiis about the year IBO. It is also Una i 
Ircncus is lAe very _fir3l ajiumg the Chrittiati /aihrri who 
die the evangelists by name. Not one of (he aptatoKa blha 
to vit, Barnabas (abont 71), Clcmena fiomantia (about 
the shepherd of Hernias (about 100), St IpiaUua (about I 
Polycarp (about 108), and Papiug (about 11(1)— not one of t 
fnthers mention Mntthew, Mark, Luke, or Jolin.t Neit]]ec< 
Justin Martyr (140), Tatian (172), nor Hegiaippua (173). 
this is very strange ; that not one of these holy fatheis dim 
Irenaua, ^lould mention the gospels or even name the hiain 
of Christ.; 

For a caHtary afid a half, then, after Jesus' dealh, we ban 
means whatever of substantiating even the existence of Ihe 
bolB, as now bound up in the New Teslamenl. There ia opa 
1 lank of one hundred and forty years ; and a most serioiu n 



And how is this blank iilled up by colemporaiy hi 
Philo-Juda?us, the well known Jeb" ' ' ' 



poraryof Christ. He was sent by the Jews 
Tlome, sii or (as some have it) eight years after the uoully i 
cpired date of the death of Jcsos. He most have been in or •! 
Jerusalem, at the very lime of the cnicitbion ; yet not oh van 
there, in hit katory, regarding Chrut or the Chrialiaiu, or til 
m-ipturet. Josephns, who wrote hia celebrnled history til 1 
Jews aome fbrty or fifty years after ChrisCs death, <lau Mt « 
allude to the CMiliim book) or to ihe ChritHati iicl.^ Stldoi 
(about ILH) merely speaks of the Chrulians as " a das* of n 
possessing a new and pernicious snpcrstilion.'l Tacitut (ah 
the same lime) tells ns of " those men who, imdcr the viJi 



Iguataa, and Poiifearp, who wrote in the aune ordtr I hava diioh 
B)id &flcr (liB whtera uf the Ninr TeHUinmt. But in Ui-imti fom i 
Jtmlonfpnttage or att^ other mentiim of tht Nev Tn/anteni; ur Ai 
retl UaHfOTKqf <Ae erangelMi woBKiJ."— i*)di«rir» IHnrrt. am In 
5 It Hppun n«t to incredible, that if t^ erangeliil* wre tlm i 
olf aallarilg, not sue cf Ume dDfendin of chiiitiimlly ihculd er 



n r™^„„„^.^.„^. 



) Tha funoug [nlmyiUUon. lo Inn; Irlumphuit]; alxi bv C 



iDitti' lAle 



F THE BIBLE. 153 

appellation [>f Chiiatiaiis, vtre alrcudy bianiled vtilk icai.ttud in- 
famy;" he udda, tliat they derived Uieir niuiie from Cluislvhd 
was executed uuder PonUos Pilate, uud he detailii the cruel pua- 
iahments inflicted qh tliem by Nera.* Neither froax Chriit- 
tum nor heathen, then, bate ve ths &li);htcst dae to iha 
history of thi; guspcta for a century and a half after Chiiat's 
death. 

Km is this all. The mo^t eminent men uf the first and second 
centuiies, who had Ihciwst of all opportunilita of judging Ihe naw 
religioii, of deciding whether its miracles wore genidno and iU 
pretetisioits well-founded, treat it eitlier with silent contempt, or 
Willi aUgliting disparagement. To this Gibhon eloquently alludes 
in (he following passa^. Afl^r adverting to the iaet that Chri&< 
lianily. as its founder had predicted, waa cliccrflilly received by 
the poor and simple, he continues : 

" We stand in need of such reflections to comfort us for the 
loss of some illustrious characters, which, in our eyes, might have 
seemed the most worthy of the heavenly present. The names of 
Seneea, of the elder and younger Pliny, of Tatitua, of Plutarch, 
of Galen, of the slave Epictetus, and of the emperoi Marcus 
Aulouiiiuii, adorn the age in which Ihey nourished and exalt the 
dignity of human nature. They lilled with glory their rtspetlive 
etalions, either in actiye or conleniplitive life ; thuir eicellenl 
understandings were improved by study ; philoEophy had purified 
their minds from the prejudices of the popular superstition i and 
their days were spent in the pursuit of truth and the practice of 
*inue. Yet all these sages {it is no less an object of surprise 
than of concern) overlooked or rejected the peilection of thu 
Christian system, llteii language or their sQence equally dis- 
covers their contempt for the growing sect, which, in their time, 
bad diffused itself over the Boman empire. Those among them 
who condescend to mention thu Christians, consider Ihem only as 
obstinate or porverse enihusiasis, who exacted an implicit sub- 
missian to their mysterious doctrines, without being able ta pro- 
duce a single argument that could engage the attention of men of 
sense and learning. "f 

While itia fair to admit, that the democratic tendency of many 
of Jeans" precepts had its share in alienating the minds of these 
eminent men, who were, doubtless, more or less tinctured with 
that spirit of exclusive pretension which only in modem timts is 
iioad (andyet but rarely) among the learned and the rich; it is 

(undeniable that the utter neglect or contempt of Christianity by 
■7 one of those excellent men and enlightened philosophers is 
Suitui' Aonali, xr. U. 
Dr. Lardnw. ia hl> llrit and sMond volum™ of Jewiiih snd Ctoittion tati. 

m Chrtnliiius). The aeir »<nl u 



\ 



k 



154 AUTHENTICITY Of THE BIBLE. 

an aigument oC do common force in proof, Ihst Cluutiajiily, d 
tliB two firat centm^ea, mhen lAeproqfi of a divine miMion (il 
the]' existed) crughl to havebeen the atrongettthai iioproqftto^ 
tucA at a man of education even thmight XBorth noticing or refill 
It ia true, that though the inquiring minda cf these sage*, 1 
liTOd within a century or a century and a half of the date of 
gospels, and in the Tcry empire which saw Christ bom, fouiwt 
proof whatever even worth examining, of thu Christian mind 
yet our readier taitli, at the difltanoc of eighteen centuries, fil 
proof positive of their authenticity. But it remains to be M 
whether we, walking by lailh, or they, walking oa it wei* 
sight, have decided on eecurei data, or come to the more a'' 
COQClusionB, 

Not is even this all. The miraculous darkness of Ihe Pi 
lasting three hours,* was an scent which mutS hare nltroctcd 
notice of oolemporary naturalists, to say nothing nf the DT 
miracles of a more local nature. Haa it so ! I cannot mart i 
ciEely or pointedly reply, than by again quoting the wonh 
Gibbon ;t 

" How shall we excuse the snptne inattention of the paganj 
philosophic world to those evidences which were presented bj 
hand of Omnipotence, not to their reason but thwr HM 
During QiB age of Christ, of his apogllea, and of their diaiaiJe^ 
doctrine which they preached was coniiTmed by innumeH 
prndigies. The lame walked; the hlind saw; the ack a 
healed ; the dead were raised ; demons were expelled ; and 
laws of natm« were frequently suspended for the bsneHt of 
church. But the sages of Greece and Rome turned aside f 
the awful spectacle ; and, pursuing the ordinary avocations ol 
and study, appeared unconscious uf any alterations in than 
orphyaical government of the world. Under the reign of T 
rius, the whole earth,t or at least a celebrated province rf 
Roman empire,^ was involved in a pratemalural durkiilM 
three honrs. Even this miraculous event, which ought to }>^ 
excited the wonder, the curiosity, or the devotion, of muU 
eassed without notice in an ago of science and hiat(>i74l It ^ 
paced during tht Ufe-time of Seneca and the elder Pliny, 1 
must have experienced the immediate eflccts, or received toe • 
liest intelligence, of the prodigy. Each of then pkiioaitihtn,i 
laboured work, \at recordtd all the great phenomtTui of » " 
eoithqnakes, meteors, comets, anJ eclipm, which hit ind 



i. t Decline a«d FaU, L Rl-a. 
I out in hittli! urav by Dnm CtkaH ti 
D. «95~dW) uflu to cmrr Unnrhokn 



inittd pMBige o{ Ttitym \* now «Im1i ibuutanoiL 



OF THE BISLE. 155 

-I'.le coriosity could collect." Balh the one and the other Aara 
miaedloimmlionlhsffrealatphetwnienoHlovihKk the monUeya 
luis been witntsa iinee the ercation oj the globe. A distinct chnpter 
nl' PUnyt is designed for eclipses of an eitiaoidiaaiy nature and 
unusual duration ; but be contents himaelf with describing the 
singular defect of light which fuUowed the murdor of Ciesar; 
when, during the gr(!a.ti?at part of the year, the orb of the snii 
appeared pajo and witliout Bpleadoar.' This season of obscurity, 
which cannot surely be compared with the preternatural darknesi 
of the Passion, bad been already oelehiated by most of iho pootal 
and hiatoriaua of that meraorablE age.§ 

If Dur readers, after the perusal of such facta, can still believe 
in St. Matthew, all I can say is, their faith is more readily satis- 
fied than mine. It ia worthy of remark, what a host of reapect. 
able anthoiities Touch for aiL aclniow lodged fable, the preler. 
natural darlutcss following CiGBar's death; one of these, too 
being cotempoittty, and the others writing soon after the pre 
■ended appearance of a prodigy, than which a more pubUc aoi 
notorioos ona can hardly bo tmagined.|{ What becomes of youi 
fiivourils argument, then, that inaiTellous events, if of a general 
or public character, cannot be falsely recorded by any respectable 
historian f You can hardly find names more universwly respected 
for historical integrity than J osephus, Plutarch, andAppian; yet 
(however difficult it bo to explain how,) they were cither deceivera 
or deceived, iryon had one half as mndk proof for a single pnh- 
lic Bible miraclo aa these bialorians furnish of this pagan preter- 
natoTal darkness, we should □eierhcBr Ihe end of it. 

Bat you will atm insist that we have at least evidence of Ihe 
existence of the gospel as authentic, about the year ISU. We have 
Ircnieas' word for it ; but it is notorious that the ancient Jhthert 
qaolfd OS sacred, not one but many writings now acknowledged 
on all hands to be forgeries. This is tieely acknowledged by the 
great Christian champion Lardncr,!! and no one will venture to 

• ameca.Quail.Nalur.,L\,l^;\i.l; yil.VI: Wfi. ffi«. A'ufur., L 11, 
r i>l>n. Ulil. yatuT., il. 30. 

t Firgil, Georgie L 480. Tibutlui. lib. i. Seg. v., rer. TO. Orml. Mt- 
tanwry*, n. 782, Lacrm, Piariat. L 640, Tim last oC these poeU plicei 
'tU prwUify iHfQn Ga cu " 

. . . Ar^m. Bea'aHl.,'isS. ir7 D&ii'Cii 

H*SL Jniitu Obnqum, mf. '""' -"- '-— - ' 

Utj's prodigiH. 






S« ■ pubUc ej^Ue nf 9f. Jtilony In Joseph, JiUiasil., ilv. 13. PIu 

rtfnCteiar, p.ni, Appian.Bea.aHl.,aii.iy. Zlum Cwiru, lib, xlr 

JtU Jtdivt Obte^uefu, oajk 13B. Tbia ULtle treatiu 

f'sprodigiet. 

Uaik ADlDor wu Caiu'i coliaipariiy. nod JoaephT 



uadred and le^enty yean 

H Enquiry, funilsheB , 



iiy high rqmle, 



CTcdilnlilj/ of Ihe GoipeU, 11., pp. tK, 383, 493, 431, 500, 903, 
3r. Midilltlon, in til Jyitfi-- ' ' ■ '-■ 



I 



15ti Al'TUKNTICITl" OF THE DlflLE, 

The vciy earliest caUlcgue of Ihc boolis bound up in our p 
BenL New Testament, was made public about the year 300, 
St. AHumBsiuH," one of (be sous of the " Babylon of the ApM 
lypse," who can get canonized for deception in Iha aerviM 
liieirchuich;" and tlie Catholii: Councii of Laodicea (at of NwQ 
first officially declared them to bt the New Testament, abool ll 
tame time. For moie than tJiree centuriea, then, after Cluiat 
death, Dm New TeaUment did not exist aaabook; onr Nm 
Tealament scriptiirea floated about, during all IJut time, nlicol 
lected, unstamped with (he episcopal aecd of caaonixalioii, — ' 
■ accepted or rejected according to Ihe&ncy or private] — ■""''" 
of the pious ; aided, perhaps, hy the quotations from, 
oi; tlie early fathers ; thoso forgers by their own com . 
" u^ed falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of laoH 
Tuquiied to be deceived." 

I deny, then, that you have adduced, or can adduce, 
historiciil evid^ce 'wbaterer, to prove (hat the goBpela 
written by the men whoso namos they hear ; or to prove 
they were written ; or to prove that they existed, in Iheir pietcnt 
form, until a century and a half alter Christ's death if — '* 
prove that the New Testament waa compiled for more tWn 
centuries after the Christian era. 

I assert (and I put it to our readers whether I have not 
amply substantiated the Bssertion,) that you have not pro 

tliat yen eattnot ptove— by a single hUtoiical record, the aullicii- 

ticity of the Christian revelation. 

tu conclusion, I have to notice Walaou's argument dedae«4 
from the rapid spread of Chriatiauity. 

First, 1 remark on the flagrant extravagance of (he Cfarutin 
accounts of that spread. Justin has (he asauranc 
" Then it not a nofion, Greek or barbarian or of anj 
even of Ihoao who wander in tribes and live in tenls, 
prayer) are not offered up in the name of the crucified Jam ^ 
Watson ought to have been ashamed to quote a hietoiian, vKn, 
thug measuring his belief by his wishes, pens so outngeoua u 
untruth regarding the spread of Christianity in a ungle coilsq 
alter its founder's death. But suppose (he extravagance lui 
actually been true. It would havu proved that Christianity haJ 
actually lost gruimd in the last sevealeeu hundred years ; for 



B mat such an assertion is not true of the world 
. . . day. Or suppose Watson^s inference correct, 
hundred years alter Christ, when Constantine was aaaeOsi, 



'& 



gteal majority of one AuruJr»j onil (tcenfji miUtoni of people »M 
Christians. At llw present day, there are about one AhiiJmTmI 
Jiftn niKiotM ,- if the increase was so immense in three hmdnijtU^ 
what think you of its subsequent increase in.^fteeii himdnit 
Walson, perceiving that the same argument wJl apply In Vtn 







iUTKBNTICITY OF THE BCBLE. 



WaUon. And how did CoustantioD eBtHblish thaC ol' ChiiEt 1 By 
gentleness, by toltralion ? Let ua sec. In the jESir 312 it was, 
ttwt tbe Chrialian eiii;)eror issued bia famous edict against here- 
ttC8.* " After a preamble filled with passion and reproach," 
■ayi Gibboa, " Conslanline absolutely prohibits tlie assemblies 
of the hecBlics, and conAscates their public property, to the use 
either of the rovenue or of the Catholic church. The design of 
extiipatiiii; the uune, or at least of restiainilig the progresa, of 
these odioUd heretics was prosecuted with vigour aad eficct. 
Some offlte penal regulatious were copied Irum the edict of Dio- 
elebui ; and this method of conversion was applaudnl by the 
same bishops who had felt the hand of oppression and had pleaded 
lie right of huinanilj."t 

Well may Mosbeim, mora candid than Watson, tell us : " The 
leal and diligence with which Cunstantiiie and Via successors 
eierted thamselres in the cause of Christianity, and in extending 
the limits of Ihc church, prerent our HUtpriae at the number of 
bartiarous and imcirilized uations wliich received the gospel."]; 
It certainly prevents tny euipTise; imperial edicts have always 
been very cogtnt imd soccessAil Brgument^. 

But, at least. Watson will argue, there were no mercenary in- 
ducemenU to embrace Cbiislianity. Ko ? What says the pious 
Mosheim on this subject. Read the confessions which tniUi 
KTiDgs &om the venerable historian of the chnrcli. Speaking of 
the morals of Christians in the fourth ecutury,} ho says : — 

" When we cast an eye towards the lives and morals of Chris- 
liuiaat this lime, we Snd, as formerly, a mixture of good and evil; 
"■ ■ emineul for iJieir piety, a - ., - ■ 




, . .' llivir ownmivaU' BSalrs aad Id obLaio redreu of gtip/ODcen, b* 
uruflinE other bliai>pfl vrtio had injoml [hem. Jcfnei (in bia own Cliurrb 
lliuorj) infDrma m. iW ConiUnliiiF, on receiving [lani Ibe biihdpa a Inrr^^ 
piritt or rowpluntl, rrlaliie to thoit private quarrels, tbrtW <be whole inlu 
the On, deeliuia; Ibat he would doi presume to decide twt.^e«i»i^WA'jQ^«^. 



I 



108 JlUTHENTIClTy OF TUK BIBLE. 

Tbfi number, however, of immoiid and imworlby CbrisUutE 
gan ao to increUBo, that the eiamples of real piety and virtue 
came extrcmi'ly rare. When llm terrors or perseculion v. 
totally dispolled ; when tbe church, accuieil from the effurta of] 
enemies, enjoyed the sweela of proaperilj and pence ; when n ' 
of the bishops exhibited to their flouka the cootAgious C3aui[ 
of arioKBnce, luiory, effeminacy, animoaitiea, and strife, 
other viecti biio numerous to meution ; when Uie inrerior r 
or doctors fell inUi a slothful and u[)probrious negligeace of 

duties of their respective alations, and employed, in ""* " 

and idle disputes, that zeal and attention that i 
culture of piety and to the inatruction of tbeii people ; and vl 
(to complete the enormity of this horrid detail) muttiivdet r 
linacn into tAt profiaion of CArutianify, nof by the poutr of- _ 
vMioti and arguntml, but by the priapaei of gam and Us JW ^ 
punii/oHenl ; tlion it was, indeed, no wander that thti church «■< 
contaminated by shoals of profligate Christians ; and that the vir- 
tuous few were, in a manner, oppressed and overwhelmed willi 
the superior numbers of the wicked and licentious."* 

Indeed, the principle of compelling conversion by force — tlifi 
same for which Chrudans cry out againet Mahometanism — ■» 
openly defended and approved by the Christians of this 
" The monstioua error," says Mosheim, " was almost un 
adapted in lliis fourth centmry, lAot etrort in religion, when 

liiined and adhered lo with proper admonilion, mre 

with civSpmaUiea and corporal lortura."-f 

Wliat more could MuxEulmen do than this ? They resailtd, 
you will say, to wholesale slaughter by the sword. AnJl have uM 
Christians done so? Hear the admissioD which Mosheim a 
again compelled to make : — 

" Had the Saracens been infected with llic samo odlons tpA 
of persecution that possessed the Crusai1er!i, there wouM net, fcr- 
iapi, have remaitud a tingle C/irittioH in that pari of tkt icorU 
(Asia). But though these infldela were chargeable wilh varioni 
crimes, and had frequently treated the Christians in a rigMim 
and injurious manner, yet mey looked with horror on thoM Kcoea 
of persecution which the Lalina exhibited at tie exploiU qf kmit 



Euufalui udmin Dial intne cninc Id I ho council wiUi warldit v<«n ef Mtal 
rranrf. &clM- H.jI., Lib. uL. cup. viL, iL,J andThradom honHUjadk 

nctuiilrf hj 1 iniilt of revengs. Euwhiui (urtha confeuB, rfH. 0«""l. 
lib. ilL, cap. xllLjthat when Uiey inel in counoil. tbey iauwidiiild; bciaa 
WTon^DfF, bid could oot be uppeoaed or brouftit to temper, nil GufnlaAnDS 
interpoMsd, artfullj pcnaBdiii; bdido. shunlsK Mhni inla dlnice, nd 10^ 

And thai Qitj decided fur ciLriBtendwn what wu lo codi 
hook ! And ChriilflDdiHn — uqulndnf , euj-t«npar«d Christ 



'[CITY OF THE BIBLE, IHO 



fitly, and cotundered it as the liighi^st and most Btiocions mark of 
i^ruelly and injustice, to force tmhappy men, by firt and sword, to 
oJaiufcn (4ei> reffjrioiis priadp/es, or lo put tJtan to dealA merely 
berauas thej/ refiaed to change their iptniom,"* 

What induceiDBiils mnra merceniuy, what arguments more 
bmtal than theac. has (he religion of Islam ever been accused of 
emplDfing t I deny, then, that the parallel beCweea Chrisuauitif 
(allei the three tuat cenlmic!) and Mahometaniam, is, in Ibe 
least degree, unfair ; and if the rapid spread of the dug prove the 
godhead of the Nazarine reformer, far more does the yet more 
rapid disacmination of the other bear testimony to the divine mia- 
won of the Arabian Messiah. Christiamly bad by sii hundred 
years.t tbe sturt of Islamism ; and if the two religions are to bo 
Jud)^d by the succesa they have had,! we camiot for a moment 
beoitate to accord the palm to tho Koran, and to exclaim : "Al- 
lah is the only God, and Mahomet is hia prophet I " 

But the teet is altogether tjillaciaus. It too often happens, that 
just in proportion to the assurano) aiid extravagance of the im- 
postor is his success with a credulous multitude. 

I may yet, however, be asked how we should eiplain tie sin- 
gular phenomenon of Chrislianity's auccesa for the firat three 
hundred yeara. I may be required to say what, if not divine aid, 
first, (eiB it was fostered by kinga, or aided by lorlures,} rooted 
the Dew religion in tho hostile soil of paganism. I reply, as a 
cotemporary writer, in the following beautifiil passage, replied lo 

"What bath preserved the Jew pure and entire in hia faith, in his 
blood, in ceremony and featnie, through agca of time, and while 
lost and scattered amidst nationa opposed in every cuatom, law, 
feeling, and creed ? Why hath he atood a noble monument of 
patient endurance, conacientious pertinacity, and acrupuloua flde- 
Ug, long'Sufiering, and uncomplaining, yet unyielding resistance 7 
WTiy, like a column in the desert, wearing its capital and its 
tracery, and all the form and ornament stamped by the gcniua of 
forgotten artiats and forgotten nationa, atunda he, to tliia hour, a 
wondrons relic of empire departed, and grandeur overthrown ? 
Why, bnt bpcauae oC per-ieeution '"{ 

■ - J - -p^^ Tiaviug replied at far greater Itnglh than 1 intended 






4 Tha Higira, the era of Mabamet'e fligbl, wl 




I 



160 AUTHXNTICITT OF THE BIBLE. 

to the general a.rguraonta broached in ^oiu last lelt«r, I in 
not Uke up our reiidora' time hj retottuig ycwT cancludiDg iqi 
tegatding Ihe aupmenesa of " infidel missionttrifs," who, j 
thmk, ought to go forth as ChrisliaDB do, to se^ prowljl 
among the heathen. I daubl not that you would haie lUtle ~ 
jection to Bee the ground cleared, and to hava thingB all jour < 
way ; but metbinlu we have enough to do for the preaenl, 1 
home ; and if oithodoz testimony be admitted in piooC we 1m 
not been idle or uosuccesafuL' When there are no eccleaiu 
cal encroacliments to reeiat, no attempts on liberty of conacieB 
to repel, noorthodoi giaspings after po«er to expose, no Sobbal 
mail petitioners to watch, and no Chmtian party in politia 
grapple with, then will it be time enough to bid sceptics lev 
their sentinel -poatB in this republic, on a mission to dislBOlluJ 
If that day should ever arriie, I truat Ihe npostlea of knawled| 
will not, like those of faith, engrail the dogmas of urthodoija 
tlie superstitions of baibariBm, oi superadd the vicci and inlohn 
ince of pHudo-eiTilisatkon to the rade ignorance of sarage life 
BOBBBT Dau Owu. 



TO KOBBRT DALE OWEN. 



New-Tork, October 15, 1S3I. 

I admit that it is lu difficult to decide what is a "soa 
naturil" prophecy, as to decide what is a mimcle ; but 1 adt 
no difficulty at all in either case. To say thai a drunkard's I 
will be abort, requires no prophet ; but to lell who will i ' 
drimkards, would be quite a different matter- But jhjijwm 
and false prcdicliona and miracles to bo so near alike u b 
der it difficult to distinguish between Ihem, why then al 
sceptics consider the Bible marvels incredible F 

It is Inie that idbm of tlie prophecies of the Bible an nl 
in obscure, not to say ambiguous language; but then there dl 
others of its prophecies that are expressed with sncli piwaia 
that there is no chance to misunderstand them. Before pioce«l 
ing, however, to adduce examples, 1 will notice those obfacled If 
by my opponent. 



• TlHf Nm-Torlt 8pMf»tor, tame time (inM. guvn it ■■ 
lutTS «cinnpluhed ot good." J think our cotBnpormj cugiinM 



a 



ADTHBKIICITY OF THE BIELB. 161 

□ Isaiah wUch sayc, Ihst a virgin ahall 
er. 14. That this passage was tmder- 
d by the JevB to designate the Messiah, is evident trom He 
fact, that Matthew applies it to Jesus, as evidence of his Mesaioh- 
ship. "But," aaltB my opponent, "were Pekah and Heiin 
killed before Christ knew how to refuse the evil and choose the 
eood?" To be sure they were. Does he suppose those kings 
lived to the time of Christ P I meddle not here with the question 
of his diviniqi : tot Trinitaiiana believe, thai, at a mm, he had a 
beginnicg, and inertaaed in tnitdora ax well as in stature. But 
suppose some obscunty rests on this prediction, what STaita this 
against clear predictions F That Virgil has a prediction similar 
to this one in Isaiah, does Dot indeed prove hun a prophet, but 
only a prophetic plagiarist. Isaiah's prediction, as well as the other 
predictions of the Old Testament, had long been translated into 
Greek, and sent into general circolation, ere Virgil lived; and 
he must evidently have read the same. Hence his 'virgin," 
bis "heavenly progeny," and his "golden oge." Aad hence 
tho general expectation among the nations, that an cstraoidinary 
character was to appear, at the vety period of our Saviour's 
birth. 

The next prophetic passage to which he objects, is that in 
Mark, relative to the signs which were to foUow believers. On 
this point it may be remarked, that it is not said hoto kmj these 
signs were to fallow Ihem. If then they followed at all, the 
prediction was lidfilled. So that Ethan Alkn, in making this 
objection, showedhimst'lf tobeas little of a divine, aaof a sincere 
sceptic. With regard to the proof of his inconsistent conduct on 
the occasion of his daughter's death, my opponent wants better 
evidence tjiar that of the New-York Observer. But by what 
authority does he presume to impeach the veracity of that paper F 
Moreorer, he shoiild remember, that his doubling its word does 
not duprme it Here then is proof positive. But suppose I 
were to produce additional evidence, he might just as well keep 
on doubling then. Nevertheless, he will find this same additional 
evidence, by just reading the anecdote again; even (he name 
of the individual who was present on the occasion in question. — 
As reapEcta 'Washinglon, I have to remark, in addition In what t 
bavo idieady adduced, tliat in his Memoirs, published by the 
American Sunday-School Union, is the testimony of on indivi- 
dual, that he was in the habit of retiring from camp, for private 
devotion ; that, when on his hrta, it was his custom on Sunday 
evenings to read the Bible and sermons to his family ; and that 
he would sometimes sit, as if forgclfiU tliat he was not alone, and 
would raise his hand ittid luuvo his lips silently. In a letter of 
the late Hon. Bushrod Washington, published in that biogra^y, 
he gives his testimony to the Chratian characler of bis illustnoui 
reUtive. But the follbwing letter from the rector of a church in 
Alexandria, in answer to one wrilien by my request by Rev. Dr. 
Milnoi of this city, oughl to set the question tor e' ' 



I 



102 AVTIIENHCITY OF TUi: BIBLE. 

und il Kill ilo il in the minds uf ull ivLo me not disposml li) 
.^Bvil. 

Alesnndrifl, Octobtr 18, 1831. 
lloTcrend and Dear Sir, 

Allhough yoQ hiiYe not heard from mc agnin, as I premiKi 
I biiTC] not been immiadM of the Enhjci:! ut your Gnl iMIa. 
Owing to eickacas in one branch uC (lie Wualiiiiglon bruilr, und 
the abseace from home of another, it has not buen in m; puvei 
to obtain preciael)' iiiich documents aa I hoped to procmre. [nird, 
the piivale papers of Geneial Wasbin^n an: in the hands of ilw 
Kev. Jared Sparks, -H'bo id uaing them to L'nable him to dmw up 
the liTc of (he genial. Siiuh infoiinatioii oa it hits been in do 
power to obtain rplatire tu his Christian principles, &c.. 1 nO 
now give, and if mora abnuld hereafter cuina into my hatub. it 
shall be fomardc'd without delay. That he was a pnleHl 
Chiistian, is afTinned by every branch af t)ie lumiljr. And tie 
universal impres^on, both aniung his relalirue and olheri. il, tiat 
he was a cummunicant ; but I tind no one who ever comamDe' 
with him. His nephew, Major L. Lewis, says that he well if- 
niombers leaving the general and his wife in churdi when Sk 
Lord's supper was to be administered, and that then 
inained in the chuieb here during that time but comm 
That he was a friend and supporter of religion, wilt appear bna 
llio enclosed eslMol from lie records of lie veatiy af CluHl 

Church, Fairfax parish, wlueh I thout^t you would tmifel d) 
have, rather than a copy, on account of its being propctljWtealed 
by the rector." 

Major Lewis says, that tiuch was the interest which hii unck 
iDokin tlie erection of Poliick Church, near Muunt Vernon, thU 
he personally surveyed the whole parish, that it ml^ be oao- 
Teuiently located. His own name was pnt an bis pew door. In 
Ihia parish, there was no miniiileT during (he latter part afliislifcr 
which together with the iialuro of his sickness, accounts fbi oa 



c]in|gyinan being wtlh bim at t!ie time ofhis last illness. 

Tliere is sufticient retison to believe, that he was lernlarin 
devotional habits, Bcv. E. M'Guim says, iJial once holding 
argiitnent with Major Georgo Lewis (who, if I mistake not, a. 
mandcd the body guard) on the subject of Christianity, b 
inquired from him what were the views of Gcneml W. m Ur 
siihjccL "O!" be answered, "Ijeneral W. was a Cfaristiiii,' 
and in proof said, that he used to pray — and mentioned hatinf 
heard him nl prayerin his room when he wont to ciury de^ " " " 
to him.t Mr. — acted when a youdi 




r> AUTHBNTICITV C 

pBend'spriTaloBetTetary. Obaer 
k certain hour for n cuiisidcra.b] 
prOBipIed to ascertain foi vlict purp 
bia uncle on Ma knifes at a small st 
hha. This anecdolo Ib nell knuni 



This anecdolo Ib nell knun 
General W. in hU will mukut the following demise : " To the 
Reverend, now Baron Lord Pairlax, I glre a large Biblo in three 
volumeB, with nolea, presented lo me by the Ht. Rev. Thomas 
Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man." 

With affet donate regard, 

Your friend and brother, 
Bbt. J. Miujon, D.D. Wm. Jackson. 

The within statement I am happy toaay is correct. 

Lawrence Lewis. 

The attempt, sir, to prore Washington a sceptic, wanls terms 
toerpresatts infatnation and folly. Suppose he did notonhls 
death-bed call for a clergyman or a Bible. We hare Just seen 
why he did not call for a clergyman ; and as to a Bible, in the 
memoira of him quoted a little back it is slated, that, when his 
spirit had fled, his wife knelt by his bed-side, with her head resting 
on the Bible ; wMch showa that a Bible was there. Bnt hia 
"prolesjations" in the dying hour do show that religion afforded 
hiin aid. HgweTer, hQ #aid but very little at that time on any 
subject, it being with extreme difficulty that he could apeak at 
all, on account of his quincy, as Marshall in hia life of him osserls. 
The parallel drawn by my opponent between Washington and 
Eliaa Hicks, will not bold good. It ia well known that the latter 
Uiied the terma religion, revelation, &c., in a sense diflercnt from 
that of the cpiacopal church; but Washington being connected 
with that church, could not have used them in a different sense 
wilbout deceiving ; and by the term revelation, that church means 
the Scriptures. But why this introduction of EUas Hicka P He 
professed to be a Christian ; and if he perverted and corrupted 
ihe truth, he was not an infide], but a heretic. What t^en has 
his case to do towards proving Washington a sceptic t As to 
Jefferson's note, he does not pretend to have been himself the 
author of the statement therein contained. Govemeur Morris is 
alone responsible, and he only for a cot^ecture — and that, too, 
contcaiy lo the whole life of Washington. With regard lo 
Franklin, he himself shows, that though in his youth he was 
sceptical, yet that in his riper ycBrs he condemned his scepticism. 
Why does my opponent overlook this ! I do not say that he was 



IG'I AUTHENTICITY Of THE niBLB, 

nlisiaus; but I sByhovns ftbeliuTcr in the Bible. Then 
ititin]' (hat beliere in tiisl who do not pretend lo personiil pic . 
it is hence easy loaccoont for the manner in which he (epfieil 
Whitfield, who by tlie way was no melhodist prescher, but I 
episcopal clergyman. Franlilin'e letter to Thomas Paine ia irtl 
known. He upeaks of the injurious effects nhich Pane's wri^ 
ings Were calcnlated to produce, and, taking him on hia or^ 
ground, puts to Mm this questioa : " If mauldrid are bo bad w 
religion, what vould the; be icitAoirf it ?" Dooa this look ti 
scepticism ! And to represent that philosopher as jesting iri 
death and the resurrection, is anything but hoaouring him. ' 
jest with such things, would betray the moBl shocking iniend 
lity ecea in an iniidel, much more in a Franklin. Hy remi 
relative to Ihe sicplicism of John Adams in his dotage, was H 
incongruous with what I observed in relation to the yonlht 
scepticism of FiKnklin. There ia a toiig period between ytM 
and extreme old age, during which the judgment is noi 
iltanin either of the other periods. 

It will be recollected that I have heretolbre forbonie aQpol 
(jveness respecting the religious cbarftoler of John Adams, a 
having had before me at tlie time anf documents to justily*! 
qualified assertions on that point, I have at length received 
document from his late place of residence, which precludes i 
furtlier controversy, and settles the question most auspid' ' '' 
the cause of revelation. This document is in answer to 
of toino in lelatton to the subject, from Rt;v. Mr. Whitney, pasHf 
of tlie church of which Mr. Adams was a, inentbcr. It will tmf 
Iher be seen, that Samuel Adams and John Hancock w 
[K^fessars of reUgiun. Here follows the letter. 

Qubcy, September 19, 18SL 
Sir, 

I hava TGceived a lotb^r from you expressing a dedzetofc 
distinody, whether John Adams, our second president, wn I . 
member of a congrcguliotial church at the period of our nrdb 
tion ; whether he was ever understood to have become an inU 
bcfDnt his death ; and whether he was not a member of the M 
grcgatianal ohurch in Quincy at the period of his death, ll 
Adams, sir, wasadmitteda memberof the congregational chm 
in Quincy sevenU years before the American Revohilion, al 
continued an exemplary member of it to the day of his dead). ** 
a suspicion w«s eatcrtained by any one in this pait of onr en 
try, Ihathe had bccooie on inSdel. Mr. Adams waa unqueA 
ably one of the most thoroughly established believers in d 
divine misaion of Joeus Christ, and the truth of his religion. B 
had not only critically examined the evidences on tna ndBi 
Chrialianity, but he had road almost all the deistical wrilaia : l 
Ihe iBBult of his examination was, a deep conviction of Ika Ir 
of our holy religion. His belief was the retnll of profond 
quiry ; mid bul tew among ftvc e\cT^ ^we ta Ihortni^lly ■ 




r 



(inainted with Ihc science of retigioa, both natural and rereated. 
Mr. Adams was an unfailing attendant upon the public aervices 
of the Chiielian Sabbath, and at the celebration of the Lord's 
sapper, till the inflnnities of hia Tery advanced age prevented. 
Sir, he waa an eminent Christian ; and Hb life and conversation 
were in general an illualrious eiamplc of the benign influence of 
awell estabiialied faiUi in the truth of thegospel on the human 
eharactor and proapeds. He lived and died a Christian beliover; 
and nothing would have given him greater pain, than to have had 
hie failhin the gospel called in question. The solution yaa have 
pven of the declaration of Mr. Adams, as quoted by Owon from 
lie Memoiraof Jefferson, is undoubtedlj the true one. It related 
to those contcoYBrsiea which were conducted with any thing but 
llie Christian temper. 

In answer to jour inquirf, whether Samuel Adams and Johii 
Hancock were not menibera of congregational churches, partt-> 
culsrij in the days of the revolution, 1 can sa; they were. I am 
informed by ez-Presidcnt Adams, to whom I showed your letter, 
that they were ; that they were both reUfioiit men ; unshaken 
believers in the religion of Jesus Christ, and conslant attendanla 
upon its ordinances. The assertion of the infidel Owen in relation 
to the characters he has claimed in your letter, as supporters of his 
dark and hopeless system, I am persuaded are wholly unfounded, 
and will oblain no credit among serious and enlightened mindfl. 
I am, air, very reapectfullj yours, 

Petek WmtNEV. 

Mb. OrIGEX BAtTHELER. 

Well, sir, we now see "■what were lie leaders in Uie American 
revolution." We see " what was John Adams, whose eloqiimcu 
probably derided the birth-day of our republic." We see what 
were Samuel Adams and Jotm Hancock, the two patriots wbu 
formed the very van of the immortal band, and who were alone 
proBorihed by George III., when pardon was offered to all others. 
Aloi I poor scepticism, ihou must be content with Thomas 
Jefferson and Thomas Paine, the latter of whom became so 
hesoUed and filthy before Mb death, as to be shunned by decent 
people ! Welcome, O scepticism, thrice welcome art thou 1« him. 
And verily 'tis no honour lo Jefferson to be firand in such com- 
pany. — After having token the foregoing view of the ohoraoler of 
oar mvolutionaiy patriots, how superlatively nonsensical appears 
the following extract from my opponent's seventh letter : " If the 
French revolution was intidol throughout, tar more the American. 
If scepticism is to be abused fbr the ultimate failure of the one. 
Ut her at least have credit for the glorious success of the other." 
TUsistnil)' laughable. Could the man have refrained from smil- 
ing while penning this sentence r But, in his last, he tells us he 
know* not what the private opinionB of those " sturdy patriots" 
' ' ■ ' iture lo prononncB three (quarters of 

n itll, he tluages Uurav-w^fti. * Sutw. 



I 



166 AUTHKNTICITT OF THE BIBLB. 

violation uf Ihe law of Oie New Tealamcnt [ He ou^t, however, 
to recollect, that they had quite aa good a ri^t to explain tli4 
book for themselcBE, as he has to explain it for them. Thw 
undoubtedly believed, thjit a command to an iiiditiduai in ha 
privaii capacity to obe;/ the laws of bis Fountiy, wu TeiT 
lai from being a command tu a nation not to changt its Uws, or, 
it may be, its law-makers. They coneeiTed there was ■ wih 
difference between an individual breaidng a law tciti^til an tfl 
lo revolution, but merely w a diiorderiy eUineni aod a pei^ 
rising in their majesty to Bbalte off a foreign ot a domestic yiAtj 
hy eAonyinj the gcnenvmrni Oaeif. Surely, 'tis a alrangeioa- 
founding of ihingG, to rank reTulutiunary pstiiols with boUiH 
and mobocrats. 

My remark touching my nativity was not gratnitoua. I 
had been charged with being an apologist of IcgililnacT. I 
considered the charge as applied with an ill grace byonabred 
in a moiiETthy, lo a native of IMs land of freedom. I therefin 
quoted Wa^nglon, and Bpaie of my being "bom tn a landot 
liberty," as did be when addrceuing the Frencli ambanador. 
I argued, that as I was bom here, it wai natural that I ihoolil 
prefer a republic to a monarchy. All my feelings, vievrH. and 
prejodiceH, would of course be in fevour of a republic. Unto 
tiiese circumstances, to be partly denominated on apologist of 
legitimacy, by one who not long since was a ndgai of til 
Britannii mnjaty. seomGd to me to require a fuw wordi on 
my own part. As to his incompetency to judge of our di*lin- 
guished men, I argued that, ffrst, from his being a eomparUivt 
stranger here, and, secondly, from his having neTer read their 
lives. But lo resume the subject of prophecy. 

The iieit prediction wiiidi he notices, is that relalinglo Ik* 
destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world. Thti pie- 
didiou contains iotcmal evidence of liavini been writliin in iho 
days of the apostles. " This generation uiall not pass, till til 
these tbings be fulfilled." My opponent has likewise introduced 
Gibbon, showing that the primitive ChristianB imderstiMd it 
to mean, that Hie world wouM come to an end during that genera' 
tioQ — a clear proof of the existence of the gospels in the dan fiC 
the apostles and before the destruction of Jerusalem. As an 
additional evidence of the same, we learn &om history, that, oa 
the approach of the Roman armies to the degc of JeniBatem, 
the Ciiriatians fled &om the city, in obedience (o the injunction. 
"Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountain*." 
Let the candid reader examine this prophecy, as giver) by Mat- 
thew, Mark, and Luke, and tlien compare it with the account e( 
the dealcuction of Jerusalem as given by Josephtis, who w»» a 
Jevnsh biBtorian, ajid he cannot fail to he surprised at its strikinit 
accomplishment. So plainly was it fulfltled, that Voltaire de- 
clared it must have been written after the event. Now il i> 
evident, that the individual who could lliua predict was a pro- 
phet; and if so, it is not tupposable that ho would ni ' "" 



^ AfTUEKTICITY OF THE BlULB. 167 

lake, and Rx the dale of any prediclion lerong. By Bltending 
closely lu the subject, it utII be seen, Ihitt lie treated of two 
eventa ; the deetraction of Jeruealem, and tiie end of the world. 
Now suppose vie were engaged in converaation, and had two 
STiliJecIs on hand at once, we should of course sometimeB allude 
to Hie one of thetn, and sometimes to the other, digiessing and 
resninmg as the case mi^t be. For example, suppose wc vreTC 
t'onvcrsing on the subject of the next presidential eluetjun and 
(lie one following it, touching now on this, now on that. Say 
we were calcinating the chances of both elections. We miglit 
perhnps suppose it to be doubtful, in consequence of the number 
of cjuididalea now before the people, whether any one would re- 
ceive a majority over all the rest at the next ckclion. Then 
spcaJdng of the election afler that, we might suppose, that, by 
the withdrawal of some of the candidates from the iield, and the 
union of two or more of the political parties, an election oiight, be 
vHccted. Next we might recur to (he approaching election, and 
make our calculations as to the candidate whom congresa might 
elect, in case there should be no choice by the people. But, not 
sadsGed »ilh any of our speculations on these suhjecls, we 
mi^t exclaim. Well, a year or two will show all about these things. 
At the sanii.' time, we should have no manner of reference to 
the election after the next, althQU);h wc should have been talk- 
ing of it during the eoiusa of our conversation. Thus when 
Christ said, " This generation shall not pass till all these things 
bu fulfilled," there is no necessity for understanding him as refer- 
ring lo all he had said on both of the subjects on which he had 
been altrmnlcly treating. But, sir, these rery difficulties, and all 
others in the Bible, are in our favour, showing that they were not 
forged, and that they have not been altered since they were fiiat 
written, to make them plainer. 

Having attended to the cases of prophecy adduced by my 
opponent, it is proper that I now take my turn, and adduix some 
to suit myself. 

It will not bo dispated, (hat the Old Testament was niitten 
long bf^fore the Christian era. This is all that is necessary to be 
I'Slalittslied, BO far as relates to its prophecies. 

The predictionB relative to the Suviuur arc so numeroua, and 
have been eo dearly fulfilled, that it is but for a candid sceptic to 
I'lamine them, to doubt no longer. Let him just peruse the 
following passages, and compare them with the liislory of Clirist 
as given in the New Testament. Isaiah, chap, ii., vcr. 6, 7 ; 
chap, xi., vet. 1 to 4. Jeremiah, chap, iiiii., vor. 5, 6 j 
chap. vT-riii. , ver. 15, IS. Daniel, chap, vii., ver. 13, 14. 
r.eneaiB, chap. xHx., ver. 10. Daniel, chap, li., ver. 24, 25, 26, 27. 
fin a theological debate holdcn in the seventeenth centuty, be- 
tween a Jew and a Christian, in Venice, the presiding tabbi was 
*> Btniek with the argument deduced by the Christian from this 
pissage in Daniel, that he put an end lo the debate by saving. 



» 



Ida iUTHKNTIC[XY OF THE BIDLE. 

" Let US shut up our Bibles ; for if wc proceed in 
tion <^ Ihia propbec}', it will maJie ua all become ChiiEtiMis.''}. 
Isninb, chap. Tit., ver. 14. Micab, cbap. v., tst. 2. lsai~*' 
rhap. xxiT., ver. 3, 5, 6 ; cbap. liii., ver. 2, 3. Psalm 
■ver, 1, a ; isii., ver. 6, 7, Zecboriab, cbap. xl, tct. 13, J , 
cbap. 11., Ter. 9. Psalm jU„ ver. 9; It., tsi. 20, 21t 
lii., Ter. 21; iiiit., ver. 20; xiii., tct. IS. ZKbui^-: 
chap, xii., TBI. 111. Psalm iiii., vei. IB. Isiiab, chap, liiip' 
(Let the sceptic read this cbapt^willi the greatest alteiitia% 
for it DVitithiew the scepticism of a Rocbester.) Psalni xri^, 
ver. 10, 11; xxW., ver. 7; liriii., ver. 18; ii, ver. 18; IB^ 
Ter. 7 to 11. Isaikb, diap. ii. ; chap. xi. ; cbap, Ix.; and cbqi. bnC, 

Now let tbe sceptic ask himBclf seriously, if it it 
beliere, that so many coincidences should occur in tbe case of OM 
indiTidual by cbiuice. Those who undeistand nmthemiitic*, knmr: 
that it would be impossible. Nor conld those propbedeB bH 
heeo fulfilled by connivance ; foe many of them w * >-"- 
by the Jews, who were doing all they could to cnah 
That the Christians admitteil the heathen miraclea, is not u 
offset to Ibe admission of the Christian miracles by the beallnij 
because tbe miracles of Christ were open to general obaertfc- 
tiun, and were of a kind in which there could have been no 
decepUon, and -which could have bten performed only hT 
diTine power ; and, in addition to this, they were of ■ kiiil' 
cslculaled to destroy the deTil's kingdom. 

The neit prophecy which I would adduce, relates to i 
disperfflou of the Jews. There are many predictiona of ft 
erent in the Old Tcatameut, the most remarkable of which 
contained in (he twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, wtuohll 
reader is earnestly solicited to peruse, and comjiare with 1l 
actual dispersion of the Jews, and their hiatory since that em 
The next case of prophecy which I would bring into Tiew. 
contained in the second chapter of Daniel. It consists of AedM 
of Nebuchadnezzar, with its interpretation by DameL VI 
ercr will read this prophecy with attention, and oodaiR 
with its occompUshment sa exhibited in (he hiBtory of tM M 
universal monarchies, and tbe prevalence of ua Chli 
religion, most, if candid, acknowledge it to have been from 
Daniel's vision of the four beasts (cbap. vii.) was Ihe w 
eubslance as tbe foregoing dream. This vision and ita inl 
ftlion occupy tbe whole chapter, and cannot be read with too t 
attention. His vision of the ram and he-goat, is another wom 
fill prediction. With its interpretation, it occupies the whri 
chap. Tiii. The reader wiU find it well worth his while to ps 
it. So clear was it to Alexander, on its being shown to him, 
be did not hesitate to apply that part to himBelf which ireUti 
tbe OTerlhrow of Persia by a Grecian kine. There ia anoOiB 
mirkable prophecy relating to Alexander, Daniel, tda^. 
per. 2, 3. 



AUTHSNTICITI OF THE BIBLE. 169 

One prediction more muM sufGce on Ihis subject, vii., Smt re- 
lattoK to liu: d«striiclion of Baliylon, as contained in IsaioiL 
Dhap.xiiL, vei.l9to21; chap, ut., ver. 22, 23; and Jeremiali, 
chap. 1., ver. 23, 26, 39, 40 ; chap. U., ver. 25, 26, 29, 37, 41, 43 
Compare these passages wilh the account given by various travel- 
Ids, of Ilie utter deeolstion of Babylon ; and then doubt no more. 
. Sexioualy, wbat can sceptics say lo propheciea like the forego- 
ing t We Abow what they da say. Thomaa Paine aupposed, thai 
the mitings of Daniel Uid Gzekiel were enigmiu, relating lo the 
Teatoralioa of the Jews bom the Babylonian captivity I On the 
btlier bond. Porphyry and many otiiors, perceiving that the pro- 
phecies of Daniel dosignated events too clearly to be thus evnded, 
decisred that they must have been written after the events took 
^ilace ; thereby unwittingly adding tlie strongest possible testiniuny 
to the prophetic character of those writings, by showing Iheni lu 
be too plain to be misunderstood— ao plain as by theaiBelves lo be 
dfiemed bislorj rather than prophery. Wonderful tnigmai these ! 
Hat with regard to the time in which Daniel lived and wrote, il is 
Tecorded not only in Jewislt, but in Babylonian and Persian his- 
tory. Even Thomas Paine did not deny the genuineneaa of the 
Sock of Daniel. 

Mow, sir, I shall contend, that the Bible is not only probable, 
but certain. We Anoio it lo be true by our oan teiaea. We lei 
the Jews scattered abroad among all nations, and Christianity 
orerspTcadiiiglhe world, and the kingdoms of the earlh crumbling 
beneath it, and the Babylons and the Ninevehs and the Tyres 
of old in ruins, according to its prophetic declaralians ; and we do 
llierefore /owto — yea, we do abGiilutelj hunc, that it must be from 
God. 

My opponent says, that the only mode of preserving the Jewisli 
Uwa, was on plastered stones. How docs he know Ihis ? Because 
he /Hsiri of no other mode, W faJ I b eiij of no other mode, alier 
j dl that is sa id in relat i on to wnSna oa o pSfe'o^ joM,"Eiodiis, 
cEap. i3tTtt;7TE*. 3(J ;~writing upon roiii, Nuaibors.'eEapTTvii., 
ver. !I,"3;WTieilftip0nQicf0j& ofTuntses, and tm gates, and bind- 
ingtlLe commandments for a sign upon their hands, &c., Deu- 
tecdnom^, chap. vL, ver. 8, 9; chap, xi., ver. 18, 20; writing \ibiU 
of T^fofcimttUt Deuteronomy, chap, xxiv., ver. 1 ; the book of the 
wEiaofthc Lordj^Numbers, diap. ixL, vor. 14j^copy of tho law in 
i. SooS,T)euieroiiomy, chap, irii., ver71B ; cEap. iixi.rfefT 24,"25," 
26 ; wtitteu in a hook. Exodus, duip. xvL, vor. 14 ? But the bookt 
Qtioned, and the parchment and the Egyptian papyrus 
xetofiire mentioned; let us consider these. Vairo says, that 
atlho time Aleiander built Alexandria in Egypt," (something 
like 330 years before Christ,) " the use of the papyrus for writing 
onwftsJiaLfiuindoQtin thatcountiTi The papyrus is a vegela- 
ole production ; a^Lind of greal 'biiJrush, growing in the mMshes 
of Ite Nile. It is a triangular stalk, llfleen feel high, and a foot 
and a half in circumferance. When the outer coat is taken off. 
■here are several other coats. These when separated roada tbiu 







a, to contnTB suitable nuta 
Tiitmg. Pliny (ells us, bookxiti., cliap.xi.,that"l]ieiii 
waj of writing was upon theleavea of the palm tree. , 
fliey made use of the inner bailc of a, tree for this purpose ; i 
inn er tark being in Latin called ISier, and in Greek fluBAw^ 
lUJUa) "'i"?*- "»"' erer since in 

msljaa oiTbavw made 01 Bpca inne. _ 

anoioer aMVSX nlUlU) Uf WIUIB^ ittfihg the Greeks and Boi 
712^ on tabtesofwoodcoveredvith wax. witha bodkin 
iron, with which Ihey engniTed theirietters on the wax. Hoicel 
term i^b in writing. 'IliiH mode was mostly made ' - - - 
ing letters ; hence the Latin taieUa, tables. But 
lion of tlie Egyptian Papyrus for tlus use, all the other waj» 
writing were soon superseded, no malerial till Then iuTented ' 
more conrenieDt to write upon than tUa. And IberEfbre, 
PtaleiDy Fhiladelpliua, king of Egypt, undertook to bbIi ' 
great library, and to gather all aorta of books into it, he 
them to be all copied out on this aort of paper. What i 
cgaea ot theasaertiqn of the •BTJ tec mention e d by my o * 
t£al l]ie~malerial3"lor writing ajiyTong~w cjk di Jnot eint ' ^^ 
to the'uae of Egyptian papyrus!— ananf' his olBer aMertum. 
thia papyrus was used Uto huridf ed veBJB_bEt'Qra L'linrt. Ja 
parchment, Diodonia Situlussaya, [h£riliePetBianaSoI3wnl«» 
their records on skins, which, when thua used, were at lenph, in 
time ofEnmenes, denominated parchment. Herodotus telllip 
sheep-skins and goat-skins, made use of in writing by the tnA 
lonians, many hundreds of years befori! tie use of pai^l 
Moat of the ancient manuacripts that have dcBCended lo ns, im ""^ 
ing thoaa of the Old Tealament, are written on paichment 1 
monuacriptsoftheOldTeatamcntare the refierf, which aw m 
aynagopiea, and the iguare, wUdi arc used by prirWo ""i^^ 
nals. By this we may know how to imderetand Isaiah, dup. 1 
\er. 1 ; Jeremiah, chap, xxiv., ver. 2 ; Eiekiel, chap, ii., ttt. 
and otlier similar passages. All the circumstances comqir^ 
show, that parchment was in use among the Jews. Bo^ u 
"Ihis is not material;" for 
i upon besides plastered hi 
were vBriota materials for making books, before the invBDlia 
the Egyptian papyrus. Bat what does be mean by ■ayin^ ' 
the " most durable method uf reRistering the Jcwiafa laws, ni^ 
then, as mill at noic.bo selected?" Dout select sbmeaonW 
to register those or any other la'K's ? Where then ii tba I 
ment in this statement J And what becomes of the whol 
this mighty objection to the genuineness of the PentateuchF 

He saema inclined to dispatch the Old Teatami 
He may, however, first dispose of o fev things ; the prophe 
adduced m lUa \eniei,ftK au.ia;U. He says its aaaquily 




, AUTHESTICETT OF THB BIBLE. 171 

tends far b^ond ILg limits of the writtai history of tlie Jewisb 
boolca. TIiLb obiectioi] liu jnet been eiamined uid refilled. Be 
Kaya it countenaDcei immacaliir. Thi* bare assenioii I shall 
offset by a bare denial. He tallis of ila unexampled cmclly. As 
well talk of Chr- cruelly of iKe tolcano and the hDiriFone. He 
reilerates agaiuM H his charge of oteccitit^. A fine diai^ indivd 
for /lim lo maks. He speaks of iU imintelli^blc childudmess. 
Just now BS if be himself were so wise as to know what u proper 
for Omaiieie/iix to do or not lo do, in the rasea to wluch he alludes. 
These faille, these unfounded objections, he nrges as reasons for 
rejecting the Old Testament by vholesale, agsinsl the stnpendoos 
prophecies adduced by me in (his letter, and Bgainsl the no less 
sn^endoos miracles which I am now abcml to adduce. 

The Mosaic account of creatiaD agrees both witb natural and 
civil tiistory. The geological appearances of (he earth, its pieaenl 
■emi-populated condition, the preaeni slate of knovledge and 
improyemeot, the concurrent loice of all authentic history and 
tradition, and the lack of any counter history or memorial, (upon 
which subjects I treated at some length in my letters on the divine 
exiatencf,) demonstrate, that the world is bnt a few thousand 
years old. Besides this general eridence, nniTeisal tradition 
concurs with the Mosaic accoont, in the paiticDiars of the crea- 
tion. The CAaUanu had a tradition of a primordial watery chaos, 
a separadon of the darlmes from the light, and of the earth irom 
fceaven; the creation of man from the dusl of the eartt, and an 
infitaion into him of diiine reason. The Phmiciam represented 
the principle of the tmiTerse as a dark air, and a turbulent chaos. 
The Persian* held, (hat God crested the world at lix different 
times. The Bindooi represented the nnivetse as involved in 
darkness, when the sole, self-exisling power, himself undiscemed, 
made the world discernible. With a thought he first created the 
waters, which are called nara, or the spirit of God ; and since 
they were his first ayana, or place of motion, he is thence called 
Naraifana, or moving on (he waters. The CHintie in their ancient 
traditions say, the heavens were first formed ; the foundalions of 
the earth were nest laid; the attiiosphere was then diffused round 
the habitable globe ; and, last of all, man was created. Our 
Galhic OReMfon had a tradition of the formation of the world from 
chaos. The same tradition may be traced in the ancient Greek 
philosophy, and in the Greek and Latin poets. And irheii America 
waa discovered, traditians were found to e^ist amonR the natives, 
heariiiK a very strong resemblance to the history of Moses, in this 
and other particulars. But not the least striking cunfirmation of 
the Bible account of creatioii, ia the institntion of (he Sabbath, 
which custom has cqaally prevailed among the Hebrews, the 
Egvptians, the Chines, the Hindoos, the Greeks, the Romims, 
and (he northern barbarians ; some of which nations were not so 
much as known 10 the Hebrews by name. Admitting that a mere 
division of lime into weeks mighl obtain by means of the (^ua^le^- 
ingof the moon, as was ingenionaly, aii4, 1 l)t\ic\e,(n%^auS.i 



r 



L 



172 AUTHEMTKITy OF THE BIBUI. 

coatended on a. late (xussiDa in the Hail of Science b; one g( iIh 
speakers on the Bcepticid side,* Blill, this would be no reugo nij 
e»ei7 serenlb. day ahould be obaened as a. day of resl, ■" '' 
Dbaeived ; doi for the ogceemetil of (Jis aiuresaid naliona 
cause whicb tbey asBign for ItuH obaeminw. The litck of Iho £6- 
tiltoiu style in the Bible account of creation, is another eviduM 
of its authenticity. And it is wortti^ of ceioaik, that wbil« i 
Voltaire objects to this account, as iJTing the date of creation ott 
auiiiciently high, a Laplace objects, that it coauot be more thu 
half as hi^ as Moses makes it. 

The Ml of man is likewise confinned in a similar manner. Wi 
find mankind to be actually deprared ; and it ie nareasaaabte to 
suppoao, that a God of in&iite purity originally created Utem tu. 
But as a furthBr confirmation, we have the testimony of lie 
heathen world. Plato, Sttabo, Ovid, Virgil, the Egyptian mi- 
ters, and others, mention the slate of innocence and the &IL 
Sevcial particulars of the fall vere received by the most anciml 
heathen. Many particulars relating to Adam and Eve, the for- 
bidden tree, and the serpent, nre to be Ibuod among the natira 
of Peru and the Philippine islanda. Tlis very name of Adam il 
known among the Indian Brachmans I The Hindoos hais u 
ancient bas-relief of the lerpent CaUya, vanquished by the imdia- 
torialgod Krishna. Krishna is represented as pressed wilhia llu 
folds of the eeipent, and then as Iriumphiug over him, and 
bnating hit headbtMoth hit feet! The Edda, the niconl of Ibe 
ancient Scythians, says the great serpent is an emanation front 
Loke, the evil principle, and gives a highly poetic description eJ 
bis OTetthrow. A plain allusion is made to tlic ein of Eve, in Itic 
legend of Pandora, who was led by curiosity to open a Oikst 
given to her by Jupiter, out uf which Hew all the evil into die 
world, hope aloae remaining at the bottom. Inherent, origilui 
sin, is not only acknowledged, but deplored, by many of the 
ajicient heathen philosophers, poets, and moralists- And the 
universal prevalence ol the custom of offering sacrifices tOi m 
attests at once to the truth of this sentiment, and to the latioDslit 
and credibility of the doctrine of the atonement. 

The longevity assigned to the antedtluiiana, and the exislem 
of giants,as mentioned in Genesis, are so improbable, in iheaisdna 
considered, and so different from anything with which Hosm wis 
acquainted, that, had he merely forged his 81017, it is not to besup- 
posed that he would have inserted any thing of this nature, inlend- 
ing, as he did, that story for belief, even if we iuppoae heeotUd 
haveconceivedoflhesetnings, wMch Lb doubtful. Then, agai 
find him confirmed in these accounts by vaiioue heathen -wi 
All tbe ancient Greek and barbarian hiBtoriani attest b 
longevity. Similar traditions prevail among the Burma„ _. 
India beyosd the Ganges, and among the Chinese- And Iha 
('reek and Latin poets sing of giants in the first ages of the woild. 



ArTHENTlCITY OF THE BIBLI 
ttid th^ hlatorlaDS, aa well u Josoplma, eppak c 

We come now to Ihe consideration of that greRt and tTEmen. 
douH cfttAslToplie of nnture, the deluge. Astorj' of this kind can 
be demonstrated to be true or Jalaa. If the whole earth was 
overwhelmfd, traixe of its submeraiDnmuat remain: if not, thelc 
can be ito such truces. Aiid if nil but ono bmily were siropt 
away, all the inhaMtantf of the globe, being their deavendani^ 
vonld usdoubtedly hold some Iradition (o this eflect; othenviH', 
not. Let ns now see how stunda (his ca«e in these respects. 

Bones of horaes and deer ha»o been dftcovered on ihe Him- 
molaya motmlaina, sixteen thousand feet above the level of the 
set. They were obtained by the Chinese tartars, out of tho 
mksaes of ice that fall with the avalanches, from the re^ons of 
elamal snow. Uetveen the strata of various mountalna, mariae 
EubatAlices and veg^aile productioiia If.poae together in mingled 
TDn^ton. In some places, as at I-a Bolca, the marine prodnc- 
lions of the four qnatlors of the globe are huddled promiscuonaly 
logethet, as by Oic rush of mighty waters. Almost all the table 
lands and gradual dcclividea (nf mounlabia are covered wiUids- 
poaiU of loam and gravel called diluvium, such as subsiding flood* 
ilciwsil, as Ibey gradually retire to their u-onted beds. In this 
diloviiUD pebbles aod loam are coslHi^edly intermingled, totally 
unlike regularly fonned strata, and jost as rushing waters would 

hive blended them togeUier. Thh diluTium k a be seen ovet 
the face of the wliole earth, even od tho lolly momilains; and in 
it are inlermingled the bones of various animals, th.ua proving 
inconteatably that the dchige covered those mountains, and over- 
'"'■'"" IS of granite and other rocks 
le greater part of 



fallcys, and acaa, requiring for Iheir removtl thus, a force and 
(njd>| of water which nought but a Bencral inundation could have 
famished. Valleys wide and deep, callsd valleys of deoudalidii, 
exist in all parts of the world, whioL exhibit indubitable evidcnoet 
i'C having been excavated by irresistible diluvial torrents. The 
Taat valley of the Rhone, for example, has been excavated between 

Ihe Jungirau and Monte Rosa, and its disrupted " 

atrowB o'er (be plains of Bargvmdy. Even the B 
ik'nllybeen scooped out in tbis manner. In nun 
monutains ore tum aaundsr. leaving chaama of frightfol depth^ 
And as the icrersc of this, stupendous granitic &agments of meon- 
leina in many places tower in awful majesty thousands of feet 
iloCt, entirely insulated from other mountain masit^a in the same 
regions, and even in their immediate vicinity ; thus showing, fliat 
the intermediate elevations which formerly must have wmnectBd 
flien, hnve been swept away. Mount Cervin, auisalated pynunid 
of mors than three thoiiBand feet in height, situated on Uie moat 
lolly ridge of Ibc Alps, and likewise the Landscrone, a mountain 
In lire plains of Lusace, situated about two icagnea 'it<s^ " -'""-• 



174 ACTHENTICITY OF TBB BIBLE. 

<)[ n)oimtBdn.i of ita own kind, and liaing like n sugai-loaf nesil? I 
tbouBund feet, are stiikiug examples ofthU kind. lamanypli 
MUsof a largesiie esliihit eridences of baying beenaccumul 
by Uie coinmotLon of the waleis, being compoBBd of giBTel, In 
ments rf rock, vepotable substimcM, and even the bonea 
uumala 1 On the other hand, vast Talleys have been difcovere^ 
filled up with tha rushing wieck of dUuTial lubbish, benein 
which have bei^n discovered the beds of riTecs, fields, and (t>resltli 
Traces of mighty mrrenta may be Been on the BUiface of 
hills and valleys, in ihu mussee of rock strewed along upon 
and onremaving the Artace, lakings appear upon tho solid rookt 
beneatli, trbicb most have been occasioDsdby the drlllingof '* 
roak]' fragments. In various parts of the world, immense bo 
slonei!, containing thousands of eubic yatds, disintf giaied 
iheii native moimtaina, lie spread o'er the far distant plains, «]u« 
ther they must have been rolled by the irreaistibla tcrrenta r' - 
Enbsiding inundation. There are numerous caverns strewed' — ^^ 
animal bonea of various kinds, imbedded in diluvium; whilhqc 
ills evident those animals fled to avoid the rising flaod,uidtliaqi: 
met their fata, being drowned by the torrent of inrushing wUrt 
and buried beneath the maases of its accompanying dUuriui 
Some of the mouths of tliose caverns are even choked up by li«« 
diluvial masses. Further evidences of the universally and add 
lien occurrence of Lhe deluge, maybe seen in the fact, that eic 

thf> Rtetii ri:gioti& ate strewed wiui the leltcs of Mumtil andnif 
tnble productions wliich now exist in the temperate and tonii 
tones oline ; thereby deinonsliating, that the cliraalH of & 
anlediluvisu world in higli polar latitudes, must Iuitb been iBmS 
more mild than at presenl, and that a re frigerating change Ifti 
that which a universal saturation of the globe with water, •ad i 
diminution of the surface of the land (which at that tiiM k 
dentlj happened) might be expected to occasion, ' ' ""' ' 
taken place. So sudden was this caloatiophe and it 
change of climate, that undecayed carcasses of elcphaoU a 
been found infi-ied in the everlasting ioea of Siberia — and laaa* 
ous fossiled vegetables, in Iheirvariuus stages of growth, remaiBU 
attest, with iheir counUess leaves and branches and stalky Hq 
fearful vibilation of the destroying cataclysm. 

Examine we now the testimony of history and tradition on lli^ 
subject. Berosus, the Chaldean historian, who wrote at Bab|k< 
in the time of Aleiander, relates an account of the flood, aH 
mentions the preservation oC NoeAui, or Noah, in an ark or cherij 
by being carried to the summit of the Armenian monntui* 
Abydenus, an ancient Assyrian historian, says the deluge ml 
foretold : that the ark was driven into Armenia ; and that till 
birds were thrice sent forth to see if the earth were dry. Alei? 
ander Polybistoi, another ancient historian, saya, that in the iei|n 
of Ximtfarus was the great deluge ; that Saturn predicted it B 
him, and directed him to build on ark, and, together wTlh A 
tovis and ccceiims ton^, w sail in it. Plato i: 



iCTHKSTieiTY OF THE BIBLE. 



^B deluge, in which ihe cities vne ieslrajed. Diodonii 
■bis, Om il was tbe traditioa of Ihe Egyptians, iLat most 
BectoKS peiiahed in the deluge wMrli happened in Deuo- 
Kle. Oitid's descripliott of IK'Ucalion's flood coiresponda 
Im flood or Noah. Plutaich, in treating of the sagacity of 
lis, ohserres that a dote v!is sent out by Deucahan, wUuh, 
ng into till! Brk again, -was a sign of tlie continuance of the 
but afterwards, flying away, was a Egn of fair weather. 
;r calls the rainbow a sign or lokvn to men. Lucian men- 
the great deluge in Deucalion's time, and the ark which 
rvud the remnant of human kind. He says the flood was 
upon mankind for ihcir wickedness ; that llie pracnt race 
g from Deucalion ; that the earth gave forth abundance of 
' ; that f^at showers of rain dt-sccnded ; that the rivers tn- 
>d and Ihe sea swelled ; that all things were water, and all 
ptmiied, Deucalion and his family excepted, who boilt an 
^ the purpose of preservation ; and that, moved by divine 
Ise, to him uame swine and horses, hons and serpents, and 
ber creatorcs of the earth, in pairs, and were received into Ihe 
Tbe ancient Persians believed in a universal deluge. Si- 
traditions have prevailed among the Hindoon, Burmans, and 
;se, (the Chinese not only mentioning the deluge itself but 
lee,) and likewise among the Mexicans, the Peruvians, Qu ^ 
liflrn, (he Nicaraguons, the Western Caledonians, th« " ' 
U, the Sandwich Islandpcs, and the New Zealanders. 
e is fother confirmed by a coin struck at Apamea in 
of the elder Thilip, on which is represented a kind of squ« 
floating upon the waters, a man and woman going out of 
y ground, while two other persons remain within. Abors 9 
rs a dove with an olive-branch, and another bird is perchigP 
its roof. I n one of the front panels of the cheat is the wc 
, in aucicnt Greek characters. And lastly, there is at tl 
lay a village at the fout of Mount Ararat, bearing the ui 
1 Place of Descent 1 
us have wc seen, that llie deluge is as strongly proved at is 
)le for any event to be proved. No other event in all history 
well Dgniirmed. To doubt it, is to doubt against all possible 
Dce. 'Tis the veriest trifling, to attempt to evade this can 
Iking of " many deluges," &c. Every one knows, that fl 
1 be utterly impossible for the various natioiiB and tribes dj 
nth to invent a story of Ihis kl^rl, each nation and tribe b 
and have its details thus harmonize. Let sceptics try tlt_ 
iment, and they would soon see this. Plato docs indeed 
of various inundations celebrated by the Greeks ; but, at 
jne time, he mentions the great debtee, in which Ihe cities 
dMtroyed. Nay, all accounts, all evidences, all ciicumstan. 

_ . one, and ferf one, universal deluge ; and, IherefoWf j 

t believe under such circumstances, ougM to*" 

rtBtrikinj' event mentioned to Ite 0\iTEB'iMi«!o,V,\s 



r 
I 



176 AuTUEBTiciTi: or the biglk. 

building of Babal. This event is aoticPd by Biroaus, 
Viigil, Horace, Ovid, Ludon, and tlie Sybillino omele, nndertW 
allegnry of the attempt of ibe giants (o scale benTen. Hestiun^ 
Abydeaua, and Eupolemua, likewisa mention it. And the aaU 
tude of langnngea in the irorld, unaccountable ou tuiy luti 
principle, aca au mail)' uitnesaes of Ibe confijsion of Umgexa, 
the manner telaled by Mosea. 

We bsve now reu^hed the time of tbe diapeiaioii of Ultuki 
and have fbond tbe Gdipture account of eicnta tliUH fai eaae 
rated by uniyersal histiny end tradition. Tbe onl^ dobbWo i 
«f aocounting for tbis, is that pointed out in the Bible, tIi., I 
down to Ibis time, tbe wbole humiin family bad kept in ■ bo 
and bad Toceirud aocounts itom tbeii ancestors of tbe great en ^^ 
llut bad tianapiipd from tbe time of Adam downward, wMcb Qtt 
iFtained at tlmii dispersion, and tbus transmitled to ibeir dsKeai 
aiils, and Ibey to (beirs, and so on lo tbe present day. 
traditions are mdeed corrupted, aa all oral tranflmiBaiDoa 
kpse of many ages must neceaaaiily become ; but (heir great ia 

turcs are every wbere tbe same ; thereby proving, -^-* 

proving, tbal maitkind descended bom Ibe same con 
qndfrom f.^EourGe deieribed in tie Biblt, 

But thougb the remainin 
lo bo universally attesled, i 

mankind prior to tbeir occurrence, still we find tbem amplji C( 
borated, aa will be seen by what follows. 

Tbe destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is mentioned bvDbi 
doius Siculus, Btmbo, Tacitua, Iliny, and Solinus, and isoonmwi 
by the appeuranoi of the Dead Sea. Tbe history of Alnvbun i 
other patiiatclis is given, in agreeineot with Ihe Bible histDtj, fc 
y»ncboniathon ajjd Trogos Poropeiua, tho latterofwhom »]MgM 
J osepb's lUsIory. The Arabs pi"'"' their dosceut &om Ishmu' ""^ 
son of Uagar by Abraham. Various ancient bistoriani sie— 
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph with respect, andKgtM<^ 
Moses in tlieir accounts of tbem. Some of ttiem relate the |lil 

cipal acts of Moses. Diodorus and Herodolus notice tb" ~' 

of Egypt. The doparlure of tbe IsraeUles from Egypt, 
mirauulDUS passage Ibrough tbe Red Sea, arereotnrdcd hj 
sua, Artapanus, Stcabo, Diodorus Sicnlus, Numeoius, Josdi . 
Tacitua. Aclapanus and Diodoms give Ihc parlicuUrs. Not 
lllo mdition of Ibis event extinct to this day among the ' ~' 

the vicinity. The iiihabitanta of Corondel and 

onlheeaatemBideoftbe Bed Sea, Blillproservi ^^ 

oTtbe deliverance of tbe lanielites ; and Ibe Arnbian gMfCulli 
ihwominata tfai9 aaa the "Sea of Kolziim," that is, Ibe 8M' 
DflBtmction. Tbo country in that vicinity confirm* Ha* jad 
tbe iwralive of Moaes. Tbe Old Toatament Etbam b tliui* 
ninaled Etti; Shur, Sinai, and Paran cominae to be kncnM 
their ancient names, as well as Maiah, Elatb, and Midi&n ; uri 
^TOVB of Elim with its twelve fountains remains to this Toyd 

I^iue il l''tt''g;iw\ti|'i Vpni'hni mrthOTH mwArm M\ft TtTBTrmny of 



ACTHEST1C1TY OF THE BIBLE, 177 

Hoses is tmiTersally recognised by hBathen initerB 
as a great lawgiver- Herodoltu, who is denominated the fuClier 
of pro&ne history, says tliat tlie Egyptiims had a tradilien, (hat <u 
very remote ages, tliemin had fciui times departed &om his regnlHr 
course, taring twice Bet rfiere he ought fo h»Te risen, and twice 
risen liihere he ought W have set. The Chinese have a tradiLioc, 
recorded iu their ascienl aimala, thfll in the reiga of Iheit (iig;hl)i 
monarch, I'au, the sun and moon stood elill lea days. Who caji 
read those surprising liaditiotts, 'nilhuiil b^iiig reminded of the 
Bible account of the stopping of tke sna by Jaihna, and ilfi retro- 
gtession in the time of Hezekiah ? The histories of David and 
Solomon are given at considerable length in the remains of the 
PhtKaician annals, Damascenus' history, Eupolomus, and Uius. 
Mcnander, the Epbesan bistnTian, Aleiander Polyhialor, and 
otberx, notice riddies, orhflrdqneatione, sent belwixlSoIomoii and 
Hiram. The Abyrainiatia claini the deaeent of their kings from 
Sabnnon, by tha queen of Sheba. Eupolemua wrote a book on 
Elijah's miracles. Henander mentions the great drought in Eli- 
jah's time. Julian the Apostate admits there were inspired meu 
among the Jews. Lycophron and jEneas Gozeus pve the history 
of Jonah. Justin mentions llaiael, ting of Syria. MenandtT 
mentions Salmanazar, who carried captive the ten tribes, and tlihf 
captivity is further confirmed by certain sculptures on the moun- 
tains of Be-5itoon. near the confines of ancient Assyria. Berosns 
and Herodotus relate llic cipedltions of Sennaeberib, king of As- 
syria; and Herodotus relates the destraction of his great aroP 
The war of Pluuaoh-Kecho against the Jews and Babylonian*^ 
testified by Herodotus, and is farther and moat strikinglT oSi 
firmed by the recent discovery of a sculptured group by At. Bf: ' 
zoni, in the tomb of Fsammis, the Eon of Fharaoh-Necho. Ti} 
Babylonian captivity, and the restoration of the Jews from Ifc; ' 
uapttvily, are too prominent in history to need parlicu!nr reterentti 
iot confinnation. And here ends the Old Testament history. '" 

Hie New Testament is verified in a manner Hlilt stronger 1 , 
more'Etriking, aa might be ejected from its being less ancieirt; 1 
Hers, the testimony of Jmea as well as pagans is to be considen(£^ 
Josephus and Turious heathen writers speak of Herod, ArchetaQS^ 
Ponttiis PiUle, and ulher persons montioued by the New TostA* 
meat. Dion, in his life of Octavius Ctesar, mentions the mnrder 
1^ the babes of Bethlehem ; and Hicrobius, an early heathea hi*' 
toriao, says that Herod ordered to be slain some ehiidnai that 
were under two years of age, among whom whs his own ioll.. 
Josephus snys Herod appointed Archelaus to succeed him. The 
passage uEcribed to Josephus relative to Christ I shall not insist 
upon, bai*iQg no need of it, although 1 do not concede thai it is 
qpunotu. But if Josephos did not in reality notice so distinguished' 
AdMncter. who was mentioned by Pontius Pilate and the Romaii 
'"-^— - — and deified by Tiberius Cffisar, and who was the foun» 
V religion, he was in that porticubir a very partial and 
ll historian. The same may tin BaiA t^l\a^i^e \li >»3. miA. 




r 



178 ACTHENTICITY OF THE BIBT.K. 

mentianing the rtiiHa fian sect, The Jenisk Tnlmu 
very tax tram being ailGiit an Iheaa points. It ii 
nativity, mentioca Ms JoumBjr into Egypt, nnd a 



ig the GiiristiHii sect, The Jenisk Tnlmud, hdwerer, it 
It rcfere to Ctihn'f 
„,.."" B Ui«t he' 
pecformed many miracles, which it altiibutes to magic uid 
inefTable nitme, stolen by him, as that says, from the Tempi*. 
calls him Jeaus of Nazareth, Ihe son of Mary, the da ' ' 
"■■ ' 1 be -was without the knowledge of her 



It Qcknowledgca that two false witnesses wore Buboimd W 
swear aguiist him, and stales that ho was crucified (hi'IIib 

evening of the passover. It raenliona several of h 

■viz., Matthew, James, Thaddeui, and Nicodenms, me i 
of whani it denominates a very great, good, and ; 
rulei. It admits that the disciples of Jesus had Ihe i 
of workiDg miracles, and gives two ioEtaacea not named t 
Bible. Pontius Filats, as it would seeni Brom the appeal* of pnnri' 
live Christians lo his acta, tianamttted to Roma an account nT 
the Saviour's miracles, death, and reaurrection. This accoiml 
was deposited among the nrchiyea of the empire. And hence. Ilia 
piimitive Christians, in their controversies with the Genlilea, q 
pealed to it. Such was the effect which this account prod 
Tiberius, that he proposed to the senate, that Christ aJ 
enrolled among the Roman gods, and threatened punial .._ 
the accusers of the Christians. The famous Tacitus aajt, _ 
author of that (sect or) name was Christtis. who in the rrign 
Tiberius wss pnnuhed with death, u ft miuiual, by the 



B bitter enemy of Christianity, who wrote in the latter part 

second century, mentions the principal facts recorded inthegn* 
pel relative lo Christ, and declares that he copied Ihe x 
from the writings of the companions and disciples of Jesoa, ._. . 
£iie names which they now bear. He admits diat Christ waa coa> 
sidered a divine person by his disciples, and that he actoall; M-> 
formed miracles, which, however, be attributes to magic. Pi^ 
phyry, another distinguiahed opponent of Christianity, who Kill 
about a century after Celsus, attests the genuineness of the M«lf 
Testament. He admitted Christ to be a pious person, and, lik*> 
wise, that he was conveyed into heaven. Julian the ApoMlt^ 
about the middle of the fourth century, admits the genninenesi i^^ 
the Four gospels, and the reahty of the miracles of Chii«t. Br 
could produce no counter evidenoe in refutation of the truth irf 
these things. And even Mahomet acknowledges the authori^ <( 
the gospels, the meaaiahship of Christ, his miracles, his pro^iwciBV 
&c., &c. Thuj much for the New Testament. 

Here, air, is my Bible, with its history, its miraclet, and 
prophecies, compiled from the annals of Ihe human race, and a 
finned by monumental momoriala the world over. No olbarbt 
is thus sustained by external evidence. It is llierefore not 
want of evidence that sceptics reject it, hut becauao they do l 
properly examine lial eviiBneii, ot c^iitmv.-fliah.Wheliere 



CITY OP THE B1DL8. 



■ymt of ils feaiful and eteinal letnbutions. In either cusi^ 

Kt inexcUBsble. Confirmed as aie ihe Bible facts, it ia but 

Hi coDBequoace to ascettain ila aut/um. What maUcrs it 

^bevB know the na-me of no individual who says that Ns- 

gn WBB a great militaty geoios ? As to iui other evidences, it 

Uunn in common with other authentic books. That there 

Id be a history ol the Jewa and Christians, is to bo expected. 

Oid and New Teatamenta ato received as those hialorics, just 

le history of the Rotoans and the Mahomelan religion i<j rc- 

•d as Ihrdri ; and there is no couDtec-hietarj'. Then, agoiii, 

Bible has every internal mark imaginable of being aalhentir, 

BB any authentic hiEtory has. And as to ils internal evidence 

ing &om heaven, suffice it to say, that it contains doctrines which 

miversally admitted lo be infinitely superior to the bigheslcon- 

iona of the nisost heathen philuaophers; which doctrines alone 

ible to overthrow the cruelties and abominaliotis of the pagan 

d, and moralise mai^kind. Such doctrines, sustained, as nc 

o be, by well-subslantialed prophecies and mi- 

no doubt on the candid mind of their divine 

' But there ia another species of evidence still, and yet 

'Ud another, which prove the gunuinenesa of the Bible ma 

in which (liat of no other booti can be proved. It has been 

t read to the people — the Old Testameat to the Jews, and 

rtotkeCtwiatiwis— fiver Mnce it was written; Bolhatithfls 

Batter of far grealer notoriely than any other book. Again, 
Te be^i numerous sects aad ^idsms, in consequence of 
_te doctiiiies have been the subjects of discDssioa, thereby 
t niU greater notoriety. And lastly, it has been continn- 
poaed by bitter enemiea, which has caused it to pass the 
^d scrutiny — nod that too in early times, wlien, if ever, it 
I diaprored. So that, all things considered, no book ui the 
orwfajittjMrt of the evidence of its own genuineness and 
ty which the Bible has. Besides, the memorials of Jems 
I the existence of a religious sect, and in the institutions 
n Sabbatli, baptism, and Ihe Lord's sitpper. The 
10 preserve tlieir ancient memorials. Lo I evidences on 
gg thicken, and I find myself at a loss where to endl The 
"la Jews are burthensome, and they could never have been 
on (hem in the first instance, without the clearest evi- 
f their divine authority. The first propagators of Christ- 
■old have had no possible motive to spread their religion, 
K been true, exposed as they were lo every temporal stif- 
I And they were notaoffercrs for mere opinion's sake : 3UcA 
'I jaovea only the linceriiy of (he suficrer. But they auf- 
vhat thuy declared they htein Biemtltti. They sufifered 
iding the best rcliBion the world ever saw, infidels 
being judges. They sacrificed even their lives to 
'.ind— with the prospect of an elernal hell before their 
imposture, tmless they kncvf wiia^ ^iicj ^lSSlI^»A^a'^e. 
ifo not act thus. Huraau natnie nenor "flaftsft- "*«*' 



l- 



nnki 

thai 



180 AUTHEKTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

rouJdtiiGyliaTe made conveitSMlliey did, muudedliy . ^ 
power. ItiBnatwippDsable, that Jews and pagans would 
(jiiudi their GsL-iblialiGd religions at crorj socnilce, and. haziud snd 
emtmcB a religion tbntwas not fully aiialained by wlisfkctol; 
midence. And what woald be bqcIi evidence? Not ilte mue 
iCBecliom of Chiislions. There vere plenty of asscrtioiu on Aw 
gtiiBr aide. No, nothing but supcniatuial evidence could it-w 
convinced thorn. So thai every converted pagan and Jew in Ike 

first ages of GhriBliflnity iub illaatrious eiideocca of 

otiginiil. 

Had Boman cittlialics been the sole keepers of the Nev TkU- 
ment foi' a thousand years, as my opponent asserts. Ibis vovU 
lave bean a clear proof of its imcomiplcd preBBrratioii, conti ' 
ing, OS that does, many things which ullerly CDodonui mM^ 
Uicir ceremoniea. But it is not tme, that Ihey Laiehad ilai 
Iceeping even for a moment. The Greek church huTe never . . 
cognisud the auUiority of tlie pope, and aie lis tlidependont of O- 
iJidlios Bs ealhoUcs are of them. Thia ciuiith h-is alwijs hul 
iho New Testament, u well as Ihe catliolica, And beudes Itd^ 
nlirre hare nil along been more oi less dissenters Irom the cilli *" ~~ 
ulio have likewise hud it. And there have been heretical 
. from (he very liret, who hitve had it. Let my opponent tben It- 
tract Ihja aasertioQi and the orgmnent founded on it. 
. HJsauihority for tha Floreaiine DiiraoleIlitivBM«iiiined,iid 
I Itaund wanting. The lima in which it is pretended lo bavebeto 
~ ifeimod is not ipeciHed ; the liiatoriana who recorded it aia Ml 
mod; Mid the whole hiu the air of Hctlonllu-anghout. Tbaiw 
~ieivei thftt it itaiids on ground very difiercnt from that of Itl 
"'lldf Ihe Bible. As to llie Alhanaaian miracle, 1 And tf 
^.. of it in any work which truals on the miniclea addu"""'" 

lEQj^aoenls to disprove die miradea of the Bible. Tlul . 

jBt itiseilher an ubscuro or an exploded case, or elie, (hititii 
4.fickiiawledged miracle, and not to their porpoee lo tirgo. A> 
""""'""" """"" ihe exclusive keeping of certain documtnn dBnlf 
and how many ioL^rpolations Ihcy may kan fiiiiM 
^- _- .. •■ know not. Let it be proved, that the woAl rf 
l^rtclot, the dialogue of Eneas, the edict of JusUuian, theloMoiJi' 
" opins, thechranicleorMarcellinaSgandtlie record ofOiEgo^ 

_. ulboen in the hands of all parties ever since Ihey waie TlS- 

litan, just OS the books of the New Testnmnnt have been, md I trill 
' tit the miracle ; for if there have been no intenoUlioM 
.'d be absurd to question it. Still, if thia could bealw*K 
. id lie miracle proved, it would not "seduto '" 
holto uhurch ; for at the time it is said to have been per&maediAil'' 
■^ wUwas nnknown. Popery is of a more recent d^. I(*H 
_,lubstantialiDn, image -worship, and the invocation of ■' 
id sot been introduced, nor the blosphomaus authority andM- 
gItivM of the pope acknowledged. But this Athanaaion nmo* 
rpntt on inveatigadon lo W uiouiAained by htatorical luL l>> 
lifitl^plBCe, the empecoi leno ftiinavtaa ■;»,"■'■' — ■" ""^ 



L'TimNTiCITY OF lElK BIBLE. 181 

but near the close of llie iillh, conunemnng his reign in 491. In 
the next pWe, notnitlistnnduig Ma^int gives a very full list of 
profane authors, he does not eren naniB any Eneiia of GniO, oi of 
any other plocp, in Ihe time of Zcno. He must Unsreforc huvu 
Iwen « fubleit characlar, or a. very obscure one. Nor does ho 
mention MarcelliuuH. And it in unreaaonable to suppose, Ihjil & 
notice of (he niiraclo itself would ia-ve been Omitted by tiis dis- 
liupuished hiatoiian, as well im by olher church historians, hnd it 
been a matter of notoriety. ThMcfora, until we have belter evi- 
dence, it will not be worlli the while iti pay any more attention 
u this case. 

My RiBunient, that it is not to be supposed thai a good God 
would permit the devil to mialead fiiaccre seekers oiler liulh by 
diabaliCH.1 mimdes, addreGsea itself to (he reason of every man. 
Rut this was not the only one 1 used, io show the diiTcrcnco be- 
tween divine and diabolical miracles. 

llie modem cases of a supernatural kind, which in my Inst 1 
promised to produce, here follow : 

Rev. Wm. Tennent, (an extraordinary circumalAnce in relatiou 
to whom I produced in our discussion on (ho divi 



... _ __ ^ ... . it piety and devoljon. 

During an illnesa of his, ho apparently died, and lay entranced 
three days ; ud ns the people were on lite point of celebnting 
Ilia funeral obsequies, he revived 1 On eiamination, ho was found 
(a be totfdly ig;norant of all (he previous events of his life, and bad 
even lost the ability to road I But his recollection was afterwards 
d. The following is his account of what he reullitiid during t 
\e of his apparent death. 
E While I was conversing with niy brother," said lie, "oalhe 
nt «[ my soul, and the fears I had entertained for my iutore 
"no, I found myself, in an instant, in another state of existence, 
It (ho direction or a anperioi l)Eing, who ordered me to follow 
liim. 1 waa accordingly wailed along, I know not how, till I be- 
held at a distance an ineffable glory, the impression of whieh on 
my mind it is impossible to communicate to mortal man. I 
immediately reflected on my happy ohango, and thought- 
Well, blessed bo God ! I am safe at last, notwithstanding all my 
fears. I saw on innumerubte host of happy beings, surroundin); 
Ibc inexpressible gloiy, in acts of adoration and joyous worship ; 
but I did not see any bodily shape or representation in the glorious 
appearance. I beard things unutterable, I heard their aonga and 
hallelujahs of thanksgiving and praise with unspeakable rapturtr. 



I felt joy unutterable and full of glory. I then applied lu my 
conductor, and requested leave to join the happy throng j on which 
he tapped me on the ahoidder, and said, ' Vou 



the earth.' This seemed like a sword (Imiugh my heart, 
instant I recollected to have seen my brother standing befoi . . 
disputing with the doctor. Th.e three days during wKicV l b 
appBfirBd lifeless Seemed to me not more liian Wi;i ot ' 



f 

I 



I 



l81 AVtHENTlClTT OF THE BIBLB. 

nulea. The idea ot returning to this wtuld of Borrow uid troul 
i^iie me siich a shock, that I faioted repeatedly." He add< 
" Such vaa the effect on my mind of nhat 1 had seen aodhm 
that if it be possible for a baman being U> li>e entirely tbov) I 
world and Ihe things of it, foe some time afterward I ma tl , 
person. The ravishing sounds of the songs and baUelujahi that 
heard, and the very words that were uttered, were not out of i 
eara, when awake, for at least three years. All the kHngdonn 
the earth were in my sight as nothing and vanity { and so gn 
were my ideas of heavenly glory, that nothing which did not 
some measure relate to it, could command my seiioag Utcn 

At one lime in hie life, be waa falsely prosecuted, and bsd 
witnesses al band by which bis innocence could be substant' 
Nevertheleaa bia confidence in God remained nosbaken: 
when all bis friends were ready to despond, he alone kepi up 
age- As the court fur tiia trial were about to convene, he I 
little walk ; hut he had not proceeded iai before be met a 
and Ms wife, who stopped blm, and asked if his name wi_ _. 
Tennent He answered in (be affirmative, and begged (o know: 
they had any business with bim. The man replied, "Youl 
know." He told bia name, and said that be was from a, MTl 
place (which he mentioned) in Pennaylvania or Maryland i t 
Bome lUEtits before tbe; left home, lie and his wife utOced out i 
mnnd sleep, and each told the other a dream which had jiut 
tiirrcd, and which proved to be the same in substance — to i 
that be, Mr. Tennent, wasatTrenlon, in the greatest possible i 
tress, and (hat it was in their power, and theirs only, to rdii 
him. Conaideiing it as a remarkable dieam only, Ibey ig 
went to sleep, and it was twice repeated precisely in the m 
manner, to both of them. This made so deep i 
tlieir minds, that (hey set off, and here tbey 
know of Mm what they were tu do. Mr. Torment ^^^ 

went with them to the court-house, and his counsel, on ezamiBll 
(be man and his wife, and finding their testimony to be fUl to fl 
purpose, were, as Ihey well might be, in perfect ajloiiishll 
Before tbe trial began, another person, of a low character, oi 
cm Mr. Tennent, and told him that be was ao barrassed in i 
science, for the part be had been acting in this prosecution, 
he could get no rest till be had determined to come and nii 
full confession. He sent this man to his counsel also. SoonL. .,_ 
Mr. Stockton from Princeton appeared, and added bis lestimaqi 
In short, they went to trial, and, notwithstanding ihe utmost «M~ 
tions of the ablest counsel, who had been employed lu aid fl 
attorney-general against Mr. Tennent, the advocalfs on hild 
satisfied the jury ao perfiiclly on (he subject, that Ibey did B 
hesitate honourably to acquit bim, by their uuanimons ttriidi 
not guilty, to the great con&sion and morlificaliun of his ~ — 
Dus opposers. 
ThomM Chttlkle:y "hm i woitej iuii\i^\^- 




AUTHKSTicTTY OF THE biblt;. 183 

preacher among llio ftiencis. In his journal are rtCnrdpd flic 
foUuwing eventa. Tho ftrat ocCHiriid at sea. It relates to a yuung 
physician thai was on board. It is as follows .— 

" About this Time our Doctor dreamed a Dream, which was to 
II^ Effect, himself letaling it to me: He said, He dreamed 
thalhewentnn Shore at a great and spacious Town, the Buildings 
whereof were high, and the Streets hroad ; and as he went up the 
Street, he saw a large Sign, on which vas written in neat golden 
Lelten SHAME. At the Door of the Hoii» (to which the Si^ 
belonged) stood a Woman with a Cann in her Hand, who sud 
luilo bim. Doctor, vnllj/ou drinkt He replied, vith all my Ileatt, 
I hare not drank any Thing hut Water a great while four Wine 
and Cider being all epenl, hating had a long Paaaage) and he 
drank a hearty Draught, which, he said, made him merry ; so he 
vent up the Street reeling to and fro, when agrim Fellow coming 
behind him, clapp'd him on the Shoulder, and told him. That hi 
tirreated him m l/tt Nams of&e Govemoar o/IAe place. Heaaked 
him fin- what, and said, 'VPhBthnveldone? He answered, /or 
tUraling the Woman's Cann; the Cann he had indeed, and so he 
■ashad before the tiovemoiir, which was a mighty Black Dop, the 
luggcst and grimest thai ctbt he saw in his Life ; and WilnesH 
Vas brou^ in against him by an old Companion of his, and he 
Was fbimd gnilly, and his Sentence was, to go to Prison, and there 

"He told me Uiisdreamsopuncfually, and wilhsach anEm- 
fhasif, that it affected me with serious Sadnes:, and caused my 
Heart to moTC within me (for to me the Dream seemed true, and 
the Interpretation sure.) I then told him he Kae an ingenious 
Man. and might clearly see the Interpretation of that Dream, 
'R'bicb exacQj answered to his State and Condition, which I thus 
interpreted lo him : ■ This great and spacious Place, wherein the 
Buildings were high and (he Streets broad, is thy great and high 
Profession : The Sign, on which was wrote Shams, which thou 
Baw-eat, and the Wuman at the Door, with the Cann in her Hand, 
tmlf represents that great, crying, and shameful Sin of Drunk- 
(tnness, which thou knows to be thy great Weakness, which the 
"Woman with ihe Cann did truly represent to ihee ; The grim Fel- 
lo-w which arrealed thee in the Deril's Territories is BMt4, wbo 
'Will assuredly arrest all Mortals: The Governor which thon 
■aireat, representing a great black Dog, is certainly the Detil, 
'vrho, after his Servants have served him to the full, will torment 
them eternally in Belt.' So he got up as it were in haste, and 
aaid. God foiiidt It is nothing but a Drtam. But 1 told bim it 
'WiLS ■ very significant One, and a Warning to him from the Al- 
mighty, who lometimes speaks to Men in Dreams. 

" Now about this Time (being some Days after the Doctor's 
Dreaiii) a grierous Accident happened to us. Wc meeting with 
a DatiA Vessel in Lime-bay a. little above the Starl, hailed her, 
ani) she ns. They said they came irom Labon. and were bouivd 
tiiT HollaiKl. Shawas loaded with WiDc, Btauij, 'Vt>ii>.,aQ4'«d&- 



18-1 AUTiiENTlCETl- OF THE BIBtl!. 

like Commoditiea ; and ve hniiag litlje but Water to drisfc; 
reason oiir Passage was longer Ihaa we eipEcUjil.) flie ' " 
Beat, Dur Bcal on board, in aider to bny us a little Wine 
with our Water. Our Doctor, and a Merchant Uiat ws9 a 
senger, and one SaQor, wont on board, where they sWd to 
until some nt ihem were overcome with Wine, althougk 
irece desired lo beware (hereof; so that when they caau ba) 
Rope being hnnded to them, they being filled with Wine 
Excess, were not capable of using it dexterously, insomndl 
they overset the Boat, and she turned Bottom upward, hM 
theDoctor under her. The Mprchant caught hold of a RcveCI 
the Main Sheet, whereby his Lift was saved. The Subr 
setting so much Drink as tha other two, got nimbly on tlu 
lom of the Boat, and floated on the Water till such Time »* 
other Boat was hoisted out, which was done with gitai Sf 
and we took him in; bn( the Doctor wns drowned Itefin* 
Boat came. The Seaman that sat upon the Boat caw lun ) 
but could not help bim, Thi? was die peatcst Exerrlsa ths 
met with in all our Voyage; and much the more bo, as thelk 
was of an evil Life and GonTersation, and much given to El 
of Drinking. When he got on board the aforesaid Ship, lb) I 
ter gent foe a Cann of Wine, and said, Dor:tor, viiB yim Bi\ 
llo replied, Yei, wH/i all my Heart, for Fve drank no tK 
great ahils. Upon which he drank n hearty Draught, that B 
him merry, (as he eaid in his Dream ;) and nctwilhstandini 
Admonition which was so clearly maiufesled to him butn 
Daya before, and (he many FrotDiseshe had made to Aln' 

God, some of which I was a Witness of, when strong 

were upon him, yet now he was unhappily overcome. 
Drink when he was drowned." 
The ueM case which he relates ia as follows ;— 
"Iwas at the Burial of our Friend, JonalAan 
which we had a very large Meeting; he was a Man geneiattj' 
beloved by his Friends and Neighbours. In this MeeOng r ' 
gage (he had oSien told mo in his Health) u-as brought to B) 
membrance, I think worthy lo be recorded to the End of ' 
which is as follows : It happened at Port-Iiof/al, in JmnalM 
two young Men were at Dinner with Jonathan, and divlfM 
People of Account in the World, and they were speokinf 
Earthquakes (there having been one in that Place formerly, 
was very dreadful, having destroyed many Houses and PuL 
Theae two young Men argued that Earthquakes, and oil 
Things came by Mature, and denied a supernatural Pow 
Deity ; insomuch that diverse, surprised at raoh winked 
course, and being ashamed of their Company.leftitj audi 
same Time the Earth shook, and trembled cxceedin^y, mAi 
aitaniHhcd at such Treason against its Sovereign and Creator, ' 
Footstool it is : And when the Earth thus moved, Uie C« 
which remained were so astonished, that aome run one Ww, I 
tiome another, ^al{tii»cW(i&>l\i:\(J^c«\'^<nmf,Keti staid m 




AUTHBNTICITY OF THE BIBLE. IS,') 

Boonl, and JonatAan wiUi them, he beliering that the Piovldenit 
of Alioighty God could pieeerre him there if he pleased, and ii' 
not, that il n-aa in yain to fly ; but the Hand of God sioate these 
two }-Dung Men, su that Ihey fell down ; and, aa Jonalhaa lolt! 
ijie, he laid otie on a Bed, and the othar on a Couth, and they 
lu'voi spoke murif, hat died soon afti^r. Tlua was tho amazing 
End of these young Men : A dio&dful Example (o all Atheists, 
mid dissolute aai wieked Livers." 

John HoMB, who suffered manyrdora in 1415, told tlie people 
^ la death, lliaC out of lie ashes o( the goose, (which ia the sig- 
ktVHi of Husa in the Bohemian language,) Gud. would raise 
Em Gennany, a hundred yeiirs after, a siau, irhose singing 
'1 afijiglit all those Tulluica (meaning the popish clergy). 
E esBctly fulliUed lu Lulher (signi^'UTg swan) a hundr^ 

.B hl^vidual of my acquaintance ia this city, is preparing to 
HMCoce Ihe public a pamplilet containing a number of remark- 

K. ^ of the foregomg kind. Ha has kindly parmitlBd me to 

iie two t'ollowinit foe iuaertion in this discussion, hefim 
■ ■IlpQuance of liia pamphlet. Here fallow the extracts in bis 

Plkdew B combinatton formed for the express purpi;' of de- 

g Chiiatiauily more than fifty years since; and theyac- 

" 1 notbinf but their own destruction. Their otgeols 

i, to oppose civil and religious govemnieni, and to recreate 

MelvCfl as their pcopenaities and appetites should diolate, 

.WVbia composed thia association were my neighbour), and 

ff ■(>( Ikem my sphool-malea. I knew them well bolh before 

■iaiterthey fonned Ihoii uaBociation. I marked their conduct, 

d know their end. They conwsted of about twenty or 

s, besides females. After tlie formation of this asaoida- 
I, I knew a man of the society of &iundB, of the oounnr of 
ite of New-York, by the name of Daniel Ha- 
i, who attended a leliji^ioiis meeting at which. I was present. 
'n lie meeting with trembling limba, with tears rolling 
IT iaa fuiTOwed cheeks, and sprinkling npon the floor, and de- 
hI: — ' I saw a vision of those whocanepiio against my master. 
~9, keep Irom them ! Keep your children from mem! I 
law the viild boor of the forest making inroads upon (hem, and 
every footstep marked with blood. I shall think strange if they 
do notdiesome bloodyorunnalural death.' Six were shot, sevtn 
vere hung, seven were drovmed, two drank themselves to death, 
nna was eaten by the hogs, anoUier by the dogs, one committed 
micide by alabbmg himself, one foil from his horse and was killed 
hy the fall, one vms accidently struck by on axe and bled to death. 
t have oil their names, and can give all the partiuulars of their 

" About the year 1730, one Benjamin Kclley, in my presBnce, 
Fvrscd his ^ther, and wished his damned eyes were torn out of 
hie tead. 1 tlien saw Itis end. I saw liim in my oua^ M!l>iw^«^ 



I 



18G AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLB. 

y/tad, and Ibe ciows pickuig hia eyes out. After these eipieasiiiii 
to hii ratber, he murdeTed a man b; the name of Clark. He *■ 
■waylaid by a number of boys, who were indignani on accouBt of 
the murder of Clark, and Hhttt off IVom hii horse. He &U iUs 
the CTOtobaf a tree, ao as to throw his face upward, bisfe«t bMuA> 
iag the ground, and was not found atid interred until tfta ibt 
crowflliad literally picked his eyea out of his head !"• 

A tlergyroan of this tity has several times related in hif WT' 

himMilf acquainttd, the purport of which is an follows: — A femb 
lelt a heavy burthen on her spirit, in relation to the eteml 
well-being uf one of her acquoiuCiLnce. She betook hen^W 
prayer in his behalf, in whlfji she continued for a. long liiilft 
without rGBlizing an answer, But at length, about one lfd«A 



» 



....„, , I sm. 

by faith to understand that her prayer was heard, and the snUctt 
t&ereof converted to God. She immedrntely repaired to SW 
boebend's room, and informed him that the indiridual uDdei 
tideratioD had found the Lord precious to his soul. He aikfdBtt 
whom she had seen that had given her this intotmalioii. " Kb 
one," replied ahe, '■ but God haa revealed it lo me." On inqn&> 
ing the next day, it was aaccrtaiaed, that (hat indivldoil Bd 
indeed experienced the quickening energies of tlic Holy Spirit It 
the very hour of the preceding night specified by the female tbtnt 
mentioned. 

My own grandsire was a baptist t!lerg3nnBn. I have lepoatedl]' 
)ieard him relate a number of ioBlances of a nature similv to tiw 
one last mentioned, as matters of Au ovm experience. I will |^ 
-me BB a specimen, which la in substance as foUows : — After harillg 
Vae ni^trelired to rest, he feltapowerlul impression, thatheimut 
Wiae, and go to the house of a distant inilividual, to him designtled. 
Vbe reason for this he was not given to understand ; bat pi ia 
must. He arose and wout, and, on his arriTal, found an imlM. 
dual there in great agony of soul for sin. He cried to tho Lord in 
that iudividaare behalf. The Lord heard Lis cry and aent relief; 
and, if my memory serves, a powerful revival ofrdi^on foUoiwed. 

LAsdy. / have m</tclf experienced many things of ■ nmQn 
nature. It was Ihe miracubnu eS^ision of the Holy Ghost npaa 
me, that gave me faith in Christ, and annihilated in me tba Ml 
lingering vestiges of infidelity, against whichlhad (or weeks' 
sliuggli^ in seeking after trulli. And it has pleased God to i 
me a vieiou, which at some future day 1 may perhaps be dirt 
to make known. Many utlicr tilings could I relmo Jrom m|r 
htotcledge, ei^ually wonderful n-ith any thing which 1 have g 
in the preceding examplea. 

The foregoing are but a small port of the well-auUientieilcd 
eases of the kind which I could give. And there ore soma ' " 

e juVDg ngijEi iluU a 



AUTUESTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 187 

vidu&ls whom God lias iHioiired with eitiaordinuy ezeiclaea, 
who nererthelesH refrain from giving Ihe same pnblicitj', Ihrougli 
the dread of bein^ denotiunated visionaries and eDthusiasts; and 
thus does the cause of tiutli lack the supporl vhich it ought to 
receive &om them, flul a poor return ia this foe the distinguished 
favoM which they have received at iho hand of God. Let (hem 
beware, lest the talent committed to them be (akea from them, 
Bad given to others more failliful. 

In addition to all the foregoing, every Christian, — that Ib, every 
regenerated individual, — eiperiencea nothing less llian a miracle in 
ilia legeneration. And every individual who believes in a God, 
does Tirtually believe in miracles, in believing in his providence. 

The approbation of suicide by Pope, oi Moore, or Addison, or even 
by anani;elofllght, would not make it the loss infernal. Nevet- 
tnelesa, 'lis a strange construction of a poeea per>oti\/iecUiaa of a 
self-ioiaderer, to make it an approbation of his deed. It will he 
no May matter to persuade the public, that Addison approved of 
suicidi!, just because he aj a jHet put a soliloquy into the moulh 
of Cato. Nor does it appear, &om any thing of this nature, that 
I'ope and Moore approved of it; though, even if Ihey did, Chria- 
tiani^ has little concern with either of them. As to the old 
heath«D philosophers, suidde is one of the very reasons I urged ia 
their case to show their need of revelation. Why then are they 
in) rodueed as a palliation of itp My opponent, however, denies 
ihnt it ia a featuia of infidelity. Why then does lie say, that it ia 
0/ eoune to be expected, that 7 should ditajfirove of it ? The 
fact is, CliriEtiani^ does not sanotion it. This is the reason why 
I should be eipected to disapprove of it. The manner in which 
he disposes of the other cases, viz., infanticide and the mncder of 
deorepid old people, is very far Itom being satisfactory. The casts 
ofthe old people he does not notice at all. As to infants, he would, 
it seems, by his reference to "Moral Physiology," have parents 
produce no sickly ones: such as are so constituted as to bo unable 
to give being to heallhy oflspring. he would have relrain from be- 
coming parents. But suppose such ones should refrain, what mode 
ivouid he propose in tho cases of those who sometimes have healthy 
and aometimes sickly oifspringf Must they wholly abstain ? And 
tlien there is oceaaionaliy a d^ormed child. What ia to be done in 
lliat cose ? And there are the deaf and the dumb and the blind, 
and idiots and nmntui'S. What shall be done with them? More- 
over, Bupposo those patents whom he would keep childless, should 
not think proper to follow his advice in this respect ; what should 
be done ^vith their offspring? In a word, what would it be best 
to do with the world at it iit Hera are «ckly and deformed 
infants, idiots, maniacs, invalids, and deorepid old people ; and 
sueh there are like^ to continue to be, notwithstanding all the 
visionary piojecta of my opponent. The question therefore is, I' 
it proper to rid the community of these burthensome members aa 
the heathen do f If not, then lliose heathen need revelation to 
wilighlen them on these poinla ; for scieneo 



I 



1B8 AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 

ReTer done lliia. My opponent must tJiereloM dufiind all I] ._ 
murderous ■bominntions uf the hettthen, or admit the necesn^ 
rcreUtiaii. He needs not think of evading the point by laHoi 
of "celch-qiiestions," and "notorious irrelevant Lea," «nd byl 
liiughD.blecanipaiisDnof himsell' with thu Saviouc. Theieanr 
imJevanciea, no cstch-questions ; nor must they be evaded. B 
velalioD is necessary, or else all the impurities, aboroiDstioB^ ■ 
iiuiderous Tites of pa^nism are right And now let him msM 
ler to sneak out definitely on AXL theiie points. Let him defel 
lieatheniSm in all ia bmgth and bTeadl/i, or admit the neOEMl^ 
reretatlon. But if uMittji is the test of right and wrong, hmMi 
ntiTedly, moai asmrally, would the ridding of socielf of all in In 
thensome, troublesome members, be right. Hosts,sauredlywonl 
it he useiol to dispatch, in some essy munner, sickly and doGmni 
in&nto, idiots, maniocs, invalids, and decrepid old people. Hq 
tho principle followed ont vould go ninch ftirther. It wtmld In 
Fa &B stealing of properly by the poor IrDm the rich ; to the Cei 
mission of fomicadan ajid secret adultery, without whictt Han 
and others contend the fnU advantages of life cannot be realised 
to the exterminatien of every drunkard, and every other pecmciM 
member of society ; to Uie dit^tcbing of individnals wlani ) 
great pain of body, or trouble of mind ; and to the exlii]<aliMl 
urery aceptic and heretic by Omstiana, who conEidei (hem baaeT^^ 
members of society, and of every Chileliun hy ikem, thvfta 
dderingChriglians in the Bame light. Bi>hol(l, then, lliiitwBUil 
system uf utilitariatUBm I Let us nut be tuld, that the "ai 
Buffering, and the violiition of the most amiable fealings," «U 
irach aefa ivould occasion, would overbalance their utility. Tl 
is to condemn paganisni, which did Just this by inlantidde, ftl 
and to admit the necefsity of revelation. It is likewise M ew 
demn suicide. As to the "cruel suffering" in many of these CM 
an easy death would be a relief. And if man faoa no soni, «d 
not as Avell kill a human being nithout " violence to nin inhlB ta 
rag," as to kill a beast ? Nay, why would it not gratify sjnU 
feeling, seeing the motive would be good, viz., ta benefit M<itl 
and relieve wretchedness ? Alas 1 in what a predicsment is M 

Zonent, when all At) reasons against inAnticide, &c., |^ lodo^ 
.the heathen " inflicted cruel suffering, and violated tt« MM 
nmiahle of buman feelings," and, therefore, thai ibeygreatfynsaM 
revelation. Witlt regard to the Coses o( Euicide, '&c., by him ' 
dnced as the result of religious delirium, they furnish m aigaai 
in favour of Christianity, in that they show, that a believer ia ' 
religion does not commit it when in his right mind, but huiBlli* 
Srst place to become delirious. But U is e»nnilmie tor a ttftltH 
kill khnttt/yrheti in hia rifhi mind— that is, if any state vf Hi 
mind can be said lu be so. Itwitl be said, that religim MM 
some distracled, in amsegufnce of which Ihey kill Ihnnsalwk I' 
do not admit this. 'Tii^ the want of religion which diivM tha 
distracted. Tliey will not bow their stubborn necks to Jshont 
In penitence ; the; -mU luA suboo.^ Vi lua i«i^uisiiioDs ; and bsaw 



ACTHENTICITT OF THE BIBLE. 1'89 

they are made fearful examples to olhera, lo beware of thoii inoor- 
ripbility. But theabu^ of a thing; is no a^ument against its use. 
Vfeie Ctmstianfl coolly lo EJt down, like infldels and heathen phi- 
losophetB, and plead the propriety and " utUity" of suicide, leUgion 
might then bo charged wiui causing it, with some appearance of 
tnUh. The remark of my opponent, that we have no right to de- 
legate to others the right lo lake our lives, nnlcss we have the 
right to do it oniselves, may be answered by observiiig, th&t ae 
delegate no such right to others; it is a commandment of thi 
Author of existence, that the life of a murdfrer shall be taken 
by his fellaw.man. But this is no reaeon why a man should take 
]ui oiOH life on account of trouble. 

He speaks of the "scanty" proofs of the exislf nee of Moses 
and Jesus, adduced by Watson and Leslie. Will he just inform 
us how eopiou are the prools of llie existence of Alexander tho 
Great, or of Augustus Casar, or of any other individual named 
ia history ? But he is " aurpriaed," he says, to find the proo& so 
Manly. So then it seems he had not examined the subject before, 
any mote tiian Thomas Paine did the New Testament before he 
wrote against tliaC. Ferlectly in character for sceptics. Jnsl 
iriiai might be expected. I never knew a sceptic yet who did 
Iboroughly examine the subject. Voltaire did not Gibbon did 
Bot. Paine did not. And now it seems Mr. Owen has not. 

He dcnominBtes Ihe concluding paiagritph of mj last letter a 
•quib. It is much easier to do this than to make the experiment 
■hich in that paragraph I recommended to sceptics. Let fftem 
imderlake to spread Christianity among the heathen in the way 
in which ihey lay it aasfint spread, and they will then see whe- 
ther it tiould have been so spread or not. But, Berionslj, I would 
again press it upon them as a duW, to aid in ameliorating thn 
•ondition of the heathen. If ihcy do not approve of Christianity 
ud Christian missions, let them fit out missions to their own 
BMng. They might as well " clear" part of the " around" as for 
Chrislianf to clear it all ; especially as they do not fail to occupy 
Mme of it a<\ei it is cleared. Nor have they more to do "at 
Lome" than Christians have. There are infidel as well as "ec- 
elasiastical encroachments to resist ;" infidel " attempts on liberty 
of conscience to repel ;" infidel " graspings ailer power to expose ;" 
infidal opposert of Iho " Sabbath-tnni! petitioners to watch ;" and 
■a ir^iiel "party in politics to grapple with:" — notwithstanding 
all which, Christians coutrive to spare some men fur the benefit 
nf Uie heatben. And if sceptics and heretics had one half lh« 
benerolence lo which they protend, Ihcy woiUd spare some like- 
n-ise, instead of exerting all their energies to stir np domestic dit- 
Cord, and lo embitter one part of the community against another, 
^nd here let me suggest to them to do something at home lot the 
promotion of the causes of which they profess to approie, (tha 
Temperance ond Magdalen causes for example,) instead of slftod- 
ing still and finding fault with the manner m 'nW.U O&ien «x* 
auemptiag to peomote those causes. 



IDO AUTHENTICITY OF TUB BIBLE. 



1 



I call once moie Cat llic passage ivhich says Uiat Moees vtoM 
an account of his onu death, and. likewise for that which »sji 
that tha B^la was loiit and found. And I sUll demaail, that UmI 
ttttnch of tnodem knowledge he deaignated which proxei iritdi- 
er.ift to be impossible. 

I haTs already shown, that the wisest heathen SBgea iraw 
involved in gross spiritual darkness, and. that they iocolcaled and 
practised ^sa initnoralities. The sketch of their chaiaclecl^ 
one of their own number, is all that I shall odd to this paiticiilu. 
"The moat notorious vices," says Qniactilian, speaking of ilie 
nhilosopheraof his time, "are screened under the name; and they 
do not lahoui to maintain the character of philusopheis by virtnt 
or study, but conceal the mostvicioua lives nnder an ai ' ' ' 
and lingiilarity of dress." 

I will next compUment morffrn infidel philoscyAulf titron^ <aa 
of fAeu- mmiber. "These philosophers," says Rouiwau, "tie 
haughty, affirmative, and dogmatical; pretending to knowemj 

mon point appears to me to be the only one in which they ate 
tight. Tmth.theysay.isneTerprejudicialtomen: IbolieT8»ol«»l I 
uid this ia, in my opinion, a great proof, that what Ihey teach ii W' 
the truth. Were philosophers in a situation to discover tnith, «^ 
among them woiild interest himself in its behalf? Each o~ ' 
well knowa that his By^tem is not better faunded lliui 11 
othors; but he supports it because it is his. Thereisnol 
tliem who, having found truth and falsehood, but would jai .. 
lie he had adopted, lo truth discovered Iw another. Wbere it tk>^ 
philosopher who, for his own g;lory, would, not deceive manldadT 
Avoid those who, under the pretence of explaining nature, »o» 
desolating doctrines in the hearts of men ; and whose appawu 
scepticism is a hundred times more affirmalive and dogmalic*! 
than the decided tone of theli adversaries. Moreover, by ovb* 
turning, destroying, and treading under foot every thing reapecltd 
by men, they deprive the atHicled of tlie last conaoUtion of llltii 
misery, and take from the rich and powerftil the only bridle »( 
their passions ; they snatch from the heart both the remoiie <i i 
erimo and the hope of virtue; and still boast of being ibsbe ~ 
actors of mankind." 

I will now draw a parallel between some of the n 
gttished Christian and inlidel philosophers. 

Sir Francis Bacon was one of the greatest philosot^ieti of ^ 
age. It was of him that Addison said, " He possessedU oi ~ 
those extraordinary talents which were divided among tl 
luthots of antiquity." And in ahomag that the -wiscalmi 
ages have been believers in the Christian religion, heaeloOiB 
BB a sample. He it was who first lauglit men to re4Ma in 
lively, and therefore ccrroctly. This great man declared, lU*j 
first principle of right reason is rehgion : and that, after itl Ir 
studies and inqvuiicB, Ue limW-oot die with any other thon^tiAl 
tbOEe of Qis CluiaWi. ii^M^q^. " V^w&.ra.'i^mt.;' nq^he, '- W'' 



AOTHBKTICITY OF THE BIBLE, 191 

■11 the fables iit the Legead, the Talmud, and the Alcoran, llian 
lli&t thia uuiyersol frame is without a miud. Cod never wrought 
H uiiiacle tc convert an atheist, because hia ordinary worlu con- 
fute him. A thorough insight into philoaophy makes a good be- 
liever, and a smaltcrmg in it naturally produces such a race nt 
despicable infidels, as the little profligate writers of the preacntogG, 
whom, I must confess, I bavc always accused to myself, not so 
much for their want of laith, as their waul of learning." 

Hon. Robert B<ivi.e was a most eminent philosopher. Of him 
the celebrated Dr. Bixrhaave remarks, that liom hjs works may 
be deduced the whole system of natural knowledge. This great 
man was as good as great, aud pursued lus philosophical studies 
with an eye to the promotion of the interests of religLon. He wrote 
aeverol valimblo articles in defence of Chiistianity, 

John Milton, the immortal bard of England, was possessed of 
immense genius and erudition. He could read in all the leaRied 
and polite languages. This great genius wrote in defence of 
Chrislianity ; to which he was so dtvuted, that he not only made 
the Bible llie rule of his conduct, but the guide of his genius. 

John Locke, Esq., immojtalised by his philosophical worlu, 
was distinguished likewise as a champion of the Christian reli^oB. 
Speaking of the Bible, he says, " Therein are contained Ihe word* > 
HI eternal life. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and 
truth, without any mixture of error lor the matter." "His name," 
aajs a celebrated writta, "will continue to be revered wherem 
lesTning, liberiy, and virtue, shall be held in estimation." Queoi 
Caroline placed his bust, together with those of Bacon, Newttai, , 
and Clark, in a pavilion erected by her in honour of philoeopl^, ' 
as being the four principal Enghsh philosophers. 

Sltt Isaac Newton was one of the greatest geniuses that ever 
appeared on Ihe stage of the world. Kelt eaya , that if oil philoso- 
phy and mathematics were considered as consisting uf ten paila, 
nine of them are entirely of his discovery aud invention. Thi* 
WMideifiil man devoted lumself to tJie Study of the Scriptures, and 
wrote in their defence- Dr. Byland says, " The character and 
practice of this great man, are more ibart sufGcient to weigh down 
to elemity all the Bolingbrokea and Humes, the Bousseaus and 
Voltaires, that have ever lived, or ever will live, to the end of 
lime. Let the modem free thinkers, or rather half thinkers, or no 
thinkers, hide their beads in confusion and darkness, instead of 
sUmding up with impudence against so great a master of reaaoo. 
and philosophy." 

The foregoing is a list of afew of the great men who have es- 
poused Ihe cause of revelation. How utterly ridiculous, to hear 
pert striplings, with but a thousandth part of ihoir learning or 
Bimius, talk of the ignorance and weakness of believers in the 
Bible. 

Compare we now the foregoing Individuals, with the principal 
infidel philoSopAutl. 

31iere was Lord Herbert, who tauglit that IliB "m.4\i?,CQtt "A \->J2X. 



I 



» 



1 92 AurnifSTiciTV of the biule. 

nni anger is no more lo be blamed than the tbint occaaiatied bj 
(he dropay. Tbeie was Hobbes, who taugbt ibat every man luu 
> right to bU thiiige. and may lawfully get them Lf be can. Then 
was Lord Bolingbioke, wbn advocated the giatificatiun of tbe oil 
passiona, coademned modesty, and pleaded for adultery. There 
WHS David Hume, vbo condemned the virtUDS and praised the vicea, 
and who contended that adnltny must be practised, if men would 
obtain all the advantages of life I There was Vottaiie, who advo- 
cated ttie unlimited gratiBeation of the appetites. There wu 
Rousseau, who made feslmg his standard of morality. AlmMttll 
these mon attacked ChrisliatiJty under the guiao of &iendahi)i. 
CotUim, Sheiftetibury, and others, qualltied themaelTes far civil 
office by partaking of the Lord's supper, though they had not lh« 
least belief in ChristiaQity. Rochester was grossly InunoraL 
Woolston WHS BU outrageous hlasphEmec. Morgan was a aolo- 
lious liar. Voltaire was a hypocrite, a violator of confidence, a 
violator of truth, a tyrant, a proaigate, and an adulterer. Doubt- 
ful of the ciistence of God, he professed lo believe the Catholic 
TeUgion. Engaged in attempting the overthrow of Chiistianily. 1m 
received the symbols of the body and blood of its author. Aj 
for Houssean, he was a noted dcbsuchee, and a peijured hvpo- 
crilc. And Thomas Paiue was B souniloua calumniator, a fiithy 
drunkard, and a dishonest msji. 

In view of the foregoing parallel, I would ask the candid [fader 
which class of philosophraa appear to have been under the g ' ' 
■nee and influence of eternal truth. 

Chhstiani^haa been opposed by formidable enemies froti 
very commencement tothepreaent hour. Ail manner of ob_,__ 
lions have by them been urged, and have been considered hj ih* 
world; and still this reUgion prevails. Their mightiest eAntt 
haveproved unavailing. Front hU its fiery trials, ithHSCome Ibrih 
like gold seven limes IriBd. It Blood (he lest of the most ngil 
icraliny in its infancy, when, if ever, it could hsve beeu provM 
■n imposture. Every disoissi on of its merits from that dajM 
Ibis, has served but to establish it the more Srmly. Inlelleeli a(' 
the highest or rler, after the most Ihomugh examination, bowtolhc, 
ibrcB of its evidence. Eighteen hiuidied years vt opposition flndl' > 
its divine authority acknowledged by tlie most enlightened B»r 
tions, and its triumphs extending from aca to sea, and fronl Qw I 
rivers lo the ends of Ihe earth. How prepor^terous, then, mtdcc 
all these circumstances, for sceptics in otir day to dresm of bk 
cess against this religion ! What have they lo u^e which has iit._. 
been urged again and again in vain P And who amons them sH' 
wield those old objections more efficienlly Ihan as a Gibbcs, • 
Hume, and a Voltaire r Yet Christianity has withstood Iheir mi^ 
tieal efibrls, and come off triumphant. Hon preposteroui^ thinv 
1 repeat it, for any now to dream of its overthrow ! Thero ue bnt 
two new measures left for them to adopt to accomplish Oiett 
object, and these they would do well lo try forthwith, and llliH 
■etUe Ihe nii«don for ever : The oni. ig. for Ihom to Mjr hM 



AETIIENTICITY OP THS BIBLE. 193 

evidence is neceasary to prove hislory as undent as that of the 
Bible, and r^ecl all iiuch Iiiatory as has not this evidence ; the 
ulher, to invent a buok uf marvels, &c., like the Bible, and attempt 
lo palm it upon mankind pieciselj in the way in vrhich they say 
lAs BibU was palmed upon them. It^ by the adoplion of thes^ 
meaflares, tliey leave any ancient history uneiploded, and get the 
world to receive their book, they will Ihen hare ahowii that it ii 
.pouAIe the Bible may be an imposture. 

It remains, that I brii'flyrecapitulate the leading aignments and 
evidences Hddu<:ed during the discussion of thiq question, snd 
Ihus leave the substance of the whole directly before the mind of 
the reader. 

In support of the poaition, that leveUtion is necessary, I haye 
shown tlmt mankind, left lo Ihemaelves, liave uniformly feUen into 
the most cmel and abominable practices, their wisest phiiosophera 
not excepted ; that what light Ihey Aaw possessed it but » reflec- 
tion from the lays of the son of patnardial, Mosaical, and Christian 
revelation; that infidels among ourselves derive their best ideas 
from Ibe religion of the Bible, according to the admission of soma 
of their own number ; that the reaiiU of (he only experiment ever 
made by a nation to discard the Bible, was the most disastrous 
and temble ; that from the foregoing consideralinns, there ia 
reason to believe there would now be no knowledge of God on the 
face of the earth, yea, that the human race would have become 
extinct by violence, vice, and crime, liad no revelalion ever been 
made ; and that it is unreasonable (□ suppose God would have 
madea world of rational beingH, and leittliem in such a condition. 
Hence the reasonableness of supposing, that a revelation has been 
made. I have shown, by the admission of infidels themselves, that 
the Bible has by far the greatest apparent claim to be conudered 
a revelation, of all other honks besides. From the circumstance. 
that raeh men as Bnoon, Newton, Locke, Milton, and others, 
have, after full investigation, been believers in the Bible, I have 
argued, thai, whether true or false, it cannot be that gn»>ly ab- 
surd, Belf-conlradiclory book which sceptics pretend. That ila 
opposera are in general immoral men, I have urged as a reason 
for supposing that their opposition arises not torn want of evi- 
dence in its behalf, but from their dislike of its fearful denuncia- 
tions of vice ; the more especially, as some of them renounce in- 
fidelity in the trying hour, and die in horror. This latter consi- 
deration I have urged as a reason for the thorough examination of 
the Bnbjcct by otheis, inasmuch as men may well pause, before 
embracing a system which serves its authors so poorly in the time 
oTneed. I have bionght into view the fact, that the Bible bM 
every possible internal mark ofgennineness, and not one of forgery. 
I bave shown, that it is confirmed by the existing state of things, 
and by unircrsalhistory and tradition; that its doctrines infinitely 
■nrpasa all the discoveries of human reason ; that it conts* — 
wonderful prophecies, uttered long before their aecompliahme 
and that il is the only means which prove effectMaV tjiii\EtoiTOJOK*- 



[ 

I 



194 

iagaDd moraliHng of mankiiid. I havcliki>wise proreil, that Got 
baa not eveii cow wholly roisaken the enrOi, but that be doe^ 
in CBrtoin instouces, mimcufoui^ manifest bimaelf to puticulM 
individnals ; ttiat geniune ChrUcians tuna the truth of the etp»- 
rimenldl parls of the Bible by (heir own eiperiGOce ; and Ihat " 
general providence is admilled hy ijl wio admit a God. 

The fore^ing positiouB 1 have, oa 1 conctiivc, Buccoeded i 
establiBhing in the face of the moat determined uppooition an lla 
part of my opponent ; and if eatabliolied ondec 
ces, they may bo exp*^cted to aland. 

To me, the aulhenticily of the Bible appears a demonstnliDll, 
merely &om its evidences, to say nolihing of my own experience. 
But suppose it not eertain lliat it ia tme, still, doss it not appMT 
at lea^ probable, after considering all the foregoing evijeocett 
Nay, I will not rest the case here. 1 vill take the widest icoft 
which eccptica themselTcs can pretend to take. I ask them th^ 
irihey^naw the Bible lobe /hIh. No one will pretend this. L« 
me say then, that nothing short of cenainly in thia oaie rendenll 
safe to reject it. Eterrial damnation is the doom of iboie whs 
diabcliovo il, should it prove to be true. On Iho other hi ' " 
raeeptiOH can ondan^ no one, even ahould it be faliie. 
cannot therefore be too caulioua in this mailer, and eiamine tbt 
aubjeot with too great attention. Let oar readers then invialigal* 
this subject still further ; for this discussion, after all, is but a 
mere atetch of a part of the oridonces in tbe esse ; which, il ii 
hoped, will serve to excite in them a spirit for still fiuther inqolil. 
Lcl them peruse tbe voluminous works of Home and othm ; aw 
let them make haste to do this, for life is gliding rapidly awiv. 
Let thum do it pratftrfully, ardently desiring to be led in tlieii^ 
way. Those who will adopt this course may be assund, that a 
will result in their conviction of the authenticity of the Bibif. 
Thus has it resulted in the case of olhois ; thas has il resulted il 
my own. It was once my mihappy lot to be for a time a sceplit. 
But conceiving the question of Uie autheuticity of the Bible la I* 
all-important, I commenced a sober examination tfaereoC K- 
vinely aided in my researches, il was not long ere my sct pli c i M 
was given to ttte winds, and the Bible became my theme. lU 
blessed volame is now more precious to me than gold, yea, thai 
hfe itself. And if my efforts in this discussion should eonlriMt 
In any degree to produce the same result in tbe case of othM 
(imilarly situated, or to guard the unwary &om being cau^ is 
the aoare who are not already involved in its toils, it will he ubb 
a matter of rejoicing in (he dying hour, and, as I lrast.t«tl 

** Qall I boly Tolmnir I whose bleat pa^ 




OF THE tilBLH. 



" Bar, IhDn who decni'it Ihit hook m BC, 






Go. dlie UiE depthi of uudeat Unu. 
The noardi Hircli at nrioua aUmu, 

Wilta cmndoiu'l briflll loipVli^ ITC. 
Asd Oiink il, If thou ontt, • lis. 

n. lEiminir, vit. mky look 



Klion Ihron^ I 
Inn UM i£lil 



,,-„,_ , , "anhhiftoii! 

m, Ihut btUmd It. md reier'd 
Tki)aapi(Bi UioiiiirrhKpshBsljeer'l. 
-BlHlb(»kl BIT 1 n-iih r^etean doe 
T^ IB^ lovti for pv« tien. 

WUJi poind (he I 



OhIOEW BlCUELtt. I 



TO OBIGEN BACllELER. 



New-York, October 22, 1B31. 
esBmine your illustTBtitniB of pruphecj. 
.iredidiun, yuu ihinlf. tnuet hiiTe applied to Jesoi, be- 
Matthew bo applied it. lliis is one way of getting oal of 
) difBcuitf . From a deist I might have txpecled mch Bsolufion 
(hat you offer regHrding Christ not knowing how "toTefim 
I tTil and cbot»e the i^od" until nitei Pckah and Rnin'i 
tlh, for the deist deetna Christ a man. That the Son of Ood, 
iiol with the Father, only learUed lo refuse the evil and iMq&t 
! good altoul two Umuaacd five hundred years ago, 14 an odd 



¥ THB BIBLH. 

The BiOtnan poeta, 1 imngine, did not study the Old TesI 
but Buppoae tttia vague belief in a piumised Messiah was cc 
throu)!h the Ramiui empiie,* and did reach Virgil's eais, and m 
Ms belief, and dictate the linea in his Bucolica, what then ? H*i 
not prophecies fifty times brought ahout their own tuieimenl? 
Wbat aa oaay, if it vas really expected tliat some one ehould be 
born of a virgin, aa for Chiiat'a biographers to declare thai ' 
master bad been so ! And so of all the other vaunted c 
dences. 

In addition to sll this, it ought to be bone in mind, lliat lb* 
Jews, the original receivers and ancient interpreters of (lie (Hd 
TeBtomeDt, declare, that the prophecies scattered throo^oul iU 
pages by no means apply to Jcsna. Daniel prophecies (Ih^ 
argue) that in the days of Uie Mcssinh, there should be only tM 
kingdom and one king upon earth, the king Messiah ; (chap u.] 
Isaiah, loo, (they contend,) declsrea there shall be one --'■— -" 

and one law Ihroughont the world in the days of the i 

In Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, and Ezckiel, (they remind «,) 
it is stated, there shall then he no more sins or urines ' 
earth ; and in l^iah, that there shsll be times of universal pi 
when not only men but beasts sball cease from molesting escb 
other. Was this so ? (they ask us :) is it so now 7 how thai 
can we pretend that the Messiah is come ? It ia not for me to 
decide between the Jewish and the Christian interpretatioD of 
these prophecies ; but the discordance between the two a" 
ciently lestilieB to the equivocal character of the prophecies tb 

Your vision of Mark's prophecy I anticipated and have akeadj 
replied to, I must be sUowed Co lake the text as it standa, oi ' 
Bt all. Observe, too, that if we set about limiting the pro 
regarding supetnalnial powers lo the apostohc age, ^ere is not 
shadow of a reason why we should not so also limit the thi 
"he that believcth not shall be damned." K the one ex 
" even to the end of the world," so, in common consiateacy, nmit 
the other. Should the church ever recover its powers, then wSLl - 
admit this text as evidence of Cbristiantty. €'ill then I moat lw> 
lieve, either that Mark deceives ns, or that there is not one beliero 
in Christendom — not one but will be damned. 

Our readers will give to the Observer's story about Ethan Al 

• It (MiQ> br DD tneiuiH 
■apt pertmpa with certain 
HJv&ieber - - -- ■ 




AtTHBSTICITT OF THE BIBLE. 197 

inch weiglilasUiey coneeiTeduelo it. As a BpecimGn how much 
dependance may be placed on these pious details, bo pressingly 
urged and so aasiduoUEl j ciiculntcd, 1 may quolo tile very sentence 
wMch immediately sucuceds tho postage you fumisli from Weem'i 
Life of Washington, as evidence of his dealh-hed piety ; 

" Feeling that the hour of his departure out of ihip world was at 
hand, be desired that every body would quit the room : they all 
went out, and, according to bis wish, left bira — with bia God. 
Feeling that the silver cord of life is loosing, and that his spirit id 
ready to quit her old companion, the body, be extends himself OQ 
hia bed — closes his eyes for the last time, with his own hoada — 
folds his arms decently on his breast — then, bieatbing out, ' Fft- 
Iher of mercies, take me to ttyaelT — he fell asleep." 

Every child can perceive the impossibility, after all had left th* 
room, of any biographer learning whelhec the father of hia comi- 
tiy breathed oat these or any other dying words. Yet each petty 
embellishment like this, even to the incidratal mentioning of a 
Bible (which you seem to ihirAt it impossible Mrs. Washingtoa 
could have brought into the room herself) you receive as yon 
would the Bible story itself ; and on these you build up yoDi 
proofs of Washingtou'8 orthodoxy. I have never called him a 
decided sceptic, nor believed him (o have been such. I believe, 
and for this I have given abundant reasons already — that his celi- 
it liberal stamp. If additional testimony w"~" 



.-..inedlhat he was ever a communicant. Ir. proof of his ortho- 
doxy we have merely the vague opinions of certain individual^ 
the fact that he rented a pew, looked out a location for a church, 
and secrelly prayed. I need not surely repeat, that this is nO 

firoof at all of any thin^ more than deism ; and that the lack of 
urther evidence, so assiduously sought after, is, of itself, presump- 
tive proof ol Washington's heterodoxy ; especially when added to 
the imdenied and imdeniable fact adduced by Jeffers "" ' 
Washington, in replying to the clergy's address, evaded «_ 
«fiy UUef m Chriatianiiy, and thai he Been- did say a word on thft 
n^ject in any of bis pubUc papers eicept his valedictory letter Xt 
Uie govomors of the smtes, where he speaks of " the benign in 
fluence of the Christian religion." 
The scepticism of Jefferson, of John Adama,* of Franklin, of 

•Mr, WhilnEj Krtiflca to John Adama bcmg "jui fminrat ChrisUin," 
" t/as of tba mott thorttugfaly eftlHt>li^tcl beHcv^ra in (he 4j^'iIle misiion of 
Jhiu ChllflT l" juat hB QlherB certiiy regardiD^ WaihiDgttnL BtilUrthfT odda, 
Uiat "be hid ETJCicKUy eisnuned tha e[idellI^H of cbrialjiuiity," iai Ibat 
*• few unonr the cki^ w?w ao UiDrooghly ai^ualnlpd wiili the BOieodd of 
-. ™-... "^ . _™ T'..' ■ . f?'^." y.!?r ""wlU (iDd Ab iMult J 
trut of s letler IVdd 



laraueh ocquainliuice, in tile folloviDlT dx* fl 
to John Adniiis, dntpd Januin II, 1817; )■ 
oat of nllgioua reidijL^ ia the tour wordat ffl 



f 



I 



I 98 AUTKEKTICITV OF THE BIBLE. 

Elhan Alien, U bcyoitd all covil, and moat taSj snbslaii^let n^' 
ramftrk, that threo-fourtha of our disSngutsbed reTolutionary pta 
IriotB were sceplits. What Uio maaa of tlie CongresB of '76 wrti 
of coarse I ctumol, any more Han you, pretend to say- Bot Vii 
ranch of men. 

When you can esplaon to ns of what else a nation 
■xcept of indiTiduals, and how a revolutioll is ever tc 
unless same individual strike the hrst blow, therehy "resisting (Ml 
powers that be" and "receiving to himself" (if Paid RpMfe 
tnilb) " dsraualion ;" then it maybe worth while la inqnira vW' 
tight you or any one else has to explain away the apostles' wia4| 
so as to apply, not in their plain, evident sense, but in wme dN 
scure, restricted sense, to suit the liberal politics of this age isd 
this republic. 

We will suppose, for tbe sake of aigwnent. that yon had 
lishedthefectlhat the gospels, as we now have them, were extui 
la tlie flist century. This you have utterly failed to do, Ihon^ 
you have furnished very plausible grounds fur the belieC thai r 
particular passage was promulgated in the apostolic age.* Bo 
Buppoee you bad. Then you argue, that nolMng but oranisdenw 
could bave Jbrelold tlie destruction of Jerusalem and the dispenlol 
of the Jews. No ? What event more probable, than thai Ot 
Romans should, sooner or later, thus crush at its soiuve the j 
of a people they disliked and CDDtcmncd? How much more 

*a8 Uiis, or the fnll of Babylon, db Wliicli my Opponent so 

dently rests as bein^ miraculDualy foretold, ih^n the subvenDon (f 
European monardiica must have appeared eighty years tf\ 
twenty -Ave years before the first revolutionary effort was made a 
Ibis western continent? Yet inl750 J. J. Rousseau's words weni 
"We appronjli a crisis. The ago of ravoiution isal hai 

■ inauirin mnit rnS ; u (he 
' f/Ai ponu tbi IJeui,' H 

fpa LUt most probablj RTdBf.' 

id, DU p>ge 331 of ItK IMW I ■_ _ 

, _ . cr,spitil,niot!oB,to. JWero»dnfic^»ft*s 

hpt mejhm Mim." 
Alxd ods venvnblB phllos^hcr It ia, whose sceptlr 

shlinMr, OstHkeiitMia "ntoiBu JeDFraDU &9bi«1l_, 

wu avdwedty viapriitd, (aa 1 caqfQB Uiat mtne U) In RKital 

— thisBuioitlh ngi" — " -- " - -' *- 

H," BBdDirwfaoK 
pastor of Quin^ s 
IrtMTitBHdMi 
Hhercftiniblied! 



iTTsriny which alU In jud^e 




199 

I ImpoBsibie, tJiat (he monatiiies of Europe should haie > 
longer donation." How surel; in tJie Genevese piophet^a 
:lion uow fulfilling! 

almat inmgliie that you yourself are satisfied ta explain 

t's prophecy touching the end of the world, by eupposing in 

tt obsintrity or rather inaccunicy of language <uch us fallible 

Ulce you and me, might peniance fell into, in careleasly 

of a presidontisl oledion, oroD any other common topic. 

[SplanaCion bo received, what beeames of Ibe iiifaUHniiiy 

Bible language? Does inspiration blunder! 

you consider the difHculttes and inconsigleiidea that are so 

''' BCHttered throughout the scriptural pages tobeevidenco 

snuine diaracter, then, I admit, you may assume that 

eiidencea thicken upon you, and you know not 

me u enu. It would indeed be a tedious ta^ lo collect (he 

Fou tnoinly rest the proof of the Old Testament's aulhentici^ 
(he fUfiliiietit of its [Tpdictions touching a Hensiah. I eam- 
!; second your request to our refers tliBt they wilt carefully 
me the (esia to which you refer tlicm. I have done so; and if 
ad not ceased lo wonder at any moral phenomenon, 1 should 
md be lost in aslonisbment at the comfortable cotilldenco with 
ioh mea persist in twisting such a rope of straw as this, and 
II Imapnuig they have spun a cable which ^1 the powers of 
tea resson are too ivoak lo seier. I am directed (o look to 
dni zziL, rer. 6, 7, for a prophecy regarding Christ's sufferings, 
I I find king Darid complaining " that he is a worm and no 

B," and that he is "despised of ihe people." I am pointed to 

Zecbariah, chap, -a.., rer. 12, 13, as to a marrellous prediction speci- 
iying Ihe very sum which Judas should receive for betraying bit 
[□aster; and I find a rambling story about ZechariaK's twostarec^ 
called Beauty and Bands, the former of which he broke and then 
sold to his neighbours (a good bargain I think] for thirty pieces 
of silver. I am bid to remark how accurately Judas' conduct is 
foretold, Psalm xli., ver. 9, and tJiete I iind David lamenting that 
bisfemiliarfriendhadlificduplu.'i heel against him. The fcct that 
DO boucB in the body of Ihe cnicified Jesus should be broken is, 
"^'Blagians declare, distinctly staled in Psalm Exxiv.,ver. 20, and 
'i«r(ing of his garments among the soldiers in Psalm xxii., 
;I8; and I read in the formrr passage that " the Lord dehvereth 

'-'* out of all his afflictions; he keepelh his bones, thatnot 

broken;" and in the latter I find the sc 



ting his own sad condition ; " I may tell all my bones; 
and stare upon me. They part my garments among 
li and cost lots for my vesture." The very date of his birth 



s asserted, is miraculously spectflcd by Daniel, 
■tp. ix,, ver. M, 25;) and there I find the Jewish seer (more 
is five hundred years before Christ) declaring, that in seventy 
~ks the Messiah should come. They were longer weeks Ihm. 
I now-a-days; but 1 doubt not theological an\!Mn.iAc-»fiv.\i«.»». 



I»0 



r 

^r-Bo Ion to sliGtcll them, until, instead of being, as a pluin man a 

^V K> simplidt; might imagine, about eerenleeii months, they are 

^B TBry ingeniously demonstrated to Bll np fiye centnries. Bui whj 

H'pntsue the idle inrestigation furthErP tmriddliiig old l^eads 

^B iriiich Ihe Tecy wiiteiB, peicliance, irould have been puzzled M 

^f tsplain, * and imagining coincidences irhich no ingeniii^ but 

^^'^.meologian'H ever ventiued to imagine I 1 had as soon sit down 

^B to indite a folio in refutation of the very ingenious polemic irho 

1^ declared it to be a fact beyond all dispute, that Ihe beast in tbs 

Apocalypse with seren heads and ten homs was no other thin 

Napoleon Buonapaiie;f or the learned logician who triamphanlly 

piDTcd the existence of the Triuity from the tact, that matter llAi 

three modes of extension — length, breadth, and thickness. 

But now, it would remain for you to show, that all the erenll 
alleged to have been miraculausty predicted, (as, for instance, 
Jesus' rairacnlouH concepliou, the fact that none of his bones were 
broken, that his garments were dirided among the eoldiei^ that 
he rose ogam, and so on) ociually happened. The only wdghiy 
aqument yoD have adduced to prove this, is cjntained in yonr 
eighth letter, and is triumphantly put forward by Wataon, and 
indeed by all Christian advocates, as tbeii chief anchor of depend- 
BDce. It is, that the miracles and other events alluded to, look 
place before sharp-sighted opponents, who did not deny Mem, and 
Ihough recorded and published at Ihe time or soon after,! we« 
Ml Nailf/tdicttd &f dihpfdved hy Jewi and pttgUni, Ihdugh, if &lM, 
the mateiiala necessary to disprore them must then have existed 
in abundance. This seems to me the most specious argument thai 

•It vould Doibe UiefinttimF that s leaned dealer in obBcnritin fau ftl- 
Im inU] Bucb a difficullj. lUelitn, the neU-knawc Oerman writer, «• ODH. 
In 111] advanced age. asked by a friend to oipUIn an eloqueBi pungt rHBa Vt 
■raiki. the meaning of whkotieliad fouud ll ImpiiHible tofalhmn. -Hi 
Mend," replied thi' old man. "nhcn I wroH that aenteoca GtKl andl kiwr 
what it meant. Qoi ma; kncn it still, but, fcr myself, I bBTe onuplsldj l)r- 

t After sbowing- thrtt thp eereix beads ui<t tenhoma comapemded encflylB 
the naUons which Napulenn had ovirlhromi and Out crowns ho had dinsMl 
o£ ho clenches his arjumenl b; firing to each of the letlen of IheFiwd 

lol (boTiuiioonleiaclly to 8ix hundrsdond alstj-sLi. He then refer* job In 
Barelamtu. chap, aiii., \er. IB, and exultingly eKcloims ; "Gui any nUi 

y fn Ui solw HUBS now doubt tbe Inspiration of llQly 

^BT Intarprelatiati af it I" 

^2 MMhlnks Ihia aay fairly match Daniel's image of iron and daj, yrlQi id 




AriHEKTlClTY OP THE BIBLB, 201 

hwbeen urged thcou^out He wliole diacuaaion. If it be conceded, 
degree of presamptive eridence in faTor of (he n£ 



if it be inodmiseibJe, then not oiily yoiir argument regarding pro- 
^lacy, but also that touching mira.cle8 — in a, word, the whole 
nqientmclure of your labonied defence of reTclation — baa nothing 
OB which lo atanii. Now, I deny that it ia admiasible. I deny 
tb«t we cm (ell whether these thin^ were contradicted, and dis- 
pnned at the time or not. To say nothing of the lapse of time, 
■rtich Bweepa so many records from existence, we have poailive 
pFDO^ IMat Ae tnriliiigs of tie opponentt of Chrielicmit!/ mere ean- 
fiMg eoUecltd and burnt iy imperial intoUr/mce. The aoiperor 
TlleodoBius, in the lattii part of tbe fourth century, paaaed an ez- 
piesa decree to that effect, couched in these terms : 

"We decree chat all wrilinp whatever, which Porphyry or any 
meelse hath written againat the Chrisliau religion, in tbe poa- 
■ewion of whomsoever tJiey may be found, should be committed 
to Uie fire ; for we would not suffer any of those things ao much 
U to come to men's ears, which lend to proroke God to wiath, 
•nd to offend (he minds of the pious."* 

And, in effect, wo find that Porphyry's works against the 
Christian religion " are loat," though aevenil other of his treatises, 
(that on Tegetable-diet for instance) are still estant. In like 
nuuincr, not one line written by Celaua has deaceoded to us. For 
tdlwe know of his writings we must irust to the fairness of Origan, 
his opponent^ seeing that the Christian lather's quotations froin 
CelEus' arguments alone remain to indicate what ttiese arguiaeDta 
were. The Christiana are very apt to forget, in citing the eon- 
(Sssiona of the Epicurean philosepher. ^ome has the asaurance 
to tell us. that " Celaua never denied the miraclea of Christ." All 
ho can say, is that Origen does not quote his deniaL It ia not 
posaible only, it isprobnile, that Origen, who ayowedly practiBed 
deception to serve a good cause, (Moaheim's Diiserl., p. 203J hu 
given us a sad travesty of his opponent's arguments. And from 
this travesty all the heathen philosopher's sentiments are un- 
hesitatingly gathered, and Home Iiua not ev^n the fairness to 
inform his readers that Ceisus' works are not in cxiBltnce. 

Dnder these circumstances, to talk of what has or has not been 
contradicted by Chrisdanity's early opponents ia idldi%i the 
nclreme. Tbeodusius has taken excellent care to "suffer none 
ef those things so oiueli as to come to our ears." There may have 
been hoadreda on hundreds of heretical tefutations published 

> Ai Bieit welifat BtlEKlua to Hie argnmait deduced Innd this noUbli 
itate, I ben Bubjola the puas^ la Uie original Latin. S9 quoted bv Lardmr, 
td]. iv., p. 3, "Sancimat, igilur, u( onima jb^cianque Forphyrim 
ftti'wi tiUvj conira religiomm ChritHanoruia cuitvm, cotut — ~"' " 
atetucitmytu; inttnia fuerint, igni nuMcipuntur, omnia enim 
Dcum ad iraiMmdiam rcriiitii, el piai menlei offendentia, 
ffufffln Aonunum oenire vaiumm." 

Ucn CDuId QOI, methinlu. have any very atron^ conTicttcm f»[ — ^ 
*r KOodiicBg of Uidi cause, who dacoiixl lloecoBw; u emgloy iutta 
neb a weapon u Uu«. 



kttadiaSa^l 



SOS AUTHENTICITY OF TUB BIBLK. 



» 



dutmg the Gist thiee cenluriea ; all only to ahaxe the fate of Ota 
Quuote's library. 

I Ibaak. you for youi obsETvatioDs on the various modes of 
vnling iu ancient times; ccnecting, asllteyUu, an unsustauied 
TeniLrk of mine, that Ihe oolf mode uf ici'ording the laws Epokm 
(rfby MoBci wa£ gn plastt'icd stones. There weie, if like Fen- 
tUeoch speak truth, othet modea^ on |;oliien plates, dooi-posl^ 
rods, and perhapn on palm-leaTea and palm-bark. Aje these Teiy 
goitable materials foe writing a long history ? 1 (hink bM. 
Fapyioa oi even parchmi-nt it is not pretended Ihat Ihey hod, v 
early iia Moses' Lime. Bo ilus as it may, the matter is a. tiiSe. 

You have ^ven yourself BuperQuous trouble to prove tliM ike 
ancient traditions of Tsrions natians leaemble eaoh other. Uo 
doubt of it ; and heretical antiquarisJis, availing ihemaelTes of lie 
labours of Sir William Jonea, have thence drawn veiy plsiuibtc 
ugiunenls in support uf the belief, thai the Christiui and ottaet 
modem creeds are but the coinmon oSspriug of tliB fin meie 
ancient theology of India. 

The geologicial facta yon, aclducE, in so far as Ihey am ca- 
roborated by actual observalioD, are intereelirtE in a sclent 
point of view. That they t\imish not ashadowof proof . 
otu gnat, univeraal deluge, I need hardly repeat. No one net 
ttutt many of these iihenomena have been produced by the " i 
of mighty waters." Gcologians, sceptical as orthodox, admit, -_. 
flie ocean may hflve occupied ftuxeatiwly evciy portion of iheglota. 
History records numerous eruptions which maysusgeatto mIwt* 
each cnajigea have occurred. About two hundred and fifty jairt 
Binoe, in the territoiy of Don (South Holland) one hnndxd 
Qiousand persons perished by a flood, and in the ncighbouduMd 
of Dullart a still greater number. In modem times the half «C 
Friesland was submerged. Or, to speak of mote gradual enaoaeh- 
ments or receding of the ocean, the Baltic has gradually coTetsi. 

a large portion of Pomerama, while Havcnna, in ancient ti ' 

noted seaport, is now at the distance of four iitilta from the 
Add to Ibis the influence of volcanic agency, including the ei 
eonvniaions known as earthquakes, and we have causes i 
adequate to produce the effecla to which you have alluded, 
these Islter causes whole monnlatns have been Hwalloived up; ti- 
instance, the Pico in the Moluccas, accounted of cqoal iipi gi^t tOi, 
&at of Teneriffe, in the place of which a lake has been left ; * ~ ' 
ft considerable mountain near Port Morantin Jamaica, whiii i 
appeared during the great earthquake of 1G92, also learing-ap 

It is little surprising Ihal^ in uncultivaUd ages, when, er.. 
trifling incident was exaggerated, and when man's world scaiw^ [ 
extended beyond bis visible Lorizoa, or perchance the hunlinc- 
prounds of lua horde. — it is little surprising, that in early " 

Ignorance, man should speak of an inundation which ovcrw 
Aim llllJe world, as of a unirersal delugn. The Indian who ghooUt 
•86 his tribe and its enemies respectively estcrminale each ot^H^ 



t 



^^ AUIHEKTICITX OF THE BIBLE. 203 

nnlil lie acd his squaw only surriTed the slaughter, might ait down, 
in the silent forest, by the corpses of his comiudes, and lament that 
llkey of all the earth's inhabitants had alone escaped the myEterioua 
vengeance of the Great Spirit. And their descendants might 
receive the tale, and believe it; and it would not be the ^t tale 
thai has been received on no better authority. 

But imagine not that I rest the cose here. Geology furnishes 
PTOO& enough a^aitul the notion of a general flood. Limestone 
depoidls ore cuntinually found, ono layer over another, each 
sepuaCod from the other by intervening strata of stone, clay, lava, 
Ac. To select one example ; In the district of Dorlcy Moor, 
(Derbyshire, England) the superlicial bed is of a coarse, sandy 
stone, extending to the depth of one hundred and twenty yards; 
the attrition which has rounded its poiticles, like sea-ahore pebbles, 
amaot be attributed hut to the action of civetsorthe ocean. To 
this succeeds a black, indurated clay, partially petrified, and also 
upwards of a hundred yards deep. Beneath Uiat we have lime- 
stone to the depth of mty yarda ; then succeedn blaek stone or 
marble, resembling lava, sixteen yards ; th^i limestone again, 
fiilj yarda ; again incumbent on black stone or lava, forty-nx 
yards. Once more succeeds limestone sixty yards, and black stolte 
beneath twenty-two yards ; and finally wa arrive at liraesMM 
which has not yet been penetrated. Throughout all these foiu 
distinct beds of limestone,* thiu aeparated from each other by the 
j^iosits of ages, are numerous impressions of sca-Ssli and other 
narine animals ; a proof of their gradual formation and inhuma- 
lion throughout a mighty succession of generations. — How im- 
possible, en llie theory of one universal dehige, to explain such 
phenomena as these, which present themselves, with trifling 
modifications, throughout the whole extent of either hemisphere. 
They unlock to us the secret of a stupendous succession (one 
might almost say) of morldi, of which a few remains, hardenad 
into immortahty by that very time which has mouldered eo many 
of the rest to impalpable dust, ofTer themsolves as enduring 
Witnesses of what waa even beyond the utmost vei^ of tradition 
— strange llnka, whose sQent eloquence connects us, as it were, 
with the Uving things of a forgotten eternity I 

That, in ages long gone by, the arctic regions enjoyed & milder 
temperature than at this day, and that a alow and gradual chango 
imperceptibly occurs throughout tho dimatiis of the world, 
plausible evidence may be adduced in proof; among them, the 
facts, that animals and vegetables, now the growth of southern 
climes only, are &equently found in northern latitudes ; but it is 
more unsupported theological conjecture which attributes this to 
a. "relrigeratingehange" produced by a universal deluge. 

I perceive in the vague traditions of distant and ignorant ages 
1)0 mfalUile evidence of any thing, no probable evidence of what 
is, in itself, improbable. If others see more than I do, they may 



^ J04 ADTHESTICITY OP THE BIBLK. 



t 



CongTBtulate theinselves on the 
■rraigning my ahortsighledncsa, 
" ottffht to be damned." 

That Tariuus ancient hialoriuns have corrolxiratcd hktoricil 
poilions of the Old Testament, I do not doubt, even thou^ yon 
tave adduced but wholesale assertion for tlie 6u:t, Hiny at' 
these hialotiual poitions may, for aught I know, really be true'. 
That pagans may eren have aided in giving citculation to 
inarTellous legend similar to those of tlie Bible, is likely enon^; 
tnd, 1 dare say, may be. in indiyidoa] cases, positirelj prom. 
[' But what of all lliis f Are we bound to helieve all old s*orie% of 
which two vcisions, current perhaps in ^tinct nations, happen tA 
lesemble eacb other r Om- creed will be a pretty long one, if M 
do. 

The concessions In the "^slmud, with the exceplioa of ila ftSioi 
into (he prevalent supeistition of the day, and, like the Nllj 
Christians, admitting its opponents' miracles and aschlmig ibes 
to the devil, may all bo received. They prove only the exisUucB 
and violent death of Jesus. It is the fashion to insist on mb 
vridence as (liis, isAtcA mbslaniiatei ot^ vihal u not deniti,wl 
proof of scriptural inspiration and Bible miraclos; a biluol 
which has ita rise either in thoughtless inaccuracy oi some lu 
jnDocenC source. 

You seem to have forgotlea, that the very first differenCM 
behreen the Greek and Latin churches arose in the ei^tlh est- 
lory, and that it was not till two ceuturtca and a half aftermudl 
ftat tLey were finally separated. Otherwise yoa could not 
possibly have asserted, that eatholics had not its sole keepiu 
not even for a moment." The moment hapnena to be, ul 
■aid, about a thousand yeaia. At to the Bible condemsiof 
e&tholics, that is your assertion ; Ihey assert lliat it support! tiieoi 
and condemns you. I pretend not to judge between yon. 

Popery (you argue, in order Ri sei:ure a ground of retreat frfigi 
(he mass of evidences of my Alhanaaiun miracle,) did not exist is 
the fourth century. By a reference to MoBhoim, you will leam, 
Ihat, in the third centurf, calliolic rites and ceremonies of evow 
kind multiplied in tho church. Exorcisms and spells were nse^ 
and wedlock among ifae clergy was interdicted.' All coimeotiai 
was avoided with llie escommunicated, aii persons given orar tO 
tte devil. f Rigid discipline and penance were imposed on QuM 
Who had incurred the censures of (he church ; and some of Iha 
churches were probably embellished with images and other onu- 
ments-I Tho use of incense bad been introduced.} The Lard** 
nipper vms celebrated with solemnity and pomp, gold and silnz 
vessels being employed. The remission of sins by the bishop, in 
baptism, was believed. Fasting was held in high esteem, as k 
kolj preservative against the devil's power ;1I and do Chiistiaii 



Kto^ai 



y TH£ BIBLE. 305 

ui7~Uung of moment wilhout arming binisetf uilh Uie 
_^ L of the cross." In the life of Gregory, sumamed T/un*. 
Hoargw (iho wonder-worter,) as qaoted by MoBhEira, vol. i., 
.. 202, wc ifud : " Wken Gici^y san that tho simple and un- 
killed multitude peniited in their tcortkip qf imago, he gntnteil 
bem a pemuBaion to indulge in tlie like pleaauiea, in celebrating 
Lc memory of the holy martyrs." (Gregory died about the middle 
if the third century.) Add to this the already acknawJedged pre- 
(miEcnce of the Koaian pontiff,t and have we not, even aa early 
kS the third century, (not to say the fimrlh,) almost every one of 
■hat proleetautB deem the leading abotuinationa which dis- 
InguiBh the Babylon of the Apocalj'pse 1 

As to your aassrtions regarding the emperor Zeno and ^neas 
Sozaiw, had you referred to any good biographical dictionary, 
roa mi^I hare Learnt that Zcno waa a name common to seceralHo- 
Bui emperors on the throne of Constantinople in the fourth and iiflh 
centuries, and that £neas^ worts arc known to all antiquarians ; 
me edition having been publi^cd at Basil in ISGO, and another 
It Loipsic in 16&&. You tell us, that Mosheimsaya not a word 
if the miracles, nor names ifineas ol Gaza or Marcellinus. Had 
too. perused Moaheim's Eccloaiaatical History you must have 
aiown, that ho not only relates the miracle, not only expressly 
luotes fneas of Gaza and MarceUinus, Procopina and Jus. 
anlan, by name, as testifying to it, but adds : " This remar^uM* 
fiuTt can tcarcety bs denied, time it ia lupported by the iealimong iff 
(In ntOtt ditdUli tMd ftipidlahU teititeuMJ'X Ws hi*e h*re t 
Speoim.iD how difierect a thing it is to make assertions and to 
lubatantiate them. 

Had 1 access (which I have not,) to additional sources of 
information regarding the Florentine miracle, 1 could probably 
give you authority much more direct than Mr. Forsyth's. But it 
needs not One example ia aa good as half a dozen ; and one 
you will flcarcely now deny that you have. 

1 could have supplied you with a sufficiency of far better 
Mlthenlicated visions and <b%amB than those you have taken the 
trouble to aeleut. It waa but the other day tliat a gcultomaii of 
this city, formerly a wealthy and prosperous merchant, now a 
ciergyman, called at out office ; and, with a kindness and fer- 
Toui of manner vhich letl no donbt of his sincerity and friendly 
Inlentione, desired to communicate to me his experience. ^A 
temporary reverse of fortune in business had, he said, been snc> 
CMded by a sickneBS almost unto death, during which, warned 
by unutlLTable visions, he dovotfld himself, bnily and soul, ns hs 



expressed it. to Jehovah God. Kecovering his health, and 1 
t«collectioQ of his vow, be attempted again ti ' 

• tfaiMn'i Bcdl. BiiL, tdL 1., p. a3§. 



Zi 



I 
I 

I 



t06 AUTHEKTICIXT OF THX BIBLE. 

moderately, in (he gajetiej of out city. " I attended" t__ _ ,. _ 
and his eye kindled with, the light of enthusiBam; heTOMlhM 1 
his chsir, Eind, as inspired by tbe recuUection of the scene, pnisail I 
bis nuraliTe with on eloquence of language and gesture I hut I 
leldom leen oqualled — " I attended a, DumerDus assembly u n^ I 
City tlolel. Half the beauty and TaaMon of NevYoit v« | 
there. I obtained as my partner one of the loveliest Q 
in Ihe room ; and, aa together we tlu-eadod the [ 
dance, ' Can any scmie' — audi was my thought — 'b 
fill llian this F Can any beings bo fairer oi happier than ll 
that now siuTound me ?' Suddenly there Cell, as it were, palpal 
scales from my eycB, and, even amtd the smutd of that Insoii' 
music and the excitement of that giddy dance, r saw — I t 
whit ie stamped on my memory, us with a brand of fire ! I ■ 
ihat ball-room floor hung over a fearful pit that yawned d»«m 
down to the bottomless daikness of perdition. ! I mm iht I 
thoughtless human beings before me mispended abore (his jwwtf 1 
ing gulf, each one by a slender, slendiu' thread, finer than Ot \ 
finest lines of gossamer lliat float in the sun of summer, going tn 
■s it were, from the breath of each of Iheii nosuils. Above Ihor 
heads the hand of (he angel of mercy collected and ginqitd 
these filmy threads of life. £levated in one comer of the t«ll- 
toom sat the Ancient of Days, and beside him the angel of 
vengeance with a flaming award, like (o a painter'a represenli- 
tion of the forked Hghtning. The avenging spirit raised hit 
weapon, and tumpd lo tiis heavenly masleiaaawaitinshia nod, m 

be severed Ihe spider threads that centred in Mercy's hand." 

The spcakei shuddered, as if the aeene vera yet before hil 
lenses, and then in fl low and huiricd voice proceeded: "luws 
change come over the coimtenance of Jehovah God — his imils nf 
inefiable benevolence was deepening into a frown almost of 
anger — the avenger saw and understood the sign — I msrirad tta 
lightning flash of his sword — I saw the greedy flames from lint 
gulf of daikaeai — I heard the hopeless voice of anguish from ils 
depths of misery — and 1 saw and heard no more I I relinqnuditd 
my partner's hand, and dropped on the baJI'ioom floor in a awiMo. 
With returning sense came contrition and conviction. I renevtd 
my broken vowa to Jehovah God— and I have kept tiem ! Fit 
eight years I have lived alone to Jesus Christ and him cnidG«4 
Oh," he continued, as he took my hand in both lua, "fiiill 
your soul to him while there is yet lime, I have not beliovf' 
— I luive uen, I have knevn all this, Flee to the rook of age 
ere the whelming waves of etemiijr roll over your soul, and a 
gulph it for ever !" 

1 was touched by the good man's earnestness, but certainljBI 
convinced by his ^"iaion. except of the evident fact, Ihu V 
nerves were m a diseased alale, and that his iniagiuation hi 

Ihe better ot his judgment. If anyone can draw other inftl , 

ID from the best-attested UBrrauonn of dreams and tnnoe^ ll 
'e lailh than I. A distempered bncj can kill aid tT 




■4rTHEMTICITT OF THE ElBLB. 207 

fena ; a can create n fairy realm ol its own ; and, aided by a tew 
fortunate coincidences,* it can win over tJiui^sands of bt'lieviug 
(ubjeCtB, trom the sliontinK mcthodist, noisy in Lis religion gel- 
ting, (0 (he quiet shakei, twirled loiind, by the influence of the 
»piiit, foe half an hour logether.t If I know a:iy thing of my own 
tumperament nnd tranquillity of nerve, it will be long ere the 
intection caught on the " anxioua aeata," or among mo^er Ann's 
diaciples, ebali touch my imagination or work my contersion 
Till then, I shall conlinua to regard the ghostly dreanu of others 
1. 1 - ,B(^]iievoua influen - ■ ' 



ax character ; e phenomenon from the influence of which 
I will imdenake to guarantee any child that shall grow up under 
my care until his powers of reasoning and obaervalion are 
dfiTcloped. 

When my easy and perhaps injudicioos compliance with your 
moat unwarrantable request to give my ideas on suicide and in. 
flutticide encourages you (o go on, and (in the niidsl of a grave 
discussion about the Bible's authenticity,) to insist on my arrang. 
ing foi you what ia to be done with the deaf, dumb, blind, 
mauiacs. idiots, and so forth — and all this under the pretence that 
nnlt.'ss 1 can justily every single custom of antiquity I must admit 
the necessity of revelation — when, I say, the discussion takes such 
i turn, it la high time to put an end to the trifling. There are 
fifty ctutoms of antiquity — tliero are five hundred customs of 
this very day and eountrj — that no man of sense would attempt 
U defend. And if man's imperfection be proof that the Chris- 
tian Scripturea are inspired, heaven knows there is proof enough, 
willioMt wandering back to Socrates or the Spartana. / tnist to 
the spirit of improvement, you to the Bible, the Maimlman to the 
Koran, fcir reform. All thia is well eaoiuih ; but for you or he 
to assume that if man has ever erred, and is ever lo Hnd out and 

will enable him to do ao, is a degree of childish assumption to 
■which it were waste of paper to reply. 

I hardly know whether your alluaion to the so-grievoasly-mis- 
npreaenled system of utility be entitled to a word of comment. 
If if be yoirr opinion that the murder not only of the sickly and 
infirm, but of those whose creed squares not with ours,— also that 
stealing, deceiving, and ao on, be, in Oianielvtt, useful, all 1 can 
say is, it is not mine. I fail to perceive the great temporal 




I 

I 



i08 mTHWlTIClTT OF THS BIBLB. 

vlTuitoge of such piacticea. If ibem are ochets who do peiccnj 1 
it, there is no great duipi of Iheii beconlng utiUtariansi lottt I 
requires a deai and ralionol head to adupt so commoD-wnM K | 

You are velcome io the Brgunient in Itnour of Chrislill 
deduced Irom the cases of religious suicide I adduced. I ho* I 
it will be long before we oblun such an one id faTour of Bceflir I 

1 wonder, since yon jmlify capital punlHhmenl by adopting fle 
Old Tcstument command of life fui Ufe,* that yoa u« not OM^ ' 
■isteut enough to take the retnaindei of Hoses' moral code ftlotv 
■with iti "An eye for nji eye; a toolh for a tooth:" deatli for 
idolaay ;t death for Sabbath-bteaMng : J and all the real of it 

We will not argue the point -whethei I am well Teraed in ptv 
lemical lore or not. I ihiijc that, for a layman, my iheokfical 
proficiency may pass muster indifferently well. 

To ycrur unciQled-foi assertion, that, is replying to WilMi, 
Lealio, and Home, I iDi/^/y miareprosent ijieir aiplnient^ I 
have no reply to nake. When any oqb, claiming to be a Clint- 
lian, yet casting behind him the commaadj of him whom lu 
calls his master, travels out of the record to stiack motiTei, ihoi 
iisurpinB the province which in theory he declares to bctoDg lo Ht 
Searcher of Ueails alone, the spirit eriuced merits no aiiEwcT, uitl 
the pseudo-argumeEt requires none. Should IcvcrBofarforeelwkil 
is due to myself and to the cause I serve, as to icstal myself jad^ 
of others' couBcienccs, (ken may I be calleil upon to permit u 
intrusion on my own. 1 will say a few words to our readrn 
touching my strictures, hut, in view of the above conBiderBlioiu, I 
have nothing to say to yon on the subject. Of otir readers, then, 1 
wotlld request, that they read Watson and Leslie for themwltn, 
ud then, that they decide whether my opponent's accusatian li» 
eren the shadow of a foundation. They will not, of coone. Sod 
the premises and conBequents in the exact juxts-posilion I pre 
them ; polemics must be simple souls, indeed, to blimder H 
grossly ; bat they tciS find, that these theologians' chief argumenti 
■ttictly coincide ivith ihe former ; and (he conduaiaiu lb«7 
would have us receive as proved, with (he latter. This is «!I I 
intended to convey, and all, I think you will admit, that u con- 
Teyed, by my language. You will also find, that I have nwiftith 
diilit^iMhea betwetn the causes of tlie spread of Chri«tiaBk^ Ik 
(ho fir^t centuries, and its spread under Constantine ; attiibti^^*^ 
the first (0 mli-Chriilian perseculion, the second to Chrin 

violence. Nor can you fail (o remark, that I quoted fjiMn 1 

beim simply for the purpose of showing (hat Christiaiiity, in ■, 
early stage (not (he mriieii) of its progress, was disaemiiiatDd te 
mercenary and brutal motives, and, therefore, that It could Bi 
tairly bo a^ued, (hat the carallcl between Chriatiatiit]' i 

* Geatiit, dup. 1^, y^- S. * Deuterfaumy. chkp 



r 



F THB BIBLS. 



lenablo throughmit. The Ghriatmna of the 
Itnc century are ttpuken uf by the impartial Tacitus* in eren 
lianhcr tenns of repnibatiaD than are ihose of tlie /owlh bj 
Moalieim ; but ds I constdeTed it possible, to saj the least, that 
the Roman hiatorian wmtG under the influence of prejudice, 1 
miule no asacrllon regarding their characters. I rather imagine 
them lo have been honest, Himple-hearted, and usually i^orant 
entliUMaata inlhe mass, like the Momionitea of our day ; though 
enligfatGucd individuals aoioug them may havo distinguished, 
Ihraugh tlie <:haff of mysKry and miracle, the good wheat of 
many of Jesus' mora! preceplB. Such were the very men fo be 
goaded on. by persecution, to the zeal that gloriea in martyrdom. 
But how often do we find that credulity alone, im£inned by 
persecution, will spring up to a sudden blaie 1 Have we not 
before us, at this very day, in this very country, Ihe believers in 
the Golden Bible of Mormon, utterly unheard of one short twelre- 
month since, and now, by the latest accounts, numbering jSftten 
tundred members ! The argument derited from the rapid spread 
of Chiistiauity is altogether untenable ; and here i dismiss it, 
vitliaut following my opponent in his researches tonching the 
dbsciiiity or notoriety of early Christianity ; researches bearing 
*■""' "imotely on oai present discussion. 



8enei:a's and Livy'a works were giTen. They treated of nfttnral 
phenomena. Suppose they omitted some of these phenomena of 
an ancient date : was there the least chance that tliey would fail 
to select, as an illustration, the prelematural darkness (hey them- 
«el«es must have witnessed^ — the most remarkable, perhaps, in the 
world f or ia it conceivable, that whatever other eclipses they may 
Iwve omitted, they would omit this ' And against all this weight 
of evidence, you adduce (he alleged admission of Celaus, every 
word of whose writings is -oat, and the appeal of Ihe craiy 
Tertullian, who, according to hia own confession, " finds no other 
means (o prove himself lo be impudent with success and happily 
a fool, (lian by his contempt of shame," and who holds a thing 
" to he certainly true becauao it is clearly impoBsihle."t What 
is siicb a man's appeal worth ? Would the Roman government, 
think you, take the trouble seriously lo reply lo one so con- 
fessedly and vaingloriously impudent 1 Or if they did, was it not 

■ Hia vfordi iTC, *' A people held In obhorrenH for their emnn;" and 
irboiv rapwidtiaii, he addfl, " iprekd not odLj over Judei but lo Jernnlfm, 
whttlwrSaw, from nil qanrtflrvi tblp^ vflv Rpd ihamcrul, jujd tttere thfj 



+ Ttaoe, itnnn h it idilv i»ini luw UfenO tnnilMianii fnun Tertulllui'i 
••DtanuaitUh."nl.m.,f.3a.ilfaiimler'tirditiim,inO. ThForiginal 
of tba flnl Aaalcnm readi : " AIuu mm intemo (Adferwi canftitiimiit ^ttm 
Pur pn* etmlmptvm ruboriMprobfiU, b«tf Impudtnlm rt leUfiler ttultum .-" 
aMoT Dm Utter, which nlira to Chriit's returmtino : "Ctriiai nl, fu'a 



r 

I 

I 
I 
I 



210 AFTHKKTICITY OF Tm BtBLK. 

pos; CDOush for TheodoBiuB lo bum the doonmcnt, 
Ci-lsua and PorphjTf'a tcepCiciam ! 

I have ncTer adduced the Btcange silence of cotempontfy llW. 
torians aa other than indirect and presumptive cTidence tjf t!» 
fnleity of a narration ; and such it must be cotif(>sa«l to be, ifr 
pagan u in scriptural history. 



was selected for ns by cs,tholios. 

A saeiel; for the pratcctiua of onciriliEed nations, from At. 
Titles and superstitiona of civilization, and for instnicluig m,yiff$ 
ia the more uaeful acta of donieatic life, I should greatly ^pntaf. 
I am not iiithout hopes, sDmG day or other, of seaing mtrh «it mt 
eslabliahed. 

HaTing already givea my authority (letter viii.,) for the BnSt 
ing of the book of the lav, I advert to it beK. not in comptime*' 
with your idle reiteratlDU regarding it, but to remaik that la ' 
3 Esdras, chap, xiv., there ia a probable enough scconnC of Am 
manufacture of the book found by Hilkiah. Esdras dedares that 
he, being inspired by a draught of fire-coloured water, wnte iL 
Tliis corroborates my suggestion that the Pentateuch, trilh iH 
code of lawa, might hnTe been indited some Hre oi six himdicl 

Siflrs before ChrisL The people seem to bave received Eadn^ 
ook of the Law with as much niarvalling, and with M impUal' 
faith, aa they did the command touching booths to which I havf 
already adverted. I know that you deny the divine authorin if 
the Apocrypha, but 1 know also that the minority of Christim 
(I mean the catholics,] admit it; and I see not why the^ htv« 
not as good a right to decide aa you. At any rale, you wUI not 
surely refuse to books which the Christian vorld hac almost been 
persiiaded to declare canonical, the humble rank of a history sa 
authentic at least as other iminapired histories. 

I am inclined to believe, from the above and other evideiut^ 
that during or subsequent to the reign of Joaiah, (some fl«e <■ 
six hundred yeara befuie Christ,) the Pentateuch was pM to- 
gether by Bome ingenious scribe, and was received by the pn^liv 
08 described. I offer this, however, as a thing likely only, nM by 
any means as proved. When we speak of such erents two DC 
three thousand years old, possibilities or probabilities are all w* 
can reasonably pretend to substantiate. Nor is it material thi4 
we adopt any hypothesis on the question. 

There ia a class of self-styled philosophera to whom Rouseaa^ 
atricturea will apply. His concluding remarks evidence a cm-, 
fused intellect : to employ abase against any doctrines is iiid» 
fensible ; to subvert a true creed is, of course, miaaliiTGOdit 
mildly to expose a false one cannot be injurious. 

In regard to the gieat names you adduce aa props to Oils' 
tianit)', it might suffice to remark, that it does not follow, WsiM 
a man ia an admirable naturalist, that he must therefore alw bt 
an excellent theologian ; or that a metaphysiclaa, even of tlw Sift 



^■B ABTUEBTICITY OF TUB BIBLE. ill 

lilikf 'a of neoeBsiCy Tree from early -imbibed Euperstitions. Not 
nay we assume that IheiK great men gave an ignorant and in. 
Inlciaul world lo know nil tlieii secret doubts on mbjecta tilt 
lately coneidL-red, by the mass of manUnd, luo liacrcd ti> ba 
iuveaCigated at all. 

But, aside from Iheee general conBiderations, the orthodoxy of 
Baeon, ot Milton, of Locke, if not of Newton, is very qiieation- 
abie. Bacon, an you renund me, expreraed hia belief " that thia 
uniyBTBal frame had a mind." In one seaae no one will deny 
this; but let us admit his deiam- He does not, at tha lesiHl, seem 
to thinjc such a belief very ttecessary or very mateaal to virtue. 
He says (as I have already quoted to you Irrpiii Jiiti eaaays), 
" Athdiam did never perturb stales, for it makes men weary ot 
themflelvea as looking no further ; and we see the Uraea inclined 
to atheimi (as the time of Augustus Csaar,) were civil times ; 
but supcratilion hath been the confusion of many etaiea." Tho 
expression of such sentiments would procure for a man, even at 
this day, an atheistical reputation. 

Millon'a moral heresies as contained in his celnVrated " Doc- 
fniue of Divorce" are well Jmown. In that work, among other 
liazarded sentimenlij, he has the following : " The grcaloEt burden 
in the world is auperstitiun, not only of cen^mDuios in the church, 
but of imaginary and scarecrow sine at home."" A late writer 
in the "Edinburgh Ucview," in noticing his " De Doctrina 
CArufionn," says: "Some of the heterodox opinions which 
Uilton avows, seem to have excited considerable amazement; 
particularly his notions on the subject of polygamy. We can 
acarcelj coaueive thai any one could have read hia Paradise Lost 
wilhuut suspecting him of heterodoxy ; nor do we think that any 
leader, acquainted with the history of his life, ought lo be much 
startled with his opinions an luarnage. The tgmmaa ahicA he fx- 
prettd reffaniiag the nalure ofthediUy, th» ettrtiily of malttr, and 
tkt obtafv<iiionf^ tha Si^fbath,9Kight, wetJiink^have caused more Just 
Morpriit." So much for the orthodoxy of England's inunorlal bard. 
Locke's refutation of the doctrine of innate ideas is conceived 
tiy many to ovorturo all natural rehgion. His " Reasonable 
dhriatiauity" is confessedly nnitimaii; and he is continually 
■pokcn of by the English orthodox clergy as a disciple of uni- 
t»rianiam ; a grade of religion which, yuu have often told me, 
you hold to be little, if any, better than no religion at alb 

Newton's deism is neither of the most lucid nor of the moat 
amiable character, aud furnishes a striking evidence how a man 
Bay evince an almost auperhuman power of intellect on a 
practical subject which ho has made the study of his life, vet 
descend, on a theoretica'. oue, to a level with the myalagogue. 





Idm 




manoniH went. 
















ssaX" 


oMurj 


or with hit 






pr.j«^h. 



I 



I 



212 AUTHBKTICITY OF THE BIBLS. 

" Ths (olilime Newton," gays D'Holtsch, in hie Sjsbaa of' 
Nature, "isbut a childwheD he quits physicU scieoM to io« 
hiiDiclf iu the imagin«rj repons of theology." In prodf of mf 
opinion regarding the chnracter of Newton's deism, I quote boa 
bis creed as follows : " God f^vemE sll, not as the Bonl o 
■world, but as the lord and soveraign of all things. It 
of bis sovereignty that we call him Lord God, lis 
the nniTCisal emperor. In truth, the word God ia relatire, mj 
hat re/eraae to tlavai; deity is the denomination of the sore- 
reignty of God, not oyer his own body, as those would have il 
who regard God as the soul of the world, frirt over ' - - ■ 
lillte further he tells us: "God is one and tbu 
and every where, not only by his own virtne or energy, bat akt 
in virtue of his subslanee." And again: "AU things are wo- 
lained in him, and move in him, bnl without reciprocal actioa; 
(i«{ n'lw rmtliia jnunons, is the original phrase.) God feels no- 
thing from the moroments of bodiea ; nor do they experienceUT 
re«BtaQce from his umTersal presence." But enon^ of Nevten 
creed. What an anomalous cresture is man \ bow mi09, •! 
once, and huw impotent, in bis pride of intellect ! 

As to the Hon. Robert Boyle, I have not a word to si 
bis orlhodoiy. Hia biographer relates, " that he d 
nounced the word Goo, without first making on awful [ 

An unpleasant taak remaina to me. I have aver , 

with regret the couiBe too often pursued by Christian apolopsis in 
regard lo their opponents ; the odious traTeslies of their piiiiel- 
])lea, unsupported by a single quotation from their writings, ttl 
the whol^ale slanders of their characters, qi ■ - ■ ■ — 

authenUcatcd ikct, which, in the beat of con j, , 

have not scrupled to circulate. I bave witnessed llus couw, I 
■ay, with regret ; both because I desire lo see Christianity hsir : 
fiur chance, which no system, so injudiciously and unworlUl 
defended, can ever have ; and also, because I would not wilfiw^ 
Bee sceptics tempted to intolerance, or induced to imagine IM 
scandal and piety are synonymous lermi ; or, as ihey mi^t b*. 
urged to a retaliation, the materials for which exist in rach tafO- 
abundance on every side. For myself, I troat I shall ever be "" 

mind, that the best cause in the world would be ruined bj 

mismanageiuent, and that lahail not be led to confound thepiiiictr' 
plea of any ByBtem with the practice of ita defenders. 

It is not my business to be the eulogist or the apolo^st of tx, 
set or sect of men. Sceptics, doDbtless, have had their fanllatai 
filings like the rest of mankind; and there hate been, in il 
agBB, men equally devoid of prejudice and of principle; snclii 
perhaps, aa RocbcEler and Me associates. But wliat t protM* 
against — do. what justice and charity protest against—is, Ihatuy 
man should sit down to viUfy charsclers, some of which he nu|U 
be proud to resemble, without once taking lie trouble to — *^ ' 

• 8n " Prionpia Maihtmatiw," p. iSb. Zond, tdil,. ITU. 



_ rmi BIBLE. 213 

riantUte, even bj a show of evidence, hie Tilificntione. When I 
ilodp to imitate such an eianjple, retailing ail the sickening 
vtonefl ttiAt have tratispircd repardinz priesla and pious profesaora, 
not only in ancient but in modem days (the bisLop of Claghei'B, 
for instance}, and not only in other countries but in this very dtf 
of oura — viiea I dishonour myHolf by giving cunency to paltry 
Knndal lilce this, I sliall hope lo be reminded, aa I now remind my 
opponent, that weapons so unmanly, and so tmohrutian,* ue 
equally impolent against an opponent and fatal to oneself. 

To aimilnr conduct, as mucli perhaps aa to the efl'orls of anti- 
ciirialiuia. is it owing, that tmbelief now so extensively pervades 
both Great Britain and this repuhfic. To the insolence uf the 
French clergy as much as to Cie eloquence of Voltaire or the 
logic of D'Holbach, may be ascribed the almost amiihilation of 
l«Ugion in France ; so that, at this moment, there is hardly to ba 
(bund in that country (as ereiy tiaieller knows,) one believer for 
twenty gceplies — in thai generous country, which BO lately effected 
B revolution, bloodless and blameless beyond any other the world 
ever saw. In Germany, where, if Dwigbt speak truth, not three 
believers in an eternal hell are to be found,+ the cause pro- 
(rvsses more quietly, but not less surely, J All over the world, 

•.rstn.(i)iip.viil.,ver.7. 

1 Tou ihsU have onhoilDi inlhurity In T/roel of Ihli ; " Tlie dootriH of Die 
•Mnity of nitun jianiihnient i< almoii aniver»ay nJKt«l I have letn 

■u wamiiif on the aubjecU"— /hdrU'i Tratili in Qimami! G. C, and 
B. CamU^fW. P- HI- 

tJnivwUlsni, yoo rrmlpd 119 (In jour fifth letter), is even more pemlciDm 
fhBiHtptioifni. "unmkinsT the Bible the FDcoiineer dT erimea That hurry 

mwifl, then, ue uone thta icepticr. Ytt the; ue a vuy ntier, Btemdy, quiet 
DttioD, DBrertbeleBL 

1 Spoking of ths IheDlwlciiI debatn whkb. ginei tha timB nf Eiehhcm, 
made Gflnnuij the arena niBibtiCBlcrlUciiia, the HDof oar noted tbeologlu 
honealty ecmfeiiiM ! "During Ibe lh«ln^cal eontnt, lite ^enuinaiHi and 
^qthBimfilty of theOLdTeHlunentme flnt altaclicd, and untwoIlE aftVT out., 
woric waa rained, mlil ati bflitf in <l ai a Tntiatian tau olswr liltraOf 
tttptoded Jrom Gtrntam^ TLe epistlci of the New Tailanaent were atUsr-M 

Ur aitoibet etajiadig tabetieped, □□[![, bv an abnost eqoallf lai^ praportisA 
of th* Ibulopana, thi; were also licued aa uuwartbj of regud, except » 
tit aa ttaer nnilain a beautirul i^Bleni of morality, andeo for at the; are hli> 
toricaJiy interaitin; (mm Ihtir iaBtrumnitHlltf in Bprcadia^ Chrietlanit;, At 
a autMHiBflnt period th# ^OBpeiBwere attacked id a Binuiar manaer. Tha 
duwaetflr of Cbriat waa sood gmtraUy believed by ihe clern (0 have no 
mora dalma to ouf reapect than thas« of Plato and AriitoUe, unleBB from Qu 
greater purity of hi* example Bad of hlB code of moralB, and from his elhibi' 

to be mnab aaperior ta Ukoae of die Greek pMlaaoplierB," — dud^ikl'i Germanjft 

And again: "The influence of thli almnat anivpnut rcepUHnn tiaj Ml 
rurpaaa^ ffjf iSal of iht French philoiopAert daring the miiklle and 

clergy are acepUca, Ihey will of course adopl Blmilar opiniQna. Thl. 
tlie ruoit powerM caoae ^ the opcr/hrov uf the Chriitian religion m 
Ihe people of Germany.'* — Ibid,, p. 110. 




314 AUTHSKTICITY OF THE BIBLI. 



I 



the Keds whicli traduced philosophers hare 9owi>ii, are rapidlj 
Iqainging up. All over the world, the church ia in dan^. In 
BTEiy dviliied country, men begin to &ak whether the belief in 
the inTallibility of any book he not mtschievnua and immonL la 
either henusphere the reign of reaaon and light and libeny is 
spproaching — the era when all actions ihoil he judged by iheii 
pennunetit u^t<r, and all men esteemed according lo their moiil 

la cloamg a discussiou which I attempted in the hope that it 
might Bend forth a tributary rill to swell the great and guahing 
ttream of human improvement, I desire disdncUv lo stale, thai 
with the Bible, as a curious and ancient legend, I find nu fault 
As aueh t regard it with interest and curioaity, not unraiied wilt 
B feeling of gratidatbn, that the world a outgrowing its leading 
atiingii. But what I do hud fault with, what I hold to be mis- 
cMevoua in the extreme, and what haa induced me to nndenale 
the task of pruhing its evidences, is the popular belief that the 
Bible is God's book ; that evioy sentiment it conlaiiu is perfect 
and therefore caimot he improved ; that every word it xocordi u 
infalUhle, and therefore must nut be qnestioned. To a beUef a> 
cramping as this, and not to the book, in its proper placi and 
without its nndue authority, I make objection. Any creed, any 
code, any system, no matter how useful and how coinpanliTeiy 
enlightened at the period of its promulgation, ones lianpfd villi 
the Moi of ia/all^ily, hecomea, in the pcogrees of buman in* 
provement, a clog, a diag chain, a thns-fnr-shalt-thou-go-and-no- 
farther ar^menL That whic}. once aided and encouraged mu* 
kind to reach a certain point, retards or arrests their adTancc, 
when that point is gained. So has Ituften been with great namM: 
so will it ever he with holy books.* 

In disproof of the divine pretensions of the Bible, I havg called 
our readers' attention : 

Firit. To the exUeme uncertainty of all historr, more esp«- 
daily of all ancient history. 

SwosKtfy. To the degree and the character of evidence neces- 
sary to prove a miracle. t 

what beflaniM nt vaiir eiuldDe nptuliitloiu, Rgardiar Ibe fotftl't n> 
of your isanllan. that France lu 1T89 la the anig euaiple of a BUiaa vl^ 

• In Qw "Ufc of Mihoidct" pnbUihKl bT the London "SueinTfbr IM 
Dimulan or Uiefiil Knowlcdes," ihn nKtn, npnUng nf the Korui ud in 
prteapU, ufi : ■' Thf lieatfil u( ttamw laws betDr natuoed to mldiir, il, baw- 
tjtr, matr Hum cDuiil><(tiiil>niicd bj IbBevil ol iboir brinf imncaUB. WbK 
the ignorant liubutan iniUtulnl, lutxaediiii gemmjom hart bw* uHlfirl 

■nuuJi lbs fulbrnl Itofli-m to abido by il. TbE alnu^qr wh Ui taOtt. ut 
halioU'iilni iuid.iniir«ver. uwiKitDiMUiDiiHatiBollMr. H«w.M>k 
ahaU we uucad Uiv dlTine ordinatiafl, ur Imjkj that ha UsMtf and l^tm 



AGTHEKTICITY OF THE BIBLE. 



215 



Thtnlty, To (he Cu'i, tjuii tcuiT mitaclEs vhich were oac« 
scbnovledgcd but which are now admiUed lo bt impcHlures, bare 
a much gseiier vei^I of hisUirical evidence Ikuu hare Uie 
■criptniBl miracles. 

fourtS/B. To Ihe innlilitY or miracles, even ir proved, and lo lie 
impossibiLirr of judging sopemstunl phenomena by human senae. 

Fi/Mg. To Uii; aanpiuiair and barbarous character, and im- 
mijtal lendencv, of the narraiions given and Ihe precedents re- 
corded in the Old TesUmeot. 

SixMi/. Tu the lack of any thing like lucid bisloiicat evidence, 
to enlighten us (ouchlng the authoiiihip or the oiigiual dale, either 
of the Old Testament bogka, or of the gospels. 

S^cenUty. To the more than doubUiil honesty of the Christian 
fsthera, through whoee hand^ the New TeBlament passed ; and to 
the mass of forgeries from whitli a cotincil of these fathers 
•epaiBled the present gospels and epistles. 

Ei^Uhlj/, To the eqaivocal and futile chamder of the evidence 
ftom prophecy. 

Ninthlf. To the anti-republicanism of the Bible; to the true 
character of the Fronch RevolutioD ; and lo the acepticism of dts- 
Ijnguished democrats. 

And Tealhfy. To the dislinclion between morality and religion. 

Let others judge how the task has been performed ; my con- 
science acquits me of ojiy save &iendly and upright intentions. 
BflSGitT Dole Owgh, 



iiDd* fht bdirtinfr 1 



Fc drtl bellFvi, tliat lb* 



[Some remarks of Mr. Bacholer, relative to «nch parls of tht 
foregoing letter as he judged to require commoil, may be found 
in Ihe Appendix, Note D.] 



t 



APPENDIX. 



NOTE A. 
[The folIovinR letter is put of a. coneapondence addiMsed if 
me in May, 1831, to the editor of the Boston >' Trumpet," ind 
pnblished in his paper, and in the "Free Enquirer." Itwuiu 
lepl} to (he Rev. Linus S. Everett, of Chaileitoivn, ^Ao, in i 
seriea of lettera addressed to, uid pttblilhed by Hi. WMttemoie, 
gnevouBly miailatfid and impuened our moral and leligiouaBriiid- 
pies.] B. D. 0. 

TO THOMAS WHITTEMORE. 



I 



Tour correapocdeDt't gravest accusstion against us, is, that «e 
hive spoken of narriage as a miediievoUB inalitulion, and rf 

ohastity bb a folly. 

The readers of the Free Enquirer will beat roe witncsa, that in 
the reply I am about to make, I put foilh the very mme senii* 
mcnls — nay, in a great measure, the very same words, which I 
have employed on previous occasions when this subject ma ia- 
cussed in our columnB. 

I do not ihiilt it virtuous or ratjonal in a man end womiD 
solemnly to swear that (hey will tove and honour ench olliet 
until death part them. First, because if afTection or esteem ~ 
either side should gAerwardj cease (as, alas! we often bm 
cease), the person who look the marriage-ualh lias peljured hiffl' 
self; secondly, because I have observed (hat such an oath, baaf 
Eubstituted for the noble and elevating principle of moral oblige-' 
tion, has a tendency (c weaken that principle. 

Yon will piobably ask me whether I should equally object to ft, 
K^mn promise to live tugethei during life whatever happens. l' 
do not think this eqvalli/ objectionable ; liecBuBe it is an ezplid"' 
promise possible to be kept ; whereas the oath to lore until dett 
may became I'mpoasible of fitllilment. Sut still I da nut approl 
even this possible promise ; and 1 will give you the reuont why 

That a man and woman should occupy the same house, and 
daily eruoy each other's society, so long as such an aaaodRtios 
gives birth to virtaous feelings, to kindness, to mutual fitrbeuuee. 



AFPBKDIX. 217 

to eomtegy, to dismteieeted aBeciion, I consider li^t and pTopec. 
Tbat they should contmue to inhabit the same liuuse and to meet 
doily, in case Buck inlfrcarusf^ sliuuld ^\c birth to vicioiia ft^tlin^ 
t} dulilic, lo ill lempei, It) scolding, lo a catclesant?88 uf cacli 
other's comfort and a waul of respect for each other's fefUngs, — 
this 1 coneider, ahen l)u tim indaiduali alont are tancemtd, 
neither right nor proper : neither coaduciTe to good order nor lo 
virtue. I da not tMnk it vellj thereforB, lo promise, at all 
huards, lo live together for life. 

Such a view may be oflenslve to orthodoiy, but anrely, surely 
it it ap[KoTed by common sense. Ask youisolf, sir, who is— 
iriio can be the gainer — ihe man, llie voman, or society at large 
•—by two persons liring in diecoid rather than parting in peace, 
uAbnun and Lot did when their herdameu could not antes. 
We have temptations enough already to ill humour in the world, 
without expressly creating them for ourselves ; anti of all tempta- 
tions lo that worst ot potty vices, domestic bickering, can we sup- 
pose one more strong ur mora continually active 'h"" a forced 
■BBodatiou in whioh the heart has no sliare ? Do not the interest! 
of virtue and good order, then, imperiously demand (as tike im- 
mortal author of " Paradise Lost" argued, in his celebrated 
voi^ "On Divorce,") that the law should abslalu from pe(- 
petiiating any association, after it has become a daily source ot 



sentient beings arc, in my view. 
aa much happiness as it is in their power (o bestow. Tlie parent 
Toluntarity assumes this greatest of responsibilities ; and he vbo, 
having so asetuned it, tritles with his child's best interests fur his 
own selfish gratification, is, in my eyes, utterly devoid of moral 
principle ; or, at (he least, utterly blind lo the most sacred duty 
which a human being can be called to porTonn. If, therefore, 
the wall-being and future urospority of the children ate to bo 
sacrificed by a separation of the parenta, then I would positively 
olycct ia the separation, honevor grievous the evil eliecls of a 
continued connection might l>e to the dissentient couple. 

Whether the welfare of children is ever promoted by the con- 
tlniiation of an ill-assorted union, is anolh^ question ; as also in 
what way they ought to be provided for, where a soparatiOB 
aclDally takes place. 

But to regcjd, ibr the moment, the case of the adults alone. 
Yon will remark, that it is no question for us to determine 
idwthei it is better or more proper that affection, once conci'ived, 
should last through. We. We might aa well sit down to decree 
whether the sun should shine or be hid under a cloud, or whether 
■he windshould blowa atomi or a gentle breeze. We may re- 
joice when it does ao last, and grieve when it docs not ; but as to 
legislating about the Enatter, it is the idloat of absurdities. 






IPPKKurx. 



We may invest Ihem wilh th« legal appeatRnceof the clotestfrfendt 
whae they are the hilteraat anemieH. It soeraB to mc that dud- 
kind hace SL'ldom cotiaidered whut rto ths actual adTujIageavf 
■uch a pioceeding to the indiriduals and to aociely. I confin 
thai I do not see what ia gained in sa nnlbrtimale a gitiulicli, Vf 
keeping up the appearance when the reality is goae. 

I da see the necesaity. in such a case, if the man i 

separate, of dividing what property they may poaaeas oqnallj t*- 
tweeo them ; and (while the present monopDly of profitable oect- 
palionsby menUsls) I also see the eipedienoy, in case Ihepropet^ 
so divided be not sumcieat tur the woman's comforlsble en^nn 
of causing the man to continue to contribute a fair proponiori cC 
hiaeaniings towards it. I also see the impropriety, at I said bdbn 
that the children, if any there he, ahuutd suffer. But I caonolM 
who is the gainer by obliging two persona to continue in eaa 
other's society, when heort-bmninga, bickerings, and other 
result*, are to be tha conseEjuence. 

There are cases where affection ceases on one aide and r 
on the other. No one can deny that this ia an eril, oRan i _ 
oua one ; but I caimat perceive how the law can remedy it, <M 
soften itd bitterness, any more than it can legislate away Ute pii4 
caused by unretumed friendship bei^eeD persons of th£ MIMMl 
Yon will ask me, perhaps, whether I do not believe that, bW C* 
the law, there would bo a continual and aeljish change indv'~' 

vrithont regard to the feelinga or wcltare of others. What 

might be in the world, viciously trained and ctrcumstuiced u il 
many human beings now are, 1 know not, though I doubt whedltf 
things amid be much worse than they are now ; besides thatD 
human power can legislate fur the heart. But If men and wmM 
vrerelrained, (as tliey so easily might!) to be even decenllyt* 
gardful of each other's feelings, may wo not assert poritively, "^ 
no such result could possibly happen ! Let me ask each a 
your readers, and let each answer to his or her own heart : " 

£>u indeed boixnd to those you profess to Jove atid honour b^ 
w alonet" Alas ! for yonr chance of happiness, if the an 

Your correspondent speaks of ciaBtily. If he mes 
the question whether I think il an evil for pereoos of adult ag« 
remain throngh life in a state of celibacy, I atisner, Yes. If 1 
allude to intereonrse with those unfortunate victims of the hnn 
yet tolerated vices of man. whom want or false edncalioii hui 
duced almost below the pity of their fellow-creatures, t oj 
consider such an aaaociation one of the worst— perhap* &t m 
worst, into which ignorance or passion can betray a young WMl/ 
If he simply ask me, whether I Qiiuk a niatrimoiiml cuunesk 



^P AFTSIflllX. SI 6 

^ras fbnned, diould lut Ull de&lh, I Iutb already uiEwered tha 
question. 

If (iisFcanMm did) he intfrpTGla chBstity to mean the regulaled 
and ttrktly iemperafe aatisfaciion, vnihout iiyury to others, ofthoie 
drtirea mAiiA art natvral lo oliAfallAy, adull hvman beings, I con- 
ndET it OOP of iLa Brat ofvirtueHi and one moat rarely practised, 
ttther by yuun^ men or by married persong, even v\iea the latter 
most scrupulously conform V> the letter of the taw. 

It iras to proniote suth chastity, and to render men and women 
free B^entH in tlic moat important act of their lives — it waa to 
cmuourago them to pause ere they incurred the most aaered of 
responsibilities — to reSect, before Ihey called young creatures into 
bemg, whether they were able, and whether they were prepared, 
Uj render the existence they imparled a happy one-^it woa for Iheae 
objects (which no one mucly will pronounce other than commend- 
able] that I wrote and published " Moral Physiology." How far 
the work cortrsponda lo the intention, it is for the public to jndge. 

Ab to any sudden abolition of the marriage-law, in the present 
depraved slate of society, it is what I hare never recommended, 
and am not prepared to defend. When it Uabolished. itou^t, 
in my opinion, to be replaced by a most carefully drawn up and 
wisely dilated law of pareiUoge. That great and immediate be- 
nefit would result from at once enabling married women to hold 
property, I am convinced; and I think auch a change in the old, 
Gowic, anliqualod statutca of Baron and Feme, will aoon be mads 
in this MlUilry. 

It is very poaaibla that you may ilill demur to my arguments 
and dissent irum my conclusions. You may think that I am 
willing to trust loo many duties to moral keeping. You may 
believe, that unless men and women were cumpclled lo the appear- 
tace of conatancy, the world would he full of heartless levity and 
nnaaemly change. 1 do not think ao. I am willing to trust to 
human nature — (once rationally trained in public schools) — I say 
not for the performance of at many duties as the law can 
now enforce, but for infinitely more; of duties so delicate, 
that no statute can reach Ihem ; of morality so elevated, that no 
act of legislation can give it birth. 

In this, of course, I may be mistaken ; but confess that if I am, 
it is an error on the side of virtue. Confess, that ifmyantidpa- 
tions shoald never be fulfilled, they deserved, at least, to be so. 
fi. D. O. 



Husbands and wives «an love one another ; they ought (o lore 
one another ; but if they Bui of this duty, what eicuse is this for 
their soparatiog ! Should they become adulterers, because thsy 

re haters of one anolher ? But we are to expect just such logio^ 

" ■ at BUth morality, firora sceptics in general. 



r 



APFEKDtX. 

NOTE B. 

IFnmAe Free Enquirer of ifayTS, 1831.] 
MABHIAGE AND PLACEMENT; 




In the progieisiTe maicliof improTemenl, oiiglity circumftana 
Bud great experimonla DccasionaUj come upon ia, h> unlock, i 
it were, tke imreaolsed accrela of tho world, and lo cut iboit d 
idlo EpeculntioQS of theorists, by the brief utd aimplo dRinolkBtn 
tiona of reality. 

Such a circumfflance was the lale French Berolution ; and kr 
has it changed Ihe tone of feeling, and the language of the prei 
in Europe I Aristccrata had prophesied, that the people, uii( 
emiuicipated from s salutary thraldom, would be mousleni ill 
emancipation came, and Ihty proved themselves heroes. All ll 
flimay arguments and nice eubtletiesof righl-divinc advocates hi 
been put forth in formidable array ; the abusers of revabitia 
&om that talented apostate, Burke, down ic those who an 
the imbecile retainers of the oi-eourt at Holyrood, had gp 
and written and prophesied of bloodshed, of rapine, of licenlwii 
noBi: the 2Gth of July came— the day when law and gonniiBe 
were abrogated, and public honour and tranquilU^ were trusted 
the handa of a traduced and a justly inccnHcd people — and ho 
nobly, how uiiauswerably did that people, in three abort day^t 
-flue the calumnies of (heir enemies. 

Tlius was one accusation against poor hntnon nature replied t 
the accusation which bid us believe, that hut for the irammeli 
law the world would be one vast slanghter-house. I propoie 
adduce lo our readers another great experimeut, diSenog m di 
xacter indeed from the Paris war of July, yet conveying, lA«|k 
immortal struggle, a grave lesson ; and lefutiag, like it, one ^d 
vulgar accusations against our Bpcoies ; the itccosatioa, BsaJ 
which would bid us believe that, but for the restraints at iitdim 
luble marriage, the world would be a universal brothoL 

I refer to the present slateof society in the island of IlaytL 
those there be who shall sneer at what I am about lo wiiiie, i 
chiefly regarding a race separated from ours by the paluy citeni 
Btance of corapleiion, let them sneer ; I write not for sucIl. 

Ever since the revolution which established (he indniendsni 
of the Haytian repuhUc, a custom has prevailed in the triu 
which is not found elsewhere ; and which has not, (O bl ai Ilw 
remarked, attracted that attention from the philiwophei and II 
moralist, which I conceive it most emphatically to deisCTt. 
mean the custom wliich the inbahil^jiis designate by the wa 
placttntat. 



APPEMIllX. 



Prostitution, tuo, eiiats there as in other counlries. But this 
inBtilutioti of placement ie found nowhere, thai I know oi, but 
among the Haytiana. 

ThoBe who choose to mHrry, are united, as in other coun- 
tries, by a priest ot magiBtrate. Those who do not ehonse to 
mDlry, and who cqaaily shrink from the mercenary embrace 
of prwtitution, are (in the phraseology of the island) plaeh ; 
thM U, literally translated, placed. 

The difference between placement and marriage ia, that the 
fhrmer ieentered into withoutanyprescribcd form, the latterwith 
the usual ceremonies : the former is dipsaluble at a day's warn- 
ing, the latter is indifBolubleexeept by the vexatious and degrad- 
ing formalitiea of divorce ; the former is atacil, social compact, 
the latter alegal compulBory one; in the former the woman giiiea 
Dp her name and her property ; in llie latter, she retains both. 

Uarriage and plucement are, in Hayti, equally respectable ; 

or, if there be a difference, it is ii ' ' ' '-'' 

n placements take plac 



dent, ditl the Bame [+ and^ by far tlie largest portion of the re- 
spectable inhabitants have imitated their presidents ; and aie 
placed, not married. The children of the. placed have, in every 
particular, the same legal rights and the some standing as those 
bom in wedlock. 

I imagine I hear from the clerical supporters of orthodoxy 
rate general burst of indignation at this sample of national pro- 
fligacy ; at this contemning of Iho laws of God and man ; at 
this escape from the church's ceremonies and the ecclesiaslical 
blessing. I imagine I hear the question sneoringly put, how 
long these samerespecU^U connexions commonly last, andhi>w 
many dozen times they are changed In the course of a year. 

Gently, my reverend friends I It is natural you should find 
it vm>ng, that men and women dispense with your services and 
curtail your fees, in this matter. But it ia neither just nor 
proper, that because no prayers are said, and no fees paid, you 
■houlddenouDcetheoustomas a profligate one. Learn (as I did 



InurlptiDDftiunilDnh 


t tomb—" Hwe 


JtUB.nbiolule power. 


nd during that 






bl^prrB£ir»^'d» 


o'y'weUkl.E^ 


Kith nhicb bi- bu fD] 


. long Krie» 




Ih. pr..ideQt 


preiriDf opgn him the 




tnifaop earn his inten 


eddUng officio 


tonsequoncB. w"-'^^ 




Vuiti Ihs greatest res 


peetu.il.ff.etl 





I 



.1 llle Otber da; fivmui inlalligent Fcenuh gentleuuui vko had la- 
IWiineil some tuDe on Ilie island j —lisorn, lHul u^r/Kiu^A libn on In 
tiraii at matiy placed at aiarrieii. ytl then are actuallj/ftatr Mpo- 
ralions among l/it former lAan divorces among Che iactar. Uoai- 
Elancy, then, ia lobe the criterion of morality, these saoie piutlmie 
uniona— that is, unionfl uiiprayed-for by the priest aud impiud-iir 
to him— ma Ian tiniea as moral as the religiun-sanctiuntdiliililu- 
tianornurriiige. 

But this is uot all. It ia a fact notorious in Hayli, Out libq.- 
tiniam is far mare comiauii among the married tliuu unung Hu 
placed. The explanatory cause is easily found. A pUcemnut 
Eecurea (u the caiiaentiiig couple no tit^f right ever one aaotlkGi' 
They remain together, us it were, on good behaiiour. llal onlir 
positive tyntnuy or downright vu'aguism, but petulaut peeviahiUM 
iir aelfiab ill humour, are Eullldent cauties of scpaiatioii. Ki such, 
they are avoided with sedulous care. I'he natural come^ueoce it, 
that the uniuna are usually happy, and that each being camfiutabh 
si home, is not od the search for excitement abroad. In indiMo- 
luble marriage, on the contrary, if the parties should happen to 
disagree, flieir first jarring are undiecked by cunaideraiions of 
conaequencea. A husband may he oa tyrannical as to him h — 
good ; he remains a lord and master still ; a Arile may be »s 
liah as she pleOBBS ; she does not thereby forfeit the ri^tl . . 
.privileges of a wife. Thus, ill humour is encouraged by beilifk- 
galized, and l)ie ualunU results ensue, alienatiuii uf itteliewt, in. 
Eundcring of ihr affections. The wife seeks rellei'ln faaUonilitl 
dissipation; (lie husband, perhaps, in tbebrutuUiiea of alnvtlu^' 
But, aaida from all explanatory theories, the F.tcr is as I ham 
■lated it, viz. : that (taking the poportiun of earh into accoonlj 
Ihert are l«i legal leparatiant of the ntarried, for mte poiiaOaif 
lepanaitM of the plamd. If any one donbtsit, let Mia iagajte tor 
himself; and he nill doubt no longer. 

What say you lo that fant, m^ reverend fiieads ! How c( 
it with yomr Eii'ourite theory, that man is a profligate ' aniiMV a 
desperately wicked creature f that, but for your prayers luldtf — 

iiigB, the earth would be a scene of licenlionsuess and exeei* i 

human beings remain together, only because yon have helped U 
Lie them P that there it no medium betwe«ii priiiHliy niairiiga Ud 
unseemly piustitutionr 
Does tba fact open your eyes 
winch wa heterodox spirits v( 
sial in explaining to you how 
willing than you to entrust llie most aacred dutioa W monl nfiM 
than legal keeping P 
You cannot imagine that a man and a w< 

aelressuiledtoeacholher.ahciild^ipree, wilho . 

■ ' ecoma companions ; tha' he should remove to her plaQls4a^ 
be to his, as Ihey found it most convenii^it ; that tbe <«nV4i)^ 
should become known to their friends without ibe if^^tf 
as, aud be respected, BvenlhoughBolostButaliotislj " * 



AFPENDtX. 223 

in k newspaper. Yet bU IhiB happens in H»jlj, withoal my 
breach of propriety, vilhout anyincreaue of rice ; but, on the mo- 
trary. much to the benefit of murality, nad the diacoursgeiuent of 
proslilution. It hiippenB smong tha whita aa wtll as IhecoltmrBd 
pupulatiun ; ud the presideatoftheccmaiiy gives it hU wmcijun, 
m biaown peiBon. 

Do you still aak ma — accustoMed as you me 10 consider virtue 
(lie offspriaKofresltiotions — do youaliflaskmc, -what the cLedis 
■re that produce iniJ pre»arTe such a slate of things 1 I reply, gdod 
frelmg and public opinion. Continual change is held to be dis> 
Teputable , wh«« sincsce and well-founded afleetion cxisis. i( is 
not dosirod ; and aa there is no pecuniary iuducFmenl in furmin; 
a pl.icemenl, these lolunlary uuiuus are seldom ill-naioiieji. 

wben oUr natnre is blackened and abased, and when we are 
told Chat we are altogether vils and uneleiui until washed in the 
consecrated wntera of theology, or piirifled by the searching infia- 
eiice of the Uw, lei ua appeal, in its i^fcnce, to facts like these. 
H. D. O. 



There is no erideocs adduced, that Hayti is in the happy coiT- 
dition here described. But suppose this to be the case, *hBl jus* 
tiflcalion iathis for the general state of tbrnieation there prf'^ilingf 
Thisp/ncnnmi, this Hvhig together without inartiage, is FORNI- 
CATION, in tHe proper sense of the term And (xiy oppniiunt, 
iu Bdrocatlng ii, shows ouly the looseness of hia onn moral 
principles. 0. B. 

NOTE C. 

\Tiit original letter, of which the following are eitraola, wis 
writien by one of WiUiain Pitt's underlings from England, under 
dale. Jnne 29, 1793 ; that ia, about a month afier the commcnce- 
Bicut "f the reign of terror in France. It il addressed " To tht 
Prrtidrnt of tha Itevohaunvay CommiOtt, at St. Omer." one of 
the leadrrs in the bLoody tragedy that followed, the atrociliea of 
uliich are charged, nol lo foreian treachery, not to the liberltciis 
nincliinalions of European oourta, but by rojahata lo French de- 
niucraey, and by the orthodox to French scepticism I 

These extracts apneared originally in the Free Enuuirer ot 
April 24. 1H30.] H. D. O. 

" Your diligence deserves our thanks ; your two eipreaaes ar- 
rived this muruiug at eight o'clodc, the dupUeale at one o'clock. 
The plansyou hut sent are more' corteot than the fon 






luflicientl* distinct. Desire II'-^ to give you another; _ 

be ■gooti engineer, buihe ia uitaccurale: there is a R«at 
csbetwi— '-^- -'■'---- '^— "-' '■ - ■ ' 



Wcbbe tu pay the othw of Lisle £100 8ur]iii 
]WU.UW W^k R i dun't mind the tuou. 



lose mfhl of jonr eomnmiidanl ; he is sterliug. If lie ia dnbioM 
of delecUon, let him lesigE ; and do you pay him doubU ol 
irhnt be receites irom the Wsi OHice- Slnke him a preBmlol 
£500. I do nol doobt bia leal Irum Iho proof he hua ahovn. 
My lord desiiea & direct fltatemeut jfom him of lbs po«da, 
bills, &c." 

" Let Greenwood give his dinners now and then with Iht 
•eleot party. Ooubuurg's plan ia sure, nnlese the fonune of <nt 



poBB with the Dugs. If so, the plan of the forage 
Jut reBource, and most late place in every town on uo auD* 
day. At all eienta be prepaied with all the aelecl, for the 10th 
01 16tb of August. 

" The phosphorescent matches will be sufficient, and ilmndred 
nay be given lo each tmsty, without danger, as Ihey lie in Ih* 
compau of one inoli and three quarters ciruumferenca for «uh 
hundred, by four inches and a half long. '" 
■■ ■ ■■ hbefti 

" We must bring Ibe assignats more and more inlA diacrcdlL 
BcfiiBa those of the republic. Keep up Ibe prices. Let (lie inn- 
chants buy up every article of necessaries. If you can peiauadt 

the C to purchase up the suet and all candles at any priw, 

make the people pay, even to five livrea a pound. 

' My lord la thankiiil for the very masterly mamier of Bf . 

Tbe dube caused his son to be enregistered with youia, the (UM 
day. Their pay as comets goes on. 

" Let Cheater now and tbea go to Ardea and to Donldrk. 
Pray don't mind money. We hope the assassination buaoiat 
will be carried on with prudence. The parsons in disguise mi 
<i>omen are the proper persona. Send 50,000 livrea U> Rosen md 



"Milner's plan Li approved by Pitt, but hia late lever viD 
keep him in Engiasd some time longer. Strclon's son, tell tarn, 
will be recalled from Vienna, and shall have the mioiatei's plM* 
St Madrid al^r the war." 

"Let no money be spared. My lord desires you will tut 
ihink of sending or fceeping any accounts. He even desra 
evejy minute may be destroyed, as they might be dangerotia. if 
found, to all our friends in France; and your probity was to vfU 
established in the part you acted for ns in Switzerland last year, 
as well as what you'va dona for the cause since at St. Oniet, ai Id 
be a aufflcienl surety in aU nego ciating money biiaineM. " 

" Teli Ness be may be sure of ■ borough in the &nt tuui^ 
or next parliametiL Adien. 

Yonr affectionate comiii; 

fThe tignatw w tn tyfinr.} 



iPPBNDlX. ii5 

'* P. B. Send immedititelj to Lyons and OienobU with 
150,000 livreB. We greatly regret the death of h~— ; hia 
widow's penaion of £600 a jesr shall be paid to her and son 
diuinelife. Send them £200 by first occasion. Say to Cobb's 
wife, hei hushand was promoted 1st May, by order of Admiial 
M'Bride. Let Morel be allowed £100 more a month. 'We 
hope to oceupy the rooms he has fitted up as winter quarters. 
'VVlien you go to Dunkirk, fix with his cousin or him tor a 



conveyance for thdlguineas. We have resdy forty thou- 
d for the committee in your direction." 



^Ufo 

^^U the first place, it remains to be proved, that the foregoin g 
ooouroent is genuine ; in the next place, if it is so, it proves 
foreign intrigue onlyin the cases which it specifies ; and lastly, 

into view as eanctioned by the National Assembly, the Legis- 
tatiTe Assembly, and the National Conrention. Foreign courts 
aaj haye had their emiasaiies in France, but this is no excuse 
for t^e infernal deeds of tlie infidel French Jacobins. 0. B. 



TBtNiTAHJANS admit that Chri«l was man as well as Godj and 
that, at a man, he had a begi[ming, both in body and mind. 
But no one thinks of charging them with deism for this. 

That the expectation of a messiah loos general at the time 
Christ came, is so notorious a fact, that it is not worth the 
while to enter into debate on the subject with any individual 
who denies it. It is but to read the writings of those timet, 
to see this— thoie of Virgil, for instance. 

That prophecies like those which relate to Christ'should be 
the cause of their own uccannplishment, when many of them 
were accomplbhed by his enemies, who were slriving to crush 
his pretensions to the metaiahahip, is too unreasonable an idoa 
to need refutation. 

That the Jews and Christians interpret passages differently 
which relate to the ntessiah, is not at all strange, when it u 
considered that the Jews are determined to reject Jesus aa 
being the one. But here are the predictions themselves, which 
we can examine as well as they, instead of depending on theii 
interpretation. 

The sentence from Weems' Life of Washington, produced by 
Mr. Owen is shown by its atylc to have been only designed as a 
sally of fancy. A wonderliil reason this, for rejecting as &U;& 
the grave, historical part of theaccount, MtQieSeI»lti«>^ii(&■ 



I 



\ 



396 APPBNnix. 

mony loiiching tbe ■ctpliciam of Washington, A« ^ 

Bixh: he did not pteteDd tu be the aulliur uf it ; nor did Uuf 
pretend tliat Woiuiingtun lold htm he did nut faeliere in Chii 
tianiiy. And the BtaLement pf JeSeison, thuC Washington in I 

£ubU« diieuraents agakc favourably of Chriatianily hul once, 
ate amply refuted, by extncU from the doinunenta ^marin 
Thnt Ker. Mt. J&ck»oii, more than thirty yertis ailer the death 
Washington, hai not chanced to find any of the few surviTing so 
Imtd individuAls vho uimmuned with him, (if indeed any are d 
hvin^,) is about aa strong eridanee uf his scepticism, as thai he! 
nol deliver a, long Christian Tilediclory in his dying hout, triic 
he could hardly articulate a syllable on account of lus quincy, 
have proved positively Qiat he was a prefesaor of religjon ; Oil 
he vas a communicant j that he was in the habit of secret piayet 
&c., &e. : and I have nov only to add, that if Ag cannot ' 
proved to have been a believer in Christianity, no man can. 

I do^ot pGjueive the itrationality of the question proposed by 
Elhan Alleti'iidnughter to her father. Ghe very naturally cmi 
eluded that if'he would give hia real opinion at such a u' 
if that opinion was, that iniidelity would not do to die by, ._ 
be a reaian why it should not be confided in at all, and iiinili 
likewise show that the reasons which her father had tu-ged it ' 
behalf were unsound even in his own estimation. It waa ib 
fore the highest rationality, to pot this question preciseij m 
the circumstances that she did. 

Jefferson might construe that into scopticiam which perhapi UH 
other would not. Aa John Adams was a member of a congrega- 
tional church, be was either a belieier in Chruitiaiiily, at a 
hypocrite. Should Mr. Oweu therefore succeed in proTine Urn 
to have heen a sceptic, be will in so doing li]uwis« prove Elm n> 
have been a hypocrite; in which caae, he would be perfecil; 
welcome to him. Considering, however, the miala^t to whicb 
Jefferion was liable, and the testimony furnished ' " 
Mr. Whitney's letter, I real very eaay on this point. 

Franklin's case will do very well without farther dofence, wMs 
his epitaph remains, and his condemnation of his youlbful sce;l[> 

My opponent has made rather slim work, in hii attempt U 
■ubsiantiiite hia assertion, that three quarters of the leaders in ODf 
revolutionary struggle were sceptics. Ethan Allen was nol K 
leader, unless there were a grsatmany leaders; for he was only 
a colonel. Bamuel Adams, John Hancock, and Patrick Hemj, 

. -. leaders, were decided frLnds tj 

disputed. Waaliington «l.I 'tJui 
churches. Franklin shows Wj;- 
■elf to have been a believer in the Bible. And there war« Mt» 
other distinguished lenders, such as Laurens, Gules, Ctroat^ 
Putnam, Montgomery, Warren, Ac., fie., none of whom has ity 
opponent even attempted to prove to have been sceptic*, yfluX 



API BSD IX. 227 

NbHoiui are comihia^ □!' iDdiviiluuU ; nereithelesB, there ia a 
ditrerencc between Uie public and iiiivalp atls of individuals. 
Ttieic is B, difleience belween eiciling a bubbub in Ibo slieeM on 
private consideiationE, and routing a tiaiion tu aima tit gain iu 
iLde^^dence. 

To lorelal the jmrlkulari of Ibe deBtniction of certain eiiiei, 
and tf> moke a political co/cufolwn of a gateral tiaiufe, orb veiy 
difl^'nt coniienis. HaiisHeau might bave calculated a French 
Hevolulioii ; but he could not have foresi-eu tba September 
tiAseaore. — Nor could he bave foreseen the purticuiart ol tke de- 
anuclion of Babylon and JeruBalem. 

1 fiiid no occessitj for underatanding llie two-fold prediction of 
tin; saviour, leUitiTe to the dealiuction ot Jcruaalem and the end 
tif the world, oa a blunder. To use language according lo custom 
is no blunder; for custom gires language lis meaning. 

My opponent's aiierliim, tbat there isonlypreniinpMti«eTklence 
of the early dale of Uie New Teslament, will never balance tbe 
jioitifive tvidence to that effect aa given in my ninlb and lenli 
letted on tbe nulbenticity of Ibe Bible. But be scema to bave 
rurgolten tu show, thai otliEi anmeut history bas butter evidence of 

Tlie fact that the writings of the early opponenta of ChriBtiaaity 
were burnt, aifccls not the quotations ftom Ibcm, as coulnined in 
Ihe wiitiags of olheia. Sliuuld my letters in this cunlrorerey be 
d^lToyed, and my opponent's descend t« posterity, hb quoUtioni 
from mine would abow what I have said in those quolalioUB, aa 
well aa ifiny letleia ahonldbe preserved. Now, in Ihe quotalions 
made from the writing of the opponents of Christianity, Ihcy 
admit (be miracles of Christ. &c. 

If it is not said in the Bible, that parchment was as early as the 
days of Moaea, neither is it said to Ibe contrsry. But booit ace 
named Lhna eiirly ; and that is aufficienl lo show the futility of 
my opponent's objection to the, existence of the Pentateuch at 
that lime. Surely riuu were in esislence then, and 01^** have 
bcunuaed ill this way, to Bay the IcuaL "But this is not material." 

In (he case of waverMl tradition, it must be obriutu, that one 
nation does not derive its ideaa from another, because some na- 
tiona have no comnmnicationwilh oue another. The only way in 
which sucb tiBditioa could obtain, ia that described in the Bible, 
viz., that mankind sprung &om oae common source, and ihence 
received similar communications, which they carried with thum 
as they dispersed Over the globe. Hence, neither the Jews 
derived their primeval Bible marvels from the East Indians, nor 
Ihoae Indians theirs &oin them. 

I ajjain ask for the history of the " many immdations" mon- 
tloneif by my opponenL I have given Ibe history of Iha one men- 
tioned by myself. I deny not that there have been many 
inundations. And this will account for ihe various strata to 
in particular pkcea. But the eitravugant calculntions of sceptics 
OS lo the length of time necessary fur the fottnuioit. ' ' ' 



J 



stisla, are mere mndom canjectureB; like Ihat of the ctlL<iBe' 
omon, whoHupposed that certain yolcanic Btata inual Ii«Te 
(jiiireil fourteen IbouHuid yoia for their funnatioii, trbEU it 
ifterwoids demouBlrated, that two Ihotisuid years might haW 
been eufilcieiit. As to \besroiIual cbange uf climate in lliepoll'' 
regions of which my opponent gpeaka, he BeemB lo fbr^ Ihe " 
daayed carcases of slrpAand foimil in the polar tcEi, andlbeJhd 
<7roii<n fosaUed. Tegelablc remains of ihuse rcgionB. 

If the death of Christ ia proved by Ihe conct 
Talmud, his miracles ate likewise pioTed by the as 
it concedes them likewise. 

In iiie Jburth century, a diriaion broke out between the «i 
and western churches, which bocaine irreconcilable in the cintli 
and continues to tliis day. The eastern or Greek church han 
ne«r acknowledged tite aullkority of the pope, and hare had ll 
keeping of the Bible, as well as the catholics. Siforelhc diruial 
Uiere was but one cburch, and that vaa neither catholic ai _ 
Greek J no such distinctiotiB being then known. And firam Ua 
very first, IhcrE have been beielical sects, who ItBTe likewise had 
the Bible. Furtheimore, it bas been in the hssds of i 
enemies. So that the Apocalyptic Babylon haa serer lutd ll 
ciclusive clrnige of it for one moment. 

Some six or eight years ago, I read Mosheim in courae. It . 
not to be expected that I should recollect every thing he telatcl 
I had entirely forgotten Iiis remarks on the Athan 
mentioaed by my opponent; and fiom the circuDutance, that th 
latter mentioned but one cliurcli historian as natidog it, I infem 
that Hosheim did not. I examined the list of emperora ar^^^ 
writers, as given in Moshcim'a tahleaj and the result of i 
examination was as I stated in my tenth letter. But now 
appears that Mosheim does notice, and even admit (htjad oft 
tongueiets talkeri, although ho inclines to the opinitm, iroc* t 
circumstance that lliero were two who could not talk, that the c 
traction of the tongue was not equally thorongh in all Iheii casi 
and. therefore, that there was no miracle in the conconi. Unli 
it can be accounted for in this way, a miracle must be admitu 
for the fact is well established; though it did not occur in I 
fourth century, as my cpponetit erroneously asserts, but in IheflK 
To disprove (he Bupcmatnral eccurreneca addaced in i 
tenth, my opponent has produced an nddilional one! For i 
part. I cannot see why one extraordinary event is ontruB, liecat 
anothfT has happened. His slalemenC that the visiim by h: 
named was more remarkable than any of the caseiwhichlp 
duced, is incorrect. It was by no mcona to he compared wil 
the trance of Tennenl. Besides, it was of a very diffeita 
from almost all the cases named by myself. In Iha 
lere was no chance for nervous deccptiun. Hts lemaif 
that iDine dreams are not realised, shows only that those dreai 
are not supcmaloral ; but let sceptics treat ihem as ther ma 
mankind at large will believe, that dreams so sliikinglf fiiiniL 




'^ 



^^^ jUtkkdix. 223 

fi» -w re thcae nnder ponsideration, were nothing le«9 than re- 



. _ to eyade, in the case of the barharoua oub- 
toin« of the heathen, and on the Bubjtct of utility. 1 have 
shown that nothing but Chtistinnitv puts an end to those cus- 
toms ; and that some of them aie even riijht, it utility ia the 
test of tight and wrong. He then goes on lo talking of irre- 
levanoies, and of heathen imperfoctioiiB, So. instead of showing 
thai aaj thing besides Cbristianitj ia a remedy for those im- 
perfeotioni, or that those imperfections btc not uaeful. 

Were he more eonversant with the book which he is atrivirg 
to OTerthiow, he would know that the command to shed the 
blood of the murderer was originally a patriarchal, not^ a 
UosBical one. (See Genesis, chap, ii., ver. 6.) 

"to call things by their right names ; to say that a man is a 
thief who steals, is not that kind of judging which the sstIout 
ooBileraned. Neither is it such judging, for me to say of my 
opponent, that he wilfully misrepresented Wataon, when, with 
bis words before his eyes, he charged him with having gircn 
an incorrectideanfthe means by which Chrialianity wosapread, 
and of the holy lives of its professors. He knew that Watson 
spake of the Hrst centuries ; and he knew, too, that what he 
Bud was suatained by fact. And though Tacitus, in general 
terms, speaks against the Christians, be does not apecify a 
■insle crime of wliieh they were guilty. Pliny is more explicit, 
and shows their great fault, the fault for which they were even 
piinUhed, to have been, /aithfubusi la titeir religion, tvtn tatto 
death. They would not invoke the goda; they would not sup- 

;lieate the etnperor'i image; and therefore the "impartial 
'acitus" and Pliny must needs call them pestilent, obstinate, 
«id criminall; and_seeptics mostineeds jam with them in the 
unJDSt, unmanly, and cruel^accusation. 

Wbeo Mormoniam shall have won the most enlightened DB- 
tions of the earth to its standard, and stood the lest of opposi- 
tion for eighteen hundred years, it will then he time to com- 
pare it with Christianity. And here I wuuld say, that, what- 
ever may be the case in France and Germany with regard to 
popery, evangelical religion in these countries i» rising. 

That Seneca and Pliny must have been witnesses of the dark- 
ness of the passion, is an unauthorised nasertion. That they 
would designedly forbear to notice it, is what might be ei- 
pected, confirming, aa it did, the divine mission oi Christ. 

The admission otthe Apocrypha by catholics, is no reason why 
it should be forced upon protestsnta. We have reaitunB to r- 
latisfactory, for its rejection ; and my opponent ought better 
uoderetand the rules of discussion, than to attempt to preaa ' 
wilhsatboriiy which wedo not admit. Let him talk to catholics 
of BsdraaandTobit, andBel and the Dragon, and all thereat; 
but not to us, Wliere then is his pioot, that, t\\e ^i\i\e-w»»\ii»»- 
mtdtound again f Where too ia his proof, thuttv'i£^'^e&*"' 




230 AFPBKDIX. 

pomble T aod vben tbe passage wbich Mya, tJhsl Moses in 

account cf hia own deulh P 

Ha iiuiDiiBtBB thai the CimaUui philosoplurTS, mentiiined 
Umtli, hod itcrel diMibu. Uow does he knuw thU, if thaee i 
w«re tteretf Besides, Uud ia to iiuiiDua.te that tliey weie hj] 
crites ; Cut Ihey profsaxi to behert. The deiflin of BtoiHi, 
which he spake, ciiti!ii»tii(i uu doubt ia hia aayiug, thai ha dai 
die with DO other thoughts lluui Uioai! of the Chribtian reltgic 
that of Kewton, in liis pruring liat Danitl's weeks wei? « pj 
diction of the mcsaiBli, uad weie fulhlled in JeHus Cbiist- HUu 
and Lucke migtal have. hod pecuiiui' liewa of liie dodrinet uf l| 
Bibiej but the " Paradise Lo«t" of Ifae one, and the doiJuuIc 
of the other, that the Bihle containii no mixture of eciui. u 
amply auiticiGnt for ever 1o shield tlusii rcpiuatiaa liom the 
of si:^iEiiim. Hvte 1 would just ask my oiipuntnt in VA 
sense every one will admit ibat tliis univeisiii frame bus s inin 
Order, ths4 comes by tliance, be it ever so reguiax, has no mil 
eoucemed in it. 

If is much easier foe sceptics to lare, when ineaaed irilli ll 
iounoiaJity of Iheii leaders, ihaii lo meet Ihc t^rge. Bui i 
theirraving will never disprove this charge. MyopponeBim 
find my authoiinr for my statemcntB on tlua point in Home, u 
Taiious other writers. A burnt child dreads the fire ; and (to 
fore the recent French revolulionisls did not rui into it, at [1 
former onea did. Bu[ no l lin»kK to infldoLity for IMa. 

Obi GEN Bachels*. 

■.■I shall not lengthen, by a siiigle line, a diiciismoii tbctj 
too voluniiuovis, except to turnisU my authority, where faelt tt 
disputed: 

" In the eighth century there arose a dilFercQce between ll 
easlem and western churchaB, which, in tJio course of abont M 
centuries and a half, ended in a total sepaialioD." — BrittA Sua 
elopirdia, repuiliiAed by Nicfiolson, 3nt tdit., arl. GhBee Cvim. 



aiiUiority, except the vogue assertion, unaustaineit W 
if evidence, of Christian apologists {" Home and out 
') is furnished in support of the cliorges bi«u|^t ■ 



such men as Hume and Voltaire, no authority is dae from me i 
reply. It la to be found in abundance in their biogiapliiea. 

E. D. O. 

Albany, NirnnJitr 12, IB31. 
P,S. I am now enabled to fumiah two further documents rdL 
live to (he private opinions of distinguished republicans. Ooq i^ 
an extract liom a sermon delivered on the 23rd October taK t^" 
the Rev. Dr. Wilson, a clergyman of Albany, and reputwl lo bel 
man of as much leal and learning as any ia the city; aMnnol 
I may incidentally remark, in which Dr. W. ^ys, in speaking i] 
(he&amingof the Constitution of the United Slates, that "the pH, 
ceedings as published by Thompson, llio secretary, show, that thf 



APFXKDIX. 231 

que^on-wia grtTelydeTjaled in Cdnp™* wliethef God should be iu 
iJtc CiuibtilutiuQ or uol, and aTier solemn debute he was dfliberatelj 
Toted Diit of it;" tliat "the men whose Btgiuuents swayed Co 
vuwj God out of IhB Conalilution, to declare that there idiould be 
mi iGligtooB leal, and that CoagrcaB ehould make no luw to os- 
lablish religion, weie atheiats in principle ; that among sit out 
preaidenla from Washington downward, not one waa a profcisor 
of rolipon, at least not of more than miitarlanism ;■ that among 
all the guremoni of Pennsylvania and New-Yuik only two uf 
thefomier and one of the Utlcrwereprofeasoreot religion, Ac." In 
this sermon, as reported in the DsQy Adrerdser of this dty (of 
Ihi; 29th Ortober last) occurs the fulloving pangraph : 

" Woaliington waa a man of valour and wisdom. He wai 
Mteemed hj the whole world as a great and pjod man, bul he was 
not a pTofessor of religion, at least not till aflur he iraa president. 
When the Congress sat in Pliiladelphia, President Washington 
attended the episcopal thnrch. TAt reetot. Dr. Abercroiabie, ha* 
(oU me, that on the days when the sncrament of the Lord's sup pur 
was to be adminialered, WashmgUm't iMitom vxa to riu, juit 
be/tin l/ie ceremony commeneed, and to wai* mU of church. This 
became a anhjett of remark in the congregation, as setting a bad 
example. At length the doctor undertook to speak of it, with a. 
direct allusion to the prRsidenC Washington waa heard afier- 
warda to remark, ^al thit was the Jirtt fiine a ciergiptum luid ttatt 
preached to him, and thai he would henceforth neither trmAle tht 
dooCornorhit consregalionon luchoccaaxoTia. And eTeruner that, 
upon uomoiuiiion dlys, he absented himself altogether li'oca th« 

Aa this important parapuph, being only &oro a newspaper - 
ripurl of a sermon, eould liardly be considered authontie, I myself 
called, accompanied by a gentleman of this city, on Dr. Wilson, 
Ijiis aflemoon. After giving my name, and slating the object of 
my visit, I read to the doctor, at his request, the above paragraph. 
When I had completed, he said ; " I endorse every word of thai." 
He further added : " As I conceive that truth is truth, whether il 
makes for or against ns, I will nut conceal from j'ou any informa.^ 
tioa on this subject, even such as I have not yet given to the 
public. At the close of our conversation on the subject. Dr. 
Abercrombie's emphatic expression was, for I well remember the 
very words t ' Sir, Ifaihinglon vtaa a deiiH' Now," continued Dr. 
Wilson, "1 have diligently perused every line that Washini 
ever gave to the public, and I do not find one eipreaaiun in w 
he pledges himself as a professor of Christianity. I think anvman 
who will candidly do as I have done, will come to the concluauii) 




r 



I 



that tie wua deist, and aoUJiit; mare. I do not lake Ttpon n 
to say puoitiiely that tie naa, bul that is my opinion." 

Dr. Abercrumbie, llie af&uciale of Biihap While in the pi 

LFB at Chriafa Church in Philodelphu, in now alive, ' 
mrala the Btalemenl of hin brothei dergyman. So 
WiaHiNQTON, of whom you say, if hu cannot be pioTeda 
DO human being can. 

The second fact 1 hare to adduce regiuda our late respected u 
Teneiable presidvut Mokboe. Tbe Uev. Dc. Matthews of Nel 
Yorkcanaed it U> be inlimated to Mr. Monroe, when onhi< deatl 
bed, (hal. be should be pleaBcd lo atlecd him in hii profeiaioni 
capacil;. Moiiroe declined, in ihede remarkable words : "Iti 
tmnecesaary. If litre ie a God, ke it a mercjfui ona." 

This anecdote is from the mouth of a respectable and *el 
known orthodox diiiue of thia city, who openly repeated it in db 
c^thc principal bookiitorea here, about a month since. He had i 
a few days preiiously &om Dr. Matthewa himself. This genlh 
man prelaced it by saying "he had heard a circumstanoe regani 
iiig Monroe's death whiii made his blood mn cold ;" and cos. 
dudnd hjrenmrktog "that he had siways thought Monroe an eaol 
sort of an inlidel." Dr. Matthews ii on the spot, to testily, ] 
necessary, to the truth of the circumstance in question. 

The admiBSiona of opponents ate, as you once reminded W 
" so much pure gold." I therefore the more willingly adduce ■ 
tuquestionable authority. 

R. D. 0. 

*•■ In relation to the time when the schism bftw^n theeaslen 
and western chiuches oommenccd, I offer the fullowir.g extract 
from that bent of authorities on church history, Mosheim. 

O.B. 

" ConstautiuG the Great, by removing the seat of the cni]ai«l^ 
Byiatitium, and building the city of Cunstan Cine pie, raised of, il 
the bishop of this new metiopolis. a formidable rital to the Homal 
pontiff, and a bulwark which menaced a ligorous opposition to Ul 
growing authority. For, as the emperor, in order lo fender Co» 
Rtantinaple a second Rome, enriehcd it with all the nghla tni 
pivileges, honours and omamenls, of the ancient cspJMl of Ihl 
world ; so its bishop, meaauring his own dignity and rank by lb 
magnificence of the naw city, and its eminence as the augpit 
residence of the emperor, assumed an equal degree of dignity with 
the bishop uf Rome, and eluiined a superiority over all the reiL 
the episuopal order. Nur did the emperors disapprore of thi 
high pretensions, since they convidered their own dignity as cc 
nccled, in a certain measure, with that of the bishop of lb 
imperial city. Accordingly, in a council held at Constantioopll 
in the year 3S1, by the authuiily of Thcodusiua the Great, uu 
bishop uf that city was, during the absence of Ihe bishop a 
Aloxoodria, and sgtimt the conscat «f the Koman prelate, placet^ 



APFliiiDtx. 233 

tj the thiFrcatiDn of that council, in the first rank aflcT the 
'bishop of Rome, and canecguctilly aljove those of Alexandria 
and Antioch. NectnriuB was the first bishop who eTijoj-ed these 
new honours accumulated upon the see of Consiantinopk, 
Hin successors, the celebrated John ChrysoElolo, extended still 
further the privileges of that see, and submitted to ila jurisdic- 
tion all Thrscc, Asia, and Fontus ; nor were the succeeding 
bishops of that imperial city destitute of a fervent zeal lo 
augment their priTileges, and to extend their dominion. 

"This sudden reTolution in the ecclesiastical government, 
and this unexpected promotion of the bishop of ByKsnlium to a 
higher rank, la the detriment of other prelates of the first emi- 
nence in the church, were productive of the most disagreeable 
eflecta. For this promotion not only filled the bishops of Alex- 
andria with the bitterest aversion lo those of Constantinople, 
but also excited those deplorable contentions and disputes be> 
tween these latter and the Roman pontiffs, which were carried 
OD for many ages, with such various success, and concluded, at 
leiigtb,in [he entire separation of the Latin and Greek churohes." 

"With regard to the Postoript of Mr. Owen from Albany, I 
hare to observe, that I have dispatched three letters to the Ker. 
Dr. 'Wilson, requesting him to give the name] of those alheiitt 
whose arguments swayed (he Convention that formed the Con- 
stitution of the tJnited States to vote the nuce of God out of it; 
but no answer have I succeeded in getting from him. This as- 
sertion of the doctor must therefore pass for an unsustnined 
one. Indeed, in the very next breath, in the sermon under 
consideration, he contradicts it by saying, that some of those 
men were deists. So much for his testimony on this point. 
Besides, the fact that a religious teat is excluded from the Con- 
stitution, ia no proof that its ftaraeiH were not even Christiajis. 
I have received a, letter from Rev. Dr.Abercromhie; but ashs 
wishes not to appear before the public in print, I shall not in- 
sett it. I will only say, thai he denies all recollection of having 
told Rev. Dr. Wilson thai Washington was a deist, and says it 
wu evident he was a professing Qiristian, though he did not 
cominune in his church. The following additional testimony 
xetative to the raligions character of 'Washington 1 have re- 
Ctdyed from Rev. Ku. Jackson of Alexandria : 

Aluxandria. Hov. 22, 1SZ1. 
I have heard my grandfather, tbe Rev. Lee Massey, who was 
HDtor of Fohick Church, near Mount Vernon, say, that General 
Washington was a communicant in his church. The above 
information was given in answer to a question after returning 
from Pohick Church, where I occupied the general's pew. 
The substance of my grandfather's reply was, that he (the 

general) was acommumcant, and that a better Christian: ' 

hved or died. 

MiiuiiaE.T'^.'i-B.tii. 



J 



234 APPENDIX. 

Dear Sir, 

Your letter found me in the bustle of changing m^ readence. 
I have however given it my attention. The above certificate is tbt 
best information I can at present obtain, and ought to l>e sufi^ieou 
Mrs. Greer is a very respectable lady, and may be depended upon. 
A daughter of the Rev. Mr. Massey is expected in town, from 
whom I have the hopie of obtaining some of Creneral Washington'* 
letters. 

The parish of Pohick has not had a rector, I believe, since the 
general's death. He afterwards attended in Alexandria^' This 
accounts for the church records not giving the evidence which you 
desire. 

I beg you will make use of me ag^, should the case re^ioire, 

. Vours very respe<jt£ully, 

William Jacksozc. 

Afr. Oriffen BacheUr, N^-Yark. 

Alexandria^ Dee. 7, 183L 
Dear Sir, 

I am sorry, after so long a delay in replying to your last, that il 
is not ill my power to communicate something decisive in reference 
to General Washinffton's church membership. The branch of the 
family from whom I hoped to obtain information, are yet absent 
from Mount Vernon on account of sickness, and I now begin to 
think it doubtful whether they \^ill be there this winter. Nor can 
I find any old person who ever commimed with him, though not 
one expresses any doubt on the subject. It may seem strange 
that none can certify to the fact ; biit it is not diiiicult to accomit 
for, when we remember, that the parish to which he belonged has 
not had a rector for, perhaps, thirty years ; that the number of 
communicants in the episcopal churches after the revolution was 
Tery small, and those probably, in general, persons advanced tn 
years ; and further, that none of the church records can be found. 
All these circumstances render it exceedingly difficult to obtain 
«uch testimony as is desirable. Universal tradition in the families 
of those whose parents or friends were acquainted with the general, 
is, that he was a regular communicant. 

I may say again, that all his relations in this part of the country 
are decidecUy of opinion that he was a professed and real Christian, 
■end in full standing as a member of the protestant episcopal church. 
I regret that the pains I have taken to gain satisfactory evidence 
has not been more successful, though I think it ought and "will be 
deemed sufficient by all but such as are determined to b<?lieve, 
that they have the sanction of his great name on the side of in* 
fidelity. 

Wishing you may be more successful in some other quarter, 

With respect yours, 

W'l.UAM Jacksom. 

Mr Origen Bachder, New- York, 



APPENDIX. 235 

Wiih regard to the statement relative to Monroe, I have to ob- 

Kcrve, that I have called on Rey. Dr. Matthews, who informs me 

that he was neyer at all acquainted with him ; that he knew no- 

thing of his illness till he heard of his death ; that he never made 

to him a tender of his professional services ; and that, so far aa 

relates to himself, the whole story is a fabrication. I have like- 

yfiae called on S. L. Gouvernenr, the post -master of this city, and 

son-in-law of Mr. Monroe, in whose house he died, who informs 

me that there is no foundation for the foregoing story, relative to 

any clergyman; that no one made any tender of his services ; 

that no one was refused ; that his father-in-law had the highest 

respect for Christianity, considering it to be of immense benetit to 

society ; and that he gave no reason for supposing that he was 

sceptical. 

In view of the foregoing, the reader will see what dependence 
is to be placed on the pretensions and assertions of sceptics with 
regard to the religious opinions of our other distinguished men. 
Could the inquiry be made, we have now fair grounds for conclud- 
ing, that it would result in their cases as it has resulted in those 
now under consideration. I have but to add by way of conclu- 
sion, that it appears by the Evangelist, that Rev. Dr. Wilson is an 
opposer of revivals of religion. This circumstance will have its 
proper weight with the public, whenever they think of his con- 
cessions to Mr. Owen. 

Origev Bacu£lxr. 



J. Watson, a, Queen's Head Pa« satje, Pater uufttec iUw. 



: --5 



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