Brought to you by http://thecmrevolution.

com/

Please visit!

The Age of Reason
by Thomas Paine
(1796) ontents ! "#itor$s %ntro#uction ! Part &ne ! hapter % ' (he )uthor$s Pro*ession &* +aith ! hapter %% ' &* ,issions )n# -evelations ! hapter %%% ' oncerning (he haracter o* .esus hrist/ )n# 0is 0istory ! hapter %1 ' &* (he Bases &* hristianity ! hapter 1 ' "2amination %n 3etail &* (he Prece#ing Bases ! hapter 1% ' &* (he (rue (heology ! hapter 1%% ' "2amination &* (he &l# (estament ! hapter 1%%% ' &* (he 4e5 (estament ! hapter %6 ' %n 7hat (he (rue -evelation onsists ! hapter 6 ' oncerning 8o#/ )n# (he 9ights ast &n 0is "2istence )n# )ttributes By (he Bible ! hapter 6% ' &* (he (heology &* (he hristians: )n# (he (rue (heology ! hapter 6%% ' (he "**ects &* hristianism &n "#ucation: Propose# -e*orms ! hapter 6%%% ' omparison &* hristianism 7ith (he -eligious
1

%#eas %nspire# By 4ature ! hapter 6%1 ' ;ystem &* (he <niverse ! hapter 61 ' )#vantages &* (he "2istence &* ,any 7orl#s %n "ach ;olar ;ystem ! hapter 61% ' )pplications &* (he Prece#ing (o (he ;ystem &*

(he hristians ! hapter 61%% ' &* (he ,eans "mploye# %n )ll (ime/ )n# )lmost <niversally/ (o 3eceive (he Peoples ! -ecapitulation ! Part (5o ! Pre*ace ! hapter % ' (he &l# (estament ! hapter %% ' (he 4e5 (estament ! hapter %%% ' onclusion '''' "3%(&-$; %4(-&3< (%&4 7%(0 ;&," -";<9(; &+ -" "4( -";")- 0";. %4 the opening year/ 179=/ 5hen revolutionary +rance ha# behea#e# its >ing/ the 5rath turne# ne2t upon the ?ing o* >ings/ by 5hose grace every tyrant claime# to reign. But eventualities ha# brought among them a great "nglish an# )merican heart '' (homas Paine. 0e ha# plea#e# *or 9ouis aper '' @?ill the >ing but spare the man.@ 4o5 he plea#e#/ '' @3isbelieve in the ?ing o* >ings/ but #o not con*use 5ith that i#ol the +ather o* ,an>in#!@ %n Paine$s Pre*ace to the ;econ# Part o* @(he )ge o* -eason@ he #escribes himsel* as 5riting the +irst Part near the close o* the year 179=. @% ha# not *inishe# it more than si2 hours/ in the state it has since appeare#/ be*ore a guar# came about three in the morning/ 5ith an or#er signe# by the t5o ommittees o* Public ;a*ety an#
2

;urety 8eneral/ *or putting me in arrestation.@ (his 5as on the morning o* 3ecember AB. But it is necessary to 5eigh the 5or#s Cust Duote# '' @in the state it has since appeare#.@ +or on )ugust E/ 179F/ +rancois 9anthenas/ in an appeal *or Paine$s liberation/ 5rote as *ollo5s: @% #eliver to ,erlin #e (hionville a copy o* the last 5or> o* (. Payne G(he )ge o* -easonH/ *ormerly our colleague/ an# in custo#y since the #ecree e2clu#ing *oreigners *rom the

national representation. (his boo> 5as 5ritten by the author in the beginning o* the year $9= (ol# style). % un#ertoo> its translation be*ore the revolution against priests/ an# it 5as publishe# in +rench about the same time. outhon/ to 5hom % sent it/ seeme# o**en#e# 5ith me *or having translate# this 5or>.@ <n#er the *ro5n o* outhon/ one o* the most atrocious colleagues o* -obespierre/ this early publication seems to have been so e**ectually suppresse# that no copy bearing that #ate/ 179=/ can be *oun# in +rance or else5here. %n Paine$s letter to ;amuel )#ams/ printe# in the present volume/ he says that he ha# it translate# into +rench/ to stay the progress o* atheism/ an# that he en#angere# his li*e @by opposing atheism.@ (he time in#icate# by 9anthenas as that in 5hich he submitte# the 5or> to outhon 5oul# appear to be the latter part o* ,arch/ 179=/ the *ury against the priesthoo# having reache# its clima2 in the #ecrees against them o* ,arch 19 an# A6. %* the moral #e*ormity o* outhon/ even greater than that o* his bo#y/ be remembere#/ an# the rea#iness 5ith 5hich #eath 5as in*licte# *or the most theoretical opinion not approve# by the @,ountain/@ it 5ill appear probable that the o**ence given outhon by Paine$s boo> involve# #anger to him an# his translator. &n ,ay =1/ 5hen the 8iron#ins 5ere accuse#/ the name o* 9anthenas 5as inclu#e#/ an# he barely escape#: an# on the same #ay 3anton persua#e# Paine not to appear in the onvention/ as his li*e might be in #anger. 7hether this 5as because o* the @)ge o* -eason/@
3

5ith its *ling at the @8o##ess 4ature@ or not/ the statements o* author an# translator are harmoniIe# by the *act that Paine prepare# the manuscript/ 5ith consi#erable a##itions an# changes/ *or publication in "nglish/ as he has state# in the Pre*ace to Part %%. ) comparison o* the +rench an# "nglish versions/ sentence by sentence/ prove# to me that the translation sent by 9anthenas to ,erlin #e (hionville in 179F is the same as that he sent to outhon

in 179=. (his #iscovery 5as the means o* recovering several interesting sentences o* the original 5or>. % have given as *ootnotes translations o* such clauses an# phrases o* the +rench 5or> as appeare# to be important. (hose *amiliar 5ith the translations o* 9anthenas nee# not be remin#e# that he 5as too much o* a literalist to #epart *rom the manuscript be*ore him/ an# in#ee# he #i# not even venture to alter it in an instance (presently consi#ere#) 5here it 5as obviously nee#e#. 4or 5oul# 9anthenas have omitte# any o* the paragraphs lac>ing in his translation. (his original 5or> 5as #ivi#e# into seventeen chapters/ an# these % have restore#/ translating their hea#ings into "nglish. (he @)ge o* -eason@ is thus *or the *irst time given to the 5orl# 5ith nearly its original completeness. %t shoul# be remembere# that Paine coul# not have rea# the proo* o* his @)ge o* -eason@ (Part %.) 5hich 5ent through the press 5hile he 5as in prison. (o this must be ascribe# the permanence o* some sentences as abbreviate# in the haste he has #escribe#. ) notable instance is the #ropping out o* his estimate o* .esus the 5or#s ren#ere# by 9anthenas @trop peu imite/ trop oublie/ trop meconnu.@ (he a##ition o* these 5or#s to Paine$s tribute ma>es it the more notable that almost the only recognition o* the human character an# li*e o* .esus by any theological 5riter o* that generation came *rom one long bran#e# as an in*i#el. (o the inability o* the prisoner to give his 5or> any revision must
4

be attribute# the preservation in it o* the singular error alrea#y allu#e# to/ as one that 9anthenas/ but *or his e2treme *i#elity/ 5oul# have correcte#. (his is Paine$s repeate# mention o* si2 planets/ an# enumeration o* them/ t5elve years a*ter the #iscovery o* <ranus. Paine 5as a #evote# stu#ent o* astronomy/ an# it cannot *or a moment be suppose# that he ha# not participate# in the universal 5elcome o* 0erschel$s #iscovery. (he omission o*

any allusion to it convinces me that the astronomical episo#e 5as printe# *rom a manuscript 5ritten be*ore 17B1/ 5hen <ranus 5as #iscovere#. <n*amiliar 5ith +rench in 179=/ Paine might not have #iscovere# the erratum in 9anthenas$ translation/ an#/ having no time *or copying/ he 5oul# naturally use as much as possible o* the same manuscript in preparing his 5or> *or "nglish rea#ers. But he ha# no opportunity o* revision/ an# there remains an erratum 5hich/ i* my conCecture be correct/ casts a signi*icant light on the paragraphs in 5hich he allu#es to the preparation o* the 5or>. 0e states that soon a*ter his publication o* @ ommon ;ense@ (1776)/ he @sa5 the e2cee#ing probability that a revolution in the system o* government 5oul# be *ollo5e# by a revolution in the system o* religion/@ an# that @man 5oul# return to the pure/ unmi2e#/ an# una#ulterate# belie* o* one 8o# an# no more.@ 0e tells ;amuel )#ams that it ha# long been his intention to publish his thoughts upon religion/ an# he ha# ma#e a similar remar> to .ohn )#ams in 1776. 9i>e the Jua>ers among 5hom he 5as reare# Paine coul# then rea#ily use the phrase @5or# o* 8o#@ *or anything in the Bible 5hich approve# itsel* to his @inner light/@ an# as he ha# #ra5n *rom the *irst Boo> o* ;amuel a #ivine con#emnation o* monarchy/ .ohn )#ams/ a <nitarian/ as>e# him i* he believe# in the inspiration o* the &l# (estament. Paine replie# that he #i# not/ an# at a later perio# meant to publish his vie5s on the subCect. (here is little #oubt that he 5rote *rom time to time on religious
5

points/ #uring the )merican 5ar/ 5ithout publishing his thoughts/ Cust as he 5or>e# on the problem o* steam navigation/ in 5hich he ha# invente# a practicable metho# (ten years be*ore .ohn +itch ma#e his #iscovery) 5ithout publishing it. )t any rate it appears to me certain that the part o* @(he )ge o* -eason@ connecte# 5ith Paine$s *avorite science/ astronomy/ 5as 5ritten be*ore 17B1/ 5hen <ranus 5as #iscovere#.

Paine$s theism/ ho5ever investe# 5ith biblical an# hristian phraseology/ 5as a birthright. %t appears clear *rom several allusions in @(he )ge o* -eason@ to the Jua>ers that in his early li*e/ or be*ore the mi##le o* the eighteenth century/ the people so calle# 5ere substantially 3eists. )n interesting con*irmation o* Paine$s statements concerning them appears as % 5rite in an account sent by ount 9eo (olstoi to the 9on#on $(imes$ o* the -ussian sect calle# 3u>hobortsy ((he (imes/ &ctober A=/ 1B9E). (his sect sprang up in the last century/ an# the narrative says: @(he *irst see#s o* the teaching calle# a*ter5ar#s $3u>hoborches>aya$ 5ere so5n by a *oreigner/ a Jua>er/ 5ho came to -ussia. (he *un#amental i#ea o* his Jua>er teaching 5as that in the soul o* man #5ells 8o# himsel*/ an# that 0e himsel* gui#es man by 0is inner 5or#. 8o# lives in nature physically an# in man$s soul spiritually. (o hrist/ as to an historical personage/ the 3u>hobortsy #o not ascribe great importance ... hrist 5as 8o#$s son/ but only in the sense in 5hich 5e call/ ourselves $sons o* 8o#.$ (he purpose o* hrist$s su**erings 5as no other than to sho5 us an e2ample o* su**ering *or truth. (he Jua>ers 5ho/ in 1B1B/ visite# the 3u>hobortsy/ coul# not agree 5ith them upon these religious subCects: an# 5hen they hear# *rom them their opinion about .esus hrist (that he 5as a man)/ e2claime# $3ar>ness!$ +rom the &l# an# 4e5 (estaments/$ they say/ $5e ta>e only 5hat is use*ul/$ mostly the moral teaching. ... (he moral i#eas
6

o* the 3u>hobortsy are the *ollo5ing: '' )ll men are/ by nature/ eDual: e2ternal #istinctions/ 5hatsoever they may be/ are 5orth nothing. (his i#ea o* men$s eDuality the 3u>hoborts have #irecte# *urther/ against the ;tate authority. ... )mongst themselves they hol# subor#ination/ an# much more/ a monarchical 8overnment/ to be contrary to their i#eas.@ 0ere is an early 0ic>site Jua>erism carrie# to -ussia long be*ore

the birth o* "lias 0ic>s/ 5ho recovere# it *rom Paine/ to 5hom the )merican Jua>ers re*use# burial among them. )lthough Paine arraigne# the union o* hurch an# ;tate/ his i#eal -epublic 5as religious: it 5as base# on a conception o* eDuality base# on the #ivine son'ship o* every man. (his *aith un#erlay eDually his bur#en against claims to #ivine partiality by a @ hosen People/@ a Priesthoo#/ a ,onarch @by the grace o* 8o#/@ or an )ristocracy. Paine$s @-eason@ is only an e2pansion o* the Jua>er$s @inner light@: an# the greater impression/ as compare# 5ith previous republican an# #eistic 5ritings ma#e by his @-ights o* ,an@ an# @)ge o* -eason@ (really volumes o* one 5or>)/ is partly e2plaine# by the apostolic *ervor 5hich ma#e him a spiritual/ successor o* 8eorge +o2. Paine$s min# 5as by no means s>eptical/ it 5as eminently instructive. (hat he shoul# have 5aite# until his *i*ty'seventh year be*ore publishing his religious convictions 5as #ue to a #esire to 5or> out some positive an# practicable system to ta>e the place o* that 5hich he believe# 5as crumbling. (he "nglish engineer 0all/ 5ho assiste# Paine in ma>ing the mo#el o* his iron bri#ge/ 5rote to his *rien#s in "nglan#/ in 17B6: @,y employer has ommon ;ense enough to #isbelieve most o* the common systematic theories o* 3ivinity/ but #oes not seem to establish any *or himsel*.@ But *ive years later Paine 5as able to lay the corner'stone o* his temple: @7ith respect to religion itsel*/ 5ithout regar# to
7

names/ an# as #irecting itsel* *rom the universal *amily o* man>in# to the $3ivine obCect o* all a#oration/ it is man bringing to his ,a>er the *ruits o* his heart: an# though those *ruits may #i**er *rom each other li>e the *ruits o* the earth/ the grate*ul tribute o* every one/ is accepte#.@ (@-ights o* ,an.@ ;ee my e#ition o* Paine$s 7ritings/ ii./ p. =A6.) 0ere 5e have a reappearance o* 8eorge +o2 con*uting the #octor in )merica 5ho @#enie# the light

an# ;pirit o* 8o# to be in every one: an# a**irme# that it 5as not in the %n#ians. 7hereupon % calle# an %n#ian to us/ an# as>e# him $5hether or not/ 5hen he lie#/ or #i# 5rong to anyone/ there 5as not something in him that reprove# him *or itK$ 0e sai#/ $(here 5as such a thing in him that #i# so reprove him: an# he 5as ashame# 5hen he ha# #one 5rong/ or spo>en 5rong.$ ;o 5e shame# the #octor be*ore the governor an# the people.@ (.ournal o* 8eorge +o2/ ;eptember 167A.) Paine/ 5ho coine# the phrase @-eligion o* 0umanity ((he risis/ vii./ 177B)/ #i# but logically #e*en# it in @(he )ge o* -eason/@ by #enying a special revelation to any particular tribe/ or #ivine authority in any particular cree# o* church: an# the centenary o* this much'abuse# publication has been celebrate# by a great conservative champion o* hurch an# ;tate/ ,r. Bal*our/ 5ho/ in his @+oun#ations o* Belie*/@ a**irms that @inspiration@ cannot be #enie# to the great &riental teachers/ unless grapes may be gathere# *rom thorns. (he centenary o* the complete publication o* @(he )ge o* -eason/@ (&ctober AE/ 179E)/ 5as also celebrate# at the hurch ongress/ 4or5ich/ on &ctober 1L/ 1B9E/ 5hen Pro*essor Bonney/ +.-.;./ anon o* ,anchester/ rea# a paper in 5hich he sai#: @% cannot #eny that the increase o* scienti*ic >no5le#ge has #eprive# parts o* the earlier boo>s o* the Bible o* the historical value 5hich 5as generally attribute# to them by our *ore*athers. (he story o*
8

reation in the Boo> o* 8enesis/ unless 5e play *ast an# loose either 5ith 5or#s or 5ith science/ cannot be brought into harmony 5ith 5hat 5e have learnt *rom geology. %ts ethnological statements are imper*ect/ i* not sometimes inaccurate. (he stories o* the +all/ o* the +loo#/ an# o* the (o5er o* Babel/ are incre#ible in their present *orm. ;ome historical element may un#erlie many o* the tra#itions in the *irst eleven chapters in that boo>/ but this 5e

cannot hope to recover.@ anon Bonney procee#e# to say o* the 4e5 (estament also/ that the 8ospels are not so *ar as 5e >no5/ strictly contemporaneous recor#s/ so 5e must a#mit the possibility o* variations an# even inaccuracies in #etails being intro#uce# by oral tra#ition.@ (he anon thin>s the interval too short *or these importations to be serious/ but that any Duestion o* this >in# is le*t open proves the )ge o* -eason *ully upon us. -eason alone can #etermine ho5 many te2ts are as spurious as the three heavenly 5itnesses (i .ohn v. 7)/ an# li>e it @serious@ enough to have cost goo# men their lives/ an# persecutors their charities. 7hen men interpolate/ it is because they believe their interpolation seriously nee#e#. %t 5ill be seen by a note in Part %%. o* the 5or>/ that Paine calls attention to an interpolation intro#uce# into the *irst )merican e#ition 5ithout in#ication o* its being an e#itorial *ootnote. (his *ootnote 5as: @(he boo> o* 9u>e 5as carrie# by a maCority o* one only. 1i#e ,oshelm$s "cc. 0istory.@ 3r. Priestley/ then in )merica/ ans5ere# Paine$s 5or>/ an# in Duoting less than a page *rom the @)ge o* -eason@ he ma#e three alterations/ '' one o* 5hich change# @church mythologists@ into @ hristian mythologists/@ '' an# also raise# the e#itorial *ootnote into the te2t/ omitting the re*erence to ,osheim. 0aving #one this/ Priestley 5rites: @)s to the gospel o* 9u>e being carrie# by a maCority o* one only/ it is a legen#/ i* not o* ,r. Paine$s o5n invention/ o* no better authority 5hatever.@ )n# so on 5ith *urther castigation o*
9

the author *or 5hat he never 5rote/ an# 5hich he himsel* (Priestley) 5as the unconscious means o* intro#ucing into the te2t 5ithin the year o* Paine$s publication. %* this coul# be #one/ unintentionally by a conscientious an# e2act man/ an# one not un*rien#ly to Paine/ i* such a 5riter as Priestley coul# ma>e *our mista>es in citing hal* a page/ it 5ill appear not very 5on#er*ul 5hen % state that in a mo#ern popular e#ition o*

@(he )ge o* -eason/@ inclu#ing both parts/ % have note# about *ive hun#re# #eviations *rom the original. (hese 5ere mainly the accumulate# e**orts o* *rien#ly e#itors to improve Paine$s grammar or spelling: some 5ere misprints/ or #evelope# out o* such: an# some resulte# *rom the sale in 9on#on o* a copy o* Part ;econ# surreptitiously ma#e *rom the manuscript. (hese *acts a## signi*icance to Paine$s *ootnote (itsel* altere# in some e#itions!)/ in 5hich he says: @%* this has happene# 5ithin such a short space o* time/ not5ithstan#ing the ai# o* printing/ 5hich prevents the alteration o* copies in#ivi#ually: 5hat may not have happene# in a much greater length o* time/ 5hen there 5as no printing/ an# 5hen any man 5ho coul# 5rite/ coul# ma>e a 5ritten copy/ an# call it an original/ by ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ or .ohn. 4othing appears to me more stri>ing/ as an illustration o* the *arreaching e**ects o* tra#itional preCu#ice/ than the errors into 5hich some o* our ablest contemporary scholars have *allen by reason o* their not having stu#ie# Paine. Pro*essor 0u2ley/ *or instance/ spea>ing o* the *reethin>ers o* the eighteenth century/ a#mires the acuteness/ common sense/ 5it/ an# the broa# humanity o* the best o* them/ but says @there is rarely much to be sai# *or their 5or> as an e2ample o* the a#eDuate treatment o* a grave an# #i**icult investigation/@ an# that they share# 5ith their a#versaries @to the *ull the *atal 5ea>ness o* a priori philosophiIing.@ G4&(": ;cience an# hristian (ra#ition/ p. 1B (9on. e#./ 1B9F).H Pro*essor 0u2ley
10

#oes not name Paine/ evi#ently because he >no5s nothing about him. Met Paine represents the turning'point o* the historical *reethin>ing movement: he renounce# the $a priori$ metho#/ re*use# to pronounce anything impossible outsi#e pure mathematics/ reste# everything on evi#ence/ an# really *oun#e# the 0u2leyan school.

0e plagiariIe# by anticipation many things *rom the rationalistic lea#ers o* our time/ *rom ;trauss an# Baur (being the *irst to e2patiate on @ hristian ,ythology@)/ *rom -enan (being the *irst to attempt recovery o* the human .esus)/ an# notably *rom 0u2ley/ 5ho has repeate# Paine$s arguments on the untrust5orthiness o* the biblical manuscripts an# canon/ on the inconsistencies o* the narratives o* hrist$s resurrection/ an# various other points. 4one can be more loyal to the memory o* 0u2ley than the present 5riter/ an# it is even because o* my sense o* his gran# lea#ership that he is here mentione# as a typical instance o* the e2tent to 5hich the very elect o* *ree'thought may be unconsciously victimiIe# by the phantasm 5ith 5hich they are conten#ing. 0e says that Butler overthre5 *reethin>ers o* the eighteenth century type/ but Paine 5as o* the nineteenth century type: an# it 5as precisely because o* his critical metho# that he e2cite# more animosity than his #eistical pre#ecessors. 0e compelle# the apologists to #e*en# the biblical narratives in #etail/ an# thus implicitly ac>no5le#ge the tribunal o* reason an# >no5le#ge to 5hich they 5ere summone#. (he ultimate ans5er by police 5as a con*ession o* Cu#gment. ) hun#re# years ago "nglan# 5as suppressing Paine$s 5or>s/ an# many an honest "nglishman has gone to prison *or printing an# circulating his @)ge o* -eason.@ (he same vie5s are no5 *reely e2presse#: they are hear# in the seats o* learning/ an# even in the hurch ongress: but the suppression o* Paine/ begun by bigotry an# ignorance/ is continue# in the long in#i**erence o* the representatives o* our )ge o*
11

-eason to their pioneer an# *oun#er. %t is a grievous loss to them an# to their cause. %t is impossible to un#erstan# the religious history o* "nglan#/ an# o* )merica/ 5ithout stu#ying the phases o* their evolution represente# in the 5ritings o* (homas Paine/ in the controversies that gre5 out o* them 5ith such practical

accompaniments as the *oun#ation o* the (heophilanthropist hurch in Paris an# 4e5 Mor>/ an# o* the great rationalist 5ing o* Jua>erism in )merica. 7hatever may be the case 5ith scholars in our time/ those o* Paine$s time too> the @)ge o* -eason@ very seriously in#ee#. Beginning 5ith the learne# 3r. -ichar# 7atson/ Bishop o* 9lan#a**/ a large number o* learne# men replie# to Paine$s 5or>/ an# it became a signal *or the commencement o* those concessions/ on the part o* theology/ 5hich have continue# to our time: an# in#ee# the so'calle# @Broa# hurch@ is to some e2tent an outcome o* @(he )ge o* -eason.@ %t 5oul# too much enlarge this %ntro#uction to cite here the replies ma#e to Paine (thirty'si2 are catalogue# in the British ,useum)/ but it may be remar>e# that they 5ere notably *ree/ as a rule/ *rom the personalities that rage# in the pulpits. % must venture to Duote one passage *rom his very learne# antagonist/ the -ev. 8ilbert 7a>e*iel#/ B.)./ @late +ello5 o* .esus ollege/ ambri#ge.@ 7a>e*iel#/ 5ho ha# resi#e# in 9on#on #uring all the Paine panic/ an# 5as 5ell acDuainte# 5ith the slan#ers uttere# against the author o* @-ights o* ,an/@ in#irectly bran#s them in ans5ering Paine$s argument that the original an# tra#itional unbelie* o* the .e5s/ among 5hom the allege# miracles 5ere 5rought/ is an important evi#ence against them. (he learne# #ivine 5rites: @But the subCect be*ore us a#mits o* *urther illustration *rom the e2ample o* ,r. Paine himsel*. %n this country/ 5here his opposition to the corruptions o* government has raise# him so
12

many a#versaries/ an# such a s5arm o* unprinciple# hirelings have e2erte# themselves in blac>ening his character an# in misrepresenting all the transactions an# inci#ents o* his li*e/ 5ill it not be a most #i**icult/ nay an impossible tas>/ *or posterity/ a*ter a lapse o* 17LL years/ i* such a 5rec> o* mo#ern literature as that o*

the ancient/ shoul# intervene/ to i#enti*y the real circumstances/ moral an# civil/ o* the manK )n# 5ill a true historian/ such as the "vangelists/ be cre#ite# at that *uture perio# against such a pre#ominant incre#ulity/ 5ithout large an# mighty accessions o* collateral attestationK )n# ho5 transcen#ently e2traor#inary/ % ha# almost sai# miraculous/ 5ill it be estimate# by can#i# an# reasonable min#s/ that a 5riter 5hose obCect 5as a melioration o* con#ition to the common people/ an# their #eliverance *rom oppression/ poverty/ 5retche#ness/ to the numberless blessings o* upright an# eDual government/ shoul# be revile#/ persecute#/ an# burne# in e**igy/ 5ith every circumstance o* insult an# e2ecration/ by these very obCects o* his benevolent intentions/ in every corner o* the >ing#omK@ )*ter the e2ecution o* 9ouis 61%./ *or 5hose li*e Paine plea#e# so earnestly/ '' 5hile in "nglan# he 5as #enounce# as an accomplice in the #ee#/ '' he #evote# himsel* to the preparation o* a onstitution/ an# also to gathering up his religious compositions an# a##ing to them. (his manuscript % suppose to have been prepare# in 5hat 5as variously >no5n as 7hite$s 0otel or Phila#elphia 0ouse/ in Paris/ 4o. 7 Passage #es Petits Peres. (his compilation o* early an# *resh manuscripts (i* my theory be correct) 5as labelle#/ @(he )ge o* -eason/@ an# given *or translation to +rancois 9anthenas in ,arch 179=. %t is entere#/ in Ju#rar# (9a +rance 9iteraire) un#er the year 179=/ but 5ith the title @9$)ge #e la -aison@ instea# o* that 5hich it bore in 179F/ @9e ;iecle #e la -aison.@ (he latter/ printe# @)u Burcau #e l$imprimerie/ rue #u (heatre'+rancais/ 4o. F/@ is sai# to be by
13

@(homas Paine/ itoyen et cultivateur #e %$)meriDue septentrionale/ secretaire #u ongres #u #epartement #es a**aires etrangeres pen#ant la guerre #$)meriDue/ et auteur #es ouvrages intitules: 9) ;"4; &,,<4 et 9"; 3-&%(; 3" 9$0&,,".@

7hen the -evolution 5as a#vancing to increasing terrors/ Paine/ un5illing to participate in the #ecrees o* a onvention 5hose sole legal *unction 5as to *rame a onstitution/ retire# to an ol# mansion an# gar#en in the +aubourg ;t. 3enis/ 4o. 6=. ,r. ..8. )lger/ 5hose researches in personal #etails connecte# 5ith the -evolution are original an# use*ul/ recently sho5e# me in the 4ational )rchives at Paris/ some papers connecte# 5ith the trial o* 8eorgeit/ Paine$s lan#lor#/ by 5hich it appears that the present 4o. 6= is not/ as % ha# suppose#/ the house in 5hich Paine resi#e#. ,r. )lger accompanie# me to the neighborhoo#/ but 5e 5ere not able to i#enti*y the house. (he arrest o* 8eorgeit is mentione# by Paine in his essay on @+orget*ulness@ (7ritings/ iii./ =19). 7hen his trial came on one o* the charges 5as that he ha# >ept in his house @Paine an# other "nglishmen/@ '' Paine being then in prison/ '' but he (8eorgeit) 5as acDuitte# o* the paltry accusations brought against him by his ;ection/ the @+aubourg #u 4or#.@ (his ;ection too> in the 5hole east si#e o* the +aubourg ;t. 3enis/ 5hereas the present 4o. 6= is on the 5est si#e. )*ter 8eorgeit (or 8eorger) ha# been arreste#/ Paine 5as le*t alone in the large mansion (sai# by -ic>man to have been once the hotel o* ,a#ame #e Pompa#our)/ an# it 5oul# appear/ by his account/ that it 5as a*ter the e2ecution (&ctober =1/ 179=) &* his *rien#s the 8iron#ins/ an# political comra#es/ that he *elt his en# at han#/ an# set about his last literary beDuest to the 5orl#/ '' @(he )ge o* -eason/@ '' in the state in 5hich it has since appeare#/ as he is care*ul to say. (here 5as every probability/ #uring the months in 5hich he 5rote (4ovember an# 3ecember 179=) that he 5oul# be e2ecute#. 0is religious
14

testament 5as prepare# 5ith the bla#e o* the guillotine suspen#e# over him/ '' a *act 5hich #i# not #eter pious mythologists *rom portraying his #eath'be# remorse *or having 5ritten the boo>. %n e#iting Part %. o* @(he )ge o* -eason/@ % *ollo5 closely the *irst

e#ition/ 5hich 5as printe# by Barrois in Paris *rom the manuscript/ no #oubt un#er the superinten#ence o* .oel Barlo5/ to 5hom Paine/ on his 5ay to the 9u2embourg/ ha# con*i#e# it. Barlo5 5as an )merican e2'clergyman/ a speculator on 5hose career +rench archives cast an un*avorable light/ an# one cannot be certain that no liberties 5ere ta>en 5ith Paine$s proo*s. % may repeat here 5hat % have state# in the outset o* my e#itorial 5or> on Paine that my rule is to correct obvious misprints/ an# also any punctuation 5hich seems to ren#er the sense less clear. )n# to that % 5ill no5 a## that in *ollo5ing Paine$s Duotations *rom the Bible % have a#opte# the Plan no5 generally use# in place o* his occasionally too e2ten#e# 5riting out o* boo>/ chapter/ an# verse. Paine 5as imprisone# in the 9u2embourg on 3ecember AB/ 179=/ an# release# on 4ovember F/ 179F. 0is liberation 5as secure# by his ol# *rien#/ .ames ,onroe (a*ter5ar#s Presi#ent)/ 5ho ha# succee#e# his (Paine$s) relentless enemy/ 8ouvemeur ,orris/ as )merican ,inister in Paris. 0e 5as *oun# by ,onroe more #ea# than alive *rom semi'starvation/ col#/ an# an abscess contracte# in prison/ an# ta>en to the ,inister$s o5n resi#ence. %t 5as not suppose# that he coul# survive/ an# he o5e# his li*e to the ten#er care o* ,r. an# ,rs. ,onroe. %t 5as 5hile thus a prisoner in his room/ 5ith #eath still hovering over him/ that Paine 5rote Part ;econ# o* @(he )ge o* -eason.@ (he 5or> 5as publishe# in 9on#on by 0.3. ;ymon#s on &ctober AE/ 179E/ an# claime# to be @*rom the )uthor$s manuscript.@ %t is mar>e# as @"ntere# at ;tationers 0all/@ an# pre*ace# by an
15

apologetic note o* @(he Boo>seller to the Public/@ 5hose commonplaces about avoi#ing both preCu#ice an# partiality/ an# consi#ering @both si#es/@ nee# not be Duote#. 7hile his volume 5as going through the press in Paris/ Paine hear# o* the

publication in 9on#on/ 5hich #re5 *rom him the *ollo5ing hurrie# note to a 9on#on publisher/ no #oubt 3aniel %saacs "aton: @;%-/ '' % have seen a#vertise# in the 9on#on papers the secon# "#ition GpartH o* the )ge o* -eason/ printe#/ the a#vertisement says/ *rom the )uthor$s ,anuscript/ an# entere# at ;tationers 0all. % have never sent any manuscript to any person. %t is there*ore a *orgery to say it is printe# *rom the author$s manuscript: an# % suppose is #one to give the Publisher a pretence o* opy -ight/ 5hich he has no title to. @% sen# you a printe# copy/ 5hich is the only one % have sent to 9on#on. % 5ish you to ma>e a cheap e#ition o* it. % >no5 not by 5hat means any copy has got over to 9on#on. %* any person has ma#e a manuscript copy % have no #oubt but it is *ull o* errors. % 5ish you 5oul# tal> to ,r. ''''' upon this subCect as % 5ish to >no5 by 5hat means this tric> has been playe#/ an# *rom 5hom the publisher has got possession o* any copy. (. P)%4". @P)-%;/ 3ecember F/ 179E/@ "aton$s cheap e#ition appeare# .anuary 1/ 1796/ 5ith the above letter on the reverse o* the title. (he blan> in the note 5as probably @;ymon#s@ in the original/ an# possibly that publisher 5as impose# upon. "aton/ alrea#y in trouble *or printing one o* Paine$s political pamphlets/ *le# to )merica/ an# an e#ition o* the @)ge o* -eason@ 5as issue# un#er a ne5 title: no publisher appears: it is sai# to be @printe# *or/ an# sol# by all the Boo>sellers in 8reat Britain an# %relan#.@ %t is also sai# to be @By (homas Paine/ author o* several remar>able per*ormances.@ % have never *oun# any copy o* this anonymous e#ition e2cept the one in my possession. %t is
16

evi#ently the e#ition 5hich 5as suppresse# by the prosecution o* 7illiams *or selling a copy o* it. ) comparison 5ith Paine$s revise# e#ition reveals a goo# many clerical an# verbal errors in ;ymon#s/ though *e5 that a**ect the

sense. (he 5orst are in the pre*ace/ 5here/ instea# o* @179=/@ the mislea#ing #ate @179L@ is given as the year at 5hose close Paine complete# Part +irst/ '' an error that sprea# *ar an# 5i#e an# 5as *astene# on by his calumnious )merican @biographer/@ heetham/ to prove his inconsistency. (he e#itors have been *airly #emoraliIe# by/ an# have altere# in #i**erent 5ays/ the *ollo5ing sentence o* the pre*ace in ;ymon#s: @(he intolerant spirit o* religious persecution ha# trans*erre# itsel* into politics: the tribunals/ style# -evolutionary/ supplie# the place o* the %nDuisition: an# the 8uillotine o* the ;tate out#i# the +ire an# +aggot o* the hurch.@ (he rogue 5ho copie# this little >ne5 the care 5ith 5hich Paine 5eighe# 5or#s/ an# that he 5oul# never call persecution @religious/@ nor connect the guillotine 5ith the @;tate/@ nor conce#e that 5ith all its horrors it ha# out#one the history o* *ire an# *aggot. 7hat Paine 5rote 5as: @(he intolerant spirit o* church persecution ha# trans*erre# itsel* into politics: the tribunals/ style# -evolutionary/ supplie# the place o* an %nDuisition an# the 8uillotine/ o* the ;ta>e.@ )n original letter o* Paine/ in the possession o* .oseph o5en/ e2' ,.P./ 5hich that gentleman permits me to bring to light/ besi#es being one o* general interest ma>es clear the circumstances o* the original publication. )lthough the name o* the correspon#ent #oes not appear on the letter/ it 5as certainly 5ritten to ol. .ohn +ello5s o* 4e5 Mor>/ 5ho copyrighte# Part %. o* the @)ge o* -eason.@ 0e publishe# the pamphlets o* .oel Barlo5/ to 5hom Paine con*i#e# his manuscript on his 5ay to prison. +ello5s 5as a*ter5ar#s Paine$s intimate *rien# in 4e5 Mor>/ an# it 5as chie*ly
17

#ue to him that some portions o* the author$s 5ritings/ le*t in manuscript to ,a#ame Bonneville 5hile she 5as a *reethin>er 5ere rescue# *rom her #evout #estructiveness a*ter her return to atholicism. (he letter 5hich ,r. o5en sen#s me/ is #ate# at

Paris/ .anuary AL/ 1797. @;%-/ '' Mour *rien# ,r. aritat being on the point o* his #eparture *or )merica/ % ma>e it the opportunity o* 5riting to you. % receive# t5o letters *rom you 5ith some pamphlets a consi#erable time past/ in 5hich you in*orm me o* your entering a copyright o* the *irst part o* the )ge o* -eason: 5hen % return to )merica 5e 5ill settle *or that matter. @)s 3octor +ran>lin has been my intimate *rien# *or thirty years past you 5ill naturally see the reason o* my continuing the connection 5ith his gran#son. % printe# here (Paris) about *i*teen thousan# o* the secon# part o* the )ge o* -eason/ 5hich % sent to ,r. +Gran>linH Bache. % gave him notice o* it in ;eptember 179E an# the copy'right by my o5n #irection 5as entere# by him. (he boo>s #i# not arrive till )pril *ollo5ing/ but he ha# a#vertise# it long be*ore. @% sent to him in )ugust last a manuscript letter o* about 7L pages/ *rom me to ,r. 7ashington to be printe# in a pamphlet. ,r. Barnes o* Phila#elphia carrie# the letter *rom me over to 9on#on to be *or5ar#e# to )merica. %t 5ent by the ship 0ope/ ap: 0arley/ 5ho since his return *rom )merica tol# me that he put it into the post o**ice at 4e5 Mor> *or Bache. % have yet no certain account o* its publication. % mention this that the letter may be enDuire# a*ter/ in case it has not been publishe# or has not arrive# to ,r. Bache. Barnes 5rote to me/ *rom 9on#on A9 )ugust in*orming me that he 5as o**ere# three hun#re# poun#s sterling *or the manuscript. (he o**er 5as re*use# because it 5as my intention it shoul# not appear till it appeare# in )merica/ as that/ an# not
18

"nglan# 5as the place *or its operation. @Mou as> me by your letter to ,r. aritat *or a list o* my several 5or>s/ in or#er to publish a collection o* them. (his is an un#erta>ing % have al5ays reserve# *or mysel*. %t not only belongs

to me o* right/ but nobo#y but mysel* can #o it: an# as every author is accountable (at least in reputation) *or his 5or>s/ he only is the person to #o it. %* he neglects it in his li*e'time the case is altere#. %t is my intention to return to )merica in the course o* the present year. % shall then G#oH it by subscription/ 5ith historical notes. )s this 5or> 5ill employ many persons in #i**erent parts o* the <nion/ % 5ill con*er 5ith you upon the subCect/ an# such part o* it as 5ill suit you to un#erta>e/ 5ill be at your choice. % have sustaine# so much loss/ by #isintereste#ness an# inattention to money matters/ an# by acci#ents/ that % am oblige# to loo> closer to my a**airs than % have #one. (he printer (an "nglishman) 5hom % employe# here to print the secon# part o* $the )ge o* -eason$ ma#e a manuscript copy o* the 5or> 5hile he 5as printing it/ 5hich he sent to 9on#on an# sol#. %t 5as by this means that an e#ition o* it came out in 9on#on. @7e are 5aiting here *or ne5s *rom )merica o* the state o* the *e#eral elections. Mou 5ill have hear# long be*ore this reaches you that the +rench government has re*use# to receive ,r. Pinc>ney as minister. 7hile ,r. ,onroe 5as minister he ha# the opportunity o* so*tening matters 5ith this government/ *or he 5as in goo# cre#it 5ith them tho$ they 5ere in high in#ignation at the in*i#elity o* the 7ashington )#ministration. %t is time that ,r. 7ashington retire/ *or he has playe# o** so much pru#ent hypocrisy bet5een +rance an# "nglan# that neither government believes anything he says. @Mour *rien#/ etc./ @(0&,); P)%4".@ %t 5oul# appear that ;ymon#s$ stolen e#ition must have got ahea#
19

o* that sent by Paine to +ran>lin Bache/ *or some o* its errors continue in all mo#ern )merican e#itions to the present #ay/ as 5ell as in those o* "nglan#. +or in "nglan# it 5as only the shilling e#ition '' that revise# by Paine '' 5hich 5as suppresse#. ;ymon#s/

5ho ministere# to the hal*'cro5n *ol>/ an# 5ho 5as also publisher o* replies to Paine/ 5as le*t un#isturbe# about his pirate# e#ition/ an# the ne5 ;ociety *or the suppression o* 1ice an# %mmorality *astene# on one (homas 7illiams/ 5ho sol# pious tracts but 5as also convicte# (.une AF/ 1797) o* having sol# one copy o* the @)ge o* -eason.@ "rs>ine/ 5ho ha# #e*en#e# Paine at his trial *or the @-ights o* ,an/@ con#ucte# the prosecution o* 7illiams. 0e gaine# the victory *rom a pac>e# Cury/ but 5as not much elate# by it/ especially a*ter a certain a#venture on his 5ay to 9incoln$s %nn. 0e *elt his coat clutche# an# behel# at his *eet a 5oman bathe# in tears. ;he le# him into the small boo>'shop o* (homas 7illiams/ not yet calle# up *or Cu#gment/ an# there he behel# his victim stitching tracts in a 5retche# little room/ 5here there 5ere three chil#ren/ t5o su**ering 5ith ;mallpo2. 0e sa5 that it 5oul# be ruin an# even a sort o* mur#er to ta>e a5ay to prison the husban#/ 5ho 5as not a *reethin>er/ an# lamente# his publication o* the boo>/ an# a meeting o* the ;ociety 5hich ha# retaine# him 5as summone#. (here 5as a *ull meeting/ the Bishop o* 9on#on (Porteus) in the chair. "rs>ine remin#e# them that 7illiams 5as yet to be brought up *or sentence/ #escribe# the scene he ha# 5itnesse#/ an# 7illiams$ penitence/ an#/ as the boo> 5as no5 suppresse#/ as>e# permission to move *or a nominal sentence. ,ercy/ he urge#/ 5as a part o* the hristianity they 5ere #e*en#ing. 4ot one o* the ;ociety too> his si#e/ '' not even @philanthropic@ 7ilber*orce '' an# "rs>ine thre5 up his brie*. (his action o* "rs>ine le# the .u#ge to give 7illiams only a year in prison instea# o* the three he sai# ha# been inten#e#.
20

7hile 7illiams 5as in prison the ortho#o2 colporteurs 5ere circulating "rs>ine$s speech on hristianity/ but also an anonymous sermon @&n the "2istence an# )ttributes o* the 3eity/@ all o* 5hich 5as *rom Paine$s @)ge o* -eason/@ e2cept a brie*

@)##ress to the 3eity@ appen#e#. (his picturesDue anomaly 5as repeate# in the circulation o* Paine$s @3iscourse to the (heophilanthropists@ (their an# the author$s names remove#) un#er the title o* @)theism -e*ute#.@ Both o* these pamphlets are no5 be*ore me/ an# besi#e them a 9on#on tract o* one page Cust sent *or my spiritual bene*it. (his is hea#e# @) 7or# o* aution.@ %t begins by mentioning the @pernicious #octrines o* Paine/@ the *irst being @that there is 4o 8&3@ (sic/) then procee#s to a##uce evi#ences o* #ivine e2istence ta>en *rom Paine$s 5or>s. %t shoul# be a##e# that this one #ingy page is the only @survival@ o* the ancient Paine e**igy in the tract *orm 5hich % have been able to *in# in recent years/ an# to this no ;ociety or Publisher$s name is attache#. (he imprisonment o* 7illiams 5as the beginning o* a thirty years$ 5ar *or religious liberty in "nglan#/ in the course o* 5hich occurre# many notable events/ such as "aton receiving homage in his pillory at horing ross/ an# the 5hole arlile *amily imprisone#/ '' its hea# imprisone# more than nine years *or publishing the @)ge o* -eason.@ (his last victory o* persecution 5as suici#al. 8entlemen o* 5ealth/ not a#herents o* Paine/ helpe# in setting arlile up in business in +leet ;treet/ 5here *ree'thin>ing publications have since been sol# 5ithout interruption. But though 9iberty triumphe# in one sense/ the @)ge o* -eason.@ remaine# to some e2tent suppresse# among those 5hose attention it especially merite#. %ts original prosecution by a ;ociety *or the ;uppression o* 1ice (a #evice to/ relieve the ro5n) amounte# to a libel upon a morally clean boo>/ restricting its perusal in *amilies: an# the *act
21

that the shilling boo> sol# by an# among humble people 5as alone prosecute#/ #i**use# among the e#ucate# an eDually *alse notion that the @)ge o* -eason@ 5as vulgar an# illiterate. (he theologians/ as 5e have seen/ estimate# more Custly the ability o*

their antagonist/ the collaborator o* +ran>lin/ -ittenhouse/ an# lymer/ on 5hom the <niversity o* Pennsylvania ha# con*erre# the #egree o* ,aster o* )rts/ '' but the gentry con*use# Paine 5ith the class #escribe# by Bur>e as @the s5inish multitu#e.@ ;>epticism/ or its *ree utterance/ 5as temporarily #riven out o* polite circles by its complication 5ith the out'la5e# vin#icator o* the @-ights o* ,an.@ But that long combat has no5 passe# a5ay. (ime has re#uce# the @)ge o* -eason@ *rom a *lag o* popular ra#icalism to a comparatively conservative treatise/ so *ar as its negations are concerne#. )n ol# *rien# tells me that in his youth he hear# a sermon in 5hich the preacher #eclare# that @(om Paine 5as so 5ic>e# that he coul# not be burie#: his bones 5ere thro5n into a bo2 5hich 5as ban#ie# about the 5orl# till it came to a button'manu*acturer: @an# no5 Paine is travelling roun# the 5orl# in the *orm o* buttons!@ (his variant o* the 7an#ering .e5 myth may no5 be regar#e# as unconscious homage to the author 5hose metaphorical bones may be recogniIe# in buttons no5 *ashionable/ an# some even *oun# use*ul in hol#ing clerical vestments together. But the care*ul rea#er 5ill *in# in Paine$s @)ge o* -eason@ something beyon# negations/ an# in conclusion % 5ill especially call attention to the ne5 #eparture in (heism in#icate# in a passage correspon#ing to a *amous aphorism o* ?ant/ in#icate# by a note in Part %%. (he #iscovery alrea#y mentione#/ that Part %. 5as 5ritten at least *ourteen years be*ore Part %%./ le# me to compare the t5o: an# it is plain that 5hile the earlier 5or> is an ampli*ication o* 4e5tonian 3eism/ base# on the phenomena o* planetary motion/ the 5or> o* 179E bases belie* in 8o# on @the
22

universal #isplay o* himsel* in the 5or>s o* the creation an# by that repugnance 5e *eel in ourselves to ba# actions/ an# #isposition to #o goo# ones.@ (his e2altation o* the moral nature o* man to be the *oun#ation o* theistic religion/ though no5 *amiliar/

5as a hun#re# years ago a ne5 a**irmation: it has le# on a conception o* #eity subversive o* last'century #eism/ it has stea#ily humaniIe# religion/ an# its ultimate philosophical an# ethical results have not yet been reache#.

CHAPTER I
' (0" )<(0&-$; P-&+";;%&4 &+ +)%(0. %( has been my intention/ *or several years past/ to publish my thoughts upon religion: % am 5ell a5are o* the #i**iculties that atten# the subCect/ an# *rom that consi#eration/ ha# reserve# it to a more a#vance# perio# o* li*e. % inten#e# it to be the last o**ering % shoul# ma>e to my *ello5'citiIens o* all nations/ an# that at a time 5hen the purity o* the motive that in#uce# me to it coul# not a#mit o* a Duestion/ even by those 5ho might #isapprove the 5or>. (he circumstance that has no5 ta>en place in +rance/ o* the total abolition o* the 5hole national or#er o* priesthoo#/ an# o* everything appertaining to compulsive systems o* religion/ an# compulsive articles o* *aith/ has not only precipitate# my intention/ but ren#ere# a 5or> o* this >in# e2cee#ingly necessary/ lest/ in the general 5rec> o* superstition/ o* *alse systems o* government/ an# *alse theology/ 5e lose sight o* morality/ o* humanity/ an# o* the theology that is true. )s several o* my colleagues/ an# others o* my *ello5'citiIens o* +rance/ have given me the e2ample o* ma>ing their voluntary an# in#ivi#ual pro*ession o* *aith/ % also 5ill ma>e mine: an# % #o this 5ith all that sincerity an# *ran>ness 5ith 5hich the min# o* man communicates 5ith itsel*.
23

% believe in one 8o#/ an# no more: an# % hope *or happiness beyon# this li*e. % believe the eDuality o* man/ an# % believe that religious #uties consist in #oing Custice/ loving mercy/ an# en#eavoring to ma>e our *ello5'creatures happy.

But/ lest it shoul# be suppose# that % believe many other things in a##ition to these/ % shall/ in the progress o* this 5or>/ #eclare the things % #o not believe/ an# my reasons *or not believing them. % #o not believe in the cree# pro*esse# by the .e5ish church/ by the -oman church/ by the 8ree> church/ by the (ur>ish church/ by the Protestant church/ nor by any church that % >no5 o*. ,y o5n min# is my o5n church. )ll national institutions o* churches/ 5hether .e5ish/ hristian/ or (ur>ish/ appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terri*y an# enslave man>in#/ an# monopoliIe po5er an# pro*it. % #o not mean by this #eclaration to con#emn those 5ho believe other5ise: they have the same right to their belie* as % have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness o* man/ that he be mentally *aith*ul to himsel*. %n*i#elity #oes not consist in believing/ or in #isbelieving: it consists in pro*essing to believe 5hat he #oes not believe. %t is impossible to calculate the moral mischie*/ i* % may so e2press it/ that mental lying has pro#uce# in society. 7hen a man has so *ar corrupte# an# prostitute# the chastity o* his min#/ as to subscribe his pro*essional belie* to things he #oes not believe/ he has prepare# himsel* *or the commission o* every other crime. 0e ta>es up the tra#e o* a priest *or the sa>e o* gain/ an#/ in or#er to Duali*y himsel* *or that tra#e/ he begins 5ith a perCury. an 5e conceive anything more #estructive to morality than thisK ;oon a*ter % ha# publishe# the pamphlet &,,&4 ;"4;"/ in )merica/ % sa5 the e2cee#ing probability that a revolution in the
24

system o* government 5oul# be *ollo5e# by a revolution in the system o* religion. (he a#ulterous connection o* church an# state/ 5herever it ha# ta>en place/ 5hether .e5ish/ hristian/ or (ur>ish/ ha# so e**ectually prohibite#/ by pains an# penalties/ every #iscussion upon establishe# cree#s/ an# upon *irst principles o*

religion/ that until the system o* government shoul# be change#/ those subCects coul# not be brought *airly an# openly be*ore the 5orl#: but that 5henever this shoul# be #one/ a revolution in the system o* religion 5oul# *ollo5. 0uman inventions an# priestcra*t 5oul# be #etecte#: an# man 5oul# return to the pure/ unmi2e#/ an# una#ulterate# belie* o* one 8o#/ an# no more.

CHAPTER II
' &+ ,%;;%&4; )43 -"1"9)(%&4;. "1"-M national church or religion has establishe# itsel* by preten#ing some special mission *rom 8o#/ communicate# to certain in#ivi#uals. (he .e5s have their ,oses: the hristians their .esus hrist/ their apostles an# saints: an# the (ur>s their ,ahomet: as i* the 5ay to 8o# 5as not open to every man ali>e. "ach o* those churches sho5s certain boo>s/ 5hich they call revelation/ or the 7or# o* 8o#. (he .e5s say that their 7or# o* 8o# 5as given by 8o# to ,oses *ace to *ace: the hristians say/ that their 7or# o* 8o# came by #ivine inspiration: an# the (ur>s say/ that their 7or# o* 8o# (the ?oran) 5as brought by an angel *rom heaven. "ach o* those churches accuses the other o* unbelie*: an#/ *or my o5n part/ % #isbelieve them all. )s it is necessary to a**i2 right i#eas to 5or#s/ % 5ill/ be*ore % procee# *urther into the subCect/ o**er some observations on the 5or# $revelation.$ -evelation 5hen applie# to religion/ means something communicate# imme#iately *rom 8o# to man. 4o one 5ill #eny or #ispute the po5er o* the )lmighty to ma>e
25

such a communication i* he pleases. But a#mitting/ *or the sa>e o* a case/ that something has been reveale# to a certain person/ an# not reveale# to any other person/ it is revelation to that person only. 7hen he tells it to a secon# person/ a secon# to a thir#/ a thir# to a *ourth/ an# so on/ it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. %t is revelation to the *irst person only/ an# hearsay to

every other/ an#/ conseDuently/ they are not oblige# to believe it. %t is a contra#iction in terms an# i#eas to call anything a revelation that comes to us at secon# han#/ either verbally or in 5riting. -evelation is necessarily limite# to the *irst communication. )*ter this/ it is only an account o* something 5hich that person says 5as a revelation ma#e to him: an# though he may *in# himsel* oblige# to believe it/ it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner/ *or it 5as not a revelation ma#e to me/ an# % have only his 5or# *or it that it 5as ma#e to him. 7hen ,oses tol# the chil#ren o* %srael that he receive# the t5o tables o* the comman#ments *rom the han# o* 8o#/ they 5ere not oblige# to believe him/ because they ha# no other authority *or it than his telling them so: an# % have no other authority *or it than some historian telling me so/ the comman#ments carrying no internal evi#ence o* #ivinity 5ith them. (hey contain some goo# moral precepts such as any man Duali*ie# to be a la5giver or a legislator coul# pro#uce himsel*/ 5ithout having recourse to supernatural intervention. G4&(": %t is/ ho5ever/ necessary to e2cept the #eclamation 5hich says that 8o# $visits the sins o* the *athers upon the chil#ren$. (his is contrary to every principle o* moral Custice. '' )uthor.H 7hen % am tol# that the ?oran 5as 5ritten in 0eaven/ an# brought to ,ahomet by an angel/ the account comes to near the same >in# o* hearsay evi#ence an# secon# han# authority as the *ormer. % #i# not see the angel mysel*/ an# there*ore % have a right not to believe
26

it. 7hen also % am tol# that a 5oman/ calle# the 1irgin ,ary/ sai#/ or gave out/ that she 5as 5ith chil# 5ithout any cohabitation 5ith a man/ an# that her betrothe# husban#/ .oseph/ sai# that an angel tol# him so/ % have a right to believe them or not: such a circumstance reDuire# a much stronger evi#ence than their bare

5or# *or it: but 5e have not even this: *or neither .oseph nor ,ary 5rote any such matter themselves. %t is only reporte# by others that they sai# so. %t is hearsay upon hearsay/ an# % #o not chose to rest my belie* upon such evi#ence. %t is/ ho5ever/ not #i**icult to account *or the cre#it that 5as given to the story o* .esus hrist being the ;on o* 8o#. 0e 5as born 5hen the heathen mythology ha# still some *ashion an# repute in the 5orl#/ an# that mythology ha# prepare# the people *or the belie* o* such a story. )lmost all the e2traor#inary men that live# un#er the heathen mythology 5ere repute# to be the sons o* some o* their go#s. %t 5as not a ne5 thing at that time to believe a man to have been celestially begotten: the intercourse o* go#s 5ith 5omen 5as then a matter o* *amiliar opinion. (heir .upiter/ accor#ing to their accounts/ ha# cohabite# 5ith hun#re#s: the story there*ore ha# nothing in it either ne5/ 5on#er*ul/ or obscene: it 5as con*ormable to the opinions that then prevaile# among the people calle# 8entiles/ or mythologists/ an# it 5as those people only that believe# it. (he .e5s/ 5ho ha# >ept strictly to the belie* o* one 8o#/ an# no more/ an# 5ho ha# al5ays reCecte# the heathen mythology/ never cre#ite# the story. %t is curious to observe ho5 the theory o* 5hat is calle# the hristian hurch/ sprung out o* the tail o* the heathen mythology. ) #irect incorporation too> place in the *irst instance/ by ma>ing the repute# *oun#er to be celestially begotten. (he trinity o* go#s that then *ollo5e# 5as no other than a re#uction o* the *ormer
27

plurality/ 5hich 5as about t5enty or thirty thousan#. (he statue o* ,ary succee#e# the statue o* 3iana o* "phesus. (he #ei*ication o* heroes change# into the canoniIation o* saints. (he ,ythologists ha# go#s *or everything: the hristian ,ythologists ha# saints *or everything. (he church became as cro5#e# 5ith the one/ as the pantheon ha# been 5ith the other: an# -ome 5as the place o* both.

(he hristian theory is little else than the i#olatry o* the ancient mythologists/ accommo#ate# to the purposes o* po5er an# revenue: an# it yet remains to reason an# philosophy to abolish the amphibious *rau#.

CHAPTER III
' &4 "-4%48 (0" 0)-) ("- &+ .";<; 0-%;(/ )43 0%; 0%;(&-M. 4&(0%48 that is here sai# can apply/ even 5ith the most #istant #isrespect/ to the real character o* .esus hrist. 0e 5as a virtuous an# an amiable man. (he morality that he preache# an# practice# 5as o* the most benevolent >in#: an# though similar systems o* morality ha# been preache# by on*ucius/ an# by some o* the 8ree> philosophers/ many years be*ore/ by the Jua>ers since/ an# by many goo# men in all ages/ it has not been e2cee#e# by any. .esus hrist 5rote no account o* himsel*/ o* his birth/ parentage/ or anything else. 4ot a line o* 5hat is calle# the 4e5 (estament is o* his 5riting. (he history o* him is altogether the 5or> o* other people: an# as to the account given o* his resurrection an# ascension/ it 5as the necessary counterpart to the story o* his birth. 0is historians/ having brought him into the 5orl# in a supernatural manner/ 5ere oblige# to ta>e him out again in the same manner/ or the *irst part o* the story must have *allen to the groun#. (he 5retche# contrivance 5ith 5hich this latter part is tol#/ e2cee#s everything that 5ent be*ore it. (he *irst part/ that o* the
28

miraculous conception/ 5as not a thing that a#mitte# o* publicity: an# there*ore the tellers o* this part o* the story ha# this a#vantage/ that though they might not be cre#ite#/ they coul# not be #etecte#. (hey coul# not be e2pecte# to prove it/ because it 5as not one o* those things that a#mitte# o* proo*/ an# it 5as impossible that the person o* 5hom it 5as tol# coul# prove it himsel*. But the resurrection o* a #ea# person *rom the grave/ an# his

ascension through the air/ is a thing very #i**erent/ as to the evi#ence it a#mits o*/ to the invisible conception o* a chil# in the 5omb. (he resurrection an# ascension/ supposing them to have ta>en place/ a#mitte# o* public an# ocular #emonstration/ li>e that o* the ascension o* a balloon/ or the sun at noon #ay/ to all .erusalem at least. ) thing 5hich everybo#y is reDuire# to believe/ reDuires that the proo* an# evi#ence o* it shoul# be eDual to all/ an# universal: an# as the public visibility o* this last relate# act 5as the only evi#ence that coul# give sanction to the *ormer part/ the 5hole o* it *alls to the groun#/ because that evi#ence never 5as given. %nstea# o* this/ a small number o* persons/ not more than eight or nine/ are intro#uce# as pro2ies *or the 5hole 5orl#/ to say they sa5 it/ an# all the rest o* the 5orl# are calle# upon to believe it. But it appears that (homas #i# not believe the resurrection: an#/ as they say/ 5oul# not believe 5ithout having ocular an# manual #emonstration himsel*. ;o neither 5ill %: an# the reason is eDually as goo# *or me/ an# *or every other person/ as *or (homas. %t is in vain to attempt to palliate or #isguise this matter. (he story/ so *ar as relates to the supernatural part/ has every mar> o* *rau# an# imposition stampe# upon the *ace o* it. 7ho 5ere the authors o* it is as impossible *or us no5 to >no5/ as it is *or us to be assure# that the boo>s in 5hich the account is relate# 5ere 5ritten by the persons 5hose names they bear. (he best surviving evi#ence 5e no5 have. respecting this a**air is the .e5s. (hey are
29

regularly #escen#e# *rom the people 5ho live# in the time this resurrection an# ascension is sai# to have happene#/ an# they say $it is not true.$ %t has long appeare# to me a strange inconsistency to cite the .e5s as a proo* o* the truth o* the story. %t is Cust the same as i* a man 5ere to say/ % 5ill prove the truth o* 5hat % have tol# you/ by pro#ucing the people 5ho say it is *alse. (hat such a person as .esus hrist e2iste#/ an# that he 5as

cruci*ie#/ 5hich 5as the mo#e o* e2ecution at that #ay/ are historical relations strictly 5ithin the limits o* probability. 0e preache# most e2cellent morality/ an# the eDuality o* man: but he preache# also against the corruptions an# avarice o* the .e5ish priests/ an# this brought upon him the hatre# an# vengeance o* the 5hole or#er o* priest'hoo#. (he accusation 5hich those priests brought against him 5as that o* se#ition an# conspiracy against the -oman government/ to 5hich the .e5s 5ere then subCect an# tributary: an# it is not improbable that the -oman government might have some secret apprehension o* the e**ects o* his #octrine as 5ell as the .e5ish priests: neither is it improbable that .esus hrist ha# in contemplation the #elivery o* the .e5ish nation *rom the bon#age o* the -omans. Bet5een the t5o/ ho5ever/ this virtuous re*ormer an# revolutionist lost his li*e. G4&(": (he +rench 5or> has here: @0o5ever this may be/ *or one or the other o* these suppositions this virtuous re*ormer/ this revolutionist/ too little imitate#/ too much *orgotten/ too much misun#erstoo#/ lost his li*e. '' "#itor. ( on5ay)H

CHAPTER IV
' &+ (0" B);"; &+ 0-%;(%)4%(M. %( is upon this plain narrative o* *acts/ together 5ith another case % am going to mention/ that the hristian mythologists/ calling themselves the hristian hurch/ have erecte# their *able/ 5hich
30

*or absur#ity an# e2travagance is not e2cee#e# by anything that is to be *oun# in the mythology o* the ancients. (he ancient mythologists tell us that the race o* 8iants ma#e 5ar against .upiter/ an# that one o* them thre5 a hun#re# roc>s against him at one thro5: that .upiter #e*eate# him 5ith thun#er/ an# con*ine# him a*ter5ar#s un#er ,ount "tna: an# that every time the 8iant turns himsel*/ ,ount "tna belches *ire. %t is here easy to see that the circumstance o* the mountain/ that o* its being a

volcano/ suggeste# the i#ea o* the *able: an# that the *able is ma#e to *it an# 5in# itsel* up 5ith that circumstance. (he hristian mythologists tell that their ;atan ma#e 5ar against the )lmighty/ 5ho #e*eate# him/ an# con*ine# him a*ter5ar#s/ not un#er a mountain/ but in a pit. %t is here easy to see that the *irst *able suggeste# the i#ea o* the secon#: *or the *able o* .upiter an# the 8iants 5as tol# many hun#re# years be*ore that o* ;atan. (hus *ar the ancient an# the hristian mythologists #i**er very little *rom each other. But the latter have contrive# to carry the matter much *arther. (hey have contrive# to connect the *abulous part o* the story o* .esus hrist 5ith the *able originating *rom ,ount "tna: an#/ in or#er to ma>e all the parts o* the story tie together/ they have ta>en to their ai# the tra#itions o* the .e5s: *or the hristian mythology is ma#e up partly *rom the ancient mythology/ an# partly *rom the .e5ish tra#itions. (he hristian mythologists/ a*ter having con*ine# ;atan in a pit/ 5ere oblige# to let him out again to bring on the seDuel o* the *able. 0e is then intro#uce# into the gar#en o* "#en in the shape o* a sna>e/ or a serpent/ an# in that shape he enters into *amiliar conversation 5ith "ve/ 5ho is no 5ays surprise# to hear a sna>e tal>: an# the issue o* this tete'a'tate is/ that he persua#es her to eat an apple/ an# the eating o* that apple #amns all man>in#. )*ter giving ;atan this triumph over the 5hole creation/ one 5oul#
31

have suppose# that the church mythologists 5oul# have been >in# enough to sen# him bac> again to the pit/ or/ i* they ha# not #one this/ that they 5oul# have put a mountain upon him/ (*or they say that their *aith can remove a mountain) or have put him un#er a mountain/ as the *ormer mythologists ha# #one/ to prevent his getting again among the 5omen/ an# #oing more mischie*. But instea# o* this/ they leave him at large/ 5ithout even obliging him to give his parole. (he secret o* 5hich is/ that they coul# not #o

5ithout him: an# a*ter being at the trouble o* ma>ing him/ they bribe# him to stay. (hey promise# him )99 the .e5s/ )99 the (ur>s by anticipation/ nine'tenths o* the 5orl# besi#e/ an# ,ahomet into the bargain. )*ter this/ 5ho can #oubt the bounti*ulness o* the hristian ,ythologyK 0aving thus ma#e an insurrection an# a battle in heaven/ in 5hich none o* the combatants coul# be either >ille# or 5oun#e# '' put ;atan into the pit '' let him out again '' given him a triumph over the 5hole creation '' #amne# all man>in# by the eating o* an apple/ there hristian mythologists bring the t5o en#s o* their *able together. (hey represent this virtuous an# amiable man/ .esus hrist/ to be at once both 8o# an# man/ an# also the ;on o* 8o#/ celestially begotten/ on purpose to be sacri*ice#/ because they say that "ve in her longing G4&(": (he +rench 5or> has: @yiel#ing to an unrestraine# appetite. '' "#itor.H ha# eaten an apple.

CHAPTER V
' "6),%4)(%&4 %4 3"()%9 &+ (0" P-" "3%48 B);";. P<((%48 asi#e everything that might e2cite laughter by its absur#ity/ or #etestation by its pro*aneness/ an# con*ining ourselves merely to an e2amination o* the parts/ it is impossible to conceive a story more #erogatory to the )lmighty/ more inconsistent 5ith his 5is#om/ more contra#ictory to his po5er/
32

than this story is. %n or#er to ma>e *or it a *oun#ation to rise upon/ the inventors 5ere un#er the necessity o* giving to the being 5hom they call ;atan a po5er eDually as great/ i* not greater/ than they attribute to the )lmighty. (hey have not only given him the po5er o* liberating himsel* *rom the pit/ a*ter 5hat they call his *all/ but they have ma#e that po5er increase a*ter5ar#s to in*inity. Be*ore this *all they represent him only as an angel o* limite# e2istence/ as they represent the rest. )*ter his *all/ he becomes/ by their account/

omnipresent. 0e e2ists every5here/ an# at the same time. 0e occupies the 5hole immensity o* space. 4ot content 5ith this #ei*ication o* ;atan/ they represent him as #e*eating by stratagem/ in the shape o* an animal o* the creation/ all the po5er an# 5is#om o* the )lmighty. (hey represent him as having compelle# the )lmighty to the #irect necessity either o* surren#ering the 5hole o* the creation to the government an# sovereignty o* this ;atan/ or o* capitulating *or its re#emption by coming #o5n upon earth/ an# e2hibiting himsel* upon a cross in the shape o* a man. 0a# the inventors o* this story tol# it the contrary 5ay/ that is/ ha# they represente# the )lmighty as compelling ;atan to e2hibit himsel* on a cross in the shape o* a sna>e/ as a punishment *or his ne5 transgression/ the story 5oul# have been less absur#/ less contra#ictory. But/ instea# o* this they ma>e the transgressor triumph/ an# the )lmighty *all. (hat many goo# men have believe# this strange *able/ an# live# very goo# lives un#er that belie* (*or cre#ulity is not a crime) is 5hat % have no #oubt o*. %n the *irst place/ they 5ere e#ucate# to believe it/ an# they 5oul# have believe# anything else in the same manner. (here are also many 5ho have been so enthusiastically enrapture# by 5hat they conceive# to be the in*inite love o* 8o# to
33

man/ in ma>ing a sacri*ice o* himsel*/ that the vehemence o* the i#ea has *orbi##en an# #eterre# them *rom e2amining into the absur#ity an# pro*aneness o* the story. (he more unnatural anything is/ the more is it capable o* becoming the obCect o* #ismal a#miration. G4&(": (he +rench 5or> has @blin# an#@ prece#ing #ismal.@ '' "#itor.H

CHAPTER VI
' &+ (0" (-<" (0"&9&8M. B<( i* obCects *or gratitu#e an# a#miration are our #esire/ #o they

not present themselves every hour to our eyesK 3o 5e not see a *air creation prepare# to receive us the instant 5e are born '' a 5orl# *urnishe# to our han#s/ that cost us nothingK %s it 5e that light up the sun: that pour #o5n the rain: an# *ill the earth 5ith abun#anceK 7hether 5e sleep or 5a>e/ the vast machinery o* the universe still goes on. )re these things/ an# the blessings they in#icate in *uture/ nothing to/ usK an our gross *eelings be e2cite# by no other subCects than trage#y an# suici#eK &r is the gloomy pri#e o* man become so intolerable/ that nothing can *latter it but a sacri*ice o* the reatorK % >no5 that this bol# investigation 5ill alarm many/ but it 5oul# be paying too great a compliment to their/ cre#ulity to *orbear it on that account. (he times an# the subCect #eman# it to be #one. (he suspicion that the theory o* 5hat is calle# the hristian church is *abulous/ is becoming very e2tensive in all countries: an# it 5ill be a consolation to men staggering un#er that suspicion/ an# #oubting 5hat to believe an# 5hat to #isbelieve/ to see the subCect *reely investigate#. % there*ore pass on to an e2amination o* the boo>s calle# the &l# an# the 4e5 (estament. http://thecmrevolution.com/

CHAPTER VII
34

' "6),%4)(%&4 &+ (0" &93 (";(),"4(. (0";" boo>s/ beginning 5ith 8enesis an# en#ing 5ith -evelations/ (5hich/ by the bye/ is a boo> o* ri##les that reDuires a revelation to e2plain it) are/ 5e are tol#/ the 5or# o* 8o#. %t is/ there*ore/ proper *or us to >no5 5ho tol# us so/ that 5e may >no5 5hat cre#it to give to the report. (he ans5er to this Duestion is/ that nobo#y can tell/ e2cept that 5e tell one another so. (he case/ ho5ever/ historically appears to be as *ollo5s: 7hen the church mythologists establishe# their system/ they collecte# all the 5ritings they coul# *in#/ an# manage# them as

they please#. %t is a matter altogether o* uncertainty to us 5hether such o* the 5ritings as no5 appear un#er the name o* the &l# an# the 4e5 (estament/ are in the same state in 5hich those collectors say they *oun# them: or 5hether they a##e#/ altere#/ abri#ge#/ or #resse# them up. Be this as it may/ they #eci#e# by vote 5hich o* the boo>s out o* the collection they ha# ma#e/ shoul# be the 7&-3 &+ 8&3/ an# 5hich shoul# not. (hey reCecte# several: they vote# others to be #oubt*ul/ such as the boo>s calle# the )pocrypha: an# those boo>s 5hich ha# a maCority o* votes/ 5ere vote# to be the 5or# o* 8o#. 0a# they vote# other5ise/ all the people since calling themselves hristians ha# believe# other5ise: *or the belie* o* the one comes *rom the vote o* the other. 7ho the people 5ere that #i# all this/ 5e >no5 nothing o*. (hey call themselves by the general name o* the hurch: an# this is all 5e >no5 o* the matter. )s 5e have no other e2ternal evi#ence or authority *or believing these boo>s to be the 5or# o* 8o#/ than 5hat % have mentione#/ 5hich is no evi#ence or authority at all/ % come/ in the ne2t place/ to e2amine the internal evi#ence containe# in the boo>s themselves. %n the *ormer part o* this essay/ % have spo>en o* revelation. % no5
35

procee# *urther 5ith that subCect/ *or the purpose o* applying it to the boo>s in Duestion. -evelation is a communication o* something/ 5hich the person/ to 5hom that thing is reveale#/ #i# not >no5 be*ore. +or i* % have #one a thing/ or seen it #one/ it nee#s no revelation to tell me % have #one it/ or seen it/ nor to enable me to tell it/ or to 5rite it. -evelation/ there*ore/ cannot be applie# to anything #one upon earth o* 5hich man is himsel* the actor or the 5itness: an# conseDuently all the historical an# anec#otal part o* the Bible/ 5hich is almost the 5hole o* it/ is not 5ithin the meaning an#

compass o* the 5or# revelation/ an#/ there*ore/ is not the 5or# o* 8o#. 7hen ;amson ran o** 5ith the gate'posts o* 8aIa/ i* he ever #i# so/ (an# 5hether he #i# or not is nothing to us/) or 5hen he visite# his 3elilah/ or caught his *o2es/ or #i# anything else/ 5hat has revelation to #o 5ith these thingsK %* they 5ere *acts/ he coul# tell them himsel*: or his secretary/ i* he >ept one/ coul# 5rite them/ i* they 5ere 5orth either telling or 5riting: an# i* they 5ere *ictions/ revelation coul# not ma>e them true: an# 5hether true or not/ 5e are neither the better nor the 5iser *or >no5ing them. 7hen 5e contemplate the immensity o* that Being/ 5ho #irects an# governs the incomprehensible 70&9"/ o* 5hich the utmost >en o* human sight can #iscover but a part/ 5e ought to *eel shame at calling such paltry stories the 5or# o* 8o#. )s to the account o* the creation/ 5ith 5hich the boo> o* 8enesis opens/ it has all the appearance o* being a tra#ition 5hich the %sraelites ha# among them be*ore they came into "gypt: an# a*ter their #eparture *rom that country/ they put it at the hea# o* their history/ 5ithout telling/ as it is most probable that they #i# not >no5/ ho5 they came by it. (he manner in 5hich the account opens/ sho5s it to be tra#itionary. %t begins abruptly. %t is nobo#y
36

that spea>s. %t is nobo#y that hears. @%t is a##resse# to nobo#y. %t has neither *irst/ secon#/ nor thir# person. %t has every criterion o* being a tra#ition. %t has no voucher. ,oses #oes not ta>e it upon himsel* by intro#ucing it 5ith the *ormality that he uses on other occasions/ such as that o* saying/ @(he 9or#s spa>e unto ,oses/ saying.@ 7hy it has been calle# the ,osaic account o* the creation/ % am at a loss to conceive. ,oses/ % believe/ 5as too goo# a Cu#ge o* such subCects to put his name to that account. 0e ha# been e#ucate# among the "gyptians/ 5ho 5ere a people as 5ell s>ille# in science/

an# particularly in astronomy/ as any people o* their #ay: an# the silence an# caution that ,oses observes/ in not authenticating the account/ is a goo# negative evi#ence that he neither tol# it nor believe# it. '' (he case is/ that every nation o* people has been 5orl#'ma>ers/ an# the %sraelites ha# as much right to set up the tra#e o* 5orl#'ma>ing as any o* the rest: an# as ,oses 5as not an %sraelite/ he might not chose to contra#ict the tra#ition. (he account/ ho5ever/ is harmless: an# this is more than can be sai# *or many other parts o* the Bible. 7henever 5e rea# the obscene stories/ the voluptuous #ebaucheries/ the cruel an# torturous e2ecutions/ the unrelenting vin#ictiveness/ 5ith 5hich more than hal* the Bible G4&(": %t must be borne in min# that by the @Bible@ Paine al5ays means the &l# (estament alone. '' "#itor.H is *ille#/ it 5oul# be more consistent that 5e calle# it the 5or# o* a #emon/ than the 7or# o* 8o#. %t is a history o* 5ic>e#ness/ that has serve# to corrupt an# brutaliIe man>in#: an#/ *or my o5n part/ % sincerely #etest it/ as % #etest everything that is cruel. 7e scarcely meet 5ith anything/ a *e5 phrases e2cepte#/ but 5hat #eserves either our abhorrence or our contempt/ till 5e come to the miscellaneous parts o* the Bible. %n the anonymous publications/
37

the Psalms/ an# the Boo> o* .ob/ more particularly in the latter/ 5e *in# a great #eal o* elevate# sentiment reverentially e2presse# o* the po5er an# benignity o* the )lmighty: but they stan# on no higher ran> than many other compositions on similar subCects/ as 5ell be*ore that time as since. (he Proverbs 5hich are sai# to be ;olomon$s/ though most probably a collection/ (because they #iscover a >no5le#ge o* li*e/ 5hich his situation e2clu#e# him *rom >no5ing) are an instructive table o* ethics. (hey are in*erior in >eenness to the proverbs o* the ;paniar#s/ an# not more 5ise an# oeconomical than those o* the

)merican +ran>lin. )ll the remaining parts o* the Bible/ generally >no5n by the name o* the Prophets/ are the 5or>s o* the .e5ish poets an# itinerant preachers/ 5ho mi2e# poetry/ anec#ote/ an# #evotion together '' an# those 5or>s still retain the air an# style o* poetry/ though in translation. G4&(": )s there are many rea#ers 5ho #o not see that a composition is poetry/ unless it be in rhyme/ it is *or their in*ormation that % a## this note. Poetry consists principally in t5o things '' imagery an# composition. (he composition o* poetry #i**ers *rom that o* prose in the manner o* mi2ing long an# short syllables together. (a>e a long syllable out o* a line o* poetry/ an# put a short one in the room o* it/ or put a long syllable 5here a short one shoul# be/ an# that line 5ill lose its poetical harmony. %t 5ill have an e**ect upon the line li>e that o* misplacing a note in a song. (he imagery in those boo>s calle# the Prophets appertains altogether to poetry. %t is *ictitious/ an# o*ten e2travagant/ an# not a#missible in any other >in# o* 5riting than poetry. (o sho5 that these 5ritings are compose# in poetical numbers/ % 5ill ta>e ten syllables/ as they stan# in the boo>/ an# ma>e a line o* the same number o* syllables/ (heroic measure) that shall rhyme
38

5ith the last 5or#. %t 5ill then be seen that the composition o* those boo>s is poetical measure. (he instance % shall *irst pro#uce is *rom %saiah: '' @0ear/ & ye heavens/ an# give ear/ & earth $( is 8o# himsel* that calls attention *orth. )nother instance % shall Duote is *rom the mourn*ul .eremiah/ to 5hich % shall a## t5o other lines/ *or the purpose o* carrying out the *igure/ an# sho5ing the intention o* the poet. @&/ that mine hea# 5ere 5aters an# mine eyes@ 7ere *ountains *lo5ing li>e the liDui# s>ies: (hen 5oul# % give the mighty *loo#

release )n# 5eep a #eluge *or the human race.@ '' )uthor.H (here is not/ throughout the 5hole boo> calle# the Bible/ any 5or# that #escribes to us 5hat 5e call a poet/ nor any 5or# that #escribes 5hat 5e call poetry. (he case is/ that the 5or# prophet/ to hich a later times have a**i2e# a ne5 i#ea/ 5as the Bible 5or# *or poet/ an# the 5or# $propesytng$ meant the art o* ma>ing poetry. %t also meant the art o* playing poetry to a tune upon any instrument o* music. 7e rea# o* prophesying 5ith pipes/ tabrets/ an# horns '' o* prophesying 5ith harps/ 5ith psalteries/ 5ith cymbals/ an# 5ith every other instrument o* music then in *ashion. 7ere 5e no5 to spea> o* prophesying 5ith a *i##le/ or 5ith a pipe an# tabor/ the e2pression 5oul# have no meaning/ or 5oul# appear ri#iculous/ an# to some people contemptuous/ because 5e have change# the meaning o* the 5or#. 7e are tol# o* ;aul being among the prophets/ an# also that he prophesie#: but 5e are not tol# 5hat they prophesie#/ nor 5hat he prophesie#. (he case is/ there 5as nothing to tell: *or these prophets 5ere a company o* musicians an# poets/ an# ;aul Coine# in the concert/ an# this 5as calle# prophesying. (he account given o* this a**air in the boo> calle# ;amuel/ is/ that
39

;aul met a company o* prophets: a 5hole company o* them! coming #o5n 5ith a psaltery/ a tabret/ a pipe/ an# a harp/ an# that they prophesie#/ an# that he prophesie# 5ith them. But it appears a*ter5ar#s/ that ;aul prophesie# ba#ly/ that is/ he per*orme# his part ba#ly: *or it is sai# that an @evil spirit *rom 8o# G4&(": )s thos: men 5ho call themselves #ivines an# commentators are very *on# o* puIIling one another/ % leave them to contest the meaning o* the *irst part o* the phrase/ that o* an evil s*iirit o* 8o#. % >eep to my te2t. % >eep to the meaning o* the 5or# prophesy. '' )uthor.H came upon ;aul/ an# he prophesie#.@

4o5/ 5ere there no other passage in the boo> calle# the Bible/ than this/ to #emonstrate to us that 5e have lost the original meaning o* the 5or# prophesy/ an# substitute# another meaning in its place/ this alone 5oul# be su**icient: *or it is impossible to use an# apply the 5or# prophesy/ in the place it is here use# an# applie#/ i* 5e give to it the sense 5hich later times have a**i2e# to it. (he manner in 5hich it is here use# strips it o* all religious meaning/ an# she5s that a man might then be a prophet/ or he might Prophesy/ as he may no5 be a poet or a musician/ 5ithout any regar# to the morality or the immorality o* his character. (he 5or# 5as originally a term o* science/ promiscuously applie# to poetry an# to music/ an# not restricte# to any subCect upon 5hich poetry an# music might be e2ercise#. 3eborah an# Bara> are calle# prophets/ not because they pre#icte# anything/ but because they compose# the poem or song that bears their name/ in celebration o* an act alrea#y #one. 3avi# is ran>e# among the prophets/ *or he 5as a musician/ an# 5as also repute# to be (though perhaps very erroneously) the author o* the Psalms. But )braham/ %saac/ an# .acob are not calle# prophets: it #oes not appear *rom any accounts 5e have/ that they coul# either sing/ play music/ or ma>e poetry.
40

7e are tol# o* the greater an# the lesser prophets. (hey might as 5ell tell us o* the greater an# the lesser 8o#: *or there cannot be #egrees in prophesying consistently 5ith its mo#ern sense. But there are #egrees in poetry/ an# there'*ore the phrase is reconcilable to the case/ 5hen 5e un#erstan# by it the greater an# the lesser poets. %t is altogether unnecessary/ a*ter this/ to o**er any observations upon 5hat those men/ style# propliets/ have 5ritten. (he a2e goes at once to the root/ by sho5ing that the original meaning o* the 5or# has been mista>en/ an# conseDuently all the in*erences that

have been #ra5n *rom those boo>s/ the #evotional respect that has been pai# to them/ an# the laboure# commentaries that have been 5ritten upon them/ un#er that mista>en meaning/ are not 5orth #isputing about. '' %n many things/ ho5ever/ the 5ritings o* the .e5ish poets #eserve a better *ate than that o* being boun# up/ as they no5 are/ 5ith the trash that accompanies them/ un#er the abuse# name o* the 7or# o* 8o#. %* 5e permit ourselves to conceive right i#eas o* things/ 5e must necessarily a**i2 the i#ea/ not only o* unchangeableness/ but o* the utter impossibility o* any change ta>ing place/ by any means or acci#ent 5hatever/ in that 5hich 5e 5oul# honour 5ith the name o* the 7or# o* 8o#: an# there*ore the 7or# o* 8o# cannot e2ist in any 5ritten or human language. (he continually progressive change to 5hich the meaning o* 5or#s is subCect/ the 5ant o* an universal language 5hich ren#ers translation necessary/ the errors to 5hich translations are again subCect/ the mista>es o* copyists an# printers/ together 5ith the possibility o* 5il*ul alteration/ are o* themselves evi#ences that human language/ 5hether in speech or in print/ cannot be the vehicle o* the 7or# o* 8o#. '' (he 7or# o* 8o# e2ists in something else.
41

3i# the boo> calle# the Bible e2cel in purity o* i#eas an# e2pression all the boo>s no5 e2tant in the 5orl#/ % 5oul# not ta>e it *or my rule o* *aith/ as being the 7or# o* 8o#: because the possibility 5oul# nevertheless e2ist o* my being impose# upon. But 5hen % see throughout the greatest part o* this boo> scarcely anything but a history o* the grossest vices/ an# a collection o* the most paltry an# contemptible tales/ % cannot #ishonour my reator by calling it by his name.

CHAPTER VIII
' &+ (0" 4"7 (";(),"4(.

(0<; much *or the Bible: % no5 go on to the boo> calle# the 4e5 (estament. (he ne5 (estament! that is/ the $ne5$ 7ill/ as i* there coul# be t5o 5ills o* the reator. 0a# it been the obCect or the intention o* .esus hrist to establish a ne5 religion/ he 5oul# un#oubte#ly have 5ritten the system himsel*/ or procure# it to be 5ritten in his li*e time. But there is no publication e2tant authenticate# 5ith his name. )ll the boo>s calle# the 4e5 (estament 5ere 5ritten a*ter his #eath. 0e 5as a .e5 by birth an# by pro*ession: an# he 5as the son o* 8o# in li>e manner that every other person is: *or the reator is the +ather o* )ll. (he *irst *our boo>s/ calle# ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn/ #o not give a history o* the li*e o* .esus hrist/ but only #etache# anec#otes o* him. %t appears *rom these boo>s/ that the 5hole time o* his being a preacher 5as not more than eighteen months: an# it 5as only #uring this short time that those men became acDuainte# 5ith him. (hey ma>e mention o* him at the age o* t5elve years/ sitting/ they say/ among the .e5ish #octors/ as>ing an# ans5ering them Duestions. )s this 5as several years be*ore their acDuaintance 5ith him began/ it is most probable they ha# this anec#ote *rom his
42

parents. +rom this time there is no account o* him *or about si2teen years. 7here he live#/ or ho5 he employe# himsel* #uring this interval/ is not >no5n. ,ost probably he 5as 5or>ing at his *ather$s tra#e/ 5hich 5as that o* a carpenter. %t #oes not appear that he ha# any school e#ucation/ an# the probability is/ that he coul# not 5rite/ *or his parents 5ere e2tremely poor/ as appears *rom their not being able to pay *or a be# 5hen he 5as born. G4&(": &ne o* the *e5 errors traceable to Paine$s not having a Bible at han# 5hile 5riting Part %. (here is no in#ication that the *amily 5as poor/ but the reverse may in *act be in*erre#. '' "#itor.H %t is some5hat curious that the three persons 5hose names are the

most universally recor#e# 5ere o* very obscure parentage. ,oses 5as a *oun#ling: .esus hrist 5as born in a stable: an# ,ahomet 5as a mule #river. (he *irst an# the last o* these men 5ere *oun#ers o* #i**erent systems o* religion: but .esus hrist *oun#e# no ne5 system. 0e calle# men to the practice o* moral virtues/ an# the belie* o* one 8o#. (he great trait in his character is philanthropy. (he manner in 5hich he 5as apprehen#e# sho5s that he 5as not much >no5n/ at that time: an# it sho5s also that the meetings he then hel# 5ith his *ollo5ers 5ere in secret: an# that he ha# given over or suspen#e# preaching publicly. .u#as coul# no other5ays betray him than by giving in*ormation 5here he 5as/ an# pointing him out to the o**icers that 5ent to arrest him: an# the reason *or employing an# paying .u#as to #o this coul# arise only *rom the causes alrea#y mentione#/ that o* his not being much >no5n/ an# living conceale#. (he i#ea o* his concealment/ not only agrees very ill 5ith his repute# #ivinity/ but associates 5ith it something o* pusillanimity: an# his being betraye#/ or in other 5or#s/ his being apprehen#e#/ on the in*ormation o* one o* his *ollo5ers/ sho5s that he #i# not
43

inten# to be apprehen#e#/ an# conseDuently that he #i# not inten# to be cruci*ie#. (he hristian mythologists tell us that hrist #ie# *or the sins o* the 5orl#/ an# that he came on Purpose to #ie. 7oul# it not then have been the same i* he ha# #ie# o* a *ever or o* the small po2/ o* ol# age/ or o* anything elseK (he #eclaratory sentence 5hich/ they say/ 5as passe# upon )#am/ in case he ate o* the apple/ 5as not/ that thou shalt surely be cruci*ie#/ but/ thou shale surely #ie. (he sentence 5as #eath/ an# not the manner o* #ying. ruci*i2ion/ there*ore/ or any other particular manner o* #ying/ ma#e no part o* the sentence that

)#am 5as to su**er/ an# conseDuently/ even upon their o5n tactic/ it coul# ma>e no part o* the sentence that hrist 5as to su**er in the room o* )#am. ) *ever 5oul# have #one as 5ell as a cross/ i* there 5as any occasion *or either. (his sentence o* #eath/ 5hich/ they tell us/ 5as thus passe# upon )#am/ must either have meant #ying naturally/ that is/ ceasing to live/ or have meant 5hat these mythologists call #amnation: an# conseDuently/ the act o* #ying on the part o* .esus hrist/ must/ accor#ing to their system/ apply as a prevention to one or other o* these t5o things happening to )#am an# to us. (hat it #oes not prevent our #ying is evi#ent/ because 5e all #ie: an# i* their accounts o* longevity be true/ men #ie *aster since the cruci*i2ion than be*ore: an# 5ith respect to the secon# e2planation/ (inclu#ing 5ith it the natural #eath o* .esus hrist as a substitute *or the eternal #eath or #amnation o* all man>in#/) it is impertinently representing the reator as coming o**/ or revo>ing the sentence/ by a pun or a Duibble upon the 5or# #eath. (hat manu*acturer o*/ Duibbles/ ;t. Paul/ i* he 5rote the boo>s that bear his name/ has helpe# this Duibble on by ma>ing another Duibble upon the 5or# )#am. 0e ma>es there to be t5o )#ams: the one
44

5ho sins in *act/ an# su**ers by pro2y: the other 5ho sins by pro2y/ an# su**ers in *act. ) religion thus interlar#e# 5ith Duibble/ subter*uge/ an# pun/ has a ten#ency to instruct its pro*essors in the practice o* these arts. (hey acDuire the habit 5ithout being a5are o* the cause. %* .esus hrist 5as the being 5hich those mythologists tell us he 5as/ an# that he came into this 5orl# to su**er/ 5hich is a 5or# they sometimes use instea# o* $to #ie/$ the only real su**ering he coul# have en#ure# 5oul# have been $to live.$ 0is e2istence here 5as a state o* e2ilement or transportation *rom heaven/ an# the 5ay bac> to his original country 5as to #ie. '' %n *ine/ everything

in this strange system is the reverse o* 5hat it preten#s to be. %t is the reverse o* truth/ an# % become so tire# o* e2amining into its inconsistencies an# absur#ities/ that % hasten to the conclusion o* it/ in or#er to procee# to something better. 0o5 much/ or 5hat parts o* the boo>s calle# the 4e5 (estament/ 5ere 5ritten by the persons 5hose names they bear/ is 5hat 5e can >no5 nothing o*/ neither are 5e certain in 5hat language they 5ere originally 5ritten. (he matters they no5 contain may be classe# un#er t5o hea#s: anec#ote/ an# epistolary correspon#ence. (he *our boo>s alrea#y mentione#/ ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn/ are altogether anec#otal. (hey relate events a*ter they ha# ta>en place. (hey tell 5hat .esus hrist #i# an# sai#/ an# 5hat others #i# an# sai# to him: an# in several instances they relate the same event #i**erently. -evelation is necessarily out o* the Duestion 5ith respect to those boo>s: not only because o* the #isagreement o* the 5riters/ but because revelation cannot be applie# to the relating o* *acts by the persons 5ho sa5 them #one/ nor to the relating or recor#ing o* any #iscourse or conversation by those 5ho hear# it. (he boo> calle# the )cts o* the )postles (an anonymous 5or>) belongs also to the anec#otal part.
45

)ll the other parts o* the 4e5 (estament/ e2cept the boo> o* enigmas/ calle# the -evelations/ are a collection o* letters un#er the name o* epistles: an# the *orgery o* letters has been such a common practice in the 5orl#/ that the probability is at least eDual/ 5hether they are genuine or *orge#. &ne thing/ ho5ever/ is much less eDuivocal/ 5hich is/ that out o* the matters containe# in those boo>s/ together 5ith the assistance o* some ol# stories/ the church has set up a system o* religion very contra#ictory to the character o* the person 5hose name it bears. %t has set up a religion o* pomp an# o* revenue in preten#e# imitation o* a person 5hose li*e 5as humility an# poverty.

(he invention o* a purgatory/ an# o* the releasing o* souls there*rom/ by prayers/ bought o* the church 5ith money: the selling o* par#ons/ #ispensations/ an# in#ulgences/ are revenue la5s/ 5ithout bearing that name or carrying that appearance. But the case nevertheless is/ that those things #erive their origin *rom the pro2ysm o* the cruci*i2ion/ an# the theory #e#uce# there*rom/ 5hich 5as/ that one person coul# stan# in the place o* another/ an# coul# per*orm meritorious services *or him. (he probability/ there*ore/ is/ that the 5hole theory or #octrine o* 5hat is calle# the re#emption (5hich is sai# to have been accomplishe# by the act o* one person in the room o* another) 5as originally *abricate# on purpose to bring *or5ar# an# buil# all those secon#ary an# pecuniary re#emptions upon: an# that the passages in the boo>s upon 5hich the i#ea o* theory o* re#emption is built/ have been manu*acture# an# *abricate# *or that purpose. 7hy are 5e to give this church cre#it/ 5hen she tells us that those boo>s are genuine in every part/ any more than 5e give her cre#it *or everything else she has tol# us: or *or the miracles she says she has per*orme#K (hat she coul# *abricate 5ritings is certain/ because she coul# 5rite: an# the composition o* the 5ritings in Duestion/ is o* that
46

>in# that anybo#y might #o it: an# that she #i# *abricate them is not more inconsistent 5ith probability/ than that she shoul# tell us/ as she has #one/ that she coul# an# #i# 5or> miracles. ;ince/ then/ no e2ternal evi#ence can/ at this long #istance o* time/ be pro#uce# to prove 5hether the church *abricate# the #octrine calle# re#emption or not/ (*or such evi#ence/ 5hether *or or against/ 5oul# be subCect to the same suspicion o* being *abricate#/) the case can only be re*erre# to the internal evi#ence 5hich the thing carries o* itsel*: an# this a**or#s a very strong presumption o* its being a *abrication. +or the internal evi#ence is/ that the theory or #octrine o* re#emption has *or its basis an i#ea o*

pecuniary Custice/ an# not that o* moral Custice. %* % o5e a person money/ an# cannot pay him/ an# he threatens to put me in prison/ another person can ta>e the #ebt upon himsel*/ an# pay it *or me. But i* % have committe# a crime/ every circumstance o* the case is change#. ,oral Custice cannot ta>e the innocent *or the guilty even i* the innocent 5oul# o**er itsel*. (o suppose Custice to #o this/ is to #estroy the principle o* its e2istence/ 5hich is the thingitsel*. %t is then no longer Custice. %t is in#iscriminate revenge. (his single re*lection 5ill sho5 that the #octrine o* re#emption is *oun#e# on a mere pecuniary i#ea correspon#ing to that o* a #ebt 5hich another person might pay: an# as this pecuniary i#ea correspon#s again 5ith the system o* secon# re#emptions/ obtaine# through the means o* money given to the church *or par#ons/ the probability is that the same persons *abricate# both the one an# the other o* those theories: an# that/ in truth/ there is no such thing as re#emption: that it is *abulous: an# that man stan#s in the same relative con#ition 5ith his ,a>er he ever #i# stan#/ since man e2iste#: an# that it is his greatest consolation to thin> so.
47

9et him believe this/ an# he 5ill live more consistently an# morally/ than by any other system. %t is by his being taught to contemplate himsel* as an out'la5/ as an out'cast/ as a beggar/ as a mumper/ as one thro5n as it 5ere on a #unghill/ at an immense #istance *rom his reator/ an# 5ho must ma>e his approaches by creeping/ an# cringing to interme#iate beings/ that he conceives either a contemptuous #isregar# *or everything un#er the name o* religion/ or becomes in#i**erent/ or turns 5hat he calls #evout. %n the latter case/ he consumes his li*e in grie*/ or the a**ectation o* it. 0is prayers are reproaches. 0is humility is ingratitu#e. 0e calls himsel* a 5orm/ an# the *ertile earth a #unghill: an# all the

blessings o* li*e by the than>less name o* vanities. 0e #espises the choicest gi*t o* 8o# to man/ the 8%+( &+ -");&4: an# having en#eavoure# to *orce upon himsel* the belie* o* a system against 5hich reason revolts/ he ungrate*ully calls it human reason/ as i* man coul# give reason to himsel*. Met/ 5ith all this strange appearance o* humility/ an# this contempt *or human reason/ he ventures into the bol#est presumptions. 0e *in#s *ault 5ith everything. 0is sel*ishness is never satis*ie#: his ingratitu#e is never at an en#. 0e ta>es on himsel* to #irect the )lmighty 5hat to #o/ even in the govemment o* the universe. 0e prays #ictatorially. 7hen it is sunshine/ he prays *or rain/ an# 5hen it is rain/ he prays *or sunshine. 0e *ollo5s the same i#ea in everything that he prays *or: *or 5hat is the amount o* all his prayers/ but an attempt to ma>e the )lmighty change his min#/ an# act other5ise than he #oesK %t is as i* he 5ere to say '' thou >no5est not so 5ell as %.

CHAPTER IX
' %4 70)( (0" (-<" -"1"9)(%&4 &4;%;(;. B<( some perhaps 5ill say '' )re 5e to have no 5or# o* 8o# ''
48

no revelationK % ans5er yes. (here is a 7or# o* 8o#: there is a revelation. (0" 7&-3 &+ 8&3 %; (0" -")(%&4 7" B"0&93: )n# it is in this 5or#/ 5hich no human invention can counter*eit or alter/ that 8o# spea>eth universally to man. 0uman language is local an# changeable/ an# is there*ore incapable o* being use# as the means o* unchangeable an# universal in*ormation. (he i#ea that 8o# sent .esus hrist to publish/ as they say/ the gla# ti#ings to all nations/ *rom one en# o* the earth unto the other/ is consistent only 5ith the ignorance o* those 5ho >no5 nothing o* the e2tent o* the 5orl#/ an# 5ho believe#/ as those 5orl#'saviours believe#/ an# continue# to

believe *or several centuries/ (an# that in contra#iction to the #iscoveries o* philosophers an# the e2perience o* navigators/) that the earth 5as *lat li>e a trencher: an# that a man might 5al> to the en# o* it. But ho5 5as .esus hrist to ma>e anything >no5n to all nationsK 0e coul# spea> but one language/ 5hich 5as 0ebre5: an# there are in the 5orl# several hun#re# languages. ;carcely any t5o nations spea> the same language/ or un#erstan# each other: an# as to translations/ every man 5ho >no5s anything o* languages/ >no5s that it is impossible to translate *rom one language into another/ not only 5ithout losing a great part o* the original/ but *reDuently o* mista>ing the sense: an# besi#es all this/ the art o* printing 5as 5holly un>no5n at the time hrist live#. %t is al5ays necessary that the means that are to accomplish any en# be eDual to the accomplishment o* that en#/ or the en# cannot be accomplishe#. %t is in this that the #i**erence bet5een *inite an# in*inite po5er an# 5is#om #iscovers itsel*. ,an *reDuently *ails in accomplishing his en#/ *rom a natural inability o* the po5er to the purpose: an# *reDuently *rom the 5ant o* 5is#om to apply po5er
49

properly. But it is impossible *or in*inite po5er an# 5is#om to *ail as man *aileth. (he means it useth are al5ays eDual to the en#: but human language/ more especially as there is not an universal language/ is incapable o* being use# as an universal means o* unchangeable an# uni*orm in*ormation: an# there*ore it is not the means that 8o# useth in mani*esting himsel* universally to man. %t is only in the -")(%&4 that all our i#eas an# conceptions o* a 5or# o* 8o# can unite. (he reation spea>eth an universal language/ in#epen#ently o* human speech or human language/ multiplie# an# various as they be. %t is an ever e2isting original/ 5hich every man can rea#. %t cannot be *orge#: it cannot be counter*eite#: it cannot be lost: it cannot be altere#: it cannot be

suppresse#. %t #oes not #epen# upon the 5ill o* man 5hether it shall be publishe# or not: it publishes itsel* *rom one en# o* the earth to the other. %t preaches to all nations an# to all 5orl#s: an# this 5or# o* 8o# reveals to man all that is necessary *or man to >no5 o* 8o#. 3o 5e 5ant to contemplate his po5erK 7e see it in the immensity o* the creation. 3o 5e 5ant to contemplate his 5is#omK 7e see it in the unchangeable or#er by 5hich the incomprehensible 7hole is governe#. 3o 5e 5ant to contemplate his muni*icenceK 7e see it in the abun#ance 5ith 5hich he *ills the earth. 3o 5e 5ant to contemplate his mercyK 7e see it in his not 5ithhol#ing that abun#ance even *rom the unthan>*ul. %n *ine/ #o 5e 5ant to >no5 5hat 8o# isK ;earch not the boo> calle# the scripture/ 5hich any human han# might ma>e/ but the scripture calle# the reation.

CHAPTER X
' &4 "-4%48 8&3/ )43 (0" 9%80(; );( &4 0%; "6%;("4 " )43 )((-%B<("; BM (0" B%B9". (0" only i#ea man can a**i2 to the name o* 8o#/ is that o* a *irst
50

cause/ the cause o* all things. )n#/ incomprehensibly #i**icult as it is *or a man to conceive 5hat a *irst cause is/ he arrives at the belie* o* it/ *rom the ten*ol# greater #i**iculty o* #isbelieving it. %t is #i**icult beyon# #escription to conceive that space can have no en#: but it is more #i**icult to conceive an en#. %t is #i**icult beyon# the po5er o* man to conceive an eternal #uration o* 5hat 5e call time: but it is more impossible to conceive a time 5hen there shall be no time. %n li>e manner o* reasoning/ everything 5e behol# carries in itsel* the internal evi#ence that it #i# not ma>e itsel*. "very man is an evi#ence to himsel*/ that he #i# not ma>e himsel*: neither coul# his *ather ma>e himsel*/ nor his gran#*ather/ nor any o* his race: neither coul# any tree/ plant/ or animal ma>e itsel*: an# it is the

conviction arising *rom this evi#ence/ that carries us on/ as it 5ere/ by necessity/ to the belie* o* a *irst cause eternally e2isting/ o* a nature totally #i**erent to any material e2istence 5e >no5 o*/ an# by the po5er o* 5hich all things e2ist: an# this *irst cause/ man calls 8o#. %t is only by the e2ercise o* reason/ that man can #iscover 8o#. (a>e a5ay that reason/ an# he 5oul# be incapable o* un#erstan#ing anything: an# in this case it 5oul# be Cust as consistent to rea# even the boo> calle# the Bible to a horse as to a man. 0o5 then is it that those people preten# to reCect reasonK )lmost the only parts in the boo> calle# the Bible/ that convey to us any i#ea o* 8o#/ are some chapters in .ob/ an# the 19th Psalm: % recollect no other. (hose parts are true #eistical compositions: *or they treat o* the 3eity through his 5or>s. (hey ta>e the boo> o* reation as the 5or# o* 8o#: they re*er to no other boo>: an# all the in*erences they ma>e are #ra5n *rom that volume. % insert in this place the 19th Psalm/ as paraphrase# into "nglish verse by )##ison. % recollect not the prose/ an# 5here % 5rite this %
51

have not the opportunity o* seeing it: (he spacious *irmament on bigh/ 7ith all the blue etherial s>y/ )n# spangle# heavens/ a shining *rame/ (heir great original proclaim. (he un5earie# sun/ *rom #ay to #ay/ 3oes his reator$s po5er #isplay/ )n# publishes to every lan# (he 5or> o* an )lmighty han#. ;oon as the evening sha#es prevail/ (he moon ta>es up the 5on#rous tale/ )n# nightly to the list$ning earth -epeats the story o* her birth: 7hilst all the stars that roun# her burn/ )n# all the planets/ in their turn/ on*irm the ti#ings as they roll/ )n# sprea# the truth *rom pole to pole. 7hat though in solemn silence all ,ove roun# this #ar> terrestrial ball 7hat though no real voice/ nor soun#/ )mi#st their ra#iant orbs be *oun#/ %n reason$s ear they all reCoice/ )n# utter *orth a glorious

voice/ +orever singing as they shine/ (0" 0)43 (0)( ,)3" <; %; 3%1%4". 7hat more #oes man 5ant to >no5/ than that the han# or po5er that ma#e these things is #ivine/ is omnipotentK 9et him believe this/ 5ith the *orce it is impossible to repel i* he permits his reason to act/ an# his rule o* moral li*e 5ill *ollo5 o* course. (he allusions in Cob have all o* them the same ten#ency 5ith this Psalm: that o* #e#ucing or proving a truth that 5oul# be other5ise un>no5n/ *rom truths alrea#y >no5n. % recollect not enough o* the passages in .ob to insert them correctly: but there is one that occurs to me that is applicable to the subCect % am spea>ing upon. @ anst thou by searching *in# out 8o#: canst thou *in# out the )lmighty to per*ectionK@ % >no5 not ho5 the printers have pointe# this passage/ *or % >eep no Bible: but it contains t5o #istinct Duestions that a#mit o* #istinct ans5ers. +irst/ anst thou by searching *in# out 8o#K Mes. Because/ in the *irst place/ % >no5 % #i# not ma>e mysel*/ an# yet % have e2istence:
52

an# by searching into the nature o* other things/ % *in# that no other thing coul# ma>e itsel*: an# yet millions o* other things e2ist: there*ore it is/ that % >no5/ by positive conclusion resulting *rom this search/ that there is a po5er superior to all those things/ an# that po5er is 8o#. ;econ#ly/ anst thou *in# out the )lmighty to per*ectionK 4o. 4ot only because the po5er an# 5is#om 0e has mani*este# in the structure o* the reation that % behol# is to me incomprehensible: but because even this mani*estation/ great as it is is probably but a small #isplay o* that immensity o* po5er an# 5is#om/ by 5hich millions o* other 5orl#s/ to me invisible by their #istance/ 5ere create# an# continue to e2ist. %t is evi#ent that both o* these Duestions 5ere put to the reason o*

the person to 5hom they are suppose# to have been a##resse#: an# it is only by a#mitting the *irst Duestion to be ans5ere# a**irmatively/ that the secon# coul# *ollo5. %t 5oul# have been unnecessary/ an# even absur#/ to have put a secon# Duestion/ more #i**icult than the *irst/ i* the *irst Duestion ha# been ans5ere# negatively. (he t5o Duestions have #i**erent obCects: the *irst re*ers to the e2istence o* 8o#/ the secon# to his attributes. -eason can #iscover the one/ but it *alls in*initely short in #iscovering the 5hole o* the other. % recollect not a single passage in all the 5ritings ascribe# to the men calle# apostles/ that conveys any i#ea o* 5hat 8o# is. (hose 5ritings are chie*ly controversial: an# the gloominess o* the subCect they #5ell upon/ that o* a man #ying in agony on a cross/ is better suite# to the gloomy genius o* a mon> in a cell/ by 5hom it is not impossible they 5ere 5ritten/ than to any man breathing the open air o* the reation. (he only passage that occurs to me/ that has any re*erence to the 5or>s o* 8o#/ by 5hich only his po5er an# 5is#om can be >no5n/ is relate# to have been spo>en by .esus
53

hrist/ as a reme#y against #istrust*ul care. @Behol# the lilies o* the *iel#/ they toil not/ neither #o they spin.@ (his/ ho5ever/ is *ar in*erior to the allusions in .ob an# in the 19th Psalm: but it is similar in i#ea/ an# the mo#esty o* the imagery is correspon#ent to the mo#esty o* the man.

CHAPTER XI
' &+ (0" (0"&9&8M &+ (0" 0-%;(%)4;: )43 (0" (-<" (0"&9&8M. )s to the hristian system o* *aith/ it appears to me as a species o* atheism: a sort o* religious #enial o* 8o#. %t pro*esses to believe in a man rather than in 8o#. %t is a compoun# ma#e up chie*ly o* man'ism 5ith but little #eism/ an# is as near to atheism as t5ilight is to #ar>ness. %t intro#uces bet5een man an# his ,a>er an opaDue

bo#y/ 5hich it calls a re#eemer/ as the moon intro#uces her opaDue sel* bet5een the earth an# the sun/ an# it pro#uces by this means a religious or an irreligious eclipse o* light. %t has put the 5hole orbit o* reason into sha#e. (he e**ect o* this obscurity has been that o* turning everything upsi#e #o5n/ an# representing it in reverse: an# among the revolutions it has thus magically pro#uce#/ it has ma#e a revolution in (heology. (hat 5hich is no5 calle# natural philosophy/ embracing the 5hole circle o* science/ o* 5hich astronomy occupies the chie* place/ is the stu#y o* the 5or>s o* 8o#/ an# o* the po5er an# 5is#om o* 8o# in his 5or>s/ an# is the true theology. )s to the theology that is no5 stu#ie# in its place/ it is the stu#y o* human opinions an# o* human *ancies concerning 8o#. %t is not the stu#y o* 8o# himsel* in the 5or>s that he has ma#e/ but in the 5or>s or 5ritings that man has ma#e: an# it is not among the least o* the mischie*s that the hristian system has #one to the 5orl#/
54

that it has aban#one# the original an# beauti*ul system o* theology/ li>e a beauti*ul innocent/ to #istress an# reproach/ to ma>e room *or the hag o* superstition. (he Boo> o* .ob an# the 19th Psalm/ 5hich even the church a#mits to be more ancient than the chronological or#er in 5hich they stan# in the boo> calle# the Bible/ are theological orations con*ormable to the original system o* theology. (he internal evi#ence o* those orations proves to a #emonstration that the stu#y an# contemplation o* the 5or>s o* creation/ an# o* the po5er an# 5is#om o* 8o# reveale# an# mani*este# in those 5or>s/ ma#e a great part o* the religious #evotion o* the times in 5hich they 5ere 5ritten: an# it 5as this #evotional stu#y an# contemplation that le# to the #iscovery o* the principles upon 5hich 5hat are no5 calle# ;ciences are establishe#: an# it is to the #iscovery o* these

principles that almost all the )rts that contribute to the convenience o* human li*e o5e their e2istence. "very principal art has some science *or its parent/ though the person 5ho mechanically per*orms the 5or> #oes not al5ays/ an# but very sel#om/ perceive the connection. %t is a *rau# o* the hristian system to call the sciences $human inventions:$ it is only the application o* them that is human. "very science has *or its basis a system o* principles as *i2e# an# unalterable as those by 5hich the unierse is regulate# an# governe#. ,an cannot ma>e principles/ he can only #iscover them. +or e2ample: "very person 5ho loo>s at an almanac> sees an account 5hen an eclipse 5ill ta>e place/ an# he sees also that it never *ails to ta>e place accor#ing to the account there given. (his sho5s that man is acDuainte# 5ith the la5s by 5hich the heavenly bo#ies move. But it 5oul# be something 5orse than ignorance/ 5ere any church on earth to say that those la5s are an human invention.
55

%t 5oul# also be ignorance/ or something 5orse/ to say that the scienti*ic principles/ by the ai# o* 5hich man is enable# to calculate an# *ore>no5 5hen an eclipse 5ill ta>e place/ are an human invention. ,an cannot invent any thing that is eternal an# immutable: an# the scienti*ic principles he employs *or this purpose must/ an# are/ o* necessity/ as eternal an# immutable as the la5s by 5hich the heavenly bo#ies move/ or they coul# not be use# as they are to ascertain the time 5hen/ an# the manner ho5/ an eclipse 5ill ta>e place. (he scienti*ic principles that man employs to obtain the *ore>no5le#ge o* an eclipse/ or o* any thing else relating to the motion o* the heavenly bo#ies/ are containe# chie*ly in that part o* science that is calle# trigonometry/ or the properties o* a triangle/ 5hich/ 5hen applie# to the stu#y o* the heavenly bo#ies/ is calle#

astronomy: 5hen applie# to #irect the course o* a ship on the ocean/ it is calle# navigation: 5hen applie# to the construction o* *igures #ra5n by a rule an# compass/ it is calle# geometry: 5hen applie# to the construction o* plans o* e#i*ices/ it is calle# architecture: 5hen applie# to the measurement o* any portion o* the sur*ace o* the earth/ it is calle# lan#'surveying. %n *ine/ it is the soul o* science. %t is an eternal truth: it contains the mathematical #emonstration o* 5hich man spea>s/ an# the e2tent o* its uses are un>no5n. %t may be sai#/ that man can ma>e or #ra5 a triangle/ an# there*ore a triangle is an human invention. But the triangle/ 5hen #ra5n/ is no other than the image o* the principle: it is a #elineation to the eye/ an# *rom thence to the min#/ o* a principle that 5oul# other5ise be imperceptible. (he triangle #oes not ma>e the principle/ any more than a can#le ta>en into a room that 5as #ar>/ ma>es the chairs an# tables that be*ore 5ere invisible. )ll the properties o* a triangle e2ist in#epen#ently
56

o* the *igure/ an# e2iste# be*ore any triangle 5as #ra5n or thought o* by man. ,an ha# no more to #o in the *ormation o* those properties or principles/ than he ha# to #o in ma>ing the la5s by 5hich the heavenly bo#ies move: an# there*ore the one must have the same #ivine origin as the other. %n the same manner as/ it may be sai#/ that man can ma>e a triangle/ so also/ may it be sai#/ he can ma>e the mechanical instrument calle# a lever. But the principle by 5hich the lever acts/ is a thing #istinct *rom the instrument/ an# 5oul# e2ist i* the instrument #i# not: it attaches itsel* to the instrument a*ter it is ma#e: the instrument/ there*ore/ can act no other5ise than it #oes act: neither can all the e**orts o* human invention ma>e it act other5ise. (hat 5hich/ in all such cases/ man calls the e**ect/ is no other than the principle itsel* ren#ere# perceptible to the senses.

;ince/ then/ man cannot ma>e principles/ *rom 5hence #i# he gain a >no5le#ge o* them/ so as to be able to apply them/ not only to things on earth/ but to ascertain the motion o* bo#ies so immensely #istant *rom him as all the heavenly bo#ies areK +rom 5hence/ % as>/ coul# he gain that >no5le#ge/ but *rom the stu#y o* the true theologyK %t is the structure o* the universe that has taught this >no5le#ge to man. (hat structure is an ever'e2isting e2hibition o* every principle upon 5hich every part o* mathematical science is *oun#e#. (he o**spring o* this science is mechanics: *or mechanics is no other than the principles o* science applie# practically. (he man 5ho proportions the several parts o* a mill uses the same scienti*ic principles as i* he ha# the po5er o* constructing an universe/ but as he cannot give to matter that invisible agency by 5hich all the component parts o* the immense machine o* the universe have in*luence upon each other/ an# act in motional unison together/ 5ithout any apparent contact/ an# to 5hich man
57

has given the name o* attraction/ gravitation/ an# repulsion/ he supplies the place o* that agency by the humble imitation o* teeth an# cogs. )ll the parts o* man$s microcosm must visibly touch. But coul# he gain a >no5le#ge o* that agency/ so as to be able to apply it in practice/ 5e might then say that another canonical boo> o* the 5or# o* 8o# ha# been #iscovere#. %* man coul# alter the properties o* the lever/ so also coul# he alter the properties o* the triangle: *or a lever (ta>ing that sort o* lever 5hich is calle# a steel'yar#/ *or the sa>e o* e2planation) *orms/ 5hen in motion/ a triangle. (he line it #escen#s *rom/ (one point o* that line being in the *ulcrum/) the line it #escen#s to/ an# the chor# o* the arc/ 5hich the en# o* the lever #escribes in the air/ are the three si#es o* a triangle. (he other arm o* the lever #escribes also a triangle: an# the correspon#ing si#es o* those t5o triangles/

calculate# scienti*ically/ or measure# geometrically/ '' an# also the sines/ tangents/ an# secants generate# *rom the angles/ an# geometrically measure#/ '' have the same proportions to each other as the #i**erent 5eights have that 5ill balance each other on the lever/ leaving the 5eight o* the lever out o* the case. %t may also be sai#/ that man can ma>e a 5heel an# a2is: that he can put 5heels o* #i**erent magnitu#es together/ an# pro#uce a mill. ;till the case comes bac> to the same point/ 5hich is/ that he #i# not ma>e the principle that gives the 5heels those po5ers. (his principle is as unalterable as in the *ormer cases/ or rather it is the same principle un#er a #i**erent appearance to the eye. (he po5er that t5o 5heels o* #i**erent magnitu#es have upon each other is in the same proportion as i* the semi'#iameter o* the t5o 5heels 5ere Coine# together an# ma#e into that >in# o* lever % have #escribe#/ suspen#e# at the part 5here the semi'#iameters Coin: *or the t5o 5heels/ scienti*ically consi#ere#/ are no other than the t5o circles generate# by the motion o* the compoun#
58

lever. %t is *rom the stu#y o* the true theology that all our >no5le#ge o* science is #erive#: an# it is *rom that >no5le#ge that all the arts have originate#. (he )lmighty lecturer/ by #isplaying the principles o* science in the structure o* the universe/ has invite# man to stu#y an# to imitation. %t is as i* he ha# sai# to the inhabitants o* this globe that 5e call ours/ @% have ma#e an earth *or man to #5ell upon/ an# % have ren#ere# the starry heavens visible/ to teach him science an# the arts. 0e can no5 provi#e *or his o5n com*ort/ )43 9")-4 +-&, ,M ,<4%+% "4 " (& )99/ (& B" ?%43 (& ") 0 &(0"-.@ &* 5hat use is it/ unless it be to teach man something/ that his eye is en#o5e# 5ith the po5er o* behol#ing/ to an incomprehensible

#istance/ an immensity o* 5orl#s revolving in the ocean o* spaceK &r o* 5hat use is it that this immensity o* 5orl#s is visible to manK 7hat has man to #o 5ith the Pleia#es/ 5ith &rion/ 5ith ;irius/ 5ith the star he calls the north star/ 5ith the moving orbs he has name# ;aturn/ .upiter/ ,ars/ 1enus/ an# ,ercury/ i* no uses are to *ollo5 *rom their being visibleK ) less po5er o* vision 5oul# have been su**icient *or man/ i* the immensity he no5 possesses 5ere given only to 5aste itsel*/ as it 5ere/ on an immense #esert o* space glittering 5ith sho5s. %t is only by contemplating 5hat he calls the starry heavens/ as the boo> an# school o* science/ that he #iscovers any use in their being visible to him/ or any a#vantage resulting *rom his immensity o* vision. But 5hen be contemplates the subCect in this light/ he sees an a##itional motive *or saying/ that nothing 5as ma#e in vain: *or in vain 5oul# be this po5er o* vision i* it taught man nothing.

CHAPTER XII
59

' (0" "++" (; &+ 0-%;(%)4%;, &4 "3< )(%&4: P-&P&;"3 -"+&-,;. )s the hristian system o* *aith has ma#e a revolution in theology/ so also bas it ma#e a revolution in the state o* learning. (hat 5hich is no5 calle# learning/ 5as not learning originally. 9earning #oes not consist/ as the schools no5 ma>e it consist/ in the >no5le#ge o* languages/ but in the >no5le#ge o* things to 5hich language gives names. (he 8ree>s 5ere a learne# people/ but learning 5ith them #i# not consist in spea>ing 8ree>/ any more than in a -oman$s spea>ing 9atin/ or a +renchman$s spea>ing +rench/ or an "nglishman$s spea>ing "nglish. +rom 5hat 5e >no5 o* the 8ree>s/ it #oes not appear that they >ne5 or stu#ie# any language but their o5n/ an# this 5as one cause o* their becoming so learne#: it a**or#e# them more time to apply themselves to better stu#ies. (he schools o* the

8ree>s 5ere schools o* science an# philosophy/ an# not o* languages: an# it is in the >no5le#ge o* the things that science an# philosophy teach that learning consists. )lmost all the scienti*ic learning that no5 e2ists/ came to us *rom the 8ree>s/ or the people 5ho spo>e the 8ree> language. %t there*ore became necessary to the people o* other nations/ 5ho spo>e a #i**erent language/ that some among them shoul# learn the 8ree> language/ in or#er that the learning the 8ree>s ha# might be ma#e >no5n in those nations/ by translating the 8ree> boo>s o* science an# philosophy into the mother tongue o* each nation. (he stu#y/ there*ore/ o* the 8ree> language (an# in the same manner *or the 9atin) 5as no other than the #ru#gery business o* a linguist: an# the language thus obtaine#/ 5as no other than the means/ or as it 5ere the tools/ employe# to obtain the learning the 8ree>s ha#. %t ma#e no part o* the learning itsel*: an# 5as so #istinct *rom it as to ma>e it e2cee#ingly probable that the persons
60

5ho ha# stu#ie# 8ree> su**iciently to translate those 5or>s/ such *or instance as "ucli#$s "lements/ #i# not un#erstan# any o* the learning the 5or>s containe#. )s there is no5 nothing ne5 to be learne# *rom the #ea# languages/ all the use*ul boo>s being alrea#y translate#/ the languages are become useless/ an# the time e2pen#e# in teaching an# in learning them is 5aste#. ;o *ar as the stu#y o* languages may contribute to the progress an# communication o* >no5le#ge (*or it has nothing to #o 5ith the creation o* >no5le#ge) it is only in the living languages that ne5 >no5le#ge is to be *oun#: an# certain it is/ that/ in general/ a youth 5ill learn more o* a living language in one year/ than o* a #ea# language in seven: an# it is but sel#om that the teacher >no5s much o* it himsel*. (he #i**iculty o* learning the #ea# languages #oes not arise *rom any superior abstruseness in the languages themselves/ but in their

being #ea#/ an# the pronunciation entirely lost. %t 5oul# be the same thing 5ith any other language 5hen it becomes #ea#. (he best 8ree> linguist that no5 e2ists #oes not un#erstan# 8ree> so 5ell as a 8recian plo5man #i#/ or a 8recian mil>mai#: an# the same *or the 9atin/ compare# 5ith a plo5man or a mil>mai# o* the -omans: an# 5ith respect to pronunciation an# i#iom/ not so 5ell as the co5s that she mil>e#. %t 5oul# there*ore be a#vantageous to the state o* learning to abolish the stu#y o* the #ea# languages/ an# to ma>e learning consist/ as it originally #i#/ in scienti*ic >no5le#ge. (he apology that is sometimes ma#e *or continuing to teach the #ea# languages is/ that they are taught at a time 5hen a chil# is not capable o* e2erting any other mental *aculty than that o* memory. But this is altogether erroneous. (he human min# has a natural #isposition to scienti*ic >no5le#ge/ an# to the things connecte# 5ith it. (he *irst an# *avourite amusement o* a chil#/ even be*ore it
61

begins to play/ is that o* imitating the 5or>s o* man. %t buil#s bouses 5ith car#s or stic>s: it navigates the little ocean o* a bo5l o* 5ater 5ith a paper boat: or #ams the stream o* a gutter/ an# contrives something 5hich it calls a mill: an# it interests itsel* in the *ate o* its 5or>s 5ith a care that resembles a**ection. %t a*ter5ar#s goes to school/ 5here its genius is >ille# by the barren stu#y o* a #ea# language/ an# the philosopher is lost in the linguist. But the apology that is no5 ma#e *or continuing to teach the #ea# languages/ coul# not be the cause at *irst o* cutting #o5n learning to the narro5 an# humble sphere o* linguistry: the cause there*ore must be sought *or else5here. %n all researches o* this >in#/ the best evi#ence that can be pro#uce#/ is the internal evi#ence the thing carries 5ith itsel*/ an# the evi#ence o* circumstances that unites 5ith it: both o* 5hich/ in this case/ are not #i**icult to be #iscovere#.

Putting then asi#e/ as matter o* #istinct consi#eration/ the outrage o**ere# to the moral Custice o* 8o#/ by supposing him to ma>e the innocent su**er *or the guilty/ an# also the loose morality an# lo5 contrivance o* supposing him to change himsel* into the shape o* a man/ in or#er to ma>e an e2cuse to himsel* *or not e2ecuting his suppose# sentence upon )#am: putting/ % say/ those things asi#e as matter o* #istinct consi#eration/ it is certain that 5hat is calle# the christian system o* *aith/ inclu#ing in it the 5himsical account o* the creation '' the strange story o* "ve/ the sna>e/ an# the apple '' the amphibious i#ea o* a man'go# '' the corporeal i#ea o* the #eath o* a go# '' the mythological i#ea o* a *amily o* go#s/ an# the christian system o* arithmetic/ that three are one/ an# one is three/ are all irreconcilable/ not only to the #ivine gi*t o* reason/ that 8o# has given to man/ but to the >no5le#ge that man gains o* the po5er an# 5is#om o* 8o# by the ai# o* the sciences/ an# by stu#ying the structure o* the universe that 8o# has ma#e.
62

(he setters up/ there*ore/ an# the a#vocates o* the hristian system o* *aith/ coul# not but *oresee that the continually progressive >no5le#ge that man 5oul# gain by the ai# o* science/ o* the po5er an# 5is#om o* 8o#/ mani*este# in the structure o* the universe/ an# in all the 5or>s o* creation/ 5oul# militate against/ an# call into Duestion/ the truth o* their system o* *aith: an# there*ore it became necessary to their purpose to cut learning #o5n to a siIe less #angerous to their proCect/ an# this they e**ecte# by restricting the i#ea o* learning to the #ea# stu#y o* #ea# languages. (hey not only reCecte# the stu#y o* science out o* the christian schools/ but they persecute# it: an# it is only 5ithin about the last t5o centuries that the stu#y has been revive#. ;o late as 161L/ 8alileo/ a +lorentine/ #iscovere# an# intro#uce# the use o* telescopes/ an# by applying them to observe the motions an# appearances o* the heavenly bo#ies/ a**or#e# a##itional means *or

ascertaining the true structure o* the universe. %nstea# o* being esteeme# *or these #iscoveries/ he 5as sentence# to renounce them/ or the opinions resulting *rom them/ as a #amnable heresy. )n# prior to that time 1irgilius 5as con#emne# to be burne# *or asserting the antipo#es/ or in other 5or#s/ that the earth 5as a globe/ an# habitable in every part 5here there 5as lan#: yet the truth o* this is no5 too 5ell >no5n even to be tol#. G4&(": % cannot #iscover the source o* this statement concerning the ancient author 5hose %rish name +eirghill 5as 9atiniIe# into 1irgilius. (he British ,useum possesses a copy o* the 5or> (3ecalogiunt) 5hich 5as the prete2t o* the charge o* heresy ma#e by Boni*ace/ )rchbishop o* ,ayence/ against 1irgilius/ )bbot '' bishop o* ;alIburg/ (hese 5ere lea#ers o* the rival @British@ an# @-oman parties/ an# the British champion ma#e a countercharge against Boni*ace o* irreligious practices.@ Boni*ace ha# to e2press a @regret/@ but none the less pursue# his rival. (he Pope/ Nachary %%./
63

#eci#e# that i* his allege# @#octrine/ against 8o# an# his soul/ that beneath the earth there is another 5orl#/ other men/ or sun an# moon/@ shoul# be ac>no5le#ge# by 1irgilius/ he shoul# be e2communicate# by a ouncil an# con#emne# 5ith canonical sanctions. 7hatever may have been the *ate involve# by con#emnation 5ith @canonicis sanctionibus/@ in the mi##le o* the eighth century/ it #i# not *all on 1irgilius. 0is accuser/ Boni*ace/ 5as martyre#/ 7EE/ an# it is probable that 1irgilius harmonie# his )ntipo#es 5ith ortho#o2y. (he gravamen o* the heresy seems to have been the suggestion that there 5ere men not o* the progeny o* )#am. 1irgilius 5as ma#e Bishop o* ;alIburg in 76B. 0e bore until his #eath/ 7B9/ the curious title/ @8eometer an# ;olitary/@ or @lone 5ay*arer@ (;olivagus). ) suspicion o* heresy clung to his memory until 1A==/ 5hen he 5as raise# by 8regory %6/ to sainthoo# besi#e his accuser/ ;t. Boni*ace. '' "#itor. ( on5ay)H

%* the belie* o* errors not morally ba# #i# no mischie*/ it 5oul# ma>e no part o* the moral #uty o* man to oppose an# remove them. (here 5as no moral ill in believing the earth 5as *lat li>e a trencher/ any more than there 5as moral virtue in believing it 5as roun# li>e a globe: neither 5as there any moral ill in believing that the reator ma#e no other 5orl# than this/ any more than there 5as moral virtue in believing that he ma#e millions/ an# that the in*inity o* space is *ille# 5ith 5orl#s. But 5hen a system o* religion is ma#e to gro5 out o* a suppose# system o* creation that is not true/ an# to unite itsel* there5ith in a manner almost inseparable there*rom/ the case assumes an entirely #i**erent groun#. %t is then that errors/ not morally ba#/ become *raught 5ith the same mischie*s as i* they 5ere. %t is then that the truth/ though other5ise in#i**erent itsel*/ becomes an essential/ by becoming the criterion that either con*irms by correspon#ing evi#ence/ or #enies by contra#ictory evi#ence/ the reality o* the religion itsel*. %n this
64

vie5 o* the case it is the moral #uty o* man to obtain every possible evi#ence that the structure o* the heavens/ or any other part o* creation a**or#s/ 5ith respect to systems o* religion. But this/ the supporters or partiIans o* the christian system/ as i* #rea#ing the result/ incessantly oppose#/ an# not only reCecte# the sciences/ but persecute# the pro*ersors. 0a# 4e5ton or 3escartes live# three or *our hun#re# years ago/ an# pursue# their stu#ies as they #i#/ it is most probable they 5oul# not have live# to *inish them: an# ha# +ran>lin #ra5n lightning *rom the clou#s at the same time/ it 5oul# have been at the haIar# o* e2piring *or it in *lames. 9ater times have lai# all the blame upon the 8oths an# 1an#als/ but/ ho5ever un5illing the partiIans o* the hristian system may be to believe or to ac>no5le#ge it/ it is nevertheless true/ that the age o* ignorance commence# 5ith the hristian system. (here 5as

more >no5le#ge in the 5orl# be*ore that perio#/ than *or many centuries a*ter5ar#s: an# as to religious >no5le#ge/ the hristian system/ as alrea#y sai#/ 5as only another species o* mythology: an# the mythology to 5hich it succee#e#/ 5as a corruption o* an ancient system o* theism. G4&(" by Paine: %t is impossible *or us no5 to >no5 at 5hat time the heathen mythology began: but it is certain/ *rom the internal evi#ence that it carries/ that it #i# not begin in the same state or con#ition in 5hich it en#e#. )ll the go#s o* that mythology/ e2cept ;aturn/ 5ere o* mo#ern invention. (he suppose# reign o* ;aturn 5as prior to that 5hich is calle# the heathen mythology/ an# 5as so *ar a species o* theism that it a#mitte# the belie* o* only one 8o#. ;aturn is suppose# to have ab#icate# the govemment in *avour o* his three sons an# one #aughter/ .upiter/ Pluto/ 4eptune/ an# .uno: a*ter this/ thousan#s o* other go#s an# #emigo#s 5ere imaginarily create#/ an# the calen#ar o* go#s increase# as *ast as the calen#ar o* saints an# the
65

calen#ar o* courts have increase# since. )ll the corruptions that have ta>en place/ in theology an# in religion have been pro#uce# by a#mitting o* 5hat man calls $reveale# religion.$ (he mythologists preten#e# to more reveale# religion than the christians #o. (hey ha# their oracles an# their priests/ 5ho 5ere suppose# to receive an# #eliver the 5or# o* 8o# verbally on almost all occasions. ;ince then all corruptions #o5n *rom ,oloch to mo#em pre#estinarianism/ an# the human sacri*ices o* the heathens to the christian sacri*ice o* the reator/ have been pro#uce# by a#mitting o* 5hat is calle# reveale# religion/ the most e**ectual means to prevent all such evils an# impositions is/ not to a#mit o* any other revelation than that 5hich is mani*este# in the boo> o* reation./ an# to contemplate the reation as the only true an# real 5or# o* 8o# that ever #i# or ever 5ill e2ist: an# every thing else calle# the

5or# o* 8o# is *able an# imposition. '' )uthor.H %t is o5ing to this long interregnum o* science/ an# to no other cause/ that 5e have no5 to loo> bac> through a vast chasm o* many hun#re# years to the respectable characters 5e call the )ncients. 0a# the progression o* >no5le#ge gone on proportionably 5ith the stoc> that be*ore e2iste#/ that chasm 5oul# have been *ille# up 5ith characters rising superior in >no5le#ge to each other: an# those )ncients 5e no5 so much a#mire 5oul# have appeare# respectably in the bac>groun# o* the scene. But the christian system lai# all 5aste: an# i* 5e ta>e our stan# about the beginning o* the si2teenth century/ 5e loo> bac> through that long chasm/ to the times o* the )ncients/ as over a vast san#y #esert/ in 5hich not a shrub appears to intercept the vision to the *ertile hills beyon#. %t is an inconsistency scarcely possible to be cre#ite#/ that any thing shoul# e2ist/ un#er the name o* a religion/ that hel# it to be
66

irreligious to stu#y an# contemplate the structure o* the universe that 8o# ha# ma#e. But the *act is too 5ell establishe# to be #enie#. (he event that serve# more than any other to brea> the *irst lin> in this long chain o* #espotic ignorance/ is that >no5n by the name o* the -e*ormation by 9uther. +rom that time/ though it #oes not appear to have ma#e any part o* the intention o* 9uther/ or o* those 5ho are calle# -e*ormers/ the ;ciences began to revive/ an# 9iberality/ their natural associate/ began to appear. (his 5as the only public goo# the -e*ormation #i#: *or/ 5ith respect to religious goo#/ it might as 5ell not have ta>en place. (he mythology still continue# the same: an# a multiplicity o* 4ational Popes gre5 out o* the #o5n*al o* the Pope o* hristen#om.

CHAPTER XIII
' &,P)-%;&4 &+ 0-%;(%)4%;, 7%(0 (0" -"9%8%&<; %3"); %4;P%-"3 BM 4)(<-".

0)1%48 thus she5n/ *rom the internal evi#ence o* things/ the cause that pro#uce# a change in the state o* learning/ an# the motive *or substituting the stu#y o* the #ea# languages/ in the place o* the ;ciences/ % procee#/ in a##ition to the several observations alrea#y ma#e in the *ormer part o* this 5or>/ to compare/ or rather to con*ront/ the evi#ence that the structure o* the universe a**or#s/ 5ith the christian system o* religion. But as % cannot begin this part better than by re*erring to the i#eas that occurre# to me at an early part o* li*e/ an# 5hich % #oubt not have occurre# in some #egree to almost every other person at one time or other/ % shall state 5hat those i#eas 5ere/ an# a## thereto such other matter as shall arise out o* the subCect/ giving to the 5hole/ by 5ay o* pre*ace/ a short intro#uction. ,y *ather being o* the Dua>er pro*ession/ it 5as my goo# *ortune to have an e2cee#ingly goo# moral e#ucation/ an# a tolerable stoc>
67

o* use*ul learning. (hough % 5ent to the grammar school/ % #i# not learn 9atin/ not only because % ha# no inclination to learn languages/ but because o* the obCection the Dua>ers have against the boo>s in 5hich the language is taught. But this #i# not prevent me *rom being acDuainte# 5ith the subCects o* all the 9atin boo>s use# in the school. (he natural bent o* my min# 5as to science. % ha# some turn/ an# % believe some talent *or poetry: but this % rather represse# than encourage#/ as lea#ing too much into the *iel# o* imagination. )s soon as % 5as able/ % purchase# a pair o* globes/ an# atten#e# the philosophical lectures o* ,artin an# +erguson/ an# became a*ter5ar#s acDuainte# 5ith 3r. Bevis/ o* the society calle# the -oyal ;ociety/ then living in the (emple/ an# an e2cellent astronomer. % ha# no #isposition *or 5hat 5as calle# politics. %t presente# to my min# no other i#ea than is containe# in the 5or# Coc>eyship.

7hen/ there*ore/ % turne# my thoughts to5ar#s matters o* government/ % ha# to *orm a system *or mysel*/ that accor#e# 5ith the moral an# philosophic principles in 5hich % ha# been e#ucate#. % sa5/ or at least % thought % sa5/ a vast scene opening itsel* to the 5orl# in the a**airs o* )merica: an# it appeare# to me/ that unless the )mericans change# the plan they 5ere then pursuing/ 5ith respect to the government o* "nglan#/ an# #eclare# themselves in#epen#ent/ they 5oul# not only involve themselves in a multiplicity o* ne5 #i**iculties/ but shut out the prospect that 5as then o**ering itsel* to man>in# through their means. %t 5as *rom these motives that % publishe# the 5or> >no5n by the name o* ommon ;ense/ 5hich is the *irst 5or> % ever #i# publish/ an# so *ar as % can Cu#ge o* mysel*/ % believe % shoul# never have been >no5n in the 5orl# as an author on any subCect 5hatever/ ha# it not been *or the a**airs o* )merica. % 5rote ommon ;ense the
68

latter en# o* the year 177E/ an# publishe# it the *irst o* .anuary/ 1776. %n#epen#ence 5as #eclare# the *ourth o* .uly *ollo5ing. G4&(": (he pamphlet ommon ;ense 5as *irst a#vertise#/ as @Cust publishe#/@ on .anuary 1L/ 1776. 0is plea *or the &**icers o* "2cise/ 5ritten be*ore leaving "nglan#/ 5as printe#/ but not publishe# until 179=. 3espite his reiterate# assertion that ommon ;ense 5as the *irst 5or> he ever publishe# the notion that he 5as @Cunius@ still *in#s somr believers. )n in#irect comment on our Paine'.unians may be *oun# in Part A o* this 5or> 5here Paine says a man capable o* 5riting 0omer @5oul# not have thro5n a5ay his o5n *ame by giving it to another.@ %t is probable that Paine ascribe# the 9etters o* .unius to (homas 0ollis. 0is *rien# +. 9anthenas/ in his translation o* the )ge o* -eason (179F) a#vertises his translation o* the 9etters o* .unius *rom the "nglish @((homas 0ollis).@ (his he coul# har#ly have #one 5ithout consultation 5ith Paine. <n*ortunately this translation o* .unius

cannot be *oun# either in the BibliotheDue 4ationale or the British ,useum/ an# it cannot be sai# 5hether it contains any attempt at an i#enti*ication o* .unius '' "#itor.H )ny person/ 5ho has ma#e observations on the state an# progress o* the human min#/ by observing his o5n/ can not but have observe#/ that there are t5o #istinct classes o* 5hat are calle# (houghts: those that 5e pro#uce in ourselves by re*lection an# the act o* thin>ing/ an# those that bolt into the min# o* their o5n accor#. % have al5ays ma#e it a rule to treat those voluntary visitors 5ith civility/ ta>ing care to e2amine/ as 5ell as % 5as able/ i* they 5ere 5orth entertaining: an# it is *rom them % have acDuire# almost all the >no5le#ge that % have. )s to the learning that any person gains *rom school e#ucation/ it serves only/ li>e a small capital/ to put him in the 5ay o* beginning learning *or himsel* a*ter5ar#s. "very person o* learning is *inally his o5n teacher: the
69

reason o* 5hich is/ that principles/ being o* a #istinct Duality to circumstances/ cannot be impresse# upon the memory: their place o* mental resi#ence is the un#erstan#ing/ an# they are never so lasting as 5hen they begin by conception. (hus much *or the intro#uctory part. +rom the time % 5as capable o* conceiving an i#ea/ an# acting upon it by re*lection/ % either #oubte# the truth o* the christian system/ or thought it to be a strange a**air: % scarcely >ne5 5hich it 5as: but % 5ell remember/ 5hen about seven or eight years o* age/ hearing a sermon rea# by a relation o* mine/ 5ho 5as a great #evotee o* the church/ upon the subCect o* 5hat is calle# -e#emption by the #eath o* the ;on o* 8o#. )*ter the sermon 5as en#e#/ % 5ent into the gar#en/ an# as % 5as going #o5n the gar#en steps (*or % per*ectly recollect the spot) % revolte# at the recollection o* 5hat % ha# hear#/ an# thought to mysel* that it 5as ma>ing 8o# )lmighty act li>e a passionate man/ that >ille# his

son/ 5hen he coul# not revenge himsel* any other 5ay: an# as % 5as sure a man 5oul# be hange# that #i# such a thing/ % coul# not see *or 5hat purpose they preache# such sermons. (his 5as not one o* those >in# o* thoughts that ha# any thing in it o* chil#ish levity: it 5as to me a serious re*lection/ arising *rom the i#ea % ha# that 8o# 5as too goo# to #o such an action/ an# also too almighty to be un#er any necessity o* #oing it. % believe in the same manner to this moment: an# % moreover believe/ that any system o* religion that has anything in it that shoc>s the min# o* a chil#/ cannot be a true system. %t seems as i* parents o* the christian pro*ession 5ere ashame# to tell their chil#ren any thing about the principles o* their religion. (hey sometimes instruct them in morals/ an# tal> to them o* the goo#ness o* 5hat they call Provi#ence: *or the hristian mythology has *ive #eities: there is 8o# the +ather/ 8o# the ;on/
70

8o# the 0oly 8host/ the 8o# Provi#ence/ an# the 8o##ess 4ature. But the christian story o* 8o# the +ather putting his son to #eath/ or employing people to #o it/ (*or that is the plain language o* the story/) cannot be tol# by a parent to a chil#: an# to tell him that it 5as #one to ma>e man>in# happier an# better/ is ma>ing the story still 5orse: as i* man>in# coul# be improve# by the e2ample o* mur#er: an# to tell him that all this is a mystery/ is only ma>ing an e2cuse *or the incre#ibility o* it. 0o5 #i**erent is this to the pure an# simple pro*ession o* 3eism! (he true #eist has but one 3eity: an# his religion consists in contemplating the po5er/ 5is#om/ an# benignity o* the 3eity in his 5or>s/ an# in en#eavouring to imitate him in every thing moral/ scienti*ical/ an# mechanical. (he religion that approaches the nearest o* all others to true 3eism/ in the moral an# benign part thereo*/ is that pro*esse# by the Dua>ers: but they have contracte# themselves too much by leaving

the 5or>s o* 8o# out o* their system. (hough % reverence their philanthropy/ % can not help smiling at the conceit/ that i* the taste o* a Dua>er coul# have been consulte# at the creation/ 5hat a silent an# #rab'colore# creation it 5oul# have been! 4ot a *lo5er 5oul# have blossome# its gaieties/ nor a bir# been permitte# to sing. Juitting these re*lections/ % procee# to other matters. )*ter % ha# ma#e mysel* master o* the use o* the globes/ an# o* the orrery/ G4&(" by Paine: )s this boo> may *all into the ban#s o* persons 5ho #o not >no5 5hat an orrery is/ it is *or their in*ormation % a## this note/ as the name gives no i#ea o* the uses o* the thing. (he orrery has its name *rom the person 5ho invente# it. %t is a machinery o* cloc>'5or>/ representing the universe in miniature: an# in 5hich the revolution o* the earth roun# itsel* an# roun# the sun/ the revolution o* the moon roun# the earth/ the revolution o* the planets roun# the sun/ their relative #istances *rom the sun/ as
71

the center o* the 5hole system/ their relative #istances *rom each other/ an# their #i**erent magnitu#es/ are represente# as they really e2ist in 5hat 5e call the heavens. '' )uthor.H an# conceive# an i#ea o* the in*inity o* space/ an# o* the eternal #ivisibility o* matter/ an# obtaine#/ at least/ a general >no5le#ge o* 5hat 5as calle# natural philosophy/ % began to compare/ or/ as % have be*ore sai#/ to con*ront/ the internal evi#ence those things a**or# 5ith the christian system o* *aith. (hough it is not a #irect article o* the christian system that this 5orl# that 5e inhabit is the 5hole o* the habitable creation/ yet it is so 5or>e# up there5ith/ *rom 5hat is calle# the ,osaic account o* the creation/ the story o* "ve an# the apple/ an# the counterpart o* that story/ the #eath o* the ;on o* 8o#/ that to believe other5ise/ that is/ to believe that 8o# create# a plurality o* 5orl#s/ at least as numerous as 5hat 5e call stars/ ren#ers the christian system o* *aith at once little an# ri#iculous: an# scatters it in the min# li>e

*eathers in the air. (he t5o belie*s can not be hel# together in the same min#: an# he 5ho thin>s that be believes both/ has thought but little o* either. (hough the belie* o* a plurality o* 5orl#s 5as *amiliar to the ancients/ it is only 5ithin the last three centuries that the e2tent an# #imensions o* this globe that 5e inhabit have been ascertaine#. ;everal vessels/ *ollo5ing the tract o* the ocean/ have saile# entirely roun# the 5orl#/ as a man may march in a circle/ an# come roun# by the contrary si#e o* the circle to the spot he set out *rom. (he circular #imensions o* our 5orl#/ in the 5i#est part/ as a man 5oul# measure the 5i#est roun# o* an apple/ or a ball/ is only t5enty'*ive thousan# an# t5enty "nglish miles/ rec>oning si2tynine miles an# an hal* to an eDuatorial #egree/ an# may be saile# roun# in the space o* about three years. G4&(" by Paine: )llo5ing a ship to sail/ on an average/ three miles in an hour/ she
72

5oul# sail entirely roun# the 5orl# in less than one year/ i* she coul# sail in a #irect circle/ but she is oblige# to *ollo5 the course o* the ocean. '' )uthor.H ) 5orl# o* this e2tent may/ at *irst thought/ appear to us to be great: but i* 5e compare it 5ith the immensity o* space in 5hich it is suspen#e#/ li>e a bubble or a balloon in the air/ it is in*initely less in proportion than the smallest grain o* san# is to the siIe o* the 5orl#/ or the *inest particle o* #e5 to the 5hole ocean/ an# is there*ore but small: an#/ as 5ill be herea*ter sho5n/ is only one o* a system o* 5orl#s/ o* 5hich the universal creation is compose#. %t is not #i**icult to gain some *aint i#ea o* the immensity o* space in 5hich this an# all the other 5orl#s are suspen#e#/ i* 5e *ollo5 a progression o* i#eas. 7hen 5e thin> o* the siIe or #imensions o*/ a room/ our i#eas limit themselves to the 5alls/ an# there they stop. But 5hen our eye/ or our imagination #arts into space/ that is/

5hen it loo>s up5ar# into 5hat 5e call the open air/ 5e cannot conceive any 5alls or boun#aries it can have: an# i* *or the sa>e o* resting our i#eas 5e suppose a boun#ary/ the Duestion imme#iately rene5s itsel*/ an# as>s/ 5hat is beyon# that boun#aryK an# in the same manner/ 5hat beyon# the ne2t boun#aryK an# so on till the *atigue# imagination returns an# says/ there is no en#. ertainly/ then/ the reator 5as not pent *or room 5hen he ma#e this 5orl# no larger than it is: an# 5e have to see> the reason in something else. %* 5e ta>e a survey o* our o5n 5orl#/ or rather o* this/ o* 5hich the reator has given us the use as our portion in the immense system o* creation/ 5e *in# every part o* it/ the earth/ the 5aters/ an# the air that surroun# it/ *ille#/ an# as it 5ere crou#e# 5ith li*e/ #o5n *rom the largest animals that 5e >no5 o* to the smallest insects the na>e# eye can behol#/ an# *rom thence to others still smaller/ an# totally invisible 5ithout the assistance o* the
73

microscope. "very tree/ every plant/ every lea*/ serves not only as an habitation/ but as a 5orl# to some numerous race/ till animal e2istence becomes so e2cee#ingly re*ine#/ that the e**luvia o* a bla#e o* grass 5oul# be *oo# *or thousan#s. ;ince then no part o* our earth is le*t unoccupie#/ 5hy is it to be suppose# that the immensity o* space is a na>e# voi#/ lying in eternal 5asteK (here is room *or millions o* 5orl#s as large or larger than ours/ an# each o* them millions o* miles apart *rom each other. 0aving no5 arrive# at this point/ i* 5e carry our i#eas only one thought *urther/ 5e shall see/ perhaps/ the true reason/ at least a very goo# reason *or our happiness/ 5hy the reator/ instea# o* ma>ing one immense 5orl#/ e2ten#ing over an immense Duantity o* space/ has pre*erre# #ivi#ing that Duantity o* matter into several #istinct an# separate 5orl#s/ 5hich 5e call planets/ o* 5hich our

earth is one. But be*ore % e2plain my i#eas upon this subCect/ it is necessary (not *or the sa>e o* those that alrea#y >no5/ but *or those 5ho #o not) to sho5 5hat the system o* the universe is.

CHAPTER XIV
' ;M;(", &+ (0" <4%1"-;". (0)( part o* the universe that is calle# the solar system (meaning the system o* 5orl#s to 5hich our earth belongs/ an# o* 5hich ;ol/ or in "nglish language/ the ;un/ is the center) consists/ besi#es the ;un/ o* si2 #istinct orbs/ or planets/ or 5orl#s/ besi#es the secon#ary bo#ies/ calle# the satellites/ or moons/ o* 5hich our earth has one that atten#s her in her annual revolution roun# the ;un/ in li>e manner as the other satellites or moons/ atten# the planets or 5orl#s to 5hich they severally belong/ as may be seen by the assistance o* the telescope. (he ;un is the center roun# 5hich those si2 5orl#s or planets
74

revolve at #i**erent #istances there*rom/ an# in circles concentric to each other. "ach 5orl# >eeps constantly in nearly the same tract roun# the ;un/ an# continues at the same time turning roun# itsel*/ in nearly an upright position/ as a top turns roun# itsel* 5hen it is spinning on the groun#/ an# leans a little si#e5ays. %t is this leaning o* the earth (A=1/A #egrees) that occasions summer an# 5inter/ an# the #i**erent length o* #ays an# nights. %* the earth turne# roun# itsel* in a position perpen#icular to the plane or level o* the circle it moves in roun# the ;un/ as a top turns roun# 5hen it stan#s erect on the groun#/ the #ays an# nights 5oul# be al5ays o* the same length/ t5elve hours #ay an# t5elve hours night/ an# the season 5oul# be uni*ormly the same throughout the year. "very time that a planet (our earth *or e2ample) turns roun# itsel*/ it ma>es 5hat 5e call #ay an# night: an# every time it goes entirely roun# the ;un/ it ma>es 5hat 5e call a year/ conseDuently

our 5orl# turns three hun#re# an# si2ty'*ive times roun# itsel*/ in going once roun# the ;un. (he names that the ancients gave to those si2 5orl#s/ an# 5hich are still calle# by the same names/ are ,ercury/ 1enus/ this 5orl# that 5e call ours/ ,ars/ .upitcr/ an# ;aturn. (hey appear larger to the eye than the stars/ being many million miles nearer to our earth than any o* the stars are. (he planet 1enus is that 5hich is calle# the evening star/ an# sometimes the morning star/ as she happens to set a*ter/ or rise be*ore the ;un/ 5hich in either case is never more than three hours. (he ;un as be*ore sai# being the center/ the planet or 5orl# nearest the ;un is ,ercury: his #istance *rom the ;un is thirty' *our million miles/ an# he moves roun# in a circle al5ays at that #istance *rom the ;un/ as a top may be suppose# to spin roun# in the tract in 5liich a horse goes in a mill. (he secon# 5orl# is
75

1enus: she is *i*ty'seven million miles #istant *rom the ;un/ an# conseDuently moves roun# in a circle much greater than that o* ,ercury. (he thir# 5orl# is this that 5e inhabit/ an# 5hich is eighty'eight million miles #istant *rom the ;un/ an# conseDuently moves roun# in a circle greater than that o* 1enus. (he *ourth 5orl# is ,ars: he is #istant *rom the sun one hun#re# an# thirty*our million miles/ an# conseDuently moves roun# in a circle greater than that o* our earth. (he *i*th is .upiter: he is #istant *rom the ;un *ive hun#re# an# *i*ty'seven million miles/ an# conseDuently moves roun# in a circle greater than that o* ,ars. (he si2th 5orl# is ;aturn: he is #istant *rom the ;un seven hun#re# an# si2ty'three million miles/ an# conseDuently moves roun# in a circle that surroun#s the circles or orbits o* all the other 5orl#s or planets. (he space/ there*ore/ in the air/ or in the immensity o* space/ that

our solar system ta>es up *or the several 5orl#s to per*orm their revolutions in roun# the ;un/ is o* the e2tent in a strait lirie o* the 5hole #iameter o* the orbit or circle in 5hich ;aturn moves roun# the ;un/ 5hich being #ouble his #istance *rom the ;un/ is *i*teen hun#re# an# t5enty'si2 million miles: an# its circular e2tent is nearly *ive thousan# million: an# its globical content is almost three thousan# *ive hun#re# million times three thousan# *ive hun#re# million sDuare miles. G4&(" by Paine: %* it shoul# be as>e#/ ho5 can man >no5 these thingsK % have one plain ans5er to give/ 5hich is/ that man >no5s ho5 to calculate an eclipse/ an# also ho5 to calculate to a minute o* time 5hen the planet 1enus/ in ma>ing her revolutions roun# the ;un/ 5ill come in a strait line bet5een our earth an# the ;un/ an# 5ill appear to us about the siIe o* a large pea passing across the *ace o* the ;un. (his happens but t5ice in about a hun#re# years/ at the #istance o* about eight years *rom each other/ an# has happene# t5ice in our time/ both o*
76

5hich 5ere *ore>no5n by calculation. %t can also be >no5n 5hen they 5ill happen again *or a thousan# years to come/ or to any other portion o* time. )s there*ore/ man coul# not be able to #o these things i* he #i# not un#erstan# the solar system/ an# the manner in 5hich the revolutions o* the several planets or 5orl#s are per*orme#/ the *act o* calculating an eclipse/ or a transit o* 1enus/ is a proo* in point that the >no5le#ge e2ists: an# as to a *e5 thousan#/ or even a *e5 million miles/ more or less/ it ma>es scarcely any sensible #i**erence in such immense #istances. '' )uthor.H But this/ immense as it is/ is only one system o* 5orl#s. Beyon# this/ at a vast #istance into space/ *ar beyon# all po5er o* calculation/ are the stars calle# the *i2e# stars. (hey are calle# *i2e#/ because they have no revolutionary motion/ as the si2 5orl#s or planets have that % have been #escribing. (hose *i2e#

stars continue al5ays at the same #istance *rom each other/ an# al5ays in the same place/ as the ;un #oes in the center o* our system. (he probability/ there*ore/ is that each o* those *i2e# stars is also a ;un/ roun# 5hich another system o* 5orl#s or planets/ though too remote *or us to #iscover/ per*orms its revolutions/ as our system o* 5orl#s #oes roun# our central ;un. By this easy progression o* i#eas/ the immensity o* space 5ill appear to us to be *ille# 5ith systems o* 5orl#s: an# that no part o* space lies at 5aste/ any more than any part o* our globe o* earth an# 5ater is le*t unoccupie#. 0aving thus en#eavoure# to convey/ in a *amiliar an# easy manner/ some i#ea o* the structure o* the universe/ % return to e2plain 5hat % be*ore allu#e# to/ namely/ the great bene*its arising to man in conseDuence o* the reator having ma#e a Plurality o* 5orl#s/ such as our system is/ consisting o* a central ;un an# si2 5orl#s/ besi#es satellites/ in pre*erence to that o* creating one
77

5orl# only o* a vast e2tent.

CHAPTER XV
' )31)4()8"; &+ (0" "6%;("4 " &+ ,)4M 7&-93; %4 ") 0 ;&9)- ;M;(",. %( is an i#ea % have never lost sight o*/ that all our >no5le#ge o* science is #erive# *rom the revolutions (e2hibite# to our eye an# *rom thence to our un#erstan#ing) 5hich those several planets or 5orl#s o* 5hich our system is compose# ma>e in their circuit roun# the ;un. 0a# then the Duantity o* matter 5hich these si2 5orl#s contain been blen#e# into one solitary globe/ the conseDuence to us 5oul# have been/ that either no revolutionary motion 5oul# have e2iste#/ or not a su**iciency o* it to give us the i#eas an# the >no5le#ge o* science 5e no5 have: an# it is *rom the sciences that all the mechanical arts that contribute so much to our earthly *elicity an#

com*ort are #erive#. )s there*ore the reator ma#e nothing in vain/ so also must it be believe# that be organiIe# the structure o* the universe in the most a#vantageous manner *or the bene*it o* man: an# as 5e see/ an# *rom e2perience *eel/ the bene*its 5e #erive *rom the structure o* the universe/ *orme# as it is/ 5hich bene*its 5e shoul# not have ha# the opportunity o* enCoying i* the structure/ so *ar as relates to our system/ ha# been a solitary globe/ 5e can #iscover at least one reason 5hy a plurality o* 5orl#s has been ma#e/ an# that reason calls *orth the #evotional gratitu#e o* man/ as 5ell as his a#miration. But it is not to us/ the inhabitants o* this globe/ only/ that the bene*its arising *rom a plurality o* 5orl#s are limite#. (he inhabitants o* each o* the 5orl#s o* 5hich our system is compose#/ enCoy the same opportunities o* >no5le#ge as 5e #o. (hey behol#
78

the revolutionary motions o* our earth/ as 5e behol# theirs. )ll the planets revolve in sight o* each other: an#/ there*ore/ the same universal school o* science presents itsel* to all. 4either #oes the >no5le#ge stop here. (he system o* 5orl#s ne2t to us e2hibits/ in its revolutions/ the same principles an# school o* science/ to the inhabitants o* their system/ as our system #oes to us/ an# in li>e manner throughout the immensity o* space. &ur i#eas/ not only o* the almightiness o* the reator/ but o* his 5is#om an# his bene*icence/ become enlarge# in proportion as 5e contemplate the e2tent an# the structure o* the universe. (he solitary i#ea o* a solitary 5orl#/ rolling or at rest in the immense ocean o* space/ gives place to the cheer*ul i#ea o* a society o* 5orl#s/ so happily contrive# as to a#minister/ even by their motion/ instruction to man. 7e see our o5n earth *ille# 5ith abun#ance: but 5e *orget to consi#er ho5 much o* that abun#ance is o5ing to the scienti*ic >no5le#ge the vast machinery o* the

universe has un*ol#e#.

CHAPTER XVI
' )PP9% )(%&4 &+ (0" P-" "3%48 (& (0" ;M;(", &+ (0" 0-%;(%)4;. B<(/ in the mi#st o* those re*lections/ 5hat are 5e to thin> o* the christian system o* *aith that *orms itsel* upon the i#ea o* only one 5orl#/ an# that o* no greater e2tent/ as is be*ore sho5n/ than t5enty'*ive thousan# miles. )n e2tent 5hich a man/ 5al>ing at the rate o* three miles an hour *or t5elve hours in the #ay/ coul# he >eep on in a circular #irection/ 5oul# 5al> entirely roun# in less than t5o years. )las! 5hat is this to the mighty ocean o* space/ an# the almighty po5er o* the reator! +rom 5hence then coul# arise the solitary an# strange conceit that the )lmighty/ 5ho ha# millions o* 5orl#s eDually #epen#ent on
79

his protection/ shoul# Duit the care o* all the rest/ an# come to #ie in our 5orl#/ because/ they say/ one man an# one 5oman ha# eaten an apple! )n#/ on the other han#/ are 5e to suppose that every 5orl# in the boun#less creation ha# an "ve/ an apple/ a serpent/ an# a re#eemerK %n this case/ the person 5ho is irreverently calle# the ;on o* 8o#/ an# sometimes 8o# himsel*/ 5oul# have nothing else to #o than to travel *rom 5orl# to 5orl#/ in an en#less succession o* #eath/ 5ith scarcely a momentary interval o* li*e. %t has been by reCecting the evi#ence/ that the 5or#/ or 5or>s o* 8o# in the creation/ a**or#s to our senses/ an# the action o* our reason upon that evi#ence/ that so many 5il# an# 5himsical systems o* *aith/ an# o* religion/ have been *abricate# an# set up. (here may be many systems o* religion that so *ar *rom being morally ba# are in many respects morally goo#: but there can be but &4" that is true: an# that one ncccssarily must/ as it ever 5ill/ be in all things consistent 5ith the ever e2isting 5or# o* 8o# that

5e behol# in his 5or>s. But such is the strange construction o* the christian system o* *aith/ that every evi#ence the heavens a**or#s to man/ either #irectly contra#icts it or ren#ers it absur#. %t is possible to believe/ an# % al5ays *eel pleasure in encouraging mysel* to believe it/ that there have been men in the 5orl# 5ho persua#e# themselves that 5hat is calle# a pious *rau#/ might/ at least un#er particular circumstances/ be pro#uctive o* some goo#. But the *rau# being once establishe#/ coul# not a*ter5ar#s be e2plaine#: *or it is 5ith a pious *rau# as 5ith a ba# action/ it begets a calamitous necessity o* going on. (he persons 5ho *irst preache# the christian system o* *aith/ an# in some measure combine# 5ith it the morality preache# by .esus hrist/ might persua#e themselves that it 5as better than the heathen mythology that then prevaile#. +rom the *irst preachers the
80

*rau# 5ent on to the secon#/ an# to the thir#/ till the i#ea o* its being a pious *rau# became lost in the belie* o* its being true: an# that belie* became again encourage# by the interest o* those 5ho ma#e a livelihoo# by preaching it. But though such a belie* might/ by such means/ be ren#ere# almost general among the laity/ it is ne2t to impossible to account *or the continual persecution carrie# on by the church/ *or several hun#re# years/ against the sciences/ an# against the pro*essors o* science/ i* the church ha# not some recor# or tra#ition that it 5as originally no other than a pious *rau#/ or #i# not *oresee that it coul# not be maintaine# against the evi#ence that the structure o* the universe a**or#e#.

CHAPTER XVII
' &+ (0" ,")4; ",P9&M"3 %4 )99 (%,"/ )43 )9,&;( <4%1"-;)99M/ (& 3" "%1" (0" P"&P9";. 0)1%48 thus sho5n the irreconcileable inconsistencies bet5een the real 5or# o* 8o# e2isting in the universe/ an# that 5hich is

calle# the 5or# o* 8o#/ as sho5n to us in a printe# boo> that any man might ma>e/ % procee# to spea> o* the three principal means that have been employe# in all ages/ an# perhaps in all countries/ to impose upon man>in#. (hose three means are ,ystery/ ,iracle/ an# Prophecy/ (he *irst t5o are incompatible 5ith true religion/ an# the thir# ought al5ays to be suspecte#. 7ith respect to ,ystery/ everything 5e behol# is/ in one sense/ a mystery to us. &ur o5n e2istence is a mystery: the 5hole vegetable 5orl# is a mystery. 7e cannot account ho5 it is that an acorn/ 5hen put into the groun#/ is ma#e to #evelop itsel* an# become an oa>. 7e >no5 not ho5 it is that the see# 5e so5 un*ol#s an# multiplies itsel*/ an# returns to us such an abun#ant
81

interest *or so small a capital. (he *act ho5ever/ as #istinct *rom the operating cause/ is not a mystery/ because 5e see it: an# 5e >no5 also the means 5e are to use/ 5hich is no other than putting the see# in the groun#. 7e >no5/ there*ore/ as much as is necessary *or us to >no5: an# that part o* the operation that 5e #o not >no5/ an# 5hich i* 5e #i#/ 5e coul# not per*orm/ the reator ta>es upon himsel* an# per*orms it *or us. 7e are/ there*ore/ better o** than i* 5e ha# been let into the secret/ an# le*t to #o it *or ourselves. But though every create# thing is/ in this sense/ a mystery/ the 5or# mystery cannot be applie# to moral truth/ any more than obscurity can be applie# to light. (he 8o# in 5hom 5e believe is a 8o# o* moral truth/ an# not a 8o# o* mystery or obscurity. ,ystery is the antagonist o* truth. %t is a *og o* human invention that obscures truth/ an# represents it in #istortion. (ruth never invelops itsel* in mystery: an# the mystery in 5hich it is at any time envelope#/ is the 5or> o* its antagonist/ an# never o* itsel*. -eligion/ there*ore/ being the belie* o* a 8o#/ an# the practice o*

moral truth/ cannot have connection 5ith mystery. (he belie* o* a 8o#/ so *ar *rom having any thing o* mystery in it/ is o* all belie*s the most easy/ because it arises to us/ as is be*ore observe#/ out o* necessity. )n# the practice o* moral truth/ or/ in other 5or#s/ a practical imitation o* the moral goo#ness o* 8o#/ is no other than our acting to5ar#s each other as he acts benignly to5ar#s all. 7e cannot serve 8o# in the manner 5e serve those 5ho cannot #o 5ithout such service: an#/ there*ore/ the only i#ea 5e can have o* serving 8o#/ is that o* contributing to the happiness o* the living creation that 8o# has ma#e. (his cannot be #one by retiring ourselves *rom the society o* the 5orl#/ an# spen#ing a recluse li*e in sel*ish #evotion. (he very nature an# #esign o* religion/ i* % may so e2press it/
82

prove even to #emonstration that it must be *ree *rom every thing o* mystery/ an# unincumbere# 5ith every thing that is mysterious. -eligion/ consi#ere# as a #uty/ is incumbent upon every living soul ali>e/ an#/ there*ore/ must be on a level to the un#erstan#ing an# comprehension o* all. ,an #oes not learn religion as he learns the secrets an# mysteries o* a tra#e. 0e learns the theory o* religion by re*lection. %t arises out o* the action o* his o5n min# upon the things 5hich he sees/ or upon 5hat he may happen to hear or to rea#/ an# the practice Coins itsel* thereto. 7hen men/ 5hether *rom policy or pious *rau#/ set up systems o* religion incompatible 5ith the 5or# or 5or>s o* 8o# in the creation/ an# not only above but repugnant to human comprehension/ they 5ere un#er the necessity o* inventing or a#opting a 5or# that shoul# serve as a bar to all Duestions/ inDuiries an# speculations. (he 5or# mystery ans5ere# this purpose/ an# thus it has happene# that religion/ 5hich is in itsel* 5ithout mystery/ has been corrupte# into a *og o* mysteries. )s mystery ans5ere# all general purposes/ miracle *ollo5e# as an

occasional au2iliary. (he *ormer serve# to be5il#er the min#/ the latter to puIIle the senses. (he one 5as the lingo/ the other the leger#emain. But be*ore going *urther into this subCect/ it 5ill be proper to inDuire 5hat is to be un#erstoo# by a miracle. %n the same sense that every thing may be sai# to be a mystery/ so also may it be sai# that every thing is a miracle/ an# that no one thing is a greater miracle than another. (he elephant/ though larger/ is not a greater miracle than a mite: nor a mountain a greater miracle than an atom. (o an almighty po5er it is no more #i**icult to ma>e the one than the other/ an# no more #i**icult to ma>e a million o* 5orl#s than to ma>e one. "very thing/ there*ore/ is a miracle/ in one sense: 5hilst/ in the other sense/ there is no
83

such thing as a miracle. %t is a miracle 5hen compare# to our po5er/ an# to our comprehension. %t is not a miracle compare# to the po5er that per*orms it. But as nothing in this #escription conveys the i#ea that is a**i2e# to the 5or# miracle/ it is necessary to carry the inDuiry *urther. ,an>in# have conceive# to themselves certain la5s/ by 5hich 5hat they call nature is suppose# to act: an# that a miracle is something contrary to the operation an# e**ect o* those la5s. But unless 5e >no5 the 5hole e2tent o* those la5s/ an# o* 5hat are commonly calle# the po5ers o* nature/ 5e are not able to Cu#ge 5hether any thing that may appear to us 5on#er*ul or miraculous/ be 5ithin/ or be beyon#/ or be contrary to/ her natural po5er o* acting. (he ascension o* a man several miles high into the air/ 5oul# have everything in it that constitutes the i#ea o* a miracle/ i* it 5ere not >no5n that a species o* air can be generate# several times lighter than the common atmospheric air/ an# yet possess elasticity enough to prevent the balloon/ in 5hich that light air is inclose#/

*rom being compresse# into as many times less bul>/ by the common air that surroun#s it. %n li>e manner/ e2tracting *lashes or spar>s o* *ire *rom the human bo#y/ as visibly as *rom a steel struc> 5ith a *lint/ an# causing iron or steel to move 5ithout any visible agent/ 5oul# also give the i#ea o* a miracle/ i* 5e 5ere not acDuainte# 5ith electricity an# magnetism: so also 5oul# many other e2periments in natural philosophy/ to those 5ho are not acDuainte# 5ith the subCect. (he restoring persons to li*e 5ho are to appearance #ea# as is practise# upon #ro5ne# persons/ 5oul# also be a miracle/ i* it 5ere not >no5n that animation is capable o* being suspen#e# 5ithout being e2tinct. Besi#es these/ there are per*ormances by slight o* han#/ an# by persons acting in concert/ that have a miraculous appearance/
84

5hich/ 5hen >no5n/ are thought nothing o*. )n#/ besi#es these/ there are mechanical an# optical #eceptions. (here is no5 an e2hibition in Paris o* ghosts or spectres/ 5hich/ though it is not impose# upon the spectators as a *act/ has an astonishing appearance. )s/ there*ore/ 5e >no5 not the e2tent to 5hich either nature or art can go/ there is no criterion to #etermine 5hat a miracle is: an# man>in#/ in giving cre#it to appearances/ un#er the i#ea o* their being miracles/ are subCect to be continually impose# upon. ;ince then appearances are so capable o* #eceiving/ an# things not real have a strong resemblance to things that are/ nothing can be more inconsistent than to suppose that the )lmighty 5oul# ma>e use o* means/ such as are calle# miracles/ that 5oul# subCect the person 5ho per*orme# them to the suspicion o* being an impostor/ an# the person 5ho relate# them to be suspecte# o* lying/ an# the #octrine inten#e# to be supporte# thereby to be suspecte# as a *abulous invention. &* all the mo#es o* evi#ence that ever 5ere invente# to obtain

belie* to any system or opinion to 5hich the name o* religion has been given/ that o* miracle/ ho5ever success*ul the imposition may have been/ is the most inconsistent. +or/ in the *irst place/ 5henever recourse is ha# to sho5/ *or the purpose o* procuring that belie* (*or a miracle/ un#er any i#ea o* the 5or#/ is a sho5) it implies a lameness or 5ea>ness in the #octrine that is preache#. )n#/ in the secon# place/ it is #egra#ing the )lmighty into the character o* a sho5'man/ playing tric>s to amuse an# ma>e the people stare an# 5on#er. %t is also the most eDuivocal sort o* evi#ence that can be set up: *or the belie* is not to #epen# upon the thing calle# a miracle/ but upon the cre#it o* the reporter/ 5ho says that he sa5 it: an#/ there*ore/ the thing/ 5ere it true/ 5oul# have no better chance o* being believe# than i* it 5ere a lie.
85

;uppose % 5ere to say/ that 5hen % sat #o5n to 5rite this boo>/ a han# presente# itsel* in the air/ too> up the pen an# 5rote every 5or# that is herein 5ritten: 5oul# any bo#y believe meK ertainly they 5oul# not. 7oul# they believe me a 5hit the more i* the thing ha# been a *actK ertainly they 5oul# not. ;ince then a real miracle/ 5ere it to happen/ 5oul# be subCect to the same *ate as the *alsehoo#/ the inconsistency becomes the greater o* supposing the )lmighty 5oul# ma>e use o* means that 5oul# not ans5er the purpose *or 5hich they 5ere inten#e#/ even i* they 5ere real. %* 5e are to suppose a miracle to be something so entirely out o* the course o* 5hat is calle# nature/ that she must go out o* that course to accomplish it/ an# 5e see an account given o* such a miracle by the person 5ho sai# he sa5 it/ it raises a Duestion in the min# very easily #eci#e#/ 5hich is/ '' %s it more probable that nature shoul# go out o* her course/ or that a man shoul# tell a lieK 7e have never seen/ in our time/ nature go out o* her course: but 5e have goo# reason to believe that millions o* lies have been tol# in the same time: it is/ there*ore/ at least millions to one/ that the

reporter o* a miracle tells a lie. (he story o* the 5hale s5allo5ing .onah/ though a 5hale is large enough to #o it/ bor#ers greatly on the marvellous.: but it 5oul# have approache# nearer to the i#ea o* a miracle/ i* .onah ha# s5allo5e# the 5hale. %n this/ 5hich may serve *or all cases o* miracles/ the matter 5oul# #eci#e itsel* as be*ore state#/ namely/ %s it more probable that a man shoul# have/ s5allo5e# a 5hale/ or tol# a lieK But suppose that .onah ha# really s5allo5e# the 5hale/ an# gone 5ith it in his belly to 4ineveh/ an# to convince the people that it 5as true have cast it up in their sight/ o* the *ull length an# siIe o* a 5hale/ 5oul# they not have believe# him to have been the #evil instea# o* a prophetK or i* the 5hale ha# carrie# .onah to 4ineveh/
86

an# cast him up in the same public manner/ 5oul# they not have believe# the 5hale to have been the #evil/ an# .onah one o* his impsK (he most e2traor#inary o* all the things calle# miracles/ relate# in the 4e5 (estament/ is that o* the #evil *lying a5ay 5ith .esus hrist/ an# carrying him to the top o* a high mountain: an# to the top o* the highest pinnacle o* the temple/ an# sho5ing him an# promising to him all the >ing#oms o* the 5orl#. 0o5 happene# it that he #i# not #iscover )mericaK or is it only 5ith >ing#oms that his sooty highness has any interest. % have too much respect *or the moral character o* hrist to believe that he tol# this 5hale o* a miracle himsel*: neither is it easy to account *or 5hat purpose it coul# have been *abricate#/ unless it 5ere to impose upon the connoisseurs o* miracles/ as is sometimes practise# upon the connoisseurs o* Jueen )nne$s *arthings/ an# collectors o* relics an# antiDuities: or to ren#er the belie* o* miracles ri#iculous/ by out#oing miracle/ as 3on Jui2ote out#i# chivalry: or to embarrass the belie* o* miracles/ by ma>ing it

#oubt*ul by 5hat po5er/ 5hether o* 8o# or o* the #evil/ any thing calle# a miracle 5as per*orme#. %t reDuires/ ho5ever/ a great #eal o* *aith in the #evil to believe this miracle. %n every point o* vie5 in 5hich those things calle# miracles can be place# an# consi#ere#/ the reality o* them is improbable/ an# their e2istence unnecessary. (hey 5oul# not/ as be*ore observe#/ ans5er any use*ul purpose/ even i* they 5ere true: *or it is more #i**icult to obtain belie* to a miracle/ than to a principle evi#ently moral/ 5ithout any miracle. ,oral principle spea>s universally *or itsel*. ,iracle coul# be but a thing o* the moment/ an# seen but by a *e5: a*ter this it reDuires a trans*er o* *aith *rom 8o# to man to believe a miracle upon man$s report. %nstea#/ there*ore/ o* a#mitting the recitals o* miracles as evi#ence o* any system o*
87

religion being true/ they ought to be consi#ere# as symptoms o* its being *abulous. %t is necessary to the *ull an# upright character o* truth that it reCects the crutch: an# it is consistent 5ith the character o* *able to see> the ai# that truth reCects. (hus much *or ,ystery an# ,iracle. )s ,ystery an# ,iracle too> charge o* the past an# the present/ Prophecy too> charge o* the *uture/ an# roun#e# the tenses o* *aith. %t 5as not su**icient to >no5 5hat ha# been #one/ but 5hat 5oul# be #one. (he suppose# prophet 5as the suppose# historian o* times to come: an# i* he happene#/ in shooting 5ith a long bo5 o* a thousan# years/ to stri>e 5ithin a thousan# miles o* a mar>/ the ingenuity o* posterity coul# ma>e it point'blan>: an# i* he happene# to be #irectly 5rong/ it 5as only to suppose/ as in the case o* .onah an# 4ineveh/ that 8o# ha# repente# himsel* an# change# his min#. 7hat a *ool #o *abulous systems ma>e o* man! %t has been she5n/ in a *ormer part o* this 5or>/ that the original meaning o* the 5or#s prophet an# prohesying has been change#/ an# that a prophet/ in the sense o* the 5or# as no5 use#/ is a

creature o* mo#em invention: an# it is o5ing to this change in the meaning o* the 5or#s/ that the *lights an# metaphors o* the .e5ish poets/ an# phrases an# e2pressions no5 ren#ere# obscure by our not being acDuainte# 5ith the local circumstances to 5hich they applie# at the time they 5ere use#/ have been erecte# into prophecies/ an# ma#e to ben# to e2planations at the 5ill an# 5himsical conceits o* sectaries/ e2poun#ers/ an# commentators. "very thing unintelligible 5as prophetical/ an# every thing insigni*icant 5as typical. ) blun#er 5oul# have serve# *or a prophecy: an# a #ish'clout *or a type. %* by a prophet 5e are to suppose a man to 5hom the )lmighty communicate# some event that 5oul# ta>e place in *uture/ either there 5ere such men/ or there 5ere not. %* there 5ere/ it is
88

consistent to believe that the event so communicate# 5oul# be tol# in terms that coul# be un#erstoo#/ an# not relate# in such a loose an# obscure manner as to be out o* the comprehension o* those that hear# it/ an# so eDuivocal as to *it almost any circumstance that might happen a*ter5ar#s. %t is conceiving very irreverently o* the )lmighty/ to suppose he 5oul# #eal in this Cesting manner 5ith man>in#: yet all the things calle# prophecies in the boo> calle# the Bible come un#er this #escription. But it is 5ith Prophecy as it is 5ith ,iracle. %t coul# not ans5er the purpose even i* it 5ere real. (hose to 5hom a prophecy shoul# be tol# coul# not tell 5hether the man prophesie# or lie#/ or 5hether it ha# been reveale# to him/ or 5hether he conceite# it: an# i* the thing that he prophesie#/ or preten#e# to prophesy/ shoul# happen/ or some thing li>e it/ among the multitunic o* things that are #aily happening/ nobo#y coul# again >no5 5hether he *ore>ne5 it/ or guesse# at it/ or 5hether it 5as acci#ental. ) prophet/ there*ore/ is a character useless an# unnecessary: an# the sa*e si#e o* the case is to guar# against being impose# upon/ by not

giving cre#it to such relations. <pon the 5hole/ ,ystery/ ,iracle/ an# Prophecy/ are appen#ages that belong to *abulous an# not to true religion. (hey are the means by 5hich so many 9o heres! an# 9o theres! have been sprea# about the 5orl#/ an# religion been ma#e into a tra#e. (he success o* one impostor gave encouragement to another/ an# the Duieting salvo o* #oing some goo# by >eeping up a pious *rau# protecte# them *rom remorse. -" )P%(<9)(%&4. 0)1%48 no5 e2ten#e# the subCect to a greater length than % *irst inten#e#/ % shall bring it to a close by abstracting a summvy *rom the 5hole. +irst/ (hat the i#ea or belie* o* a 5or# o* 8o# e2isting in print/ or
89

in 5riting/ or in speech/ is inconsistent in itsel* *or the reasons alrea#y assigne#. (hese reasons/ among many others/ are the 5ant o* an universal language: the mutability o* language: the errors to 5hich translations are subCect/ the possibility o* totally suppressing such a 5or#: the probability o* altering it/ or o* *abricating the 5hole/ an# imposing it upon the 5orl#. ;econ#ly/ (hat the reation 5e behol# is the real an# ever e2isting 5or# o* 8o#/ in 5hich 5e cannot be #eceive#. %t proclaimeth his po5er/ it #emonstrates his 5is#om/ it mani*ests his goo#ness an# bene*icenec. (hir#ly/ (hat the moral #uty o* man consists in imitating the moral goo#ness an# bene*icence o* 8o# mani*este# in the creation to5ar#s all his creatures. (hat seeing as 5e #aily #o the goo#ness o* 8o# to all men/ it is an e2ample calling upon all men to practise the same to5ar#s each other: an#/ conseDuently/ that every thing o* persecution an# revenge bet5een man an# man/ an# every thing o* cruelty to animals/ is a violation o* moral #uty. % trouble not mysel* about the manner o* *uture e2istence. % content

mysel* 5ith believing/ even to positive conviction/ that the po5er that gave me e2istence is able to continue it/ in any *orm an# manner he pleases/ either 5ith or 5ithout this bo#y: an# it appears more probable to me that % shall continue to e2ist herea*ter than that % shoul# have ha# e2istence/ as % no5 have/ be*ore that e2istence began. %t is certain that/ in one point/ all nations o* the earth an# all religions agree. )ll believe in a 8o#/ (he things in 5hich they #isagrce are the re#un#ancies anne2e# to that belie*: an# there*ore/ i* ever an universal religion shoul# prevail/ it 5ill not be believing any thing ne5/ but in getting ri# o* re#un#ancies/ an# believing as man believe# at *irst. G%n the chil#hoo# o* the 5orl#/@ accor#ing to the *irst (+rench) version: an# the strict translation o* the *inal
90

sentence is: @3eism 5as the religion o* )#am/ supposing him not an imaginary being: but none the less must it be le*t to all men to *ollo5/ as is their right/ the religion an# 5orship they pre*er. '' "#itor.H )#am/ i* ever there 5as such a man/ 5as create# a 3eist: but in the mean time/ let every man *ollo5/ as he has a right to #o/ the religion an# 5orship he pre*ers. '' "n# o* Part % (he )ge &* -eason ' Part %% ontents ! Pre*ace ! hapter % ' (he &l# (estament ! hapter %% ' (he 4e5 (estament ! hapter %%% ' onclusion P-"+) " % 0)1" mentione# in the *ormer part o* (he )ge o* -eason that it ha# long been my intention to publish my thoughts upon -eligion: but that % ha# originally reserve# it to a later perio# in li*e/ inten#ing it to be the last 5or> % shoul# un#erta>e. (he circumstances/ ho5ever/ 5hich e2iste# in +rance in the latter en# o* the year 179=/ #etermine# me to #elay it no longer. (he Cust an#

humane principles o* the -evolution 5hich Philosophy ha# *irst #i**use#/ ha# been #eparte# *rom. (he %#ea/ al5ays #angerous to ;ociety as it is #erogatory to the )lmighty/ '' that priests coul# *orgive sins/ '' though it seeme# to e2ist no longer/ ha# blunte# the *eelings o* humanity/ an# callously prepare# men *or the commission o* all crimes. (he intolerant spirit o* church persecution ha# trans*erre# itsel* into politics: the tribunals/ stile# -evolutionary/ supplie# the place o* an %nDuisition: an# the 8uillotine o* the ;ta>e. % sa5 many o* my most intimate *rien#s #estroye#: others #aily carrie# to prison: an# % ha# reason to believe/ an# ha# also intimations given me/ that the same #anger
91

5as approaching mysel*. <n#er these #isa#vantages/ % began the *ormer part o* the )ge o* -eason: % ha#/ besi#es/ neither Bible nor (estament G%t must be borne in min# that throughout this 5or> Paine generaly means by @Bible@ only the &l# (estamut/ an# spea>s o* the 4o5 as the @(estament.@ '' "#itor.H to re*er to/ though % 5as 5riting against both: nor coul# % procure any: not5ithstan#ing 5hich % have pro#uce# a 5or> that no Bible Believer/ though 5riting at his ease an# 5ith a 9ibrary o* hurch Boo>s about him/ can re*ute. (o5ar#s the latter en# o* 3ecember o* that year/ a motion 5as ma#e an# carrie#/ to e2clu#e *oreigners *rom the onvention. (here 5ere but t5o/ )nacharsis loots an# mysel*: an# % sa5 % 5as particularly pointe# at by Bour#on #e l$&ise/ in his speech on that motion. onceiving/ a*ter this/ that % ha# but a *e5 #ays o* liberty/ % sat #o5n an# brought the 5or> to a close as spee#ily as possible: an# % ha# not *inishe# it more than si2 hours/ in the state it has since appeare#/ G(his is an allusion to the essay 5hich Paine 5rote at an earlier part o* 179=. ;ee %ntro#uction. '' "#itor.H be*ore a guar# came there/ about three in the morning/ 5ith an or#er signe# by the

t5o ommittees o* Public ;a*ety an# ;urety 8eneral/ *or putting me in arrestation as a *oreigner/ an# conveying me to the prison o* the 9u2embourg. % contrive#/ in my 5ay there/ to call on .oel Barlo5/ an# % put the ,anuscript o* the 5or> into his han#s/ as more sa*e than in my possession in prison: an# not >no5ing 5hat might be the *ate in +rance either o* the 5riter or the 5or>/ % a##resse# it to the protection o* the citiIens o* the <nite# ;tates. %t is Custice that % say/ that the guar# 5ho e2ecute# this or#er/ an# the interpreter to the ommittee o* 8eneral ;urety/ 5ho accompanie# them to e2amine my papers/ treate# me not only 5ith civility/ but 5ith respect. (he >eeper o* the $9u2embourg/ Benoit/ a
92

man o* goo# heart/ she5e# to me every *rien#ship in his po5er/ as #i# also all his *amily/ 5hile he continue# in that station. 0e 5as remove# *rom it/ put into arrestation/ an# carrie# be*ore the tribunal upon a malignant accusation/ but acDuitte#. )*ter % ha# been in 9u2embourg about three 5ee>s/ the )mericans then in Paris 5ent in a bo#y to the onvention to reclaim me as their countryman an# *rien#: but 5ere ans5ere# by the Presi#ent/ 1a#ier/ 5ho 5as also Presi#ent o* the ommittee o* ;urety 8eneral/ an# ha# signe# the or#er *or my arrcstation/ that % 5as born in "nglan#. G(hese e2cite# )mericans #o not seem to have un#erstoo# or reporte# the most important item in 1a#eer$s reply/ namely that their application 5as @uno**icial/@ i.e. not ma#e through or sanctione# by 8ouverneur ,orris/ )merican ,inister. +or the #etaile# history o* all this see vol. iii. '' "#itor.H % hear# no more/ a*ter this/ *rom any person out o* the 5alls o* the prison/ till the *all o* -obespierre/ on the 9th o* (hermi#or '' .uly A7/ 179F. )bout t5o months be*ore this event/ % 5as seiIe# 5ith a *ever that in its progress ha# every symptom o* becoming mortal/ an# *rom the e**ects o* 5hich % am not recovere#. %t 5as then that % remembere# 5ith rene5e# satis*action/ an# congratulate# mysel*

most sincerely/ on having 5ritten the *ormer part o* (he )ge o* -eason. % ha# then but little e2pectation o* surviving/ an# those about me ha# less. % >no5 there*ore by e2perience the conscientious trial o* my o5n principles. % 5as then 5ith three chamber comra#es: .oseph 1anheule o* Bruges/ harles Bast*ni/ an# ,ichael -obyns o* 9ouvain. (he unceasing an# an2ious attention o* these three *rien#s to me/ by night an# #ay/ % remember 5ith gratitu#e an# mention 5ith pleasure. %t happene# that a physician (3r. 8raham) an# a surgeon/ (,r. Bon#/) part o* the suite o* 8eneral &$0ara/ G(he o**icer 5ho at Mor>to5n/ 1irginia/ carrie# out the s5or# o* orn5allis *or
93

surren#er/ an# satirically o**ere# it to -ochambcau instea# o* 7ashington. Paine loane# him =LL poun#s 5hen he (&$0ara) le*t the prison/ the money he ha# conceale# in the loc> o* his cell'#oor. '' "#i*or.H 5ere then in the 9u2embourg: % as> not mysel* 5hether it be convenient to them/ as men un#er the "nglish 8overnment/ that % e2press to them my than>s: but % shoul# reproach mysel* i* % #i# not: an# also to the physician o* the 9u2embourg/ 3r. ,ar>os>i. % have some reason to believe/ because % cannot #iscover any other/ that this illness preserve# me in e2istence. )mong the papers o* -obespierre that 5ere e2amine# an# reporte# upon to the onvention by a ommittee o* 3eputies/ is a note in the han# 5riting o* -obespierre/ in the *ollo5ing 5or#s: @3eman#er Due (homas Paine soit #ecrete #$accusation/ pour l$interet #e l$)meriDue autant Due #e la +rance.@ G3eman# that (homas Paine be #ecree# o* accusation/ *or the interest o* )merica/ as 5ell as o* +rance.H +rom 5hat cause it 5as that the intention 5as not put in e2ecution/ % >no5 not/ an# cannot in*orm mysel*: an# there*ore % ascribe it to impossibility/ on account o* that illness.

(he onvention/ to repair as much as lay in their po5er the inCustice % ha# sustaine#/ invite# me public>ly an# unanimously to return into the onvention/ an# 5hich % accepte#/ to she5 % coul# bear an inCury 5ithout permitting it to inCure my principles or my #isposition. %t is not because right principles have been violate#/ that they are to be aban#one#. % have seen/ since % have been at liberty/ several publications 5ritten/ some in )merica/ an# some in "nglan#/ as ans5ers to the *ormer part o* @(he )ge o* -eason.@ %* the authors o* these can amuse themselves by so #oing/ % shall not interrupt them/ (hey may 5rite against the 5or>/ an# against me/ as much as they please: they #o me more service than they inten#/ an# % can have no obCection that they 5rite on. (hey 5ill *in#/ ho5ever/ by this ;econ# Part/ 5ithout its being 5ritten as an ans5er to them/ that they must return to their 5or>/ an# spin their cob5eb over again. (he *irst is brushe# a5ay by acci#ent. (hey 5ill no5 *in# that % have *urnishe# mysel* 5ith a Bible an# (estament: an# % can say also that % have *oun# them to be much 5orse boo>s than % ha# conceive#. %* % have erre# in any thing/ in the *ormer part o* the )ge o* -eason/ it has been by spea>ing better o* some parts than they #eserve#. % observe/ that all my opponents resort/ more or less/ to 5hat they call ;cripture "vi#ence an# Bible authority/ to help them out. (hey are so little masters o* the subCect/ as to con*oun# a #ispute about authenticity 5ith a #ispute about #octrines: % 5ill/ ho5ever/ put them right/ that i* they shoul# be #ispose# to 5rite any more/ they may >no5 ho5 to begin. (0&,); P)%4". &ctober/ 179E.

CHAPTER I
' (0" &93 (";(),"4( %( has o*ten been sai# that any thing may be prove# *rom the

Bible: but be*ore any thing can be a#mitte# as prove# by Bible/ the Bible itsel* must be prove# to be true: *or i* the Bible be not true/ or the truth o* it be #oubt*ul/ it ceases to have authority/ an# cannot be a#mitte# as proo* o* any thing. %t has been the practice o* all hristian commentators on the Bible/ an# o* all hristian priests an# preachers/ to impose the Bible on the 5orl# as a mass o* truth/ an# as the 5or# o* 8o#: they have #ispute# an# 5rangle#/ an# have anathematiIe# each other about the supposeable meaning o* particular parts an# passages therein: one has sai# an# insiste# that such a passage meant such a thing/
95

another that it meant #irectly the contrary/ an# a thir#/ that it meant neither one nor the other/ but something #i**erent *rom both: an# this they have calle# un#**stan#ing the Bible. %t has happene#/ that all the ans5ers that % have seen to the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason$ have been 5ritten by priests: an# these pious men/ li>e their pre#ecessors/ conten# an# 5rangle/ an# un#erstan# the Bible: each un#erstan#s it #i**erently/ but each un#erstan#s it best: an# they have agree# in nothing but in telling their rea#ers that (homas Paine un#erstan#s it not. 4o5 instea# o* 5asting their time/ an# heating themselves in *ractious #isputations about #octrinal points #ra5n *rom the Bible/ these men ought to >no5/ an# i* they #o not it is civility to in*orm them/ that the *irst thing to be un#erstoo# is/ 5hether there is su**icient authority *or believing the Bible to be the 5or# o* 8o#/ or 5hether there is notK (here are matters in that boo>/ sai# to be #one by the e2press comman# o* 8o#/ that are as shoc>ing to humanity/ an# to every i#ea 5e have o* moral Custice/ as any thing #one by -obespierre/ by arrier/ by .oseph le Bon/ in +rance/ by the "nglish government in the "ast %n#ies/ or by any other assassin in mo#ern times. 7hen 5e rea# in the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses/ .oshua/ etc./

that they (the %sraelites) came by stealth upon 5hole nations o* people/ 5ho/ as the history itsel* she5s/ ha# given them no o**ence: that they put all those nations to the s5or#: that they spare# neither age nor in*ancy: that they utterly #estroye# men/ 5omen an# chil#ren: that they le*t not a soul to breathe: e2pressions that are repeate# over an# over again in those boo>s/ an# that too 5ith e2ulting *erocity: are 5e sure these things are *actsK are 5e sure that the reator o* man commissione# those things to be #oneK )re 5e sure that the boo>s that tell us so 5ere 5ritten by his authorityK
96

%t is not the antiDuity o* a tale that is an evi#ence o* its truth: on the contrary/ it is a symptom o* its being *abulous: *or the more ancient any history preten#s to be/ the more it has the resemblance o* a *able. (he origin o* every nation is burie# in *abulous tra#ition/ an# that o* the .e5s is as much to be suspecte# as any other. (o charger the commission o* things upon the )lmighty/ 5hich in their o5n nature/ an# by every rule o* moral Custice/ are crimes/ as all assassination is/ an# more especially the assassination o* in*ants/ is matter o* serious concern. (he Bible tells us/ that those assassinations 5ere #one by the e2press comman# o* 8o#. (o believe there*ore the Bible to be true/ 5e must unbelieve all our belie* in the moral Custice o* 8o#: *or 5herein coul# crying or smiling in*ants o**en#K )n# to rea# the Bible 5ithout horror/ 5e must un#o every thing that is ten#er/ sympathising/ an# benevolent in the heart o* man. ;pea>ing *or mysel*/ i* % ha# no other evi#ence that the Bible is *abulous/ than the sacri*ice % must ma>e to believe it to be true/ that alone 5oul# be su**icient to #etermine my choice. But in a##ition to all the moral evi#ence against the Bible/ % 5ill/ in the progress o* this 5or>/ pro#uce such other evi#ence as even a priest cannot #eny: an# sho5/ *rom that evi#ence/ that the Bible is

not entitle# to cre#it/ as being the 5or# o* 8o#. But/ be*ore % procee# to this e2amination/ % 5ill sho5 5herein the Bible #i**ers *rom all other ancient 5ritings 5ith respect to the nature o* the evi#ence necessary to establish its authenticity: an# this is is the more proper to be #one/ because the a#vocates o* the Bible/ in their ans5ers to the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason/$ un#erta>e to say/ an# they put some stress thereon/ that the authenticity o* the Bible is as 5ell establishe# as that o* any other ancient boo>: as i* our belie* o* the one coul# become any rule *or our belie* o* the other.
97

% >no5/ ho5ever/ but o* one ancient boo> that authoritatively challenges universal consent an# belie*/ an# that is "ucli#$s "lements o* 8eometry: G"ucli#/ accor#ing to chronological history/ live# three hun#re# years be*ore hrist/ an# about one hun#re# be*ore )rchime#es: he 5as o* the city o* )le2an#ria/ in "gypt. '' )uthor.H an# the reason is/ because it is a boo> o* sel*evi#ent #emonstration/ entirely in#epen#ent o* its author/ an# o* every thing relating to time/ place/ an# circumstance. (he matters containe# in that boo> 5oul# have the same authority they no5 have/ ha# they been 5ritten by any other person/ or ha# the 5or> been anonymous/ or ha# the author never been >no5n: *or the i#entical certainty o* 5ho 5as the author ma>es no part o* our belie* o* the matters containe# in the boo>. But it is Duite other5ise 5ith respect to the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses/ to .oshua/ to ;amuel/ etc.: those are boo>s o* testimony/ an# they testi*y o* things naturally incre#ible: an# there*ore the 5hole o* our belie*/ as to the authenticity o* those boo>s/ rests/ in the *irst place/ upon the certainty that they 5ere 5ritten by ,oses/ .oshua/ an# ;amuel: secon#ly/ upon the cre#it 5e give to their testimony. 7e may believe the *irst/ that is/ may believe the certainty o* the

authorship/ an# yet not the testimony: in the same manner that 5e may believe that a certain person gave evi#ence upon a case/ an# yet not believe the evi#ence that he gave. But i* it shoul# be *oun# that the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses/ .oshua/ an# ;amuel/ 5ere not 5ritten by ,oses/ .oshua/ an# ;amuel/ every part o* the authority an# authenticity o* those boo>s is gone at once: *or there can be no such thing as *orge# or invente# testimony: neither can there be anonymous testimony/ more especially as to things naturally incre#ible: such as that o* tal>ing 5ith 8o# *ace to *ace/ or that o* the sun an# moon stan#ing still at the comman# o* a man. (he greatest part o* the other ancient boo>s are 5or>s o* genius: o*
98

5hich >in# are those ascribe# to 0omer/ to Plato/ to )ristotle/ to 3emosthenes/ to icero/ etc. 0ere again the author is not an essential in the cre#it 5e give to any o* those 5or>s: *or as 5or>s o* genius they 5oul# have the same merit they have no5/ 5ere they anonymous. 4obo#y believes the (roCan story/ as relate# by 0omer/ to be true: *or it is the poet only that is a#mire#/ an# the merit o* the poet 5ill remain/ though the story be *abulous. But i* 5e #isbelieve the matters relate# by the Bible authors (,oses *or instance) as 5e #isbelieve the things relate# by 0omer/ there remains nothing o* ,oses in our estimation/ but an imposter. )s to the ancient historians/ *rom 0ero#otus to (acitus/ 5e cre#it them as *ar as they relate things probable an# cre#ible/ an# no *urther: *or i* 5e #o/ 5e must believe the t5o miracles 5hich (acitus relates 5ere per*orme# by 1espasian/ that o* curing a lame man/ an# a blin# man/ in Cust the same manner as the same things are tol# o* .esus hrist by his historians. 7e must also believe the miracles cite# by .osephus/ that o* the sea o* Pamphilia opening to let )le2an#er an# his army pass/ as is relate# o* the -e# ;ea in "2o#us. (hese miracles are Duite as 5ell authenticate# as the Bible miracles/ an# yet 5e #o not believe them: conseDuently the #egree

o* evi#ence necessary to establish our belie* o* things naturally incre#ible/ 5hether in the Bible or else5here/ is *ar greater than that 5hich obtains our belie* to natural an# probable things: an# there*ore the a#vocates *or the Bible have no claim to our belie* o* the Bible because that 5e believe things state# in other ancient 5ritings: since that 5e believe the things state# in those 5ritings no *urther than they are probable an# cre#ible/ or because they are sel*'evi#ent/ li>e "ucli#: or a#mire them because they are elegant/ li>e 0omer: or approve them because they are se#ate/ li>e Plato: or Cu#icious/ li>e )ristotle. 0aving premise# these things/ % procee# to e2amine the
99

authenticity o* the Bible: an# % begin 5ith 5hat are calle# the *ive boo>s o* ,oses/ 8enesis/ "2o#us/ 9eviticus/ 4umbers/ an# 3euteronomy. ,y intention is to she5 that those boo>s are spurious/ an# that ,oses is not the author o* them: an# still *urther/ that they 5ere not 5ritten in the time o* ,oses nor till several hun#re# years a*ter5ar#s: that they are no other than an attempte# history o* the li*e o* ,oses/ an# o* the times in 5hich he is sai# to have live#/ an# also o* the times prior thereto/ 5ritten by some very ignorant an# stupi# preten#ers to authorship/ several hun#re# years a*ter the #eath o* ,oses: as men no5 5rite histories o* things that happene#/ or are suppose# to have happene#/ several hun#re# or several thousan# years ago. (he evi#ence that % shall pro#uce in this case is *rom the boo>s themselves: an# % 5ill con*ine mysel* to this evi#ence only. 7ere % to re*er *or proo*s to any o* the ancient authors/ 5hom the a#vocates o* the Bible call prophane authors/ they 5oul# controvert that authority/ as % controvert theirs: % 5ill there*ore meet them on their o5n groun#/ an# oppose them 5ith their o5n 5eapon/ the Bible. %n the *irst place/ there is no a**irmative evi#ence that ,oses is the

author o* those boo>s: an# that he is the author/ is altogether an un*oun#e# opinion/ got abroa# nobo#y >no5s ho5. (he style an# manner in 5hich those boo>s are 5ritten give no room to believe/ or even to suppose/ they 5ere 5ritten by ,oses: *or it is altogether the style an# manner o* another person spea>ing o* ,oses. %n "2o#us/ 9eviticus an# 4umbers/ (*or every thing in 8enesis is prior to the times o* ,oses an# not the least allusion is ma#e to him therein/) the 5hole/ % say/ o* these boo>s is in the thir# person: it is al5ays/ the 9or# sai# unto ,oses/ or ,oses sai# unto the 9or#: or ,oses sai# unto the people/ or the people sai# unto ,oses: an# this is the style an# manner that historians use in
100

spea>ing o* the person 5hose lives an# actions they are 5riting. %t may be sai#/ that a man may spea> o* himsel* in the thir# person/ an#/ there*ore/ it may be suppose# that ,oses #i#: but supposition proves nothing: an# i* the a#vocates *or the belie* that ,oses 5rote those boo>s himsel* have nothing better to a#vance than supposition/ they may as 5ell be silent. But granting the grammatical right/ that ,oses might spea> o* himsel* in the thir# person/ because any man might spea> o* himsel* in that manner/ it cannot be a#mitte# as a *act in those boo>s/ that it is ,oses 5ho spea>s/ 5ithout ren#ering ,oses truly ri#iculous an# absur#: '' *or e2ample/ 4umbers 2ii. =: @4o5 the man ,oses 5as very ,""?/ above all the men 5hich 5ere on the *ace o* the earth.@ %* ,oses sai# this o* himsel*/ instea# o* being the mee>est o* men/ he 5as one o* the most vain an# arrogant co2combs: an# the a#vocates *or those boo>s may no5 ta>e 5hich si#e they please/ *or both si#es are against them: i* ,oses 5as not the author/ the boo>s are 5ithout authority: an# i* he 5as the author/ the author is 5ithout cre#it/ because to boast o* mee>ness is the reverse o* mee>ness/ an# is a lie in sentiment. %n 3euteronomy/ the style an# manner o* 5riting mar>s more

evi#ently than in the *ormer boo>s that ,oses is not the 5riter. (he manner here use# is #ramatical: the 5riter opens the subCect by a short intro#uctory #iscourse/ an# then intro#uces ,oses as in the act o* spea>ing/ an# 5hen he has ma#e ,oses *inish his harrangue/ he (the 5riter) resumes his o5n part/ an# spea>s till he brings ,oses *or5ar# again/ an# at last closes the scene 5ith an account o* the #eath/ *uneral/ an# character o* ,oses. (his interchange o* spea>ers occurs *our times in this boo>: *rom the *irst verse o* the *irst chapter/ to the en# o* the *i*th verse/ it is the 5riter 5ho spea>s: he then intro#uces ,oses as in the act o* ma>ing his harrangue/ an# this continues to the en# o* the FLth
101

verse o* the *ourth chapter: here the 5riter #rops ,oses/ an# spea>s historically o* 5hat 5as #one in conseDuence o* 5hat ,oses/ 5hen living/ is suppose# to have sai#/ an# 5hich the 5riter has #ramatically rehearse#. (he 5riter opens the subCect again in the *irst verse o* the *i*th chapter/ though it is only by saying that ,oses calle# the people o* %sracl together: he then intro#uces ,oses as be*ore/ an# continues him as in the act o* spea>ing/ to the en# o* the A6th chapter. 0e #oes the same thing at the beginning o* the A7th chapter: an# continues ,oses as in the act o* spea>ing/ to the en# o* the ABth chapter. )t the A9th chapter the 5riter spea>s again through the 5hole o* the *irst verse/ an# the *irst line o* the secon# verse/ 5here he intro#uces ,oses *or the last time/ an# continues him as in the act o* spea>ing/ to the en# o* the ==# chapter. (he 5riter having no5 *inishe# the rehearsal on the part o* ,oses/ comes *or5ar#/ an# spea>s through the 5hole o* the last chapter: he begins by telling the rea#er/ that ,oses 5ent up to the top o* Pisgah/ that he sa5 *rom thence the lan# 5hich (the 5riter says) ha# been promise# to )braham/ %saac/ an# .acob: that he/ ,oses/ #ie# there in the lan# o* ,oab/ that he burie# him in a valley in the

lan# o* ,oab/ but that no man >no5eth o* his sepulchre unto this #ay/ that is unto the time in 5hich the 5riter live# 5ho 5rote the boo> o* 3euteronomy. (he 5riter then tells us/ that ,oses 5as one hun#re# an# ten years o* age 5hen he #ie# '' that his eye 5as not #im/ nor his natural *orce abate#: an# he conclu#es by saying/ that there arose not a prophet since in %srael li>e unto ,oses/ 5hom/ says this anonymous 5riter/ the 9or# >ne5 *ace to *ace. 0aving thus she5n/ as *ar as grammatical evi#ence implics/ that ,oses 5as not the 5riter o* those boo>s/ % 5ill/ a*ter ma>ing a *e5 observations on the inconsistencies o* the 5riter o* the boo> o* 3euteronomy/ procee# to she5/ *rom the historical an#
102

chronological evi#ence containe# in those boo>s/ that ,oses 5as not/ because he coul# not be/ the 5riter o* them: an# conseDuently/ that there is no authority *or believing that the inhuman an# horri# butcheries o* men/ 5omen/ an# chil#ren/ tol# o* in those boo>s/ 5ere #one/ as those boo>s say they 5ere/ at the comman# o* 8o#. %t is a #uty incumbent on every true #eist/ that he vin#icates the moral Custice o* 8o# against the calumnies o* the Bible. (he 5riter o* the boo> o* 3euteronomy/ 5hoever he 5as/ *or it is an anonymous 5or>/ is obscure/ an# also contra#ictory 5ith himsel* in the account he has given o* ,oses. )*ter telling that ,oses 5ent to the top o* Pisgah (an# it #oes not appear *rom any account that he ever came #o5n again) he tells us/ that ,oses #ie# there in the lan# o* ,oab/ an# that he burie# him in a valley in the lan# o* ,oab: but as there is no antece#ent to the pronoun he/ there is no >no5ing 5ho he 5as/ that #i# bury him. %* the 5riter meant that he (8o#) burie# him/ ho5 shoul# he (the 5riter) >no5 itK or 5hy shoul# 5e (the rea#ers) believe himK since 5e >no5 not 5ho the 5riter 5as that tells us so/ *or certainly ,oses coul# not himsel* tell 5here he 5as burie#. (he 5riter also tells us/ that no man >no5eth 5here the sepulchre

o* ,oses is unto this #ay/ meaning the time in 5hich this 5riter live#: ho5 then shoul# he >no5 that ,oses 5as burie# in a valley in the lan# o* ,oabK *or as the 5riter live# long a*ter the time o* ,oses/ as is evi#ent *rom his using the e2pression o* unto this #ay/ meaning a great length o* time a*ter the #eath o* ,oses/ he certainly 5as not at his *uneral: an# on the other han#/ it is impossible that ,oses himsel* coul# say that no man >no5eth 5here the sepulchre is unto this #ay. (o ma>e ,oses the spea>er/ 5oul# be an improvement on the play o* a chil# that hi#es himsel* an# cries nobo#y can *in# me: nobo#y can *in# ,oses. (his 5riter has no 5here tol# us ho5 he came by the speeches
103

5hich he has put into the mouth o* ,oses to spea>/ an# there*ore 5e have a right to conclu#e that he either compose# them himsel*/ or 5rote them *rom oral tra#ition. &ne or other o* these is the more probable/ since he has given/ in the *i*th chapter/ a table o* comman#ments/ in 5hich that calle# the *ourth comman#ment is #i**erent *rom the *ourth comman#ment in the t5entieth chapter o* "2o#us. %n that o* "2o#us/ the reason given *or >eeping the seventh #ay is/ because (says the comman#ment) 8o# ma#e the heavens an# the earth in si2 #ays/ an# reste# on the seventh: but in that o* 3euteronomy/ the reason given is/ that it 5as the #ay on 5hich the chil#ren o* %srael came out o* "gypt/ an# there*ore/ says this comman#ment/ the 9or# thy 8o# comman#e# thee to >ee the sabbath'#ay (his ma>es no mention o* the creation/ nor that o* the coming out o* "gypt. (here are also many things given as la5s o* ,oses in this boo>/ that are not to be *oun# in any o* the other boo>s: among 5hich is that inhuman an# brutal la5/ 22i. 1B/ 19/ AL/ A1/ 5hich authoriIes parents/ the *ather an# the mother/ to bring their o5n chil#ren to have them stone# to #eath *or 5hat it please# them to call stubbornness. '' But priests have al5ays been *on# o* preaching up 3euteronomy/ *or 3euteronomy preaches up

tythes: an# it is *rom this boo>/ 22v. F/ they have ta>en the phrase/ an# applie# it to tything/ that @thou shalt not muIIle the o2 5hen he trea#eth &ut the corn:@ an# that this might not escape observation/ they have note# it in the table o* contents at the hea# o* the chapter/ though it is only a single verse o* less than t5o lines. & priests! priests! ye are 5illing to be compare# to an o2/ *or the sa>e o* tythes. G)n elegant poc>et e#ition o* Paine$s (heological 7or>s (9on#on. -. arlile/ 1BAA) has in its title a picture o* Paine/ as a ,oses in evening #ress/ un*ol#ing the t5o tables o* his @)ge o* -eason@ to a *amer *rom 5hom the Bishop o* 9lan#a** (5ho replie# to this 5or>) has ta>en a shea* an# a lamb
104

5hich he is carrying to a church at the summit o* a 5ell stoc>e# hill. '' "#itor.H '' (hough it is impossible *or us to >no5 i#entically 5ho the 5riter o* 3euteronomy 5as/ it is not #i**icult to #iscover him pro*essionally/ that he 5as some .e5ish priest/ 5ho live#/ as % shall she5 in the course o* this 5or>/ at least three hun#re# an# *i*ty years a*ter the time o* ,oses. % come no5 to spea> o* the historical an# chronological evi#ence. (he chronology that % shall use is the Bible chronology: *or % mean not to go out o* the Bible *or evi#ence o* any thing/ but to ma>e the Bible itsel* prove historically an# chronologically that ,oses is not the author o* the boo>s ascribe# to him. %t is there*ore proper that % in*orm the rea#ers (such an one at least as may not have the opportunity o* >no5ing it) that in the larger Bibles/ an# also in some smaller ones/ there is a series o* chronology printe# in the margin o* every page *or the purpose o* sha5ing ho5 long the historical matters state# in each page happene#/ or are suppose# to have happene#/ be*ore hrist/ an# conseDuently the #istance o* time bet5een one historical circumstance an# another. % begin 5ith the boo> o* 8enesis. '' %n 8enesis 2iv./ the 5riter gives an account o* 9ot being ta>en prisoner in a battle bet5een

the *our >ings against *ive/ an# carrie# o**: an# that 5hen the account o* 9ot being ta>en came to )braham/ that he arme# all his househol# an# marche# to rescue 9ot *rom the captors: an# that he pursue# them unto 3an. (ver. 1F.) (o she5 in 5hat manner this e2pression o* Pursuing them unto 3an applies to the case in Duestion/ % 5ill re*er to t5o circumstances/ the one in )merica/ the other in +rance. (he city no5 calle# 4e5 Mor>/ in )merica/ 5as originally 4e5 )mster#am: an# the to5n in +rance/ lately calle# 0avre ,arat/ 5as be*ore calle# 0avre'#e'8race. 4e5 )mster#am 5as change# to 4e5 Mor> in the year 166F: 0avre'#e'8race to 0avre ,arat in
105

the year 179=. ;houl#/ there*ore/ any 5riting be *oun#/ though 5ithout #ate/ in 5hich the name o* 4e5'Mor> shoul# be mentione#/ it 5oul# be certain evi#ence that such a 5riting coul# not have been 5ritten be*ore/ an# must have been 5ritten a*ter 4e5 )mster#am 5as change# to 4e5 Mor>/ an# conseDuently not till a*ter the year 166F/ or at least #uring the course o* that year. )n# in li>e manner/ any #ateless 5riting/ 5ith the name o* 0avre ,arat/ 5oul# be certain evi#ence that such a 5riting must have been 5ritten a*ter 0avre'#e'8race became 0avre ,arat/ an# conseDuently not till a*ter the year 179=/ or at least #uring the course o* that year. % no5 come to the application o* those cases/ an# to sho5 that there 5as no such place as 3an till many years a*ter the #eath o* ,oses: an# conseDuently/ that ,oses coul# not be the 5riter o* the boo> o* 8enesis/ 5here this account o* pursuing them unto 3an is given. (he place that is calle# 3an in the Bible 5as originally a to5n o* the 8entiles/ calle# 9aish: an# 5hen the tribe o* 3an seiIe# upon this to5n/ they change# its name to 3an/ in commemoration o* 3an/ 5ho 5as the *ather o* that tribe/ an# the great gran#son o*

)braham. (o establish this in proo*/ it is necessary to re*er *rom 8enesis to chapter 2viii. o* the boo> calle# the Boo> o* Cu#ges. %t is there sai# (ver. A7) that @they (the 3anites) came unto 9aish to a people that 5ere Duiet an# secure/ an# they smote them 5ith the e#ge o* the s5or# Gthe Bible is *ille# 5ith mur#erH an# burne# the city 5ith *ire: an# they built a city/ (ver. AB/) an# #5elt therein/ an# Gver. A9/H they calle# the name o* the city 3an/ a*ter the name o* 3an/ their *ather: ho5beit the name o* the city 5as 9aish at the *irst.@ (his account o* the 3anites ta>ing possession o* 9aish an# changing it to 3an/ is place# in the boo> o* .u#ges imme#iately
106

a*ter the #eath o* ;amson. (he #eath o* ;amson is sai# to have happene# B. . 11AL an# that o* ,oses B. . 1FE1: an#/ there*ore/ accor#ing to the historical arrangement/ the place 5as not calle# 3an till ==1 years a*ter the #eath o* ,oses. (here is a stri>ing con*usion bet5een the historical an# the chronological arrangement in the boo> o* Cu#ges. (he last *ive chapters/ as they stan# in the boo>/ 17/ 1B/ 19/ AL/ A1/ are put chronologically be*ore all the prece#ing chapters: they are ma#e to be AB years be*ore the 16th chapter/ A66 be*ore the 1Eth/ AFE be*ore the 1=th/ 19E be*ore the 9th/ go be*ore the Fth/ an# 1E years be*ore the 1st chapter. (his she5s the uncertain an# *abulous state o* the Bible. )ccor#ing to the chronological arrangement/ the ta>ing o* 9aish/ an# giving it the name o* 3an/ is ma#e to be t5enty years a*ter the #eath o* .oshua/ 5ho 5as the successor o* ,oses: an# by the historical or#er/ as it stan#s in the boo>/ it is ma#e to be =L6 years a*ter the #eath o* .oshua/ an# ==1 a*ter that o* ,oses: but they both e2clu#e ,oses *rom being the 5riter o* 8enesis/ because/ accor#ing to either o* the statements/ no such a place as 3an e2iste# in the time o* ,oses: an# there*ore the 5riter o* 8enesis must have been some person 5ho live# a*ter the to5n

o* 9aish ha# the name o* 3an: an# 5ho that person 5as nobo#y >no5s/ an# conseDuently the boo> o* 8enesis is anonymous/ an# 5ithout authority. % come no5 to state another point o* historical an# chronological evi#ence/ an# to sho5 there*rom/ as in the prece#ing case/ that ,oses is not the author o* the boo> o* 8enesis. %n 8enesis 222vi. there is given a genealogy o* the sons an# #escen#ants o* "sau/ 5ho are calle# "#omites/ an# also a list by name o* the >ings o* "#om: in enumerating o* 5hich/ it is sai#/ verse =1/ @)n# these are the >ings that reigne# in "#om/ be*ore there reigne# any >ing over the chil#ren o* %srael.@
107

4o5/ 5ere any #ateless 5riting to be *oun#/ in 5hich/ spea>ing o* any past events/ the 5riter shoul# say/ these things happene# be*ore there 5as any ongress in )merica/ or be*ore there 5as any onvention in +rance/ it 5oul# be evi#ence that such 5riting coul# not have been 5ritten be*ore/ an# coul# only be 5ritten a*ter there 5as a ongress in )merica or a onvention in +rance/ as the case might be: an#/ conseDuently/ that it coul# not be 5ritten by any person 5ho #ie# be*ore there 5as a ongress in the one country/ or a onvention in the other. 4othing is more *reDuent/ as 5ell in history as in conversation/ than to re*er to a *act in the room o* a #ate: it is most natural so to #o/ because a *act *i2es itsel* in the memory better than a #ate: secon#ly/ because the *act inclu#es the #ate/ an# serves to give t5o i#eas at once: an# this manner o* spea>ing by circumstances implies as positively that the *act allu#e# to is past/ as i* it 5as so e2presse#. 7hen a person in spea>ing upon any matter/ says/ it 5as be*ore % 5as marrie#/ or be*ore my son 5as born/ or be*ore % 5ent to )merica/ or be*ore % 5ent to +rance/ it is absolutely un#erstoo#/ an# inten#e# to be un#erstoo#/ that he has been marrie#/ that he has ha# a son/ that he has been in )merica/ or

been in +rance. 9anguage #oes not a#mit o* using this mo#e o* e2pression in any other sense: an# 5henever such an e2pression is *oun# any5here/ it can only be un#erstoo# in the sense in 5hich only it coul# have been use#. (he passage/ there*ore/ that % have Duote# '' that @these are the >ings that reigne# in "#om/ be*ore there reigne# any >ing over the chil#ren o* %srael/@ coul# only have been 5ritten a*ter the *irst >ing began to reign over them: an# conseDuently that the boo> o* 8enesis/ so *ar *rom having been 5ritten by ,oses/ coul# not have been 5ritten till the time o* ;aul at least. (his is the positive sense o* the passage: but the e2pression/ any >ing/ implies more >ings
108

than one/ at least it implies t5o/ an# this 5ill carry it to the time o* 3avi#: an#/ i* ta>en in a general sense/ it carries itsel* through all times o* the .e5ish monarchy. 0a# 5e met 5ith this verse in any part o* the Bible that pro*esse# to have been 5ritten a*ter >ings began to reign in %srael/ it 5oul# have been impossible not to have seen the application o* it. %t happens then that this is the case: the t5o boo>s o* hronicles/ 5hich give a history o* all the >ings o* %srael/ are pro*esse#ly/ as 5ell as in *act/ 5ritten a*ter the .e5ish monarchy began: an# this verse that % have Duote#/ an# all the remaining verses o* 8enesis 222vi. are/ 5or# *or 5or#/ %n 1 hronicles i./ beginning at the F=# verse. %t 5as 5ith consistency that the 5riter o* the hronicles coul# say as he has sai#/ 1 hron. i. F=/ (hese are the >ings that reigne# in "#om/ be*ore there reigne# any >ing ever the chil#ren o* %srael/@ because he 5as going to give/ an# has given/ a list o* the >ings that ha# reigne# in %srael: but as it is impossible that the same e2pression coul# have been use# be*ore that perio#/ it is as certain as any thing can be prove# *rom historical language/ that this part o* 8enesis is ta>en *rom hronicles/ an# that 8enesis is not so ol#

as hronicles/ an# probably not so ol# as the boo> o* 0omer/ or as )"sop$s +ables: a#mitting 0omer to have been/ as the tables o* chronology state/ contemporary 5ith 3avi# or ;olomon/ an# )"sop to have live# about the en# o* the .e5ish monarchy. (a>e a5ay *rom 8enesis the belie* that ,oses 5as the author/ on 5hich only the strange belie* that it is the 5or# o* 8o# has stoo#/ an# there remains nothing o* 8enesis but an anonymous boo> o* stories/ *ables/ an# tra#itionary or invente# absur#ities/ or o* #o5nright lies. (he story o* "ve an# the serpent/ an# o* 4oah an# his ar>/ #rops to a level 5ith the )rabian (ales/ 5ithout the merit o* being entertaining/ an# the account o* men living to eight an#
109

nine hun#re# years becomes as *abulous as the immortality o* the giants o* the ,ythology. Besi#es/ the character o* ,oses/ as state# in the Bible/ is the most horri# that can be imagine#. %* those accounts be true/ he 5as the 5retch that *irst began an# carrie# on 5ars on the score or on the pretence o* religion: an# un#er that mas>/ or that in*atuation/ committe# the most une2ample# atrocities that are to be *oun# in the history o* any nation. &* 5hich % 5ill state only one instance: 7hen the .e5ish army returne# *rom one o* their plun#ering an# mur#ering e2cursions/ the account goes on as *ollo5s (4umbers 222i. 1=): @)n# ,oses/ an# "leaIar the priest/ an# all the princes o* the congregation/ 5ent *orth to meet them 5ithout the camp: an# ,oses 5as 5roth 5ith the o**icers o* the host/ 5ith the captains over thousan#s/ an# captains over hun#re#s/ 5hich came *rom the battle: an# ,oses sai# unto them/ @0ave ye save# all the 5omen aliveK@ behol#/ these cause# the chil#ren o* %srael/ through the counsel o* Balaam/ to commit trespass against the 9or# in the matter o* Peor/ an# there 5as a plague among the congregation o* the 9or#. 4o5 there*ore/ @>ill every male among the little ones/ an# >ill every 5oman that hath >no5n a man by lying 5ith him:

but all the 5omen' chil#ren that have not >no5n a man by lying 5ith him/ >eep alive *or Mourselves.@ )mong the #etestable villains that in any perio# o* the 5orl# have #isgrace# the name o* man/ it is impossible to *in# a greater than ,oses/ i* this account be true. 0ere is an or#er to butcher the boys/ to massacre the mothers/ an# #ebauch the #aughters. 9et any mother put hersel* in the situation o* those mothers/ one chil# mur#ere#/ another #estine# to violation/ an# hersel* in the han#s o* an e2ecutioner: let any #aughter put hersel* in the situation o* those #aughters/ #estine# as a prey to the mur#erers o* a mother an# a brother/ an# 5hat 5ill be their *eelingsK %t is in vain
110

that 5e attempt to impose upon nature/ *or nature 5ill have her course/ an# the religion that tortures all her social ties is a *alse religion. )*ter this #etestable or#er/ *ollo5s an account o* the plun#er ta>en/ an# the manner o* #ivi#ing it: an# here it is that the pro*anenegs o* priestly hypocrisy increases the catalogue o* crimes. 1erse =7/ @)n# the 9or#$s tribute o* the sheep 5as si2 hun#re# an# threescore an# *i*teen: an# the beeves 5ere thirty an# si2 thousan#/ o* 5hich the 9or#$s tribute 5as threescore an# t5elve: an# the asses 5ere thirty thousan#/ o* 5hich the 9or#$s tribute 5as threescore an# one: an# the persons 5ere si2teen thousan#/ o* 5hich the 9or#$s tribute 5as thirty an# t5o.@ %n short/ the matters containe# in this chapter/ as 5ell as in many other parts o* the Bible/ are too horri# *or humanity to rea#/ or *or #ecency to hear: *or it appears/ *rom the =Eth verse o* this chapter/ that the number o* 5omen'chil#ren consigne# to #ebauchery by the or#er o* ,oses 5as thirty't5o thousan#. People in general >no5 not 5hat 5ic>e#ness there is in this preten#e# 5or# o* 8o#. Brought up in habits o* superstition/ they ta>e it *or grante# that the Bible is true/ an# that it is goo#: they

permit themselves not to #oubt o* it/ an# they carry the i#eas they *orm o* the benevolence o* the )lmighty to the boo> 5hich they have been taught to believe 5as 5ritten by his authority. 8oo# heavens! it is Duite another thing/ it is a boo> o* lies/ 5ic>e#ness/ an# blasphemy: *or 5hat can be greater blasphemy/ than to ascribe the 5ic>e#ness o* man to the or#ers o* the )lmighty! But to return to my subCect/ that o* sho5ing that ,oses is not the author o* the boo>s ascribe# to him/ an# that the Bible is spurious. (he t5o instances % have alrea#y given 5oul# be su**icient/ 5ithout any a##itional evi#ence/ to invali#ate the authenticity o* any boo> that preten#e# to be *our or *ive hun#re# years more
111

ancient than the matters it spea>s o*/ re*ers to/ them as *acts: *or in the case o* pursuing them unto 3an/ an# o* the >ings that reigne# over the chil#ren o* %srael: not even the *limsy pretence o* prophecy can be plea#e#. (he e2pressions are in the preter tense/ an# it 5oul# be #o5nright i#iotism to say that a man coul# prophecy in the preter tense. But there are many other passages scattere# throughout those boo>s that unite in the same point o* evi#ence. %t is sai# in "2o#us/ (another o* the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses/) 2vi. =E: @)n# the chil#ren o* %srael #i# eat manna until they came to a lan# inhabite#: they #i# eat manna untit they came unto the bor#ers o* the lan# o* anaan.@ 7hether the chil#ren o* %srael ate manna or not/ or 5hat manna 5as/ or 5hether it 5as anything more than a >in# o* *ungus or small mushroom/ or other vegetable substance common to that part o* the country/ ma>es no part o* my argument: all that % mean to sho5 is/ that it is not ,oses that coul# 5rite this account/ because the account e2ten#s itsel* beyon# the li*e time o* ,oses. ,oses/ accor#ing to the Bible/ (but it is such a boo> o* lies an# contra#ictions there is no >no5ing 5hich part to believe/ or

5hether any) #ie# in the 5il#erness/ an# never came upon the bor#ers o* $the lan#/o* anaan: an# conseDuently/ it coul# not be he that sai# 5hat the chil#ren o* %srael #i#/ or 5hat they ate 5hen they came there. (his account o* eating manna/ 5hich they tell us 5as 5ritten by ,oses/ e2ten#s itsel* to the time o* .oshua/ the successor o* ,oses/ as appears by the account given in the boo> o* .oshua/ a*ter the chil#ren o* %srael ha# passe# the river .or#an/ an# came into the bor#ers o* the lan# o* anaan. .oshua/ v. 1A: @)n# the manna cease# on the morro5/ a*ter they ha# eaten o* the ol# corn o* the lan#: neither ha# the chil#ren o* %srael manna any more/ but they #i# eat o* the *ruit o* the lan# o* anaan that year.@
112

But a more remar>able instance than this occurs in 3euteronomy: 5hich/ 5hile it sho5s that ,oses coul# not be the 5riter o* that boo>/ sho5s also the *abulous notions that prevaile# at that time about giants$ %n 3euteronomy iii. 11/ among the conDuests sai# to be ma#e by ,oses/ is an account o* the ta>ing o* &g/ >ing o* Bashan: @+or only &g/ >ing o* Bashan/ remaine# o* the race o* giants: behol#/ his be#stea# 5as a be#stea# o* iron: is it not in -abbath o* the chil#ren o* )mmonK nine cubits 5as the length thereo*/ an# *our cubits the brea#th o* it/ a*ter the cubit o* a man.@ ) cubit is 1 *oot 9 BBB/1LLL inches: the length there*ore o* the be# 5as 16 *eet F inches/ an# the brea#th 7 *eet F inches: thus much *or this giant$s be#. 4o5 *or the historical part/ 5hich/ though the evi#ence is not so #irect an# positive as in the *ormer cases/ is nevertheless very presumable an# corroborating evi#ence/ an# is better than the best evi#ence on the contrary si#e. (he 5riter/ by 5ay o* proving the e2istence o* this giant/ re*ers to his be#/ as an ancient relic>/ an# says/ is it not in -abbath (or -abbah) o* the chil#ren o* )mmonK meaning that it is: *or such is *reDuently the bible metho# o* a**irming a thing. But it coul# not be ,oses that sai# this/ because ,oses coul# >no5 nothing about

-abbah/ nor o* 5hat 5as in it. -abbah 5as not a city belonging to this giant >ing/ nor 5as it one o* the cities that ,oses too>. (he >no5le#ge there*ore that this be# 5as at -abbah/ an# o* the particulars o* its #imensions/ must be re*erre# to the time 5hen -abbah 5as ta>en/ an# this 5as not till *our hun#re# years a*ter the #eath o* ,oses: *or 5hich/ see A ;am. 2ii. A6: @)n# .oab G3avi#$s generalH *ought against -abbah o* the chil#ren o* )mmon/ an# too> the royal city/@ etc. )s % am not un#erta>ing to point out all the contra#ictions in time/ place/ an# circumstance that aboun# in the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses/ an# 5hich prove to #emonstration that those boo>s coul#
113

not be 5ritten by ,oses/ nor in the time o* ,oses/ % procee# to the boo> o* .oshua/ an# to she5 that .oshua is not the author o* that boo>/ an# that it is anonymous an# 5ithout authority. (he evi#ence % shall pro#uce is containe# in the boo> itsel*: % 5ill not go out o* the Bible *or proo* against the suppose# authenticity o* the Bible. +alse testimony is al5ays goo# against itsel*. .oshua/ accor#ing to .oshua i./ 5as the imme#iate successor o* ,oses: he 5as/ moreover/ a military man/ 5hich ,oses 5as not: an# he continue# as chie* o* the people o* %srael t5enty'*ive years: that is/ *rom the time that ,oses #ie#/ 5hich/ accor#ing to the Bible chronology/ 5as B. . 1FE1/ until B. . 1FA6/ 5hen/ accor#ing to the same chronology/ .oshua #ie#. %*/ there*ore/ 5e *in# in this boo>/ sai# to have been 5ritten by .oshua/ re*erences to *acts #one a*ter the #eath o* .oshua/ it is evi#ence that .oshua coul# not be the author: an# also that the boo> coul# not have been 5ritten till a*ter the time o* the latest *act 5hich it recor#s. )s to the character o* the boo>/ it is horri#: it is a military history o* rapine an# mur#er/ as savage an# brutal as those recor#e# o* his pre#ecessor in villainy an# hypocrisy/ ,oses: an# the blasphemy consists/ as in the *ormer boo>s/ in ascribing those #ee#s to the

or#ers o* the )lmighty. %n the *irst place/ the boo> o* .oshua/ as is the case in the prece#ing boo>s/ is 5ritten in the thir# person: it is the historian o* .oshua that spea>s/ *or it 5oul# have been absur# an# vainglorious that .oshua shoul# say o* himsel*/ as is sai# o* him in the last verse o* the si2th chapter/ that @his *ame 5as noise# throughout all the country.@ '' % no5 come more imme#iately to the proo*. %n .oshua 22iv. =1/ it is sai# @)n# %srael serve# the 9or# all the #ays o* .oshua/ an# all the #ays o* the el#ers that over'live# .oshua.@ 4o5/ in the name o* common sense/ can it be .oshua that relates 5hat people ha# #one a*ter he 5as #ea#K (his account must
114

not only have been 5ritten by some historian that live# a*ter .oshua/ but that live# also a*ter the el#ers that out'live# .oshua. (here are several passages o* a general meaning 5ith respect to time/ scattere# throughout the boo> o* .oshua/ that carrics the time in 5hich the boo> 5as 5ritten to a #istance *rom the time o* .oshua/ but 5ithout mar>ing by e2clusion any particular time/ as in the passage above Duote#. %n that passage/ the time that intervene# bet5een the #eath o* .oshua an# the #eath o* the el#ers is e2clu#e# #escriptively an# absolutely/ an# the evi#ence substantiates that the boo> coul# not have been 5ritten till a*ter the #eath o* the last. But though the passages to 5hich % allu#e/ an# 5hich % am going to Duote/ #o not #esignate any particular time by e2clusion/ they imply a time *ar more #istant *rom the #ays o* .oshua than is containe# bet5een the #eath o* .oshua an# the #eath o* the el#ers. ;uch is the passage/ 2. 1F/ 5here/ a*ter giving an account that the sun stoo# still upon 8ibeon/ an# the moon in the valley o* )Calon/ at the comman# o* .oshua/ (a tale only *it to amuse chil#ren) G4&(": (his tale o* the sun stan#ing still upon ,otint 8ibeon/ an# the moon in the valley o* )Calon/ is one o* those *ables that #etects itsel*. ;uch a circumstance coul# not have happene# 5ithout being

>no5n all over the 5orl#. &ne hal* 5oul# have 5on#ere# 5hy the sun #i# not rise/ an# the other 5hy it #i# not set: an# the tra#ition o* it 5oul# be universal: 5hereas there is not a nation in the 5orl# that >no5s anything about it. But 5hy must the moon stan# stillK 7hat occasion coul# there be *or moonlight in the #aytime/ an# that too 5hilst the sun shine#K )s a poetical *igure/ the 5hole is 5ell enough: it is a>in to that in the song o* 3eborah an# Bara>/ (he stars in their courses *ought against ;isera: but it is in*erior to the *igurative #eclaration o* ,ahomet to the persons 5ho came to e2postulate 5ith him on his goings on/ 7ert thou/ sai# he/ to come to me 5ith the sun in thy right han# an# the moon in thy le*t/ it
115

shoul# not alter my career. +or .oshua to have e2cee#e# ,ahomet/ he shoul# have put the sun an# moon/ one in each poc>et/ an# carrie# them as 8uy +au2 carrie# his #ar> lanthorn/ an# ta>en them out to shine as he might happen to 5ant them. (he sublime an# the ri#iculous are o*ten so nearly relate# that it is #i**icult to class them separately. &ne step above the sublime ma>es the ri#iculous/ an# one step above the ri#iculous ma>es the sublime again: the account/ ho5ever/ abstracte# *rom the poetical *ancy/ she5s the ignorance o* .oshua/ *or he shoul# have comman#e# the earth to have stoo# still. '' )uthor.H the passage says: @)n# there 5as no #ay li>e that/ be*ore it/ nor a*ter it/ that the 9or# hear>ene# to the voice o* a man.@ (he time implie# by the e2pression a*ter it/ that is/ a*ter that #ay/ being put in comparison 5ith all the time that passe# be*ore it/ must/ in or#er to give any e2pressive signi*ication to the passage/ mean a great letgth o* time: '' *or e2ample/ it 5oul# have been ri#iculous to have sai# so the ne2t #ay/ or the ne2t 5ee>/ or the ne2t month/ or the ne2t year: to give there*ore meaning to the passage/ comparative 5ith the 5on#er it relates/ an# the prior time it allu#es to/ it must mean centuries o* years: less ho5ever than

one 5oul# be tri*ling/ an# less than t5o 5oul# be barely a#missible. ) #istant/ but general time is also e2presse# in chapter viii.: 5here/ a*ter giving an account o* the ta>ing the city o* )i/ it is sai#/ ver. ABth/ @)n# .oshua burne# )i/ an# ma#e it an heap *or ever/ a #esolation unto this #ay:@ an# again/ ver. A9/ 5here spea>ing o* the >ing o* )i/ 5hom .oshua ha# hange#/ an# burie# at the entering o* the gate/ it is sai#/ @)n# he raise# thereon a great heap o* stones/ 5hich remaineth unto this #ay/@ that is/ unto the #ay or time in 5hich the 5riter o* the boo> o* .oshua live#. )n# again/ in chapter 2. 5here/ a*ter spea>ing o* the *ive >ings 5hom .oshua ha# hange#
116

on *ive trees/ an# then thro5n in a cave/ it is sai#/ @)n# he lai# great stones on the cave$s mouth/ 5hich remain unto this very #ay.@ %n enumerating the several e2ploits o* .oshua/ an# o* the tribes/ an# o* the places 5hich they conDuere# or attempte#/ it is sai#/ 2v. 6=/ @)s *or the .ebusites/ the inhabitants o* .erusalem/ the chil#ren o* .u#ah coul# not #rive them out: but the .ebusites #5ell 5ith the chil#ren o* .u#ah )( ."-<;)9", unto this #ay.@ (he Duestion upon this passage is/ )t 5hat time #i# the .ebusites an# the chil#ren o* .u#ah #5ell together at .erusalemK )s this matter occurs again in Cu#ges i. % shall reserve my observations till % come to that part. 0aving thus she5n *rom the boo> o* .oshua itsel*/ 5ithout any au2iliary evi#ence 5hatever/ that .oshua is not the author o* that boo>/ an# that it is anonymous/ an# conseDuently 5ithout authority/ % procee#/ as be*ore'mentione#/ to the boo> o* .u#ges. (he boo> o* .u#ges is anonymous on the *ace o* it: an#/ there*ore/ even the pretence is 5anting to call it the 5or# o* 8o#: it has not so much as a nominal voucher: it is altogether *atherless. (his boo> begins 5ith the same e2pression as the boo> o* .oshua.

(hat o* .oshua begins/ chap i. 1/ 4o5 a*ter the #eath o* ,oses/ etc./ an# this o* the .u#ges begins/ 4o5 a*ter the #eath o* .oshua/ etc. (his/ an# the similarity o* stile bet5een the t5o boo>s/ in#icate that they are the 5or> o* the same author: but 5ho he 5as/ is altogether un>no5n: the only point that the boo> proves is that the author live# long a*ter the time o* .oshua: *or though it begins as i* it *ollo5e# imme#iately a*ter his #eath/ the secon# chapter is an epitome or abstract o* the 5hole boo>/ 5hich/ accor#ing to the Bible chronology/ e2ten#s its history through a space o* =L6 years: that is/ *rom the #eath o* .oshua/ B. . 1FA6 to the #eath o* ;amson/ B. . 11AL/ an# only AE years be*ore ;aul 5ent to see> his
117

*ather$s asses/ an# 5as ma#e >ing. But there is goo# reason to believe/ that it 5as not 5ritten till the time o* 3avi#/ at least/ an# that the boo> o* .oshua 5as not 5ritten be*ore the same time. %n .u#ges i./ the 5riter/ a*ter announcing the #eath o* .oshua/ procee#s to tell 5hat happene# bet5een the chil#ren o* .u#ah an# the native inhabitants o* the lan# o* anaan. %n this statement the 5riter/ having abruptly mentione# .erusalem in the 7th verse/ says imme#iately a*ter/ in the Bth verse/ by 5ay o* e2planation/ @4o5 the chil#ren o* .u#ah ha# *ought against .erusalem/ an# ta>en it:@ conseDuently this boo> coul# not have been 5ritten be*ore .erusalem ha# been ta>en. (he rea#er 5ill recollect the Duotation % have Cust be*ore ma#e *rom .oshua 2v. 6=/ 5here it sai# that the .ebusites #5ell 5ith the chil#ren o* .u#ah at .erusalem at this #ay: meaning the time 5hen the boo> o* .oshua 5as 5ritten. (he evi#ence % have alrea#y pro#uce# to prove that the boo>s % have hitherto treate# o* 5ere not 5ritten by the persons to 5hom they are ascribe#/ nor till many years a*ter their #eath/ i* such persons ever live#/ is alrea#y so abun#ant/ that % can a**or# to a#mit this passage 5ith less 5eight than % am entitle# to #ra5 *rom it. +or the case is/ that so *ar as the Bible can be cre#ite# as an

history/ the city o* .erusalem 5as not ta>en till the time o* 3avi#: an# conseDuently/ that the boo> o* .oshua/ an# o* .u#ges/ 5ere not 5ritten till a*ter the commencement o* the reign o* 3avi#/ 5hich 5as =7L years a*ter the #eath o* .oshua. (he name o* the city that 5as a*ter5ar# calle# .erusalem 5as originally .ebus/ or .ebusi/ an# 5as the capital o* the .ebusites. (he account o* 3avi#$s ta>ing this city is given in A ;amuel/ v. F/ etc.: also in 1 hron. 2iv. F/ etc. (here is no mention in any part o* the Bible that it 5as ever ta>en be*ore/ nor any account that *avours such an opinion. %t is not sai#/ either in ;amuel or in hronicles/ that they @utterly #estroye# men/ 5omen an# chil#ren/
118

that they le*t not a soul to breathe/@ as is sai# o* their other conDuests: an# the silence here observe# implies that it 5as ta>en by capitulation: an# that the .ebusites/ the native inhabitants/ continue# to live in the place a*ter it 5as ta>en. (he account there*ore/ given in .oshua/ that @the .ebusites #5ell 5ith the chil#ren o* .u#ah@ at .erusalem at this #ay/ correspon#s to no other time than a*ter ta>ing the city by 3avi#. 0aving no5 sho5n that every boo> in the Bible/ *rom 8enesis to .u#ges/ is 5ithout authenticity/ % come to the boo> o* -uth/ an i#le/ bungling story/ *oolishly tol#/ nobo#y >no5s by 5hom/ about a strolling country'girl creeping slily to be# to her cousin BoaI. G(he te2t o* -uth #oes not imply the unpleasant sense Paine$s 5or#s are li>ely to convey. '' "#itor.H Pretty stu** in#ee# to be calle# the 5or# o* 8o#. %t is/ ho5ever/ one o* the best boo>s in the Bible/ *or it is *ree *rom mur#er an# rapine. % come ne2t to the t5o boo>s o* ;amuel/ an# to she5 that those boo>s 5ere not 5ritten by ;amuel/ nor till a great length o* time a*ter the #eath o* ;amuel: an# that they are/ li>e all the *ormer boo>s/ anonymous/ an# 5ithout authority. (o be convince# that these boo>s have been 5ritten much later

than the time o* ;amuel/ an# conseDuently not by him/ it is only necessary to rea# the account 5hich the 5riter gives o* ;aul going to see> his *ather$s asses/ an# o* his intervie5 5ith ;amuel/ o* 5hom ;aul 5ent to enDuire about those lost asses/ as *oolish people no5a'#ays go to a conCuror to enDuire a*ter lost things. (he 5riter/ in relating this story o* ;aul/ ;amuel/ an# the asses/ #oes not tell it as a thing that ha# Cust then happene#/ but as an ancient story in the time this 5riter live#: *or he tells it in the language or terms use# at the time that ;amuel live#/ 5hich obliges the 5riter to e2plain the story in the terms or language use# in the time the 5riter live#.
119

;amuel/ in the account given o* him in the *irst o* those boo>s/ chap. i2. 1= calle# the seer: an# it is by this term that ;aul enDuires a*ter him/ ver. 11/ @)n# as they G;aul an# his servantH 5ent up the hill to the city/ they *oun# young mai#ens going out to #ra5 5ater: an# they sai# unto them/ %s the seer hereK @;aul then 5ent accor#ing to the #irection o* these mai#ens/ an# met ;amuel 5ithout >no5ing him/ an# sai# unto him/ ver. 1B/ @(ell me/ % pray thee/ 5here the seer$s house isK an# ;amuel ans5ere# ;aul/ an# sai#/ % am the seer.@ )s the 5riter o* the boo> o* ;amuel relates these Duestions an# ans5ers/ in the language or manner o* spea>ing use# in the time they are sai# to have been spo>en/ an# as that manner o* spea>ing 5as out o* use 5hen this author 5rote/ he *oun# it necessary/ in or#er to ma>e the story un#erstoo#/ to e2plain the terms in 5hich these Duestions an# ans5ers are spo>en: an# he #oes this in the 9th verse/ 5here he says/ @Be*ore'tune in %srael/ 5hen a man 5ent to enDuire o* 8o#/ thus he spa>e/ ome let us go to the seer: *or he that is no5 calle# a prophet/ 5as be*ore'time calle# a seer.@ (his proves/ as % have be*ore sai#/ that this story o* ;aul/ ;amuel/ an# the asses/ 5as an ancient story at the time the boo> o* ;amuel 5as

5ritten/ an# conseDuently that ;amuel #i# not 5rite it/ an# that the boo> is 5ithout authenticity/ But i* 5e go *urther into those boo>s the evi#ence is still more positive that ;amuel is not the 5riter o* them: *or they relate things that #i# not happen till several years a*ter the #eath o* ;amuel. ;amuel #ie# be*ore ;aul: *or i ;amuel/ 22viii. tells/ that ;aul an# the 5itch o* "n#or conCure# ;amuel up a*ter he 5as #ea#: yet the history o* matters containe# in those boo>s is e2ten#e# through the remaining part o* ;aul$s li*e/ an# to the latter en# o* the li*e o* 3avi#/ 5ho succce#e# ;aul. (he account o* the #eath an# burial o* ;amuel (a thing 5hich he coul# not 5rite himsel*) is relate# in i
120

;amuel 22v.: an# the chronology a**i2e# to this chapter ma>es this to be B. . 1L6&: yet the history o* this *irst boo> is brought #o5n to B. . 1LE6/ that is/ to the #eath o* ;aul/ 5hich 5as not till *our years a*ter the #eath o* ;amuel. (he secon# boo> o* ;amuel begins 5ith an account o* things that #i# not happen till *our years a*ter ;amuel 5as #ea#: *or it begins 5ith the reign o* 3avi#/ 5ho succee#e# ;aul/ an# it goes on to the en# o* 3avi#$s reign/ 5hich 5as *orty'three years a*ter the #eath o* ;amuel: an#/ there*ore/ the boo>s are in themselves positive evi#ence that they 5ere not 5ritten by ;amuel. % have no5 gone through all the boo>s in the *irst part o* the Bible/ to 5hich the names o* persons are a**i2e#/ as being the authors o* those boo>s/ an# 5hich the church/ styling itsel* the hristian church/ have impose# upon the 5orl# as the 5ritings o* ,oses/ .oshua an# ;amuel: an# % have #etecte# an# prove# the *alsehoo# o* this imposition. '' )n# no5 ye priests/ o* every #escription/ 5ho have preache# an# 5ritten against the *ormer part o* the $)ge o* -eason/$ 5hat have ye to sayK 7ill ye 5ith all this mass o* evi#ence against you/ an# staring you in the *ace/ still have the assurance to march into your pulpits/ an# continue to impose these

boo>s on your congregations/ as the 5or>s o* inspire# penmen an# the 5or# o* 8o#K 5hen it is as evi#ent as #emonstration can ma>e truth appear/ that the persons 5ho ye say are the authors/ are not the authors/ an# that ye >no5 not 5ho the authors are. 7hat sha#o5 o* pretence have ye no5 to pro#uce *or continuing the blasphemous *rau#K 7hat have ye still to o**er against the pure an# moral religion o* #eism/ in support o* your system o* *alsehoo#/ i#olatry/ an# preten#e# revelationK 0a# the cruel an# mur#ering or#ers/ 5ith 5hich the Bible is *ille#/ an# the numberless torturing e2ecutions o* men/ 5omen/ an# chil#ren/ in conseDuence o* those or#ers/ been ascribe# to some *rien#/ 5hose
121

memory you revere#/ you 5oul# have glo5e# 5ith satis*action at #etecting the *alsehoo# o* the charge/ an# glorie# in #e*en#ing his inCure# *ame. %t is because ye are sun> in the cruelty o* superstition/ or *eel no interest in the honour o* your reator/ that ye listen to the horri# tales o* the Bible/ or hear them 5ith callous in#i**erence. (he evi#ence % have pro#uce#/ an# shall still pro#uce in the course o* this 5or>/ to prove that the Bible is 5ithout authority/ 5ill/ 5hilst it 5oun#s the stubbornness o* a priest/ relieve an# tranDuilliIe the min#s o* millions: it 5ill *ree them *rom all those har# thoughts o* the )lmighty 5hich priestcra*t an# the Bible ha# in*use# into their min#s/ an# 5hich stoo# in everlasting opposition to all their i#eas o* his moral Custice an# benevolence. % come no5 to the t5o boo>s o* ?ings/ an# the t5o boo>s o* hronicles. '' (hose boo>s are altogether historical/ an# are chie*ly con*ine# to the lives an# actions o* the .e5ish >ings/ 5ho in general 5ere a parcel o* rascals: but these are matters 5ith 5hich 5e have no more concern than 5e have 5ith the -oman emperors/ or 0omer$s account o* the (roCan 5ar. Besi#es 5hich/ as those boo>s are anonymous/ an# as 5e >no5 nothing o* the 5riter/

or o* his character/ it is impossible *or us to >no5 5hat #egree o* cre#it to give to the matters relate# therein. 9i>e all other ancient histories/ they appear to be a Cumble o* *able an# o* *act/ an# o* probable an# o* improbable things/ but 5hich #istance o* time an# place/ an# change o* circumstances in the 5orl#/ have ren#ere# obsolete an# uninteresting. (he chie* use % shall ma>e o* those boo>s 5ill be that o* comparing them 5ith each other/ an# 5ith other parts o* the Bible/ to sho5 the con*usion/ contra#iction/ an# cruelty in this preten#e# 5or# o* 8o#. (he *irst boo> o* ?ings begins 5ith the reign o* ;olomon/ 5hich/
122

accor#ing to the Bible chronology/ 5as B. . 1L1E: an# the secon# boo> en#s B. . EBB/ being a little a*ter the reign o* Ne#e>iah/ 5hom 4ebucha#neIIar/ a*ter ta>ing .erusalem an# conDuering the .e5s/ carrie# captive to Babylon. (he t5o boo>s inclu#e a space o* FA7 years. (he t5o boo>s o* hroniclcs are an history o* the same times/ an# in general o* the same persons/ by another author: *or it 5oul# be absur# to suppose that the same author 5rote the history t5ice over. (he *irst boo> o* hronicles (a*ter giving the genealogy *rom )#am to ;aul/ 5hich ta>es up the *irst nine chapters) begins 5ith the reign o* 3avi#: an# the last boo> en#s/ as in the last boo> o* ?ings/ soon/ a*ter the reign o* Ne#e>iah/ about B. . EBB. (he last t5o verses o* the last chapter bring the history EA years more *or5ar#/ that is/ to E=6. But these verses #o not belong to the boo>/ as % shall sho5 5hen % come to spea> o* the boo> o* "Ira. (he t5o boo>s o* ?ings/ besi#es the history o* ;aul/ 3avi#/ an# ;olomon/ 5ho reigne# over all %srael/ contain an abstract o* the lives o* seventeen >ings/ an# one Dueen/ 5ho are stile# >ings o* .u#ah: an# o* nineteen/ 5ho are stile# >ings o* %srael: *or the .e5ish nation/ imme#iately on the #eath o* ;olomon/ split into t5o

parties/ 5ho chose separate >ings/ an# 5ho carrie# on most rancorous 5ars against each other. (hese t5o boo>s are little more than a history o* assassinations/ treachery/ an# 5ars. (he cruelties that the .e5s ha# accustome# themselves to practise on the anaanites/ 5hose country they ha# savagely inva#e#/ un#er a preten#e# gi*t *rom 8o#/ they a*ter5ar#s practise# as *uriously on each other. ;carcely hal* their >ings #ie# a natural #eath/ an# in some instances 5hole *amilies 5ere #estroye# to secure possession to the successor/ 5ho/ a*ter a *e5 years/ an# sometimes only a *e5 months/ or less/ share# the same *ate. %n A ?ings 2./ an account is given o* t5o bas>ets *ull o*
123

chil#ren$s hea#s/ seventy in number/ being e2pose# at the entrance o* the city: they 5ere the chil#ren o* )hab/ an# 5ere mur#ere# by the or#ers o* .ehu/ 5hom "lisha/ the preten#e# man o* 8o#/ ha# anointe# to be >ing over %srael/ on purpose to commit this bloo#y #ee#/ an# assassinate his pre#ecessor. )n# in the account o* the reign o* ,enahem/ one o* the >ings o* %srael 5ho ha# mur#ere# ;hallum/ 5ho ha# reigne# but one month/ it is sai#/ A ?ings 2v. 16/ that ,enahem smote the city o* (iphsah/ because they opene# not the city to him/ an# all the 5omen therein that 5ere 5ith chil# he rippe# up. oul# 5e permit ourselves to suppose that the )lmighty 5oul# #istinguish any nation o* people by the name o* his chosen people/ 5e must suppose that people to have been an e2ample to all the rest o* the 5orl# o* the purest piety an# humanity/ an# not such a nation o* ru**ians an# cut'throats as the ancient .e5s 5ere/ '' a people 5ho/ corrupte# by an# copying a*ter such monsters an# imposters as ,oses an# )aron/ .oshua/ ;amuel/ an# 3avi#/ ha# #istinguishe# themselves above all others on the *ace o* the >no5n earth *or barbarity an# 5ic>e#ness. %* 5e 5ill not stubbornly shut our eyes an# steel our hearts it is impossible not to see/ in spite o*

all that long'establishe# superstition imposes upon the min#/ that the *lattering appellation o* his chosen people is no other than a 9%" 5hich the priests an# lea#ers o* the .e5s ha# invente# to cover the baseness o* their o5n characters: an# 5hich hristian priests sometimes as corrupt/ an# o*ten as cruel/ have pro*esse# to believe. (he t5o boo>s o* hronicles are a repetition o* the same crimes: but the history is bro>en in several places/ by the author leaving out the reign o* some o* their >ings: an# in this/ as 5ell as in that o* ?ings/ there is such a *reDuent transition *rom >ings o* .u#ah to >ings o* %srael/ an# *rom >ings o* %srael to >ings o* .u#ah/ that the
124

narrative is obscure in the rea#ing. %n the same boo> the history sometimes contra#icts itsel*: *or e2ample/ in A ?ings/ i. 17/ 5e are tol#/ but in rather ambiguous terms/ that a*ter the #eath o* )haIiah/ >ing o* %srael/ .ehoram/ or .oram/ (5ho 5as o* the house o* )hab/ reigne# in his stea# in the secon# Mear o* .ehoram/ or .oram/ son o* .ehoshaphat/ >ing o* .u#ah: an# in viii. 16/ o* the same boo>/ it is sai#/ @)n# in the *i*th year o* .oram/ the son o* )hab/ >ing o* %srael/ .ehoshaphat being then >ing o* .u#ah/ .ehoram/ the son o* .ehoshaphat >ing o* Cu#ah/ began to reign.@ (hat is/ one chapter says .oram o* .u#ah began to reign in the secon# year o* .oram o* %srael: an# the other chapter says/ that .oram o* %srael began to reign in the *i*th year o* .oram o* .u#ah. ;everal o* the most e2traor#inary matters relate# in one history/ as having happene# #uring the reign o* such or such o* their >ings/ are not to be *oun# in the other/ in relating the reign o* the same >ing: *or e2ample/ the t5o *irst rival >ings/ a*ter the #eath o* ;olomon/ 5ere -ehoboam an# .eroboam: an# in i ?ings 2ii. an# 2iii. an account is given o* .eroboam ma>ing an o**ering o* burnt incense/ an# that a man/ 5ho is there calle# a man o* 8o#/ crie# out against the altar (2iii. A): @& altar/ altar! thus saith the 9or#:

Behol#/ a chil# shall be born unto the house o* 3avi#/ .osiah by name/ an# upon thee shall he o**er the priests o* the high places that burn incense upon thee/ an# men$s bones shall be burne# upon thee.@ 1erse F: @)n# it came to pass/ 5hen >ing .eroboam hear# the saying o* the man o* 8o#/ 5hich ha# crie# against the altar in Bethel/ that he put *orth his han# *rom the altar/ saying/ 9ay hol# on him: an# his han# 5hich he put out against him #rie# up so that he coul# not pull it again to him.@ &ne 5oul# thin> that such an e2traor#inary case as this/ (5hich is spo>en o* as a Cu#gement/) happening to the chie* o* one o* the parties/ an# that at the *irst moment o* the separation o* the
125

%sraelites into t5o nations/ 5oul#/ i* it/. ha# been true/ have been recor#e# in both histories. But though men/ in later times/ have believe# all that the prophets have sai# unto them/ it #oes appear that those prophets/ or historians/ #isbelieve# each other: they >ne5 each other too 5ell. ) long account also is given in ?ings about "liCah. %t runs through several chapters/ an# conclu#es 5ith telling/ A ?ings ii. 11/ @)n# it came to pass/ as they ("liCah an# "lisha) still 5ent on/ an# tal>e#/ that/ behol#/ there appeare# a chariot o* *ire an# horses o* *ire/ an# parte# them both asun#er/ an# "liCah 5ent up by a 5hirl5in# into heaven.@ 0um! this the author o* hronicles/ miraculous as the story is/ ma>es no mention o*/ though he mentions "liCah by name: neither #oes he say anything o* the story relate# in the secon# chapter o* the same boo> o* ?ings/ o* a parcel o* chil#ren calling "lisha bal# hea#: an# that this man o* 8o# (ver. AF) @turne# bac>/ an# loo>e# upon them/ an# curse# them in the name o* the 9or#: an# there came *orth t5o she'bears out o* the 5oo#/ an# tare *orty an# t5o chil#ren o* them.@ 0e also passes over in silence the story tol#/ A ?ings 2iii./ that 5hen they 5ere burying a man in the sepulchre 5here "lisha ha# been burie#/ it happene# that the #ea#

man/ as they 5ere letting him #o5n/ (ver. A1) @touche# the bones o* "lisha/ an# he (the #ea# man) revive#/ an# stoo# up on his *eet.@ (he story #oes not tell us 5hether they burie# the man/ not5ithstan#ing he revive# an# stoo# upon his *eet/ or #re5 him up again. <pon all these stories the 5riter o* the hronicles is as silent as any 5riter o* the present #ay/ 5ho #i# not chose to be accuse# o* lying/ or at least o* romancing/ 5oul# be about stories o* the same >in#. But/ ho5ever these t5o historians may #i**er *rom each other 5ith respect to the tales relate# by either/ they are silent ali>e 5ith respect to those men style# prophets 5hose 5ritings *ill up the
126

latter part o* the Bible. %saiah/ 5ho live# in the time o* 0eIe>iab/ is mentione# in ?ings/ an# again in hronicles/ 5hen these histories are spea>ing o* that reign: but e2cept in one or t5o instances at most/ an# those very slightly/ none o* the rest are so much as spo>en o*/ or even their e2istence hinte# at: though/ accor#ing to the Bible chronology/ they live# 5ithin the time those histories 5ere 5ritten: an# some o* them long be*ore. %* those prophets/ as they are calle#/ 5ere men o* such importance in their #ay/ as the compilers o* the Bible/ an# priests an# commentators have since represente# them to be/ ho5 can it be accounte# *or that not one o* those histories shoul# say anything about themK (he history in the boo>s o* ?ings an# o* hronicles is brought *or5ar#/ as % have alrea#y sai#/ to the year B. . EBB: it 5ill/ there*ore/ be proper to e2amine 5hich o* these prophets live# be*ore that perio#. 0ere *ollo5s a table o* all the prophets/ 5ith the times in 5hich they live# be*ore hrist/ accor#ing to the chronology a**i2e# to the *irst chapter o* each o* the boo>s o* the prophets: an# also o* the number o* years they live# be*ore the boo>s o* ?ings an# hronicles 5ere 5ritten:

()B9" o* the Prophets/ 5ith the time in 5hich they live# be*ore hrist/ an# also be*ore the boo>s o* ?ings an# hronicles 5ere 5ritten: Mears Mears be*ore 4),";. be*ore ?ings an# &bservations. hrist. hronicles. %saiah.............. 76L 17A mentione#. (mentione# only in .eremiah............. 6A9 F1 the last Gt5oH chapters o* hronicles. "Ie>iel.............. E9E 7 not mentione#. 3aniel............... 6L7 19 not mentione#. 0osea................ 7BE 97 not mentione#.
127

.oel................. BLL A1A not mentione#. )mos................. 7B9 199 not meneione#. &ba#iah.............. 7B9 199 not mentione#. .onah................ B6A A7F see the note. ,icah................ 7EL 16A not mentione#. 4ahum............... 7%= 1AE not mentione#. 0aba>>u>............. 6AL =B not mentione#. Nepbaniah............ 6=L FA not mentione#. 0aggai Nechariah all three a*ter the year EBB ,#achi G4&(" %n A ?ings 2iv. AE/ the name o* .onah is mentione# on account o* the restoration o* a tract o* lan# by .eroboam: but nothing *urther is sai# o* him/ nor is any allusion ma#e to the boo> o* .onah/ nor to his e2pe#ition to 4ineveh/ nor to his encounter 5ith the 5hale. '' )uthor.H (his table is either not very honourable *or the Bible historians/ or not very honourable *or the Bible prophets: an# % leave to priests an# commentators/ 5ho are very learne# in little things/ to settle the point o* etiDuette bet5een the t5o: an# to assign a reason/ 5hy the authors o* ?ings an# o* hronicles have treate# those prophets/ 5hom/ in the *ormer part o* the $)ge o* -eason/$ % have consi#ere#

as poets/ 5ith as much #egra#ing silence as any historian o* the present #ay 5oul# treat Peter Pin#ar. % have one more observation to ma>e on the boo> o* hronicles: a*ter 5hich % shall pass on to revie5 the remaining boo>s o* the Bible. %n my observations on the boo> o* 8enesis/ % have Duote# a passage *rom 222vi. =1/ 5hich evi#ently re*ers to a time/ a*ter that >ings began to reign over the chil#ren o* %srael: an# % have sho5n that as this verse is verbatim the same as in 1 hronicles i. F=/ 5here it stan#s consistently 5ith the or#er o* history/ 5hich in 8enesis it #oes not/ that the verse in 8enesis/ an# a great part o*
128

the =6th chapter/ have been ta>en *rom hronicles: an# that the boo> o* 8enesis/ though it is place# *irst in the Bible/ an# ascribe# to ,oses/ has been manu*acture# by some un>no5n person/ a*ter the boo> o* hronicles 5as 5ritten/ 5hich 5as not until at least eight hun#re# an# si2ty years a*ter the time o* ,oses. (he evi#ence % procee# by to substantiate this/ is regular/ an# has in it but t5o stages. +irst/ as % have alrea#y state#/ that the passage in 8enesis re*ers itsel* *or time to hronicles: secon#ly/ that the boo> o* hronicles/ to 5hich this passage re*ers itsel*/ 5as not begun to be 5ritten until at least eight hun#re# an# si2ty years a*ter the time o* ,oses. (o prove this/ 5e have only to loo> into 1 hronicles iii. 1E/ 5here the 5riter/ in giving the genealogy o* the #escen#ants o* 3avi#/ mentions Ne#e>iah: an# it 5as in the time o* Ne#e>iah that 4ebucha#neIIar conDuere# .erusalem/ B. . EBB/ an# conseDuently more than B6L years a*ter ,oses. (hose 5ho have superstitiously boaste# o* the antiDuity o* the Bible/ an# particularly o* the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses/ have #one it 5ithout e2amination/ an# 5ithout any other authority than that o* one cre#ulous man telling it to another: *or/ so *ar as historical an# chronological evi#ence applies/ the very *irst boo> in the Bible is

not so ancient as the boo> o* 0omer/ by more than three hun#re# years/ an# is about the same age 5ith )"sop$s +ables. % am not conten#ing *or the morality o* 0omer: on the contrary/ % thin> it a boo> o* *alse glory/ an# ten#ing to inspire immoral an# mischievous notions o* honour: an# 5ith respect to )"sop/ though the moral is in general Cust/ the *able is o*ten cruel: an# the cruelty o* the *able #oes more inCury to the heart/ especially in a chil#/ than the moral #oes goo# to the Cu#gment. 0aving no5 #ismisse# ?ings an# hronicles/ % come to the ne2t in course/ the boo> o* "Ira. )s one proo*/ among others % shall pro#uce to she5 the #isor#er in
129

5hich this preten#e# 5or# o* 8o#/ the Bible/ has been put together/ an# the uncertainty o* 5ho the authors 5ere/ 5e have only to loo> at the *irst three verses in "Ira/ an# the last t5o in A hronicles: *or by 5hat >in# o* cutting an# shu**ling has it been that the *irst three verses in "Ira shoul# be the last t5o verses in A hronicles/ or that the last t5o in A hronicles shoul# be the *irst three in "IraK "ither the authors #i# not >no5 their o5n 5or>s or the compilers #i# not >no5 the authors. 9ast (5o 1erses o* A hronicles. 1er. AA. 4o5 in the *irst year o* yrus/ ?ing o* Persia/ that the 5or# o* the 9or#/ spo>en by the mouth o* .eremiah/ might be accomplishe#/ the 9or# stirre# up the spirit o* yrus/ >ing o* Persia/ that he ma#e a proclamation throughout all his >ing#om/ an# put it also in 5riting/ saying. earth hath the 9or# 8o# o* heaven given me: an# he hath charge# me to buil# him an house in .erusalem 5hich is in .u#ah. 7ho is there among you o* all his peopleK the 9or# his 8o# be 5ith him/ an# let him go up. !!! +irst (hree 1erses o* "Ira. 1er. 1. 4o5 in the *irst year o* yrus/ >ing o* Persia/ that the 5or#

o* the 9or#/ by the mouth o* .eremiah/ might be *ul*ille#/ the 9or# stirre# up the spirit o* yrus/ >ing o* Persia/ that he ma#e a proclamation throughout all his >ing#om/ an# put it also in 5riting/ saying. A. (hus saith yrus/ >ing o* Persia/ (he 9or# 8o# o* heaven hath given me all the >ing#oms o* the earth: an# he hath charge# me to buil# him an house at .erusalem/ 5hich is in .u#ah. =. 7ho is there among you o* all his peopleK his 8o# be 5ith him/ an# let him go up to .erusalem/ 5hich is in .u#ah/ an# buil# the house o* the 9or# 8o# o* %srael (he is the 8o#) 5hich is in .erusalem.
130

!!! (he last verse in hronicles is bro>en abruptly/ an# en#s in the mi##le o* the phrase 5ith the 5or# $up$ 5ithout signi*ying to 5hat place. (his abrupt brea>/ an# the appearance o* the same verses in #i**erent boo>s/ sho5 as % have alrea#y sai#/ the #isor#er an# ignorance in 5hich the Bible has been put together/ an# that the compilers o* it ha# no authority *or 5hat they 5ere #oing/ nor 5e any authority *or believing 5hat they have #one. G4&(" % observe#/ as % passe# along/ several bro>en an# senseless passages in the Bible/ 5ithout thin>ing them o* conseDuence enough to be intro#uce# in the bo#y o* the 5or>: such as that/ 1 ;amuel 2iii. 1/ 5here it is sai#/ @;aul reigne# one year: an# 5hen he ha# reigne# t5o years over %srael/ ;aul chose him three thousan# men/@ Oc. (he *irst part o* the verse/ that ;aul reigne# one year has no sense/ since it #oes not tell us 5hat ;aul #i#/ nor say any thing o* 5hat happene# at the en# o* that one year: an# it is/ besi#es/ mere absur#ity to say he reigne# one year/ 5hen the very ne2t phrase says he ha# reigne# t5o *or i* he ha# reigne# t5o/ it 5as impossible not to have reigne# one. )nother instance occurs in .oshua v. 5here the 5riter tells us a story o* an angel (*or such the table o* contents at the hea# o* the

chapter calls him) appearing unto .oshua: an# the story en#s abruptly/ an# 5ithout any conclusion. (he story is as *ollo5s: '' 1er. 1=. @)n# it came to pass/ 5hen .oshua 5as by .ericho/ that he li*te# up his eyes an# loo>e#/ an# behol# there stoo# a man over against him 5ith his s5or# #ra5n in his han#: an# .oshua 5ent unto bim an# sai# unto him/ )rt thou *or us/ or *or our a#versariesK@ 1erse 1F/ @)n# he sai#/ 4ay: but as captain o* the host o* the 9or# am % no5 come. )n# .oshua *ell on his *ace to the earth/ an# #i# 5orship an# sai# unto him/ 7hat saith my 9or# unto his servantK@ 1erse 1E/ @)n# the captain o* the 9or#$s host sai# unto .osbua/ 9oose thy shoe *rom o** thy *oot: *or the place
131

5hereon thou stan#eth is holy. )n# .oshua #i# so.@ '' )n# 5hat thenK nothing: *or here the story en#s/ an# the chapter too. "ither this story is bro>en o** in the mi##le/ or it is a story tol# by some .e5ish humourist in ri#icule o* .oshua$s preten#e# mission *rom 8o#/ an# the compilers o* the Bible/ not perceiving the #esign o* the story/ have tol# it as a serious matter. )s a story o* humour an# ri#icule it has a great #eal o* point: *or it pompously intro#uces an angel in the *igure o* a man/ 5ith a #ra5n s5or# in his han#/ be*ore 5hom .oshua *alls on his *ace to the earth/ an# 5orships (5hich is contrary to their secon# comman#ment:) an# then/ this most important embassy *rom heaven en#s in telling .oshua to pull o** his shoe. %t might as 5ell have tol# him to pull up his breeches. %t is certain/ ho5ever/ that the .e5s #i# not cre#it every thing their lea#ers tol# them/ as appears *rom the cavalier manner in 5hich they spea> o* ,oses/ 5hen he 5as gone into the mount. )s *or this ,oses/ say they/ 5e 5ot not 5hat is become o* him. "2o#. 222ii. 1. '' )uthor.H (he only thing that has any appearance o* certainty in the boo> o* "Ira is the time in 5hich it 5as 5ritten/ 5hich 5as imme#iately

a*ter the return o* the .e5s *rom the Babylonian captivity/ about B. . E=6. "Ira (5ho/ accor#ing to the .e5ish commentators/ is the same person as is calle# "s#ras in the )pocrypha) 5as one o* the persons 5ho returne#/ an# 5ho/ it is probable/ 5rote the account o* that a**air. 4ebemiah/ 5hose boo> *ollo5s ne2t to "Ira/ 5as another o* the returne# persons: an# 5ho/ it is also probable/ 5rote the account o* the same a**air/ in the boo> that bears his name. But those accounts are nothing to us/ nor to any other person/ unless it be to the .e5s/ as a part o* the history o* their nation: an# there is Cust as much o* the 5or# o* 8o# in those boo>s as there is in any o* the histories o* +rance/ or -apin$s history o* "nglan#/ or the
132

history o* any other country. But even in matters o* historical recor#/ neither o* those 5riters are to be #epen#e# upon. %n "Ira ii./ the 5riter gives a list o* the tribes an# *amilies/ an# o* the precise number o* souls o* each/ that returne# *rom Babylon to .erusalem: an# this enrolment o* the persons so returne# appears to have been one o* the principal obCects *or 5riting the boo>: but in this there is an error that #estroys the intention o* the un#erta>ing. (he 5riter begins his enrolment in the *ollo5ing manner (ii. =): @(he chil#ren o* Parosh/ t5o thousan# one hun#re# seventy an# *our.@ 1er. F/ @(he chil#ren o* ;hephatiah/ three hun#re# seventy an# t5o.@ )n# in this manner he procee#s through all the *amilies: an# in the 6Fth verse/ he ma>es a total/ an# says/ the 5hole congregation together 5as *orty an# t5o thousan# three hun#re# an# threescore. But 5hoever 5ill ta>e the trouble o* casting up the several particulars/ 5ill *in# that the total is but A9/B1B: so that the error is 1A/EFA. 7hat certainty then can there be in the Bible *or any thingK G0ere ,r. Paine inclu#es the long list o* numbers *rom the Bible

o* all the chil#ren liste# an# the total thereo*. (his can be ha# #irectly *rom the Bible.H 4ehemiah/ in li>e manner/ gives a list o* the returne# *amilies/ an# o* the number o* each *amily. 0e begins as in "Ira/ by saying (vii. B): @(he chil#ren o* Parosh/ t5o thousan# three hun#re# an# seventy't5o: @an# so on through all the *amilies. ((he list #i**ers in several o* the particulars *rom that o* "Ira.) %n ver. 66/ 4ehemiah ma>es a total/ an# says/ as "Ira ha# sai#/ @(he 5hole congregation together 5as *orty an# t5o thousan# three hun#re# an# threescore.@ But the particulars o* this list ma>e a total but o* =1/LB9/ so that the error here is 11/A71. (hese 5riters may #o 5ell
133

enough *or Bible'ma>ers/ but not *or any thing 5here truth an# e2actness is necessary. (he ne2t boo> in course is the boo> o* "sther. %* ,a#am "sther thought it any honour to o**er hersel* as a >ept mistress to )hasuerus/ or as a rival to Jueen 1ashti/ 5ho ha# re*use# to come to a #run>en >ing in the mi#st o* a #run>en company/ to be ma#e a sho5 o*/ (*or the account says/ they ha# been #rin>ing seven #ays/ an# 5ere merry/) let "sther an# ,or#ecai loo> to that/ it is no business o* ours/ at least it is none o* mine: besi#es 5hich/ the story has a great #eal the appearance o* being *abulous/ an# is also anonymous. % pass on to the boo> o* .ob. (he boo> o* .ob #i**ers in character *rom all the boo>s 5e have hitherto passe# over. (reachery an# mur#er ma>e no part o* this boo>: it is the me#itations o* a min# strongly impresse# 5ith the vicissitu#es o* human li*e/ an# by turns sin>ing un#er/ an# struggling against the pressure. %t is a highly 5rought composition/ bet5een 5illing submission an# involuntary #iscontent: an# sho5s man/ as he sometimes is/ more #ispose# to be resigne# than he is capable o* being. Patience has but a small share in the character o* the person o* 5hom the boo> treats: on the contrary/ his grie* is

o*ten impetuous: but he still en#eavours to >eep a guar# upon it/ an# seems #etermine#/ in the mi#st o* accumulating ills/ to impose upon himsel* the har# #uty o* contentment. % have spo>en in a respect*ul manner o* the boo> o* .ob in the *ormer part o* the $)ge o* -eason/$ but 5ithout >no5ing at that time 5hat % have learne# since: 5hich is/ that *rom all the evi#ence that can be collecte#/ the boo> o* .ob #oes not belong to the Bible. % have seen the opinion o* t5o 0ebre5 commentators/ )beneIra an# ;pinoIa/ upon this subCect: they both say that the boo> o* .ob carries no internal evi#ence o* being an 0ebre5 boo>: that the genius o* the composition/ an# the #rama o* the piece/ are not
134

0ebre5: that it has been translate# *rom another language into 0ebre5/ an# that the author o* the boo> 5as a 8entile: that the character represente# un#er the name o* ;atan (5hich is the *irst an# only time this name is mentione# in the Bible) G%n a later 5or> Paine notes that in @the Bible@ (by 5hich be al5ays means the &l# (estament alone) the 5or# ;atan occurs also in 1 hron. 22i. 1/ an# remar>s that the action there ascribe# to ;atan is in A ;am. 22iv. 1/ attribute# to .ehovah (@"ssay on 3reams@). %n these places/ ho5ever/ an# in Ps. ci2. 6/ ;atan means @a#versary/@ an# is so translate# ().;. version) in A ;am. 2i2. AA/ an# 1 ?ings v. F/ 2i. AE. )s a proper name/ 5ith the article/ ;atan appears in the &l# (estament only in .ob an# in Nech. iii. 1/ A. But the authenticity o* the passage in Nechariah has been Duestione#/ an# it may be that in *in#ing the proper name o* ;atan in .ob alone/ Paine 5as *ollo5ing some opinion met 5ith in one o* the authorities 5hose comments are con#ense# in his paragraph. '' "#itor.H #oes not correspon# to any 0ebre5 i#ea: an# that the t5o convocations 5hich the 3eity is suppose# to have ma#e o* those 5hom the poem calls sons o* 8o#/ an# the *amiliarity 5hich this suppose# ;atan is state# to have 5ith the 3eity/ are in the same case.

%t may also be observe#/ that the boo> sho5s itsel* to be the pro#uction o* a min# cultivate# in science/ 5hich the .e5s/ so *ar *rom being *amous *or/ 5ere very ignorant o*. (he allusions to obCects o* natural philosophy are *reDuent an# strong/ an# are o* a #i**erent cast to any thing in the boo>s >no5n to be 0ebre5. (he astronomical names/ Pleia#es/ &rion/ an# )rcturus/ are 8ree> an# not 0ebre5 names/ an# it #oes not appear *rom any thing that is to be *oun# in the Bible that the .e5s >ne5 any thing o* astronomy/ or that they stu#ie# it/ they ha# no translation o* those names into their o5n language/ but a#opte# the names as they *oun# them in the poem. GPaine$s .e5ish critic/ 3avi# 9evi/ *astene# on this slip
135

(@3etence o* the &l# (estament/@ 1797/ p. 1EA). %n the original the names are )sh ()rcturus)/ ?esil$ (&rion)/ ?imah$ (Pleia#es)/ though the i#enti*ications o* the constellations in the ).;.1. have been Duestione#. '' "#itor.H (hat the .e5s #i# translate the literary pro#uctions o* the 8entile nations into the 0ebre5 language/ an# mi2 them 5ith their o5n/ is not a matter o* #oubt: Proverbs 222i. i/ is an evi#ence o* this: it is there sai#/ (he 5or# o* >ing 9emuel/ the prophecy 5hich his mother taught him. (his verse stan#s as a pre*ace to the proverbs that *ollo5/ an# 5hich are not the proverbs o* ;olomon/ but o* 9emuel: an# this 9emuel 5as not one o* the >ings o* %srael/ nor o* .u#ah/ but o* some other country/ an# conseDuently a 8entile. (he .e5s ho5ever have a#opte# his proverbs: an# as they cannot give any account 5ho the author o* the boo> o* .ob 5as/ nor ho5 they came by the boo>/ an# as it #i**ers in character *rom the 0ebre5 5ritings/ an# stan#s totally unconnecte# 5ith every other boo> an# chapter in the Bible be*ore it an# a*ter it/ it has all the circumstantial evi#ence o* being originally a boo> o* the 8entiles. G(he prayer >no5n by the name o* )gur$s Prayer/ in Proverbs 222./ '' imme#iately prece#ing the proverbs o* 9emuel/ '' an# 5hich is

the only sensible/ 5ell'conceive#/ an# 5ell'e2presse# prayer in the Bible/ has much the appearance o* being a prayer ta>en *rom the 8entiles. (he name o* )gur occurs on no other occasion than this: an# he is intro#uce#/ together 5ith the prayer ascribe# to him/ in the same manner/ an# nearly in the same 5or#s/ that 9emuel an# his proverbs are intro#uce# in the chapter that *ollo5s. (he *irst verse says/ @(he 5or#s o* )gur/ the son o* .a>eh/ even the prophecy: @here the 5or# prophecy is use# 5ith the same application it has in the *ollo5ing chapter o* 9emuel/ unconnecte# 5ith anything o* pre#iction. (he prayer o* )gur is in the Bth an# 9th verses/ @-emove *ar *rom me vanity an# lies: give me neither
136

riches nor poverty/ but *ee# me 5ith *oo# convenient *or me: lest % be *ull an# #eny thee an# say/ 7ho is the 9or#K or lest % be poor an# steal/ an# ta>e the name o* my 8o# in vain.@ (his has not any o* the mar>s o* being a .e5ish prayer/ *or the .e5s never praye# but 5hen they 5ere in trouble/ an# never *or anything but victory/ vengeance/ or riches. '' )uthor. (Prov. 222. 1/ an# 222i. 1/ the 5or# @prophecy@ in these verses is tranrinte# @oracle@ or @bur#en@ (marg.) in the revise# version. '' (he prayer o* )gur 5as Duote# by Paine in his plea *or the o**icers o* "2cise/ 177A. '' "#itor.H (he Bible'ma>ers/ an# those regulators o* time/ the Bible chronologists/ appear to have been at a loss 5here to place an# ho5 to #ispose o* the boo> o* .ob: *or it contains no one historical circumstance/ nor allusion to any/ that might serve to #etermine its place in the Bible. But it 5oul# not have ans5ere# the purpose o* these men to have in*orme# the 5orl# o* their ignorance: an#/ there*ore/ they have a**i2e# it to the aera o* B. . 1EAL/ 5hich is #uring the time the %sraelites 5ere in "gypt/ an# *or 5hich they have Cust as much authority an# no more than % shoul# have *or saying it 5as a thousan# years be*ore that perio#. (he probability ho5ever is/ that it is ol#er than any boo> in the Bible: an# it is the

only one that can be rea# 5ithout in#ignation or #isgust. 7e >no5 nothing o* 5hat the ancient 8entile 5orl# (as it is calle#) 5as be*ore the time o* the .e5s/ 5hose practice has been to calumniate an# blac>en the character o* all other nations: an# it is *rom the .e5ish accounts that 5e have learne# to call them heathens. But/ as *ar as 5e >no5 to the contrary/ they 5ere a Cust an# moral people/ an# not a##icte#/ li>e the .e5s/ to cruelty an# revenge/ but o* 5hose pro*ession o* *aith 5e are unacDuainte#. %t appears to have been their custom to personi*y both virtue an# vice by statues an# images/ as is #one no5'a'#ays both by statuary an# by painting: but it #oes not *ollo5 *rom this that they 5orshippe#
137

them any more than 5e #o. '' % pass on to the boo> o*/ Psalms/ o* 5hich it is not necessary to ma>e much observation. ;ome o* them are moral/ an# others are very revenge*ul: an# the greater part relates to certain local circumstances o* the .e5ish nation at the time they 5ere 5ritten/ 5ith 5hich 5e have nothing to #o. %t is/ ho5ever/ an error or an imposition to call them the Psalms o* 3avi#: they are a collection/ as song'boo>s are no5' a#ays/ *rom #i**erent song'5riters/ 5ho live# at #i**erent times. (he 1=7th Psalm coul# not have been 5ritten till more than FLL years a*ter the time o* 3avi#/ because it is 5ritten in commemoration o* an event/ the capitivity o* the .e5s in Babylon/ 5hich #i# not happen till that #istance o* time. @By the rivers o* Babylon 5e sat #o5n: yea/ 5e 5ept 5hen 5e remembere# Nion. 7e hange# our harps upon the 5illo5s/ in the mi#st thereo*: *or there they that carrie# us a5ay cartive reDuire# o* us a song/ saying/ sing us one o* the songs o* Nion.@ )s a man 5oul# say to an )merican/ or to a +renchman/ or to an "nglishman/ sing us one o* your )merican songs/ or your +rench songs/ or your "nglish songs. (his remar>/ 5ith respect to the time this psalm 5as 5ritten/ is o* no other use

than to sho5 (among others alrea#y mentione#) the general imposition the 5orl# has been un#er 5ith respect to the authors o* the Bible. 4o regar# has been pai# to time/ place/ an# circumstance: an# the names o* persons have been a**i2e# to the several boo>s 5hich it 5as as impossible they shoul# 5rite/ as that a man shoul# 5al> in procession at his o5n *uneral. (he Boo> o* Proverbs. (hese/ li>e the Psalms/ are a collection/ an# that *rom authors belonging to other nations than those o* the .e5ish nation/ as % have she5n in the observations upon the boo> o* .ob: besi#es 5hich/ some o* the Proverbs ascribe# to ;olomon #i# not appear till t5o hun#re# an# *i*ty years a*ter the #eath o* ;olomon: *or it is sai# in 22v. i/ @(hese are also proverbs o*
138

;olomon 5hich the men o* 0eIe>iah/ >ing o* .u#ah/ copie# out.@ %t 5as t5o hun#re# an# *i*ty years *rom the time o* ;olomon to the time o* 0eIe>iah. 7hen a man is *amous an# his name is abroa# he is ma#e the putative *ather o* things he never sai# or #i#: an# this/ most probably/ has been the case 5ith ;olomon. %t appears to have been the *ashion o* that #ay to ma>e proverbs/ as it is no5 to ma>e Cest'boo>s/ an# *ather them upon those 5ho never sa5 them. G) @(om Paine$s .est Boo>@ ha# appeare# in 9on#on 5ith little or nothing o* Paine in it. '' "#itor.H (he boo> o* "cclesiastes/ or the Preacher/ is also ascribe# to ;olomon/ an# that 5ith much reason/ i* not 5ith truth. %t is 5ritten as the solitary re*lections o* a 5orn'out #ebauchee/ such as ;olomon 5as/ 5ho loo>ing bac> on scenes he can no longer enCoy/ cries out )ll is 1anity! ) great #eal o* the metaphor an# o* the sentiment is obscure/ most probably by translation: but enough is le*t to sho5 they 5ere strongly pointe# in the original. G(hose that loo> out o* the 5in#o5 shall be #ar>ene#/ is an obscure *igure in translation *or loss o* sight. '' )uthor.H +rom 5hat is transmitte# to us o* the character o* ;olomon/ he 5as 5itty/ ostentatious/

#issolute/ an# at last melancholy. 0e live# *ast/ an# #ie#/ tire# o* the 5orl#/ at the age o* *i*ty'eight years. ;even hun#re# 5ives/ an# three hun#re# concubines/ are 5orse than none: an#/ ho5ever it may carry 5ith it the appearance o* heightene# enCoyment/ it #e*eats all the *elicity o* a**ection/ by leaving it no point to *i2 upon: #ivi#e# love is never happy. (his 5as the case 5ith ;olomon: an# i* he coul# not/ 5ith all his pretensions to 5is#om/ #iscover it be*orehan#/ he merite#/ unpitie#/ the morti*ication he a*ter5ar#s en#ure#. %n this point o* vie5/ his preaching is unnecessary/ because/ to >no5 the conseDuences/ it is only necessary to >no5 the cause. ;even hun#re# 5ives/ an# three hun#re# concubines 5oul# have stoo# in
139

place o* the 5hole boo>. %t 5as nee#less a*ter this to say that all 5as vanity an# ve2ation o* spirit: *or it is impossible to #erive happiness *rom the company o* those 5hom 5e #eprive o* happiness. (o be happy in ol# age it is necessary that 5e accustom ourselves to obCects that can accompany the min# all the 5ay through li*e/ an# that 5e ta>e the rest as goo# in their #ay. (he mere man o* pleasure is miserable in ol# age: an# the mere #ru#ge in business is but little better: 5hereas/ natural philosophy/ mathematical an# mechanical science/ are a continual source o* tranDuil pleasure/ an# in spite o* the gloomy #ogmas o* priests/ an# o* superstition/ the stu#y o* those things is the stu#y o* the true theology: it teaches man to >no5 an# to a#mire the reator/ *or the principles o* science are in the creation/ an# are unchangeable/ an# o* #ivine origin. (hose 5ho >ne5 BenCaman +ran>lin 5ill recollect/ that his min# 5as ever young: his temper ever serene: science/ that never gro5s grey/ 5as al5ays his mistress. 0e 5as never 5ithout an obCect: *or

5hen 5e cease to have an obCect 5e become li>e an invali# in an hospital 5aiting *or #eath. ;olomon$s ;ongs/ amorous an# *oolish enough/ but 5hich 5rin>le# *anaticism has calle# #ivine. '' (he compilers o* the Bible have place# these songs a*ter the boo> o* "cclesiastes: an# the chronologists have a**i2e# to them the aera o* B. . 1&1F/ at 5hich time ;olomon/ accor#ing to the same chronology/ 5as nineteen years o* age/ an# 5as then *orming his seraglio o* 5ives an# concubines. (he Bible'ma>ers an# the chronologists shoul# have manage# this matter a little better/ an# either have sai# nothing about the time/ or chosen a time less inconsistent 5ith the suppose# #ivinity o* those songs: *or ;olomon 5as then in the honey'moon o* one thousan# #ebaucheries.
140

%t shoul# also have occurre# to them/ that as he 5rote/ i* he #i# 5rite/ the boo> o* "cclesiastes/ long a*ter these songs/ an# in 5hich he e2claims that all is vanity an# ve2ation o* spirit/ that he inclu#e# those songs in that #escription. (his is the more probable/ because he says/ or somebo#y *or him/ "cclesiastes ii. B/ % got me men'singers/ an# 5omen'singers (most probably to sing those songsH/ an# musical instruments o* all sores: an# behol# (1er. ii)/ @all 5as vanity an# ve2ation o* spirit.@ (he compilers ho5ever have #one their 5or> but by halves: *or as they have given us the songs they shoul# have given us the tunes/ that 5e might sing them. (he boo>s calle# the boo>s o* the Prophets *ill up all the remaining part o* the Bible: they are si2teen in number/ beginning 5ith %saiah an# en#ing 5ith ,alachi/ o* 5hich % have given a list in the observations upon hronicles. &* these si2teen prophets/ all o* 5hom e2cept the last three live# 5ithin the time the boo>s o* ?ings an# hronicles 5ere 5ritten/ t5o only/ %saiah an# .eremiah/ are mentione# in the history o* those boo>s. % shall begin 5ith

those t5o/ reserving/ 5hat % have to say on the general character o* the men calle# prophets to another part o* the 5or>. 7hoever 5ill ta>e the trouble o* rea#ing the boo> ascribe# to %saiah/ 5ill *in# it one o* the most 5il# an# #isor#erly compositions ever put together: it has neither beginning/ mi##le/ nor en#: an#/ e2cept a short historical part/ an# a *e5 s>etches o* history in the *irst t5o or three chapters/ is one continue# incoherent/ bombastical rant/ *ull o* e2travagant metaphor/ 5ithout application/ an# #estitute o* meaning: a school'boy 5oul# scarcely have been e2cusable *or 5riting such stu**: it is (at least in translation) that >in# o* composition an# *alse taste that is properly calle# prose run ma#. (he historical part begins at chapter 222vi./ an# is continue# to the
141

en# o* chapter 222i2. %t relates some matters that are sai# to have passe# #uring the reign o* 0eIe>iah/ >ing o* .u#ah/ at 5hich time %saiah live#. (his *ragment o* history begins an# en#s abruptly: it has not the least connection 5ith the chapter that prece#es it/ nor 5ith that 5hich *ollo5s it/ nor 5ith any other in the boo>. %t is probable that %saiah 5rote this *ragment himsel*/ because he 5as an actor in the circumstances it treats o*: but e2cept this part there are scarcely t5o chapters that have any connection 5ith each other. &ne is entitle#/ at the beginning o* the *irst verse/ the bur#en o* Babylon: another/ the bur#en o* ,oab: another/ the bur#en o* 3amascus: another/ the bur#en o* "gypt: another/ the bur#en o* the 3esert o* the ;ea: another/ the bur#en o* the 1alley o* 1ision: as you 5oul# say the story o* the ?night o* the Burning ,ountain/ the story o* in#erella/ or the glassen slipper/ the story o* the ;leeping Beauty in the 7oo#/ etc./ etc. % have alrea#y sho5n/ in the instance o* the last t5o verses o* A hronicles/ an# the *irst three in "Ira/ that the compilers o* the Bible mi2e# an# con*oun#e# the 5ritings o* #i**erent authors 5ith

each other: 5hich alone/ 5ere there no other cause/ is su**icient to #estroy the authenticity o* an compilation/ because it is more than presumptive evi#ence that the compilers are ignorant 5ho the authors 5ere. ) very glaring instance o* this occurs in the boo> ascribe# to %saiah: the latter part o* the FFth chapter/ an# the beginning o* the FEth/ so *ar *rom having been 5ritten by %saiah/ coul# only have been 5ritten by some person 5ho live# at least an hun#re# an# *i*ty years a*ter %saiah 5as #ea#. (hese chapters are a compliment to yrus/ 5ho permitte# the .e5s to return to .erusalem *rom the Babylonian captivity/ to rebuil# .erusalem an# the temple/ as is state# in "Ira. (he last verse o* the FFth chapter/ an# the beginning o* the FEth G%saiahH are in the *ollo5ing 5or#s: @(hat saith o* yrus/ he is my shepher#/ an#
142

shall per*orm all my pleasure: even saying to .erusalem/ thou shalt be built: an# to the temple thy *oun#ations shall be lai#: thus saith the 9or# to his enointe#/ to yrus/ 5hose right han# % have hol#en to sub#ue nations be*ore him/ an# % 5ill loose the loins o* >ings to open be*ore him the t5o'leave# gates/ an# the gates shall not be shut: % 5ill go be*ore thee/@ etc. 7hat au#acity o* church an# priestly ignorance it is to impose this boo> upon the 5orl# as the 5riting o* %saiah/ 5hen %saiah/ accor#ing to their o5n chronology/ #ie# soon a*ter the #eath o* 0eIe>iah/ 5hich 5as B. . 69B: an# the #ecree o* yrus/ in *avour o* the .e5s returning to .erusalem/ 5as/ accor#ing to the same chronology/ B. . E=6: 5hich is a #istance o* time bet5een the t5o o* 16A years. % #o not suppose that the compilers o* the Bible ma#e these boo>s/ but rather that they pic>e# up some loose/ anonymous essays/ an# put them together un#er the names o* such authors as best suite# their purpose. (hey have encourage# the imposition/ 5hich is ne2t to inventing it: *or it 5as impossible but they must have observe# it.

7hen 5e see the stu#ie# cra*t o* the scripture'ma>ers/ in ma>ing every part o* this romantic boo> o* school'boy$s eloDuence ben# to the monstrous i#ea o* a ;on o* 8o#/ begotten by a ghost on the bo#y o* a virgin/ there is no imposition 5e are not Custi*ie# in suspecting them o*. "very phrase an# circumstance are mar>e# 5ith the barbarous han# o* superstitious torture/ an# *orce# into meanings it 5as impossible they coul# have. (he hea# o* every chapter/ an# the top o* every page/ are blaIone# 5ith the names o* hrist an# the hurch/ that the un5ary rea#er might suc> in the error be*ore he began to rea#. Behol# a virgin shall conceive/ an# bear a son (%sa. vii. %F)/ has been interprete# to mean the person calle# .esus hrist/ an# his mother ,ary/ an# has been echoe# through christen#om *or more
143

than a thousan# years: an# such has been the rage o* this opinion/ that scarcely a spot in it but has been staine# 5ith bloo# an# mar>e# 5ith #esolation in conseDuence o* it. (hough it is not my intention to enter into controversy on subCects o* this >in#/ but to con*ine mysel* to sho5 that the Bible is spurious/ '' an# thus/ by ta>ing a5ay the *oun#ation/ to overthro5 at once the 5hole structure o* superstition raise# thereon/ '' % 5ill ho5ever stop a moment to e2pose the *allacious application o* this passage. 7hether %saiah 5as playing a tric> 5ith )haI/ >ing o* .u#ah/ to 5hom this passage is spo>en/ is no business o* mine: % mean only to sho5 the misapplication o* the passage/ an# that it has no more re*erence to hrist an# his mother/ than it has to me an# my mother. (he story is simply this: (he >ing o* ;yria an# the >ing o* %srael (% have alrea#y mentione# that the .e5s 5ere split into t5o nations/ one o* 5hich 5as calle# .u#ah/ the capital o* 5hich 5as .erusalem/ an# the other %srael) ma#e 5ar Cointly against )haI/ >ing o* .u#ah/ an# marche# their armies to5ar#s .erusalem. )haI an# his people became alarme#/

an# the account says (%s. vii. A)/ (heir hearts 5ere move# as the trees o* the 5oo# are move# 5ith the 5in#. %n this situation o* things/ %saiah a##resses himsel* to )haI/ an# assures him in the name o* the 9or# (the cant phrase o* all the prophets) that these t5o >ings shoul# not succee# against him: an# to satis*y )haI that this shoul# be the case/ tells him to as> a sign. (his/ the account says/ )haI #ecline# #oing: giving as a reason that he 5oul# not tempt the 9or#: upon 5hich %saiah/ 5ho is the spea>er/ says/ ver. 1F/ @(here*ore the 9or# himsel* shall give you a sign: behol# a virgin shall conceive an# bear a son:@ an# the 16th verse says/ @)n# be*ore this chil# shall >no5 to re*use the evil/ an# choose the goo#/ the lan# 5hich thou abhorrest or #rea#est Gmeaning ;yria an# the >ing#om o* %sraelH shall be *orsa>en o*
144

both her >ings.@ 0ere then 5as the sign/ an# the time limite# *or the completion o* the assurance or promise: namely/ be*ore this chil# shall >no5 to re*use the evil an# choose the goo#. %saiah having committe# himsel* thus *ar/ it became necessary to him/ in or#er to avoi# the imputation o* being a *alse prophet/ an# the conseDuences thereo*/ to ta>e measures to ma>e this sign appear. %t certainly 5as not a #i**icult thing/ in any time o* the 5orl#/ to *in# a girl 5ith chil#/ or to ma>e her so: an# perhaps %saiah >ne5 o* one be*orehan#: *or % #o not suppose that the prophets o* that #ay 5ere any more to be truste# than the priests o* this: be that/ ho5ever/ as it may/ he says in the ne2t chapter/ ver. A/ @)n# % too> unto me *aith*ul 5itnesses to recor#/ <riah the priest/ an# Nechariah the son o* .eberechiah/ an# % 5ent unto the prophetess/ an# she conceive# an# bare a son.@ 0ere then is the 5hole story/ *oolish as it is/ o* this chil# an# this virgin: an# it is upon the bare*ace# perversion o* this story that the boo> o* ,atthe5/ an# the impu#ence an# sor#i# interest o* priests

in later times/ have *oun#e# a theory/ 5hich they call the gospel: an# have applie# this story to signi*y the person they call .esus hrist: begotten/ they say/ by a ghost/ 5hom they call holy/ on the bo#y o* a 5oman engage# in marriage/ an# a*ter5ar#s marrie#/ 5hom they call a virgin/ seven hun#re# years a*ter this *oolish story 5as tol#: a theory 5hich/ spea>ing *or mysel*/ % hesitate not to believe/ an# to say/ is as *abulous an# as *alse as 8o# is true. G%n %s. vii. 1F/ it is sai# that the chil# shoul# be calle# %mmanuel: but this name 5as not given to either o* the chil#ren/ other5ise than as a character/ 5hich the 5or# signi*ies. (hat o* the prophetess 5as calle# ,aher'shalalhash' baI/ an# that o* ,ary 5as calle# .esus. '' )uthor.H But to sho5 the imposition an# *alsehoo# o* %saiah 5e have only to atten# to the seDuel o* this story: 5hich/ though it is passe# over
145

in silence in the boo> o* %saiah/ is relate# in A hronicles/ 22viii: an# 5hich is/ that instea# o* these t5o >ings *ailing in their attempt against )haI/ >ing o* .u#ah/ as %saiah ha# preten#e# to *oretel in the name o* the 9or#/ they succee#e#: )haI 5as #e*eate# an# #estroye#: an hun#re# an# t5enty thousan# o* his people 5ere slaughtere#: .erusalem 5as plun#ere#/ an# t5o hun#re# thousan# 5omen an# sons an# #aughters carrie# into captivity. (hus much *or this lying prophet an# imposter %saiah/ an# the boo> o* *alsehoo#s that bears his name. % pass on to the boo> o* .eremiah. (his prophet/ as he is calle#/ live# in the time that 4ebucha#neIIar besiege# .erusalem/ in the reign o* Ne#e>iah/ the last >ing o* .u#ah: an# the suspicion 5as strong against him that he 5as a traitor in the interest o* 4ebucha#neIIar. "very thing relating to .eremiah sho5s him to have been a man o* an eDuivocal character: in his metaphor o* the potter an# the clay/ (ch. 2viii.) he guar#s his prognostications in such a cra*ty manner as al5ays to leave himsel* a #oor to escape by/ in case the event shoul# be

contrary to 5hat he ha# pre#icte#. %n the 7th an# Bth verses he ma>es the )lmighty to say/ @)t 5hat instant % shall spea> concerning a nation/ an# concerning a >ing#om/ to pluc> up/ an# to pull #o5n/ an# #estroy it/ i* that nation/ against 5hom % have pronounce#/ turn *rom their evil/ % 5ill repent me o* the evil that % thought to #o unto them.@ 0ere 5as a proviso against one si#e o* the case: no5 *or the other si#e. 1erses 9 an# 1L/ @)t 5hat instant % shall spea> concerning a nation/ an# concerning a >ing#om/ to buil# an# to plant it/ i* it #o evil in my sight/ that it obey not my voice/ then % 5ill repent me o* the goo# 5here5ith % sai# % 5oul# bene*it them.@ 0ere is a proviso against the other si#e: an#/ accor#ing to this plan o* prophesying/ a prophet coul# never be 5rong/ ho5ever mista>en the )lmighty might be. (his sort o* absur# subter*uge/ an# this manner o* spea>ing o* the )lmighty/ as
146

one 5oul# spea> o* a man/ is consistent 5ith nothing but the stupi#ity o* the Bible. )s to the authenticity o* the boo>/ it is only necessary to rea# it in or#er to #eci#e positively that/ though some passages recor#e# therein may have been spo>en by .eremiah/ he is not the author o* the boo>. (he historical parts/ i* they can be calle# by that name/ are in the most con*use# con#ition: the same events are several times repeate#/ an# that in a manner #i**erent/ an# sometimes in contra#iction to each other: an# this #isor#er runs even to the last chapter/ 5here the history/ upon 5hich the greater part o* the boo> has been employe#/ begins ane5/ an# en#s abruptly. (he boo> has all the appearance o* being a me#ley o* unconnecte# anec#otes respecting persons an# things o* that time/ collecte# together in the same ru#e manner as i* the various an# contra#ictory accounts that are to be *oun# in a bun#le o* ne5spapers/ respecting persons an# things o* the present #ay/ 5ere put together 5ithout #ate/ or#er/ or e2planation. % 5ill give t5o or three e2amples o* this >in#.

%t appears/ *rom the account o* chapter 222vii. that the army o* 4ebucha#neIIer/ 5hich is calle# the army o* the hal#eans/ ha# besiege# .erusalem some time: an# on their hearing that the army o* Pharaoh o* "gypt 5as marching against them/ they raise# the siege an# retreate# *or a time. %t may here be proper to mention/ in or#er to un#erstan# this con*use# history/ that 4ebucha#neIIar ha# besiege# an# ta>en .erusalem #uring the reign o* .ehoa>im/ the re#ecessor o* Ne#e>iah: an# that it 5as 4ebucha#neIIar 5ho ha# ma>e Ne#e>iah >ing/ or rather viceroy: an# that this secon# siege/ o* 5hich the boo> o* .eremiah treats/ 5as in conseDuence o* the revolt o* Ne#e>iah against 4ebucha#neIIar. (his 5ill in some measure account *or the suspicion that a**i2es itsel* to .eremiah o* being a traitor/ an# in the interest o* 4ebucha#neIIar/ '' 5hom .eremiah calls/ 2liii. 1L/ the servant o* 8o#.
147

Chapter xxxvii.
11'1=/ says/ @)n# it came to pass/ that/ 5hen the army o* the hal#eans 5as bro>en up *rom .erusalem/ *or *ear o* Pharaoh$s army/ that .eremiah 5ent *orth out o* .erusalem/ to go (as this account states) into the lan# o* BenCamin/ to separate himsel* thence in the mi#st o* the people: an# 5hen he 5as in the gate o* BenCamin a captain o* the 5ar# 5as there/ 5hose name 5as %riCah ... an# he too> .eremiah the prophet/ saying/ (hou *allest a5ay to the hal#eans: then .eremiah sai#/ %t is *alse: % *all not a5ay to the hal#eans.@ .eremiah being thus stopt an# accuse#/ 5as/ a*ter being e2amine#/ committe# to prison/ on suspicion o* being a traitor/ 5here he remaine#/ as is state# in the last verse o* this chapter. But the ne2t chapter gives an account o* the imprisonment o* .eremiah/ 5hich has no connection 5ith this account/ but ascribes his imprisonment to another circumstance/ an# *or 5hich 5e must go bac> to chapter 22i. %t is there state#/ ver. 1/ that Ne#e>iah sent

Pashur the son o* ,alchiah/ an# Nephaniah the son o* ,aaseiah the priest/ to .eremiah/ to enDuire o* him concerning 4ebucha#neIIar/ 5hose army 5as then be*ore .erusalem: an# .eremiah sai# to them/ ver. B/ @(hus saith the 9or#/ Behol# % set be*ore you the 5ay o* li*e/ an# the 5ay o* #eath: he that abi#eth in this city shall #ie by the s5or# an# by the *amine/ an# by the pestilence: but he that goeth out an# *alleth to the lial#eans that besiege you/ he shall live/ an# his li*e shall be unto him *or a prey.@ (his intervie5 an# con*erence brea>s o** abruptly at the en# o* the 1Lth verse o* chapter 22i.: an# such is the #isor#er o* this boo> that 5e have to pass over si2teen chapters upon various subCects/ in or#er to come at the continuation an# event o* this con*erence: an#
148

this brings us to the *irst verse o* chapter 222viii./ as % have Cust mentione#. (he chapter opens 5ith saying/ @(hen ;haphatiah/ the son o* ,attan/ 8e#aliah the son o* Pashur/ an# .ucal the son o* ;helemiah/ an# Pashur the son o* ,alchiah/ (here are more persons mentione# than in chapter 22i.) hear# the 5or#s that .eremiah spo>e unto all the people/ saying/ (hus saith the 9or#/ 0e that remaineth in this city/ shall #ie by the s5or#/ by *amine/ an# by the pestilence: but he that goeth *orth to the hal#eans shall live: *or he shall have his li*e *or a prey/ an# shall live@: G5hich are the 5or#s o* the con*erence:H there*ore/ (say they to Ne#e>iah/) @7e beseech thee/ let this man be put to #eath/ *or thus he 5ea>eneth the han#s o* the men o* 5ar that remain in this city/ an# the han#s o* all the people/ in spea>ing such 5or#s unto them: *or this man see>eth not the 5el*are o* the people/ but the hurt: @an# at the 6th verse it is sai#/ @(hen they too> .eremiah/ an# put him into the #ungeon o* ,alchiah.@ (hese t5o accounts are #i**erent an# contra#ictory. (he one ascribes his imprisonment to his attempt to escape out o* the city:

the other to his preaching an# prophesying in the city: the one to his being seiIe# by the guar# at the gate: the other to his being accuse# be*ore Ne#e>iah by the con*erees. G% observe# t5o chapters in % ;amuel (2vi. an# 2vii.) that contra#ict each other 5ith respect to 3avi#/ an# the manner he became acDuainte# 5ith ;aul: as .eremiah 222vii. an# 222viii. contra#ict each other 5ith respect to the cause o* .eremiah$s imprisonment. %n 1 ;amuel/ 2vi./ it is sai#/ that an evil spirit o* 8o# trouble# ;aul/ an# that his servants a#vise# him (as a reme#y) @to see> out a man 5ho 5as a cunning player upon the harp.@ )n# ;aul sai#/ ver. 17/ @ Provi#e me no5 a man that can play 5ell/ an# bring him to me. (hen ans5ere# one o* his servants/ an# sai#/ Behol#/ % have seen a son o* .esse/ the Bethlehemite/ that is cunning in playing/ an# a
149

mighty man/ an# a man o* 5ar/ an# pru#ent in matters/ an# a comely person/ an# the 9or# is 5ith him: 5here*ore ;aul sent messengers unto .esse/ an# sai#/ ;en# me 3avi#/ thy son. )n# (verse A1) 3avi# came to ;aul/ an# stoo# be*ore him/ an# he love# him greatly/ an# he became his armour'bearer: an# 5hen the evil spirit *rom 8o# 5as upon ;aul/ (verse A=) 3avi# too> his harp/ an# playe# 5ith his han#/ an# ;aul 5as re*reshe#/ an# 5as 5ell.@ But the ne2t chapter (2vii.) gives an account/ all #i**erent to this/ o* the manner that ;aul an# 3avi# became acDuainte#. 0ere it is ascribe# to 3avi#$s encounter 5ith 8oliah/ 5hen 3avi# 5as sent by his *ather to carry provision to his brethren in the camp. %n the EEth verse o* this chapter it is sai#/ @)n# 5hen ;aul sa5 3avi# go *orth against the Philistine (8oliah) he sai# to )bner/ the captain o* the host/ )bner/ 5hose son is this youthK )n# )bner sai#/ )s thy soul liveth/ L >ing/ % cannot tell. )n# the >ing sai#/ "nDuire thou 5hose son the stripling is. )n# as 3avi# returne# *rom the slaughter o* the Philistine/ )bner too> him an# brought him be*ore ;aul/ 5ith the hea# o* the Philistine in his han#: an# ;aul sai# unto

him/ 7hose son art thou/ thou young manK )n# 3avi# ans5ere#/ % am the son o* thy servant/ .esse/ the Betblehemite/@ (hese t5o accounts belie each other/ because each o* them supposes ;aul an# 3avi# not to have >no5n each other be*ore. (his boo>/ the Bible/ is too ri#iculous *or criticism. '' )uthor.H %n the ne2t chapter (.er. 222i2.) 5e have another instance o* the #isor#ere# state o* this boo>: *or not5ithstan#ing the siege o* the city by 4ebucha#neIIar has been the subCect o* several o* the prece#ing chapters/ particularly 222vii. an# 222viii./ chapter 222i2. begins as i* not a 5or# ha# been sai# upon the subCect/ an# as i* the rea#er 5as still to be in*orme# o* every particular respecting it: *or it begins 5ith saying/ ver. 1/ @%n the ninth year o* Ne#e>iah >ing o* .u#ah/ in the tenth month/ came 4ebucha#neIIar >ing o* Babylon/
150

an# all his army/ against .erusalem/ an# besiege# it/@ etc. But the instance in the last chapter (lii.) is still more glaring: *or though the story has been tol# over an# over again/ this chapter still supposes the rea#er not to >no5 anything o* it/ *or it begins by saying/ ver. i/ @Ne#e>iah 5as one an# t5enty years ol# 5hen he began to reign/ an# he reigne# eleven years in .erusalem/ an# his mother$s name 5as 0amutal/ the #aughter o* .eremiah o* 9ibnah.@ (1er. F/) @)n# it came to pass in the ninth year o* his reign/ in the tenth month/ that 4ebucha#neIIar >ing o* Babylon came/ he an# all his army/ against .erusalem/ an# pitche# against it/ an# built *orts against it/@ etc. %t is not possible that any one man/ an# more particularly .eremiah/ coul# have been the 5riter o* this boo>. (he errors are such as coul# not have been committe# by any person sitting #o5n to compose a 5or>. 7ere %/ or any other man/ to 5rite in such a #isor#ere# manner/ no bo#y 5oul# rea# 5hat 5as 5ritten/ an# every bo#y 5oul# suppose that the 5riter 5as in a state o* insanity. (he only 5ay/ there*ore/ to account *or the #isor#er is/ that the

boo> is a me#ley o* #etache# unauthenticate# anec#otes/ put together by some stupi# boo>'ma>er/ un#er the name o* .eremiah: because many o* them re*er to him/ an# to the circumstances o* the times he live# in. &* the #uplicity/ an# o* the *alse pre#ictions o* .eremiah/ % shall mention t5o instances/ an# then procee# to revie5 the remain#er o* the Bible. %t appears *rom chapter 222viii. that 5hen .eremiah 5as in prison/ Ne#e>iah sent *or him/ an# at this intervie5/ 5hich 5as private/ .eremiah presse# it strongly on Ne#e>iah to surren#er himsel* to the enemy. @%*/@ says he/ (ver. 17/) thou 5ilt assure#ly go *orth unto the >ing o* Babylon$s princes/ then thy soul shall live/@ etc. Ne#e>iah 5as apprehensive that 5hat passe# at this con*erence
151

shoul# be >no5n: an# he sai# to .eremiah/ (ver. AE/) @%* the princes Gmeaning those o* .u#ahH hear that % have tal>e# 5ith thee/ an# they come unto thee/ an# say unto thee/ 3eclare unto us no5 5hat thou hast sai# unto the >ing: hi#e it not *rom us/ an# 5e 5ill not put thee to #eath: an# also 5hat the >ing sai# unto thee: then thou shalt say unto them/ % presente# my supplication be*ore the >ing that he 5oul# not cause me to return to .onathan$s house/ to #ie there. (hen came all the princes unto .eremiah/ an# as>e# him/ an# @he tol# them accor#ing to all the 5or#s the >ing ha# comenan#e#.@ (hus/ this man o* 8o#/ as he is calle#/ coul# tell a lie/ or very strongly prevaricatc/ 5hen he suppose# it 5oul# ans5er his purpose: *or certainly he #i# not go to Ne#e>iah to ma>e this supplication/ neither #i# he ma>e it: he 5ent because he 5as sent *or/ an# he employe# that opportunity to a#vise Ne#e>iah to surren#er himsel* to 4ebucha#neIIar. %n chapter 222iv. A'E/ is a prophecy o* .eremiah to Ne#e>iah in these 5or#s: @(hus saith the 9or#/ Behol# % 5ill give this city into the han# o* the >ing o* Babylon/ an# he 5ill burn it 5ith *ire: an#

thou shalt not escape out o* his han#/ but thou shalt surely be ta>en/ an# #elivere# into his han#: an# thine eyes shall behol# the eyes o* the >ing o* Babylon/ an# he shall spea> 5ith thee mouth to mouth/ an# thou shalt go to Babylon. Met hear the 5or# o* the 9or#: & Ne#e>iah/ >ing/ o* .u#ah/ thus saith the 9or#/ (hou shalt not #ie by the s5or#/ but thou shalt #ie in Peace: an# 5ith the burnings o* thy *athers/ the *ormer >ings that 5ere be*ore thee/ so shall they burn o#ours *or thee/ an# they 5ill lament thee/ saying/ )h/ 9or#! *or % have pronounce# the 5or#/ saith the 9or#.@ 4o5/ instea# o* Ne#e>iah behol#ing the eyes o* the >ing o* Babylon/ an# spea>ing 5ith him mouth to mouth/ an# #ying in peace/ an# 5ith the burning o* o#ours/ as at the *uneral o* his *athers/ (as .eremiah ha# #eclare# the 9or# himsel* ha#
152

pronounce#/) the reverse/ accor#ing to chapter %ii./ 1L/ 11 5as the case: it is there sai#/ that the >ing o* Babylon sle5 the sons o* Ne#e>iah be*ore his eyes: then he put out the eyes o* Ne#e>iah/ an# boun# him in chains/ an# carrie# him to Babylon/ an# put him in prison till the #ay o* his #eath. 7hat then can 5e say o* these prophets/ but that they are impostors an# liarsK )s *or .eremiah/ he e2perience# none o* those evils. 0e 5as ta>en into *avour by 4ebucha#neIIar/ 5ho gave him in charge to the captain o* the guar# (222i2/ 1A)/ @(a>e him (sai# he) an# loo> 5ell to him/ an# #o him no harm: but #o unto him even as he shall say unto thee.@ .eremiah Coine# himsel* a*ter5ar#s to 4ebucha#neIIar/ an# 5ent about prophesying *or him against the "gyptians/ 5ho ha# marche# to the relie* o* .erusalem 5hile it 5as besiege#. (hus much *or another o* the lying prophets/ an# the boo> that bears his name. % have been the more particular in treating o* the boo>s ascribe# to %saiah an# .eremiah/ because those t5o are spo>en o* in the boo>s

o* ?ings an# hronicles/ 5hich the others are not. (he remain#er o* the boo>s ascribe# to the men calle# prophets % shall not trouble mysel* much about: but ta>e them collectively into the observations % shall o**er on the character o* the men style# prophets. %n the *ormer part o* the $)ge o* -eason/$ % have sai# that the 5or# prophet 5as the Bible'5or# *or poet/ an# that the *lights an# metaphors o* .e5ish poets have been *oolishly erecte# into 5hat are no5 calle# prophecies. % am su**iciently Custi*ie# in this opinion/ not only because the boo>s calle# the prophecies are 5ritten in poetical language/ but because there is no 5or# in the Bible/ e2cept it be the 5or# prophet/ that #escribes 5hat 5e mean by a poet. % have also sai#/ that the 5or# signi*ie# a per*ormer
153

upon musical instruments/ o* 5hich % have given some instances: such as that o* a company o* prophets/ prophesying 5ith psalteries/ 5ith tabrets/ 5ith pipes/ 5ith harps/ etc./ an# that ;aul prophesie# 5ith them/ 1 ;am. 2./ E. %t appears *rom this passage/ an# *rom other parts in the boo> o* ;amuel/ that the 5or# prophet 5as con*ine# to signi*y poetry an# music: *or the person 5ho 5as suppose# to have a visionary insight into conceale# things/ 5as not a prophet but a seer/ G% >no5 not 5hat is the 0ebre5 5or# that correspon#s to the 5or# seer in "nglish: but % observe it is translate# into +rench by 9e 1oyant/ *rom the verb voir to see/ an# mhich means the person 5ho sees/ or the seer. '' )uthor. (he 0ebre5 5or# *or ;eer/ in 1 ;amuel i2./ transliterate#/ is choIeh/ the gaIer/ it is translate# in %s. 2lvii. 1=/ @the stargaIers.@ '' "#itor.H (i ;am/ i2. 9:) an# it 5as not till a*ter the 5or# seer 5ent out o* use (5hich most probably 5as 5hen ;aul banishe# those he calle# 5iIar#s) that the pro*ession o* the seer/ or the art o* seeing/ became incorporate# into the 5or# prophet. )ccor#ing to the mo#ern meaning o* the 5or# prophet an#

prophesying/ it signi*ies *oretelling events to a great #istance o* time: an# it became necessary to the inventors o* the gospel to give it this latitu#e o* meaning/ in or#er to apply or to stretch 5hat they call the prophecies o* the &l# (estament/ to the times o* the 4e5. But accor#ing to the &l# (estament/ the prophesying o* the seer/ an# a*ter5ar#s o* the prophet/ so *ar as the meaning o* the 5or# @seer@ 5as incorporate# into that o* prophet/ ha# re*erence only to things o* the time then passing/ or very closely connecte# 5ith it: such as the event o* a battle they 5ere going to engage in/ or o* a Courney/ or o* any enterprise they 5ere going to un#erta>e/ or o* any circumstance then pen#ing/ or o* any #i**iculty they 5ere then in: all o* 5hich ha# imme#iate re*erence to themselves (as in the case alrea#y mentione# o* )haI an# %saiah 5ith respect to the
154

e2pression/ Behol# a virgin shall conceive an# bear a son/) an# not to any #istant *uture time. %t 5as that >in# o* prophesying that orrespon#s to 5hat 5e call *ortune'telling: such as casting nativities/ pre#icting riches/ *ortunate or un*ortunate marriages/ conCuring *or lost goo#s/ etc.: an# it is the *rau# o* the hristian church/ not that o* the .e5s/ an# the ignorance an# the superstition o* mo#ern/ not that o* ancient times/ that elevate# those poetical/ musical/ conCuring/ #reaming/ strolling gentry/ into the ran> they have since ha#. But/ besi#es this general character o* all the prophets/ they ha# also a particular character. (hey 5ere in parties/ an# they prophesie# *or or against/ accor#ing to the party they 5ere 5ith: as the poetical an# political 5riters o* the present #ay 5rite in #e*ence o* the party they associate 5ith against the other. )*ter the .e5s 5ere #ivi#e# into t5o nations/ that o* .u#ah an# that o* %srael/ each party ha# its prophets/ 5ho abuse# an# accuse# each other o* being *alse prophets/ lying prophets/ impostors/ etc. (he prophets o* the party o* .u#ah prophesie# against the prophets

o* the party o* %srael: an# those o* the party o* %srael against those o* .u#ah. (his party prophesying sho5e# itsel* imme#iately on the separation un#er the *irst t5o rival >ings/ -ehoboam an# .eroboam. (he prophet that curse#/ or prophesie# against the altar that .eroboam ha# built in Bethel/ 5as o* the party o* .u#ah/ 5here -ehoboam 5as >ing: an# he 5as 5ay'lai# on his return home by a prophet o* the party o* %srael/ 5ho sai# unto him (i ?ings 2iii.) @)rt thou the man o* 8o# that came *rom .u#ahK an# he sai#/ % am.@ (hen the prophet o* the party o* %srael sai# to him @% am a prophet also/ as thou art/ Gsigni*ying o* .u#ah/H an# an angel spa>e unto me by the 5or# o* the 9or#/ saying/ Bring him bac> 5ith thee unto thine house/ that he may eat brea# an# #rin> 5ater: but (says the 1Bth verse) he lie# unto him.@ (he event/ ho5ever/ accor#ing
155

to the story/ is/ that the prophet o* .u#ah never got bac> to .u#ah: *or he 5as *oun# #ea# on the roa# by the contrivance o* the prophet o* %srael/ 5ho no #oubt 5as calle# a true prophet by his o5n party/ an# the prophet o* .u#ah a lying brophet. %n A ?ings/ iii./ a story is relate# o* prophesying or conCuring that she5s/ in several particulars/ the character o* a prophet. .ehoshaphat >ing o* .u#ah/ an# .oram >ing o* %srael/ ha# *or a 5hile cease# their party animosity/ an# entere# into an alliance: an# these t5o/ together 5ith the >ing o* "#om/ engage# in a 5ar against the >ing o* ,oab. )*ter uniting an# marching their armies/ the story says/ they 5ere in great #istress *or 5ater/ upon 5hich .ehoshaphat sai#/ @%s there not here a prophet o* the 9or#/ that 5e may enDuire o* the 9or# by himK an# one o* the servants o* the >ing o* %srael sai# here is "lisha. G"lisha 5as o* the party o* .u#ah.H )n# .ehoshaphat the >ing o* .u#ah sai#/ (he 5or# o* the 9or# is 5ith him.@ (he story then says/ that these three >ings 5ent #o5n to "lisha: an# 5hen "lisha G5ho/ as % have sai#/ 5as a .u#ahmite prophetH sa5 the ?ing o* %srael/ he sai# unto him/

@7hat have % to #o 5ith thee/ get thee to the prophets o* thy *ather an# the prophets o* thy mother. 4ay but/ sai# the >ing o* %srael/ the 9or# hath calle# these three >ings together/ to #eliver them into the han#s o* the >ing o* ,oab/@ (meaning because o* the #istress they 5ere in *or 5ater:) upon 5hich "lisha sai#/ @)s the 9or# o* hosts liveth be*ore 5hom % stan#/ surely/ 5ere it not that % regar# the presence o* .ehoshaphat/ >ing o* .u#ah/ % 5oul# not loo> to5ar#s thee nor see thee.@ 0ere is all the venom an# vulgarity o* a party prophet. 7e are no5 to see the per*ormance/ or manner o* prophesying. 1er. 1E. @Bring me/@ (sai# "lisha)/ @a minstrel: an# it came to pass/ 5hen the minstrel playe#/ that the han# o* the 9or# came upon him.@ 0ere is the *arce o* the conCurer. 4o5 *or the prophecy:
156

@)n# "lisha sai#/ Gsinging most probably to the tune he 5as playingH/ (hus saith the 9or#/ ,a>e this valley *ull o* #itches: @5hich 5as Cust telling them 5hat every countryman coul# have tol# them 5ithout either *i##le or *arce/ that the 5ay to get 5ater 5as to #ig *or it. But as every conCuror is not *amous ali>e *or the same thing/ so neither 5ere those prophets: *or though all o* them/ at least those % have spo>en o*/ 5ere *amous *or lying/ some o* them e2celle# in cursing. "lisha/ 5hom % have Cust mentione#/ 5as a chie* in this branch o* prophesying: it 5as he that curse# the *orty't5o chil#ren in the name o* the 9or#/ 5hom the t5o she'bears came an# #evoure#. 7e are to suppose that those chil#ren 5ere o* the party o* %srael: but as those 5ho 5ill curse 5ill lie/ there is Cust as much cre#it to be given to this story o* "lisha$s t5o she' bears as there is to that o* the 3ragon o* 7antley/ o* 5hom it is sai#: Poor chil#ren three #evoure# be/ (hat coul# not 5ith him grapple: )n# at one sup he eat them up/ )s a man 5oul# eat an apple. (here 5as another #escription o* men calle# prophets/ that amuse#

themselves 5ith #reams an# visions: but 5hether by night or by #ay 5e >no5 not. (hese/ i* they 5ere not Duite harmless/ 5ere but little mischievous. &* this class are "N"?%"9 an# 3)4%"9: an# the *irst Duestion upon these boo>s/ as upon all the others/ is/ )re they genuineK that is/ 5ere they 5ritten by "Ie>iel an# 3anielK &* this there is no proo*: but so *ar as my o5n opinion goes/ % am more incline# to believe they 5ere/ than that they 5ere not. ,y reasons *or this opinion are as *ollo5s: +irst/ Because those boo>s #o not contain internal evi#ence to prove they 5ere not 5ritten by "Ie>iel an# 3aniel/ as the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses/ .oshua/ ;amuel/ etc./ prove they 5ere not 5ritten by ,oses/ .oshua/ ;amuel/ etc.
157

;econ#ly/ Because they 5ere not 5ritten till a*ter the Babylonish captivity began: an# there is goo# reason to believe that not any boo> in the bible 5as 5ritten be*ore that perio#: at least it is proveable/ *rom the boo>s themselves/ as % have alrea#y sho5n/ that they 5ere not 5ritten till a*ter the commencement o* the .e5ish monarchy. (hir#ly/ Because the manner in 5hich the boo>s ascribe# to "Ie>iel an# 3aniel are 5ritten/ agrees 5ith the con#ition these men 5ere in at the time o* 5riting them. 0a# the numerous commentators an# priests/ 5ho have *oolishly employe# or 5aste# their time in preten#ing to e2poun# an# unri##le those boo>s/ been carre# into captivity/ as "Ie>iel an# 3aniel 5ere/ it 5oul# greatly have improve# their intellects in comprehen#ing the reason *or this mo#e o* 5riting/ an# have save# them the trouble o* rac>ing their invention/ as they have #one to no purpose: *or they 5oul# have *oun# that themselves 5oul# be oblige# to 5rite 5hatever they ha# to 5rite/ respecting their o5n a**airs/ or those o* their *rien#s/ or o* their country/ in a

conceale# manner/ as those men have #one. (hese t5o boo>s #i**er *rom all the rest: *or it is only these that are *ille# 5ith accounts o* #reams an# visions: an# this #i**erence arose *rom the situation the 5riters 5ere in as prisoners o* 5ar/ or prisoners o* state/ in a *oreign country/ 5hich oblige# them to convey even the most tri*ling in*ormation to each other/ an# all their political proCects or opinions/ in obscure an# metaphorical terms. (hey preten# to have #reame# #reams/ an# seen visions/ because it 5as unsa*e *or them to spea> *acts or plain language. 7e ought/ ho5ever/ to suppose/ that the persons to 5hom they 5rote un#erstoo# 5hat they meant/ an# that it 5as not inten#e# anybo#y else shoul#. But these busy commentators an# priests have been puIIling their 5its to *in# out 5hat it 5as not inten#e#
158

they shoul# >no5/ an# 5ith 5hich they have nothing to #o. "Ie>iel an# 3aniel 5ere carrie# prisoners to Babylon/ un#er the *irst captivity/ in the time o* .ehoia>im/ nine years be*ore the secon# captivity in the time o* Ne#e>iah. (he .e5s 5ere then still numerous/ an# ha# consi#erable *orce at .erusalem: an# as it is natural to suppose that men in the situation o* "Ie>iel an# 3aniel 5oul# be me#itating the recovery o* their country/ an# their o5n #eliverance/ it is reasonable to suppose that the accounts o* #reams an# visions 5ith 5hich these boo>s are *ille#/ are no other than a #isguise# mo#e o* correspon#ence to *acilitate those obCects: it serve# them as a cypher/ or secret alphabet. %* they are not this/ they are tales/ reveries/ an# nonsense: or at least a *anci*ul 5ay o* 5earing o** the 5earisomeness o* captivity: but the presumption is/ they are the *ormer. "Ie>iel begins his boo> by spea>ing o* a vision o* cherubims/ an# o* a 5heel 5ithin a 5heel/ 5hich he says he sa5 by the river hebar/ in the lan# o* his captivity. %s it not reasonable to suppose that by the cherubims he meant the temple at .erusalem/ 5here

they ha# *igures o* cherubimsK an# by a 5heel 5ithin a 5heel (5hich as a *igure has al5ays been un#erstoo# to signi*y political contrivance) the proCect or means o* recovering .erusalemK %n the latter part o* his boo> he supposes himsel* transporte# to .erusalem/ an# into the temple: an# he re*ers bac> to the vision on the river hebar/ an# says/ (2liii' =/) that this last vision 5as li>e the vision on the river hebar: 5hich in#icates that those preten#e# #reams an# visions ha# *or their obCect the recovery o* .erusalem/ an# nothing *urther. )s to the romantic interpretations an# applications/ 5il# as the #reams an# visions they un#erta>e to e2plain/ 5hich commentators an# priests have ma#e o* those boo>s/ that o* converting them into things 5hich they call prophecies/ an# ma>ing them ben# to times
159

an# circumstances as *ar remote even as the present #ay/ it sho5s the *rau# or the e2treme *olly to 5hich cre#ulity or priestcra*t can go. ;carcely anything can be more absur# than to suppose that men situate# as "Ie>iel an# 3aniel 5ere/ 5hose country 5as over'run/ an# in the possession o* the enemy/ all their *rien#s an# relations in captivity abroa#/ or in slavery at home/ or massacre#/ or in continual #anger o* it: scarcely any thing/ % say/ can be more absur# than to suppose that such men shoul# *in# nothing to #o but that o* employing their time an# their thoughts about 5hat 5as to happen to other nations a thousan# or t5o thousan# years a*ter they 5ere #ea#: at the same time nothing more natural than that they shoul# me#itate the recovery o* .erusalem/ an# their o5n #eliverance: an# that this 5as the sole obCect o* all the obscure an# apparently *rantic 5riting containe# in those boo>s. %n this sense the mo#e o* 5riting use# in those t5o boo>s being *orce# by necessity/ an# not a#opte# by choice/ is not irrational: but/ i* 5e are to use the boo>s as prophecies/ they are *alse. %n

"Ie>iel 22i2. 11./ spea>ing o* "gypt/ it is sai#/ @4o *oot o* man shall pass through it/ nor *oot o* beast pass through it: neither shall it be inhabite# *or *orty years.@ (his is 5hat never came to pass/ an# conseDuently it is *alse/ as all the boo>s % have alrea#y revie5e# are. '' % here close this part o* the subCect. %n the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason$ % have spo>en o* .onah/ an# o* the story o* him an# the 5hale. '' ) *it story *or ri#icule/ i* it 5as 5ritten to be believe#: or o* laughter/ i* it 5as inten#e# to try 5hat cre#ulity coul# s5allo5: *or/ i* it coul# s5allo5 .onah an# the 5hale it coul# s5allo5 anything. But/ as is alrea#y sho5n in the observations on the boo> o* .ob an# o* Proverbs/ it is not al5ays certain 5hich o* the boo>s in the Bible are originally 0ebre5/ or only translations *rom the boo>s o* the
160

8entiles into 0ebre5: an#/ as the boo> o* .onah/ so *ar *rom treating o* the a**airs o* the .e5s/ says nothing upon that subCect/ but treats altogether o* the 8entiles/ it is more probable that it is a boo> o* the 8entiles than o* the .e5s/ G% have rea# in an ancient Persian poem (;aa#i/ % believe/ but have mislai# the re*erence) this phrase: @)n# no5 the 5hale s5allo5e# .onah: the sun set.@ '' "#itor.H an# that it has been 5ritten as a *able to e2pose the nonsense/ an# satyriIe the vicious an# malignant character/ o* a Bible'prophet/ or a pre#icting priest. .onah is represente#/ *irst as a #isobe#ient prophet/ running a5ay *rom his mission/ an# ta>ing shelter aboar# a vessel o* the 8entiles/ boun# *rom .oppa to (arshish: as i* he ignorantly suppose#/ by such a paltry contrivance/ he coul# hi#e himsel* 5here 8o# coul# not *in# him. (he vessel is overta>en by a storm at sea: an# the mariners/ all o* 5hom are 8entiles/ believing it to be a Cu#gement on account o* some one on boar# 5ho ha# committe# a crime/ agree# to cast lots to #iscover the o**en#er: an# the lot *ell upon .onah. But be*ore this they ha# cast all their 5ares

an# merchan#ise over'boar# to lighten the vessel/ 5hile .onah/ li>e a stupi# *ello5/ 5as *ast asleep in the hol#. )*ter the lot ha# #esignate# .onah to be the o**en#er/ they Duestione# him to >no5 5ho an# 5hat he 5asK an# he tol# them he 5as an 0ebre5: an# the story implies that he con*esse# himsel* to be guilty. But these 8entiles/ instea# o* sacri*icing him at once 5ithout pity or mercy/ as a company o* Bible'prophets or priests 5oul# have #one by a 8entile in the same case/ an# as it is relate# ;amuel ha# #one by )gag/ an# ,oses by the 5omen an# chil#ren/ they en#eavoure# to save him/ though at the ris> o* their o5n lives: *or the account says/ @4evertheless Gthat is/ though .onah 5as a .e5 an# a *oreigner/ an# the cause o* all their mis*ortunes/ an# the loss o* their cargoH the men ro5e# har# to bring the boat to
161

lan#/ but they coul# not/ *or the sea 5rought an# 5as tempestuous against them.@ ;till ho5ever they 5ere un5illing to put the *ate o* the lot into e2ecution: an# they crie#/ says the account/ unto the 9or#/ saying/ @7e beseech thee/ & 9or#/ let us not perish *or this man$s li*e/ an# lay not upon us innocent bloo#: *or thou/ & 9or#/ hast #one as it please# thee.@ ,eaning thereby/ that they #i# not presume to Cu#ge .onah guilty/ since that he might be innocent: but that they consi#ere# the lot that ha# *allen upon him as a #ecree o* 8o#/ or as it please# 8o#. (he a##ress o* this prayer sho5s that the 8entiles 5orshippe# one ;upreme Being/ an# that they 5ere not i#olaters as the .e5s represente# them to be. But the storm still continuing/ an# the #anger encreasing/ they put the *ate o* the lot into e2ecution/ an# cast .onah in the sea: 5here/ accor#ing to the story/ a great *ish s5allo5e# him up 5hole an# alive! 7e have no5 to consi#er .onah securely house# *rom the storm in the *ish$s belly. 0ere 5e are tol# that he praye#: but the prayer is a ma#e'up prayer/ ta>en *rom various parts o* the Psalms/ 5ithout connection or consistency/ an# a#apte# to the #istress/ but not at

all to the con#ition that .onah 5as in. %t is such a prayer as a 8entile/ 5ho might >no5 something o* the Psalms/ coul# copy out *or him. (his circumstance alone/ 5ere there no other/ is su**icient to in#icate that the 5hole is a ma#e'up story. (he prayer/ ho5ever/ is suppose# to have ans5ere# the purpose/ an# the story goes on/ (ta>ing'o** at the same time the cant language o* a Bible'prophet/) saying/ @(he 9or# spa>e unto the *ish/ an# it vomite# out .onah upon #ry lan#.@ .onah then receive# a secon# mission to 4ineveh/ 5ith 5hich he sets out: an# 5e have no5 to consi#er him as a preacher. (he #istress he is represente# to have su**ere#/ the remembrance o* his o5n #isobe#ience as the cause o* it/ an# the miraculous escape he is suppose# to have ha#/ 5ere su**icient/ one 5oul# conceive/ to
162

have impresse# him 5ith sympathy an# benevolence in the e2ecution o* his mission: but/ instea# o* this/ he enters the city 5ith #enunciation an# male#iction in his mouth/ crying/ @Met *orty #ays/ an# 4ineveh shall be overthro5n.@ 7e have no5 to consi#er this suppose# missionary in the last act o* his mission: an# here it is that the malevolent spirit o* a Bibleprophet/ or o* a pre#icting priest/ appears in all that blac>ness o* character that men ascribe to the being they call the #evil. 0aving publishe# his pre#ictions/ he 5ith#re5/ says the story/ to the east si#e o* the city. '' But *or 5hatK not to contemplate in retirement the mercy o* his reator to himsel* or to others/ but to 5ait/ 5ith malignant impatience/ the #estruction o* 4ineveh. %t came to pass/ ho5ever/ as the story relates/ that the 4inevites re*orme#/ an# that 8o#/ accor#ing to the Bible phrase/ repente# him o* the evil he ha# sai# he 5oul# #o unto them/ an# #i# it not. (his/ saith the *irst verse o* the last chapter/ #isplease# .onah e2cee#ingly an# he 5as very angry. 0is ob#urate heart 5oul#

rather that all 4ineveh shoul# be #estroye#/ an# every soul/ young an# ol#/ perish in its ruins/ than that his pre#iction shoul# not be *ul*ille#. (o e2pose the character o* a prophet still more/ a gour# is ma#e to gro5 up in the night/ that promises him an agreeable shelter *rom the heat o* the sun/ in the place to 5hich he is retire#: an# the ne2t morning it #ies. 0ere the rage o* the prophet becomes e2cessive/ an# he is rea#y to #estroy himsel*. @%t is better/ sai# he/ *or me to #ie than to live.@ (his brings on a suppose# e2postulation bet5een the )lmighty an# the prophet: in 5hich the *ormer says/ @3oest thou 5ell to be angry *or the gour#K )n# .onah sai#/ % #o 5ell to be angry even unto #eath. (hen sai# the 9or#/ (hou hast ha# pity on the gour#/ *or 5hich thou hast not laboure#/ neither ma#est it to gro5/ 5hich came up in a night/ an# perishe# in a night: an# shoul# not % spare
163

4ineveh/ that great city/ in 5hich are more than threescore thousan# persons/ that cannot #iscern bet5een their right han# an# their le*tK@ 0ere is both the 5in#ing up o* the satire/ an# the moral o* the *able. )s a satire/ it stri>es against the character o* all the Bibleprophets/ an# against all the in#iscriminate Cu#gements upon men/ 5omen an# chil#ren/ 5ith 5hich this lying boo>/ the bible/ is cro5#e#: such as 4oah$s *loo#/ the #estruction o* the cities o* ;o#om an# 8omorrah/ the e2tirpation o* the anaanites/ even to suc>ling in*ants/ an# 5omen 5ith chil#: because the same re*lection $that there are more than threescore thousan# persons that cannot #iscern bet5een their right han# an# their le*t/$ meaning young chil#ren/ applies to all their cases. %t satiriIes also the suppose# partiality o* the reator *or one nation more than *or another. )s a moral/ it preaches against the malevolent spirit o* pre#iction:

*or as certainly as a man pre#icts ill/ he becomes incline# to 5ish it. (he pri#e o* having his Cu#gment right har#ens his heart/ till at last he behol#s 5ith satis*action/ or sees 5ith #isappointment/ the accomplishment or the *ailure o* his pre#ictions. '' (his boo> en#s 5ith the same >in# o* strong an# 5ell'#irecte# point against prophets/ prophecies an# in#iscriminate Cu#gements/ as the chapter that BenCamin +ran>lin ma#e *or the Bible/ about )braham an# the stranger/ en#s against the intolerant spirit o* religious persecutions '' (hus much *or the boo> .onah. G(he story o* )braham an# the +ire'5orshipper/ ascribe# to +ran>lin/ is *rom ;aa#i. (;ee my @;acre# )nthology/@ p. 61.) Paine has o*ten been calle# a @mere sco**er/@ but he seems to have been among the *irst to treat 5ith #ignity the boo> o* .onah/ so especially liable to the ri#icule o* super*icial rea#ers/ an# #iscern in it the highest conception o* 3eity >no5n to the &l# (estament. '' "#itor.H
164

&* the poetical parts o* the Bible/ that are calle# prophecies/ % have spo>en in the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason/$ an# alrea#y in this/ 5here % have sai# that the 5or# *or prophet is the Bible'5or# *or Poet/ an# that the *lights an# metaphors o* those poets/ many o* 5hich have become obscure by the lapse o* time an# the change o* circumstances/ have been ri#iculously erecte# into things calle# prophecies/ an# applie# to purposes the 5riters never thought o*. 7hen a priest Duotes any o* those passages/ he unri##les it agreeably to his o5n vie5s/ an# imposes that e2planation upon his congregation as the meaning o* the 5riter. (he 5hore o* Babylon has been the common 5hore o* all the priests/ an# each has accuse# the other o* >eeping the strumpet: so 5ell #o they agree in their e2planations. (here no5 remain only a *e5 boo>s/ 5hich they call boo>s o* the lesser prophets: an# as % have alrea#y sho5n that the greater are impostors/ it 5oul# be co5ar#ice to #isturb the repose o* the little

ones. 9et them sleep/ then/ in the arms o* their nurses/ the priests/ an# both be *orgotten together. % have no5 gone through the Bible/ as a man 5oul# go through a 5oo# 5ith an a2e on his shoul#er/ an# *ell trees. 0ere they lie: an# the priests/ i* they can/ may replant them. (hey may/ perhaps/ stic> them in the groun#/ but they 5ill never ma>e them gro5. '' % pass on to the boo>s o* the 4e5 (estament.

CHAPTER II
' (0" 4"7 (";(),"4( (0" 4e5 (estament/ they tell us/ is *oun#e# upon the prophecies o* the &l#: i* so/ it must *ollo5 the *ate o* its *oun#ation. )s it is nothing e2traor#inary that a 5oman shoul# be 5ith chil# be*ore she 5as marrie#/ an# that the son she might bring *orth shoul# be e2ecute#/ even unCustly/ % see no reason *or not believing
165

that such a 5oman as ,ary/ an# such a man as .oseph/ an# .esus/ e2iste#: their mere e2istence is a matter o* in#i**erence/ about 5hich there is no groun# either to believe or to #isbelieve/ an# 5hich comes un#er the common hea# o*/ %t may be so/ an# 5hat thenK (he probability ho5ever is that there 5ere such persons/ or at least such as resemble# them in part o* the circumstances/ because almost all romantic stories have been suggeste# by some actual circumstance: as the a#ventures o* -obinson rusoe/ not a 5or# o* 5hich is true/ 5ere suggeste# by the case o* )le2an#er ;el>ir>. %t is not then the e2istence or the non'e2istence/ o* the persons that % trouble mysel* about: it is the *able o* .esus hrist/ as tol# in the 4e5 (estament/ an# the 5il# an# visionary #octrine raise# thereon/ against 5hich % conten#. (he story/ ta>ing it as it is tol#/ is blasphemously obscene. %t gives an account o* a young 5oman engage# to be marrie#/ an# 5hile un#er this engagement/ she is/ to spea> plain language/ #ebauche# by a ghost/ un#er the impious

pretence/ (9u>e i. =E/) that @the 0oly 8host shall come upon thee/ an# the po5er o* the 0ighest shall oversha#o5 thee.@ 4ot5ithstan#ing 5hich/ .oseph a*ter5ar#s marries her/ cohabits 5ith her as his 5i*e/ an# in his turn rivals the ghost. (his is putting the story into intelligible language/ an# 5hen tol# in this manner/ there is not a priest but must be ashame# to o5n it. G,ary/ the suppose# virgin/ mother o* .esus/ ha# several other chil#ren/ sons an# #aughters. ;ee ,att. 2iii. EE/ E6. '' )uthor.H &bscenity in matters o* *aith/ ho5ever 5rappe# up/ is al5ays a to>en o* *able an# imposture: *or it is necessary to our serious belie* in 8o#/ that 5e #o not connect it 5ith stories that run/ as this #oes/ into lu#icrous interpretations. (his story is/ upon the *ace o* it/ the same >in# o* story as that o* .upiter an# 9e#a/ or .upiter an# "uropa/ or any o* the amorous a#ventures o* .upiter: an# she5s/ as
166

is alrea#y state# in the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason/$ that the hristian *aith is built upon the heathen ,ythology. )s the historical parts o* the 4e5 (estament/ so *ar as concerns .esus hrist/ are con*ine# to a very short space o* time/ less than t5o years/ an# all 5ithin the same country/ an# nearly to the same spot/ the #iscor#ance o* time/ place/ an# circumstance/ 5hich #etects the *allacy o* the boo>s o* the &l# (estament/ an# proves them to be impositions/ cannot be e2pecte# to be *oun# here in the same abun#ance. (he 4e5 (estament compare# 5ith the &l#/ is li>e a *arce o* one act/ in 5hich there is not room *or very numerous violations o* the unities. (here are/ ho5ever/ some glaring contra#ictions/ 5hich/ e2clusive o* the *allacy o* the preten#e# prophecies/ are su**icient to sho5 the story o* .esus hrist to be *alse. % lay it #o5n as a position 5hich cannot be controverte#/ *irst/ that the agreement o* all the parts o* a story #oes not prove that story to be true/ because the parts may agree/ an# the 5hole may be *alse:

secon#ly/ that the #isagreement o* the parts o* a story proves the 5hole cannot be true. (he agreement #oes not prove truth/ but the #isagreement proves *alsehoo# positively. (he history o* .esus hrist is containe# in the *our boo>s ascribe# to ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn. '' (he *irst chapter o* ,atthe5 begins 5ith giving a genealogy o* .esus hrist: an# in the thir# chapter o* 9u>e there is also given a genealogy o* .esus hrist. 3i# these t5o agree/ it 5oul# not prove the genealogy to be true/ because it might nevertheless be a *abrication: but as they contra#ict each other in every particular/ it proves *alsehoo# absolutely. %* ,atthe5 spea>s truth/ 9u>e spea>s *alsehoo#: an# i* 9u>e spea>s truth/ ,atthe5 spea>s *alsehoo#: an# as there is no authority *or believing one more than the other/ there is no authority *or believing either: an# i* they cannot be believe# even
167

in the very *irst thing they say/ an# set out to prove/ they are not entitle# to be believe# in any thing they say a*ter5ar#s. (ruth is an uni*orm thing: an# as to inspiration an# revelation/ 5ere 5e to a#mit it/ it is impossible to suppose it can be contra#ictory. "ither then the men calle# apostles 5ere imposters/ or the boo>s ascribe# to them have been 5ritten by other persons/ an# *athere# upon them/ as is the case in the &l# (estament. (he boo> o* ,atthe5 gives (i. 6)/ a genealogy by name *rom 3avi#/ up/ through .oseph/ the husban# o* ,ary/ to hrist: an# ma>es there to be t5ent eight generations. (he boo> o* 9u>e gives also a genealogy by name *rom hrist/ through .oseph the husban# o* ,ary/ #o5n to 3avi#/ an# ma>es there to be *orty'three generations: besi#es 5hich/ there is only the t5o names o* 3avi# an# .oseph that are ali>e in the t5o lists. '' % here insert both genealogical lists/ an# *or the sa>e o* perspicuity an# comparison/ have place# them both in the same #irection/ that is/ *rom .oseph #o5n to 3avi#.

8enealogy/ accor#ing to 8enealogy/ accor#ing to ,atthe5. 9u>e. hrist hrist A .oseph A .oseph = .acob = 0eli F ,atthan F ,atthat E "leaIer E 9evi 6 "liu# 6 ,elchl 7 )chim 7 .anna B ;a#oc B .oseph 9 )Ior 9 ,attathias 1L "lia>im 1L )mos 11 )biu# 11 4aum 1A Norobabel 1A "sli 1= ;alathiel 1= 4agge 1F .echonias 1F ,aath 1E .osias 1E ,attathias 16 )mon 16 ;emei 17 ,anasses 17 .oseph 1B "Ie>ias 1B .u#a 19 )chaI 19 .oanna AL .oatham AL -hesa A1 &Iias A1 Norobabel AA .oram AA ;alathiel A= .osaphat A= 4eri AF )sa AF ,elchi AE )bia AE )##i A6 -oboam A6 osam A7 ;olomon A7 "lmo#am AB 3avi# ! AB "r A9 .ose =L "lieIer =1 .orim =A ,atthat == 9evi =F ;imeon =E .u#a =6 .oseph =7 .onan =B "lia>im =9 ,elea FL ,enan F1 ,attatha FA 4athan F= 3avi# G4&(": ! +rom the birth o* 3avi# to the birth o* hrist is up5ar#s o* 1LBL years: an# as the li*e'time o* hrist is not inclu#e#/ there
168

are but A7 *ull generations. (o *in# there*ore the average age o* each person mentione# in the list/ at the time his *irst son 5as born/ it is only necessary to #ivi#e 1LBL by A7/ 5hich gives FL years *or each person. )s the li*e'time o* man 5as then but o* the same e2tent it is no5/ it is an absur#ity to suppose/ that A7 *ollo5ing generations shoul# all be ol# bachelors/ be*ore they marrie#: an# the more so/ 5hen 5e are tol# that ;olomon/ the ne2t in succession to 3avi#/ ha# a house *ull o* 5ives an# mistresses be*ore he 5as t5enty'one years o* age. ;o *ar *rom this genealogy being a solemn truth/ it is not even a reasonable lie. (he list o* 9u>e gives about t5enty'si2 years *or the average age/ an# this is too much. '' )uthor.H 4o5/ i* these men/ ,atthe5 an# 9u>e/ set out 5ith a *alsehoo# bet5een them (as these t5o accounts sho5 they #o) in the very commencement o* their history o* .esus hrist/ an# o* 5ho/ an# o* 5hat he 5as/ 5hat authority (as % have be*ore as>e#) is there le*t *or believing the strange things they tell us a*ter5ar#sK %* they

cannot be believe# in their account o* his natural genealogy/ ho5 are 5e to believe them 5hen they tell us he 5as the son o* 8o#/ begotten by a ghost: an# that an angel announce# this in secret to his motherK %* they lie# in one genealogy/ 5hy are 5e to believe them in the otherK %* his natural genealogy be manu*acture#/ 5hich it certainly is/ 5hy are 5e not to suppose that his celestial genealogy is manu*acture# also/ an# that the 5hole is *abulousK an any man o* serious re*lection haIar# his *uture happiness upon the belie* o* a story naturally impossible/ repugnant to every i#ea o* #ecency/ an# relate# by persons alrea#y #etecte# o* *alsehoo#K %s it not more sa*e that 5e stop ourselves at the plain/ pure/ an# unmi2e# belie* o* one 8o#/ 5hich is #eism/ than that 5e commit ourselves on an ocean o* improbable/ irrational/ in#ecent/ an# contra#ictory talesK
169

(he *irst Duestion/ ho5ever/ upon the boo>s o* the 4e5 (estament/ as upon those o* the &l#/ is/ )re they genuineK 5ere they 5ritten by the persons to 5hom they are ascribe#K +or it is upon this groun# only that the strange things relate# therein have been cre#ite#. <pon this point/ there is no #irect proo* *or or against: an# all that this state o* a case proves is #oubt*ulness: an# #oubt*ulness is the opposite o* belie*. (he state/ there*ore/ that the boo>s are in/ proves against themselves as *ar as this >in# o* proo* can go. But/ e2clusive o* this/ the presumption is that the boo>s calle# the "vangelists/ an# ascribe# to ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn/ 5ere not 5ritten by ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn: an# that they are impositions. (he #isor#ere# state o* the history in these *our boo>s/ the silence o* one boo> upon matters relate# in the other/ an# the #isagreement that is to be *oun# among them/ implies that they are the pro#uctions o* some unconnecte# in#ivi#uals/ many years a*ter the things they preten# to relate/ each o* 5hom ma#e

his o5n legen#: an# not the 5ritings o* men living intimately together/ as the men calle# apostles are suppose# to have #one: in *ine/ that they have been manu*acture#/ as the boo>s o* the &l# (estament have been/ by other persons than those 5hose names they bear. (he story o* the angel announcing 5hat the church calls the immaculate conception/ is not so much as mentione# in the boo>s ascribe# to ,ar>/ an# .ohn: an# is #i**erently relate# in ,atthe5 an# 9u>e. (he *ormer says the angel/ appeare# to .oseph: the latter says/ it 5as to ,ary: but either .oseph or ,ary 5as the 5orst evi#ence that coul# have been thought o*: *or it 5as others that shoul# have testi*ie# *or them/ an# not they *or themselves. 7ere any girl that is no5 5ith chil# to say/ an# even to s5ear it/ that she 5as gotten 5ith chil# by a ghost/ an# that an angel tol# her so/
170

5oul# she be believe#K ertainly she 5oul# not. 7hy then are 5e to believe the same thing o* another girl 5hom 5e never sa5/ tol# by nobo#y >no5s 5ho/ nor 5hen/ nor 5hereK 0o5 strange an# inconsistent is it/ that the same circumstance that 5oul# 5ea>en the belie* even o* a probable story/ shoul# be given as a motive *or believing this one/ that has upon the *ace o* it every to>en o* absolute impossibility an# imposture. (he story o* 0ero# #estroying all the chil#ren un#er t5o years ol#/ belongs altogether to the boo> o* ,atthe5: not one o* the rest mentions anything about it. 0a# such a circumstance been true/ the universality o* it must have ma#e it >no5n to all the 5riters/ an# the thing 5oul# have been too stri>ing to have been omitte# by any. (his 5riter tell us/ that .esus escape# this slaughter/ because .oseph an# ,ary 5ere 5arne# by an angel to *lee 5ith him into "gypt: but he *orgot to ma>e provision *or .ohn Gthe BaptistH/ 5ho 5as then un#er t5o years o* age. .ohn/ ho5ever/ 5ho stai# behin#/ *are# as 5ell as .esus/ 5ho *le#: an# there*ore the story

circumstantially belies itsel*. 4ot any t5o o* these 5riters agree in reciting/ e2actly in the same 5or#s/ the 5ritten inscription/ short as it is/ 5hich they tell us 5as put over hrist 5hen he 5as cruci*ie#: an# besi#es this/ ,ar> says/ 0e 5as cruci*ie# at the thir# hour/ (nine in the morning:) an# .ohn says it 5as the si2th hour/ (t5elve at noon.) G)ccor#ing to .ohn/ (2i2. 1F) the sentence 5as not passe# till about the si2th hour (noon/) an# conseDuently the e2ecution coul# not be till the a*ternoon: but ,ar> (2v. AE) ;ays e2pressly that he 5as cruci*ie# at the thir# hour/ (nine in the moming/) '' )uthor.H (he inscription is thus state# in those boo>s: ,atthe5 '' (his is .esus the >ing o* the .e5s. ,ar> '' (he >ing o* the .e5s. 9u>e '' (his is the >ing o* the .e5s. .ohn '' .esus o* 4aIareth the >ing o* the .e5s.
171

7e may in*er *rom these circumstances/ trivial as they are/ that those 5riters/ 5hoever they 5ere/ an# in 5hatever time they live#/ 5ere not present at the scene. (he only one o* the men calle# apostles 5ho appears to have been near to the spot 5as Peter/ an# 5hen he 5as accuse# o* being one o* .esus$s *ollo5ers/ it is sai#/ (,atthe5 22vi. 7F/) @(hen Peter began to curse an# to s5ear/ saying/ % >no5 not the man:@ yet 5e are no5 calle# to believe the same Peter/ convicte#/ by their o5n account/ o* perCury. +or 5hat reason/ or on 5hat authority/ shoul# 5e #o thisK (he accounts that are given o* the circumstances/ that they tell us atten#e# the cruci*i2ion/ are #i**erently relate# in those *our boo>s. (he boo> ascribe# to ,atthe5 says $there 5as #ar>ness over all the lan# *rom the si2th hour unto the ninth hour '' that the veil o* the temple 5as rent in t5ain *rom the top to the bottom '' that there 5as an earthDua>e '' that the roc>s rent '' that the graves opene#/ that the bo#ies o* many o* the saints that slept arose an# came out o* their graves a*ter the resurrection/ an# 5ent into the holy city

an# appeare# unto many.$ ;uch is the account 5hich this #ashing 5riter o* the boo> o* ,atthe5 gives/ but in 5hich he is not supporte# by the 5riters o* the other boo>s. (he 5riter o* the boo> ascribe# to ,ar>/ in #etailing the circumstances o* the cruci*i2ion/ ma>es no mention o* any earthDua>e/ nor o* the roc>s ren#ing/ nor o* the graves opening/ nor o* the #ea# men 5al>ing out. (he 5riter o* the boo> o* 9u>e is silent also upon the same points. )n# as to the 5riter o* the boo> o* .ohn/ though he #etails all the circumstances o* the cruci*i2ion #o5n to the burial o* hrist/ he says nothing about either the #ar>ness '' the veil o* the temple '' the earthDua>e '' the roc>s '' the graves '' nor the #ea# men. 4o5 i* it ha# been true that these things ha# happene#/ an# i* the 5riters o* these boo>s ha# live# at the time they #i# happen/ an#
172

ha# been the persons they are sai# to be '' namely/ the *our men calle# apostles/ ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn/ '' it 5as not possible *or them/ as true historians/ even 5ithout the ai# o* inspiration/ not to have recor#e# them. (he things/ supposing them to have been *acts/ 5ere o* too much notoriety not to have been >no5n/ an# o* too much importance not to have been tol#. )ll these suppose# apostles must have been 5itnesses o* the earthDua>e/ i* there ha# been any/ *or it 5as not possible *or them to have been absent *rom it: the opening o* the graves an# resurrection o* the #ea# men/ an# their 5al>ing about the city/ is o* still greater importance than the earthDua>e. )n earthDua>e is al5ays possible/ an# natural/ an# proves nothing: but this opening o* the graves is supernatural/ an# #irectly in point to their #octrine/ their cause/ an# their apostleship. 0a# it been true/ it 5oul# have *ille# up 5hole chapters o* those boo>s/ an# been the chosen theme an# general chorus o* all the 5riters: but instea# o* this/ little an# trivial things/ an# mere prattling conversation o* $he sai#

this an# she sai# that$ are o*ten te#iously #etaile#/ 5hile this most important o* all/ ha# it been true/ is passe# o** in a slovenly manner by a single #ash o* the pen/ an# that by one 5riter only/ an# not so much as hinte# at by the rest. %t is an easy thing to tell a lie/ but it is #i**icult to support the lie a*ter it is tol#. (he 5riter o* the boo> o* ,atthe5 shoul# have tol# us 5ho the saints 5ere that came to li*e again/ an# 5ent into the city/ an# 5hat became o* them a*ter5ar#s/ an# 5ho it 5as that sa5 them: *or he is not har#y enough to say that he sa5 them himsel*: '' 5hether they came out na>e#/ an# all in natural bu**/ he'saints an# she'saints/ or 5hether they came *ull #resse#/ an# 5here they got their #resses: 5hether they 5ent to their *ormer habitations/ an# reclaime# their 5ives/ their husban#s/ an# their property/ an# ho5 they 5ere receive#: 5hether they entere# eCectments *or the
173

recovery o* their possessions/ or brought actions o* crim. con. against the rival interlopers: 5hether they remaine# on earth/ an# *ollo5e# their *ormer occupation o* preaching or 5or>ing: or 5hether they #ie# again/ or 5ent bac> to their graves alive/ an# burie# themselves. ;trange in#ee#/ that an army o* saints shoul# retum to li*e/ an# nobo#y >no5 5ho they 5ere/ nor 5ho it 5as that sa5 them/ an# that not a 5or# more shoul# be sai# upon the subCect/ nor these saints have any thing to tell us! 0a# it been the prophets 5ho (as 5e are tol#) ha# *ormerly prophesie# o* these things/ they must have ha# a great #eal to say. (hey coul# have tol# us everything/ an# 5e shoul# have ha# posthumous prophecies/ 5ith notes an# commentaries upon the *irst/ a little better at least than 5e have no5. 0a# it been ,oses/ an# )aron/ an# .oshua/ an# ;amuel/ an# 3avi#/ not an unconverte# .e5 ha# remaine# in all .erusalem. 0a# it been .ohn the Baptist/ an# the saints o* the times then present/ everybo#y 5oul# have >no5n them/ an# they 5oul# have

outpreache# an# out'*ame# all the other apostles. But/ instea# o* this/ these saints are ma#e to pop up/ li>e .onah$s gour# in the night/ *or no purpose at all but to 5ither in the morning. '' (hus much *or this part o* the story. (he tale o* the resurrection *ollo5s that o* the cruci*i2ion: an# in this as 5ell as in that/ the 5riters/ 5hoever they 5ere/ #isagree so much as to ma>e it evi#ent that none o* them 5ere there. (he boo> o* ,atthe5 states/ that 5hen hrist 5as put in the sepulchre the .e5s applie# to Pilate *or a 5atch or a guar# to be place# over the septilchre/ to prevent the bo#y being stolen by the #isciples: an# that in conseDuence o* this reDuest the sepulchre 5as ma#e sure/ sealing the stone that covere# the mouth/ an# setting a 5atch. But the other boo>s say nothing about this application/ nor about the sealing/ nor the guar#/ nor the 5atch: an# accor#ing to
174

their accounts/ there 5ere none. ,atthe5/ ho5ever/ *ollo5s up this part o* the story o* the guar# or the 5atch 5ith a secon# part/ that % shall notice in the conclusion/ as it serves to #etect the *allacy o* those boo>s. (he boo> o* ,atthe5 continues its account/ an# says/ (22viii. 1/) that at the en# o* the ;abbath/ as it began to #a5n/ to5ar#s the *irst #ay o* the 5ee>/ came ,ary ,ag#alene an# the other ,ary/ to see the sepulchre. ,ar> says it 5as sun'rising/ an# .ohn says it 5as #ar>. 9u>e says it 5as ,ary ,ag#alene an# .oanna/ an# ,ary the mother o* .ames/ an# other 5omen/ that came to the sepulchre: an# .ohn states that ,ary ,ag#alene came alone. ;o 5ell #o they agree about their *irst evi#ence! (hey all/ ho5ever/ appear to have >no5n most about ,ary ,ag#alene: she 5as a 5oman o* large acDuaintance/ an# it 5as not an ill conCecture that she might be upon the stroll. G(he Bishop o* 9lan#a**/ in his *amous @)pology/@ censure# Paine severely *or this insinuation against ,ary

,ag#alene/ but the censure really *alls on our "nglish version/ 5hich/ by a chapter' hea#ing (9u>e vii.)/ has un5arrantably i#enti*ie# her as the sin*ul 5oman 5ho anointe# .esus/ an# irrevocably bran#e# her. '' "#itor.H (he boo> o* ,atthe5 goes on to say (ver. A): @)n# behol# there 5as a great earthDua>e/ *or the angel o* the 9or# #escen#e# *rom heaven/ an# came an# rolle# bac> the stone *rom the #oor/ an# sat upon it@ But the other boo>s say nothing about any earthDua>e/ nor about the angel rolling bac> the stone/ an# sitting upon it an#/ accor#ing to their account/ there 5as no angel sitting there. ,ar> says the angel G,ar> says @a young man/@ an# 9u>e @t5o men.@ '' "#itor.H 5as 5ithin the sepulchre/ sitting on the right si#e. 9u>e says there 5ere t5o/ an# they 5ere both stan#ing up: an# .ohn says they 5ere both sitting #o5n/ one at the hea# an# the other at the *eet.
175

,atthe5 says/ that the angel that 5as sitting upon the stone on the outsi#e o* the sepulchre tol# the t5o ,arys that hrist 5as risen/ an# that the 5omen 5ent a5ay Duic>ly. ,ar> says/ that the 5omen/ upon seeing the stone rolle# a5ay/ an# 5on#ering at it/ 5ent into the sepulchre/ an# that it 5as the angel that 5as sitting 5ithin on the right si#e/ that tol# them so. 9u>e says/ it 5as the t5o angels that 5ere ;tan#ing up: an# .ohn says/ it 5as .esus hrist himsel* that tol# it to ,ary ,ag#alene: an# that she #i# not go into the sepulchre/ but only stoope# #o5n an# loo>e# in. 4o5/ i* the 5riters o* these *our boo>s ha# gone into a court o* Custice to prove an alibi/ (*or it is o* the nature o* an alibi that is here attempte# to be prove#/ namely/ the absence o* a #ea# bo#y by supernatural means/) an# ha# they given their evi#ence in the same contra#ictory manner as it is here given/ they 5oul# have been in #anger o* having their ears cropt *or perCury/ an# 5oul# have Custly #eserve# it. Met this is the evi#ence/ an# these are the

boo>s/ that have been impose# upon the 5orl# as being given by #ivine inspiration/ an# as the unchangeable 5or# o* 8o#. (he 5riter o* the boo> o* ,atthe5/ a*ter giving this account/ relates a story that is not to be *oun# in any o* the other boo>s/ an# 5hich is the same % have Cust be*ore allu#e# to. @4o5/@ says he/ Gthat is/ a*ter the conversation the 5omen ha# ha# 5ith the angel sitting upon the stone/H @behol# some o* the 5atch Gmeaning the 5atch that he ha# sai# ha# been place# over the sepulchreH came into the city/ an# sha5e# unto the chie* priests all the things that 5ere #one: an# 5hen they 5ere assemble# 5ith the el#ers an# ha# ta>en counsel/ they gave large money unto the sol#iers/ saying/ ;ay ye/ that his #isciples came by night/ an# stole him a5ay 5hile 5e slept: an# i* this come to the governor$s ears/ 5e 5ill persua#e him/ an# secure you. ;o they too> the money/ an# #i# as they 5ere taught: an# this saying Gthat his #isciples stole him a5ayH is
176

commonly reporte# among the .e5s until this #ay.@ (he e2pression/ until this #ay/ is an evi#ence that the boo> ascribe# to ,atthe5 5as not 5ritten by ,atthe5/ an# that it has been manu*acture# long a*ter the times an# things o* 5hich it preten#s to treat: *or the e2pression implies a great length o* intervening time. %t 5oul# be inconsistent in us to spea> in this manner o* any thing happening in our o5n time. (o give/ there*ore/ intelligible meaning to the e2pression/ 5e must suppose a lapse o* some generations at least/ *or this manner o* spea>ing carries the min# bac> to ancient time. (he absur#ity also o* the story is 5orth noticing: *or it sho5s the 5riter o* the boo> o* ,atthe5 to have been an e2cee#ing 5ea> an# *oolish man. 0e tells a story that contra#icts itsel* in point o* possibility: *or though the guar#/ i* there 5ere any/ might be ma#e to say that the bo#y 5as ta>en a5ay 5hile they 5ere asleep/ an# to give that as a reason *or their not having prevente# it/ that same

sleep must also have prevente# their >no5ing ho5/ an# by 5hom/ it 5as #one: an# yet they are ma#e to say that it 5as the #isciples 5ho #i# it. 7ere a man to ten#er his evi#ence o* something that he shoul# say 5as #one/ an# o* the manner o* #oing it/ an# o* the person 5ho #i# it/ 5hile he 5as asleep/ an# coul# >no5 nothing o* the matter/ such evi#ence coul# not be receive#: it 5ill #o 5ell enough *or (estament evi#ence/ but not *or any thing 5here truth is concerne#. % come no5 to that part o* the evi#ence in those boo>s/ that respects the preten#e# appearance o* hrist a*ter this preten#e# resurrection. (he 5riter o* the boo> o* ,atthe5 relates/ that the angel that 5as sitting on the stone at the mouth o* the sepulchre/ sai# to the t5o ,arys (22viii. 7)/ @Behol# hrist is gone be*ore you into 8alilee/ there ye shall see him: lo/ % have tol# you.@ )n# the same 5riter at
177

the ne2t t5o verses (B/ 9/) ma>es hrist himsel* to spea> to the same purpose to these 5omen imme#iately a*ter the angel ha# tol# it to them/ an# that they ran Duic>ly to tell it to the #isciples: an# it is sai# (ver. 16)/ @(hen the eleven #isciples 5ent a5ay into 8alilee/ into a mountain 5here .esus ha# appointe# them: an#/ 5hen they sa5 him/ they 5orshippe# him.@ But the 5riter o* the boo> o* .ohn tells us a story very #i**erent to this: *or he says (22. 19) @(hen the same #ay at evening/ being the *irst #ay o* the 5ee>/ Gthat is/ the same #ay that hrist is sai# to have risen/H 5hen the #oors 5ere shut/ 5here the #isciples 5ere assemble#/ *or *ear o* the .e5s/ came .esus an# stoo# in the mi#st o* them.@ )ccor#ing to ,atthe5 the eleven 5ere marching to 8alilee/ to meet .esus in a mountain/ by his o5n appointment/ at the very time 5hen/ accor#ing to .ohn/ they 5ere assemble# in another place/ an# that not by appointment/ but in secret/ *or *ear o* the .e5s.

(he 5riter o* the boo> o* 9u>e 22iv. 1=/ =='=6/ contra#icts that o* ,atthe5 more pointe#ly than .ohn #oes: *or he says e2pressly/ that the meeting 5as in .erusalem the evening o* the same #ay that he ( hrist) rose/ an# that the eleven 5ere there. 4o5/ it is not possible/ unless 5e a#mit these suppose# #isciples the right o* 5il*ul lying/ that the 5riters o* these boo>s coul# be any o* the eleven persons calle# #isciples: *or i*/ accor#ing to ,atthe5/ the eleven 5ent into 8alilee to meet .esus in a mountain by his o5n appointment/ on the same #ay that he is sai# to have risen/ 9u>e an# .ohn must have been t5o o* that eleven: yet the 5riter o* 9u>e says e2pressly/ an# .ohn implies as much/ that the meeting 5as that same #ay/ in a house in .erusalem: an#/ on the other han#/ i*/ accor#ing to 9u>e an# .ohn/ the eleven 5ere assemble# in a house in .erusalem/ ,atthe5 must have been one o* that eleven: yet ,atthe5 says the meeting 5as in a mountain in
178

8alilee/ an# conseDuently the evi#ence given in those boo>s #estroy each other. (he 5riter o* the boo> o* ,ar> says nothing about any meeting in 8alilee: but he says (2vi. 1A) that hrist/ a*ter his resurrection/ appeare# in another *orm to t5o o* them/ as they 5al>e# into the country/ an# that these t5o tol# it to the resi#ue/ 5ho 5oul# not believe them. G(his belongs to the late a##ition to ,ar>/ 5hich originally en#e# 5ith 2vi. B. '' "#itor.H 9u>e also tells a story/ in 5hich he >eeps hrist employe# the 5hole o* the #ay o* this preten#e# resurrection/ until the evening/ an# 5hich totally invali#ates the account o* going to the mountain in 8alilee. 0e says/ that t5o o* them/ 5ithout saying 5hich t5o/ 5ent that same #ay to a village calle# "mmaus/ three score *urlongs (seven miles an# a hal*) *rom .erusalem/ an# that hrist in #isguise 5ent 5ith them/ an# staye# 5ith them unto the evening/ an# suppe# 5ith them/ an# then vanishe# out o* their sight/ an# reappeare# that

same evening/ at the meeting o* the eleven in .erusalem. (his is the contra#ictory manner in 5hich the evi#ence o* this preten#e# reappearance o* hrist is state#: the only point in 5hich the 5riters agree/ is the s>ul>ing privacy o* that reappearance: *or 5hether it 5as in the recess o* a mountain in 8alilee/ or in a shutup house in .erusalem/ it 5as still s>ul>ing. (o 5hat cause then are 5e to assign this s>ul>ingK &n the one han#/ it is #irectly repugnant to the suppose# or preten#e# en#/ that o* convincing the 5orl# that hrist 5as risen: an#/ on the other han#/ to have asserte# the publicity o* it 5oul# have e2pose# the 5riters o* those boo>s to public #etection: an#/ there*ore/ they have been un#er the necessity o* ma>ing it a private a**air. )s to the account o* hrist being seen by more than *ive hun#re# at once/ it is Paul only 5ho says it/ an# not the *ive hun#re# 5ho say it *or themselves. %t is/ there*ore/ the testimony o* but one man/
179

an# that too o* a man/ 5ho #i# not/ accor#ing to the same account/ believe a 5or# o* the matter himsel* at the time it is sai# to have happene#. 0is evi#ence/ supposing him to have been the 5riter o* orinthians 2v./ 5here this account is given/ is li>e that o* a man 5ho comes into a court o* Custice to s5ear that 5hat he ha# s5orn be*ore 5as *alse. ) man may o*ten see reason/ an# he has too al5ays the right o* changing his opinion: but this liberty #oes not e2ten# to matters o* *act. % no5 come to the last scene/ that o* the ascension into heaven. '' 0ere all *ear o* the .e5s/ an# o* every thing else/ must necessarily have been out o* the Duestion: it 5as that 5hich/ i* true/ 5as to seal the 5hole: an# upon 5hich the reality o* the *uture mission o* the #isciples 5as to rest *or proo*. 7or#s/ 5hether #eclarations or promises/ that passe# in private/ either in the recess o* a mountain in 8alilee/ or in a shut'up house in .erusalem/ even supposing

them to have been spo>en/ coul# not be evi#ence in public: it 5as there*ore necessary that this last scene shoul# preclu#e the possibility o* #enial an# #ispute: an# that it shoul# be/ as % have state# in the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason/$ as public an# as visible as the sun at noon'#ay: at least it ought to have been as public as the cruci*i2ion is reporte# to have been. '' But to come to the point. %n the *irst place/ the 5riter o* the boo> o* ,atthe5 #oes not say a syllable about it: neither #oes the 5riter o* the boo> o* .ohn. (his being the case/ is it possible to suppose that those 5riters/ 5ho a**ect to be even minute in other matters/ 5oul# have been silent upon this/ ha# it been trueK (he 5riter o* the boo> o* ,ar> passes it o** in a careless/ slovenly manner/ 5ith a single #ash o* the pen/ as i* he 5as tire# o* romancing/ or ashame# o* the story. ;o also #oes the 5riter o* 9u>e. )n# even bet5een these t5o/ there is not an apparent agreement/ as to the place 5here this *inal parting is
180

sai# to have been. G(he last nine verses o* ,ar> being ungenuine/ the story o* the ascension rests e2clusively on the 5or#s in 9u>e 22iv. E1/ @5as carrie# up into heaven/@ '5or#s omitte# by several ancient authorities. '' "#itor.H (he boo> o* ,ar> says that hrist appeare# to the eleven as they sat at meat/ allu#ing to the meeting o* the eleven at .erusalem: he then states the conversation that he says passe# at that meeting: an# imme#iately a*ter says (as a school'boy 5oul# *inish a #ull story/) @;o then/ a*ter the 9or# ha# spo>en unto them/ he 5as receive# up into heaven/ an# sat on the right han# o* 8o#.@ But the 5riter o* 9u>e says/ that the ascension 5as *rom Bethany: that he ( hrist) le# them out as *ar as Bethany/ an# 5as *iarte# *rom them there/ an# 5as carrie# up into heaven. ;o also 5as ,ahomet: an#/ as to ,oses/ the apostle .u#e says/ ver. 9. (hat $,ichael an# the #evil #ispute# about his bo#y.$ 7hile 5e believe such *ables as

these/ or either o* them/ 5e believe un5orthily o* the )lmighty. % have no5 gone through the e2amination o* the *our boo>s ascribe# to ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e an# .ohn: an# 5hen it is consi#ere# that the 5hole space o* time/ *rom the cruci*i2ion to 5hat is calle# the ascension/ is but a *e5 #ays/ apparently not more than three or *our/ an# that all the circumstances are reporte# to have happene# nearly about the same spot/ .erusalem/ it is/ % believe/ impossible to *in# in any story upon recor# so many an# such glaring absur#ities/ contra#ictions/ an# *alsehoo#s/ as are in those boo>s. (hey are more numerous an# stri>ing than % ha# any e2pectation o* *in#ing/ 5hen % began this e2amination/ an# *ar more so than % ha# any i#ea o* 5hen % 5rote the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason.$ % ha# then neither Bible nor (estament to re*er to/ nor coul# % procure any. ,y o5n situation/ even as to e2istence/ 5as becoming every #ay more precarious: an# as % 5as 5illing to leave something behin# me upon the subCect/ % 5as
181

oblige# to be Duic> an# concise. (he Duotations % then ma#e 5ere *rom memory only/ but they are correct: an# the opinions % have a#vance# in that 5or> are the e**ect o* the most clear an# longestablishe# conviction/ '' that the Bible an# the (estament are impositions upon the 5orl#: '' that the *all o* man/ the account o* .esus hrist being the ;on o* 8o#/ an# o* his #ying to appease the 5rath o* 8o#/ an# o* salvation by that strange means/ are all *abulous inventions/ #ishonourable to the 5is#om an# po5er o* the )lmighty: '' that the only true religion is #eism/ by 5hich % then meant an# no5 mean the belie* o* one 8o#/ an# an imitation o* his moral character/ or the practice o* 5hat are calle# moral virtues: '' an# that it 5as upon this only (so *ar as religion is concerne#) that % reste# all my hopes o* happiness herea*ter. ;o say % no5 '' an# so help me 8o#.

But to retum to the subCect. '' (hough it is impossible/ at this #istance o* time/ to ascertain as a *act 5ho 5ere the 5riters o* those *our boo>s (an# this alone is su**icient to hol# them in #oubt/ an# 5here 5e #oubt 5e #o not believe) it is not #i**icult to ascertain negatively that they 5ere not 5ritten by the persons to 5hom they are ascribe#. (he contra#ictions in those boo>s #emonstrate t5o things: +irst/ that the 5riters cannot have been eye'5itnesses an# ear5itnesses o* the matters they relate/ or they 5oul# have relate# them 5ithout those contra#ictions: an#/ conseDuently that the boo>s have not been 5ritten by the persons calle# apostles/ 5ho are suppose# to have been 5itnesses o* this >in#. ;econ#ly/ that the 5riters/ 5hoever they 5ere/ have not acte# in concerte# imposition/ but each 5riter separately an# in#ivi#ually *or himsel*/ an# 5ithout the >no5le#ge o* the other. (he same evi#ence that applies to prove the one/ applies eDually to prove both cases: that is/ that the boo>s 5ere not 5ritten by the
182

men calle# apostles/ an# also that they are not a concerte# imposition. )s to inspiration/ it is altogether out o* the Duestion: 5e may as 5ell attempt to unite truth an# *alsehoo#/ as inspiration an# contra#iction. %* *our men are eye'5itnesses an# ear'5itnesses to a scene/ they 5ill 5ithout any concert bet5een them/ agree as to time an# place/ 5hen an# 5here that scene happene#. (heir in#ivi#ual >no5le#ge o* the thing/ each one >no5ing it *or himsel*/ ren#ers concert totally unnecessary: the one 5ill not say it 5as in a mountain in the country/ an# the other at a house in to5n: the one 5ill not say it 5as at sunrise/ an# the other that it 5as #ar>. +or in 5hatever place it 5as an# 5hatever time it 5as/ they >no5 it eDually ali>e. )n# on the other han#/ i* *our men concert a story/ they 5ill ma>e

their separate relations o* that story agree an# corroborate 5ith each other to support the 5hole. (hat concert supplies the 5ant o* *act in the one case/ as the >no5le#ge o* the *act superse#es/ in the other case/ the necessity o* a concert. (he same contra#ictions/ there*ore/ that prove there has been no concert/ prove also that the reporters ha# no >no5le#ge o* the *act/ (or rather o* that 5hich they relate as a *act/) an# #etect also the *alsehoo# o* their reports. (hose boo>s/ there*ore/ have neither been 5ritten by the men calle# apostles/ nor by imposters in concert. '' 0o5 then have they been 5rittenK % am not one o* those 5ho are *on# o* believing there is much o* that 5hich is calle# 5il*ul lying/ or lying originally/ e2cept in the case o* men setting up to be prophets/ as in the &l# (estament: *or prophesying is lying pro*essionally. %n almost all other cases it is not #i**icult to #iscover the progress by 5hich even simple supposition/ 5ith the ai# o* cre#ulity/ 5ill in time gro5 into a lie/ an# at last be tol# as a *act: an# 5henever 5e can *in# a charitable reason *or a thing o* this >in#/ 5e ought not to in#ulge a severe
183

one. (he story o* .esus hrist appearing a*ter he 5as #ea# is the story o* an apparition/ such as timi# imaginations can al5ays create in vision/ an# cre#ulity believe. ;tories o* this >in# ha# been tol# o* the assassination o* .ulius aesar not many years be*ore/ an# they generally have their origin in violent #eaths/ or in e2ecution o* innocent persons. %n cases o* this >in#/ compassion len#s its ai#/ an# benevolently stretches the story. %t goes on a little an# a little *arther/ till it becomes a most certain truth. &nce start a ghost/ an# cre#ulity *ills up the history o* its li*e/ an# assigns the cause o* its appearance: one tells it one 5ay/ another another 5ay/ till there are as many stories about the ghost/ an# about the proprietor o* the ghost/ as there are about .esus hrist in these *our boo>s.

(he story o* the appearance o* .esus hrist is tol# 5ith that strange mi2ture o* the natural an# impossible/ that #istinguishes legen#ary tale *rom *act. 0e is represente# as su##enly coming in an# going out 5hen the #oors are shut/ an# o* vanishing out o* sight/ an# appearing again/ as one 5oul# conceive o* an unsubstantial vision: then again he is hungry/ sits #o5n to meat/ an# eats his supper. But as those 5ho tell stories o* this >in# never provi#e *or all the cases/ so it is here: they have tol# us/ that 5hen he arose he le*t his graveclothes behin# him: but they have *orgotten to provi#e other clothes *or him to appear in a*ter5ar#s/ or to tell us 5hat be #i# 5ith them 5hen he ascen#e#: 5hether he strippe# all o**/ or 5ent up clothes an# all. %n the case o* "liCah/ they have been care*ul enough to ma>e. him thro5 #o5n his mantle: ho5 it happene# not to be burnt in the chariot o* *ire/ they also have not tol# us: but as imagination supplies all #e*iciencies o* this >in#/ 5e may suppose i* 5e please that it 5as ma#e o* salaman#er$s 5ool. (hose 5ho are not much acDuainte# 5ith ecclesiastical history/ may suppose that the boo> calle# the 4e5 (estament has e2iste#
184

ever since the time o* .esus hrist/ as they suppose that the boo>s ascribe# to ,oses have e2iste# ever since the time o* ,oses. But the *act is historically other5ise: there 5as no such boo> as the 4e5 (estament till more than three hun#re# years a*ter the time that hrist is sai# to have live#. )t 5hat time the boo>s ascribe# to ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e an# .ohn/ began to appear/ is altogether a matter o* uncertainty. (here is not the least sha#o5 o* evi#ence o* 5ho the persons 5ere that 5rote them/ nor at 5hat time they 5ere 5ritten: an# they might as 5ell have been calle# by the names o* any o* the other suppose# apostles as by the names they are no5 calle#. (he originals are not in the possession o* any hristian hurch e2isting/ any more than

the t5o tables o* stone 5ritten on/ they preten#/ by the *inger o* 8o#/ upon ,ount ;inai/ an# given to ,oses/ are in the possession o* the .e5s. )n# even i* they 5ere/ there is no possibility o* proving the han#'5riting in either case. )t the time those *our boo>s 5ere 5ritten there 5as no printing/ an# conseDuently there coul# be no publication other5ise than by 5ritten copies/ 5hich any man might ma>e or alter at pleasure/ an# call them originals. an 5e suppose it is consistent 5ith the 5is#om o* the )lmighty to commit himsel* an# his 5ill to man upon such precarious means as these: or that it is consistent 5e shoul# pin our *aith upon such uncertaintiesK 7e cannot ma>e nor alter/ nor even imitate/ so much as one bla#e o* grass that he has ma#e/ an# yet 5e can ma>e or alter 5or#s o* 8o# as easily as 5or#s o* man. G(he *ormer part o* the $)ge o* -eason$ has not been publishe# t5o years/ an# there is alrea#y an e2pression in it that is not mine. (he e2pression is: (he boo> o* 9u>e 5as carrie# by a maCority o* one voice only. %t may be true/ but it is not % that have sai# it. ;ome person 5ho might >no5 o* that circumstance/ has a##e# it in a note at the bottom o* the page o* some o* the e#itions/ printe# either in
185

"nglan# or in )merica: an# the printers/ a*ter that/ have erecte# it into the bo#y o* the 5or>/ an# ma#e me the author o* it. %* this has happene# 5ithin such a short space o* time/ not5ithstan#ing the ai# o* printing/ 5hich prevents the alteration o* copies in#ivi#ually/ 5hat may not have happene# in a much greater length o* time/ 5hen there 5as no printing/ an# 5hen any man 5ho coul# 5rite coul# ma>e a 5ritten copy an# call it an original by ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ or .ohnK '' )uthor. (he spurious a##ition to Paine$s 5or> allu#e# to in his *ootnote #re5 on him a severe criticism *rom 3r. Priestley (@9etters to a Philosophical <nbeliever/@ p. 7E)/ yet it seems to have been Priestley himsel* 5ho/ in his Duotation/ *irst incorporate# into

Paine$s te2t the *ootnote a##e# by the e#itor o* the )merican e#ition (179F). (he )merican a##e#: @1i#e ,oshiem$s (sic) "cc. 0istory/@ 5hich Priestley omits. %n a mo#ern )merican e#ition % notice *our verbal alterations intro#uce# into the above *ootnote. '' "#itor.H )bout three hun#re# an# *i*ty years a*ter the time that hrist is sai# to have live#/ several 5ritings o* the >in# % am spea>ing o* 5ere scattere# in the han#s o* #ivers in#ivi#uals: an# as the church ha# begun to *orm itsel* into an hierarchy/ or church government/ 5ith temporal po5ers/ it set itsel* about collecting them into a co#e/ as 5e no5 see them/ calle# $(he 4e5 (estament.$ (hey #eci#e# by vote/ as % have be*ore sai# in the *ormer part o* the )ge o* -eason/ 5hich o* those 5ritings/ out o* the collection they ha# ma#e/ shoul# be the 5or# o* 8o#/ an# 5hich shoul# not. (he -obbins o* the .e5s ha# #eci#e#/ by vote/ upon the boo>s o* the Bible be*ore. )s the obCect o* the church/ as is the case in all national establishments o* churches/ 5as po5er an# revenue/ an# terror the means it use#/ it is consistent to suppose that the most miraculous
186

an# 5on#er*ul o* the 5ritings they ha# collecte# stoo# the best chance o* being vote#. )n# as to the authenticity o* the boo>s/ the vote stan#s in the place o* it: *or it can be trace# no higher. 3isputes/ ho5ever/ ran high among the people then calling themselves hristians/ not only as to points o* #octrine/ but as to the authenticity o* the boo>s. %n the contest bet5een the person calle# ;t. )ugustine/ an# +auste/ about the year FLL/ the latter says/ @(he boo>s calle# the "vangelists have been compose# long a*ter the times o* the apostles/ by some obscure men/ 5ho/ *earing that the 5orl# 5oul# not give cre#it to their relation o* matters o* 5hich they coul# not be in*orme#/ have publishe# them un#er the names o* the apostles: an# 5hich are so *ull o* sottishness an#

#iscor#ant relations/ that there is neither agreement nor connection bet5een them.@ )n# in another place/ a##ressing himsel* to the a#vocates o* those boo>s/ as being the 5or# o* 8o#/ he says/ @%t is thus that your pre#ecessors have inserte# in the scriptures o* our 9or# many things 5hich/ though they carry his name/ agree not 5ith his #octrine. (his is not surprising/ since that 5e have o*ten prove# that these things have not been 5ritten by himsel*/ nor by his apostles/ but that *or the greatest part they are *oun#e# upon tales/ upon vague reports/ an# put together by % >no5 not 5hat hal* .e5s/ 5ith but little agreement bet5een them: an# 5hich they have nevertheless publishe# un#er the name o* the apostles o* our 9or#/ an# have thus attribute# to them their o5n errers an# their lies. G% have ta>en these t5o e2tracts *rom Boulanger$s 9i*e o* Paul/ 5ritten in +rench: Boulanger has Duote# them *rom the 5ritings o* )ugustine against +auste/ to 5hich he re*ers. '' )uthor. (his Bishop +austus is usualy style# @(he ,anichaeum/@ )ugustine having entitle# his boo>/ ontra +sustum ,anichaeum 9ibri 222iii./ in 5hich nearly the 5hole o* +austus$ very able 5or>
187

is Duote#. '' "#itor.H (he rea#er 5ill see by those e2tracts that the authenticity o* the boo>s o* the 4e5 (estament 5as #enie#/ an# the boo>s treate# as tales/ *orgeries/ an# lies/ at the time they 5ere vote# to be the 5or# o* 8o#. But the interest o* the church/ 5ith the assistance o* the *aggot/ bore #o5n the opposition/ an# at last suppresse# all investigation. ,iracles *ollo5e# upon miracles/ i* 5e 5ill believe them/ an# men 5ere taught to say they believe# 5hether they believe# or not. But (by 5ay o* thro5ing in a thought) the +rench -evolution has e2communicate# the church *rom the po5er o* 5or>ing miracles: she has not been able/ 5ith the assistance o* all her saints/ to 5or> one miracle since the revolution began: an# as

she never stoo# in greater nee# than no5/ 5e may/ 5ithout the ai# o* #ivination/ conclu#e that all her *ormer miracles are tric>s an# lies. GBoulanger in his li*e o* Paul/ has collecte# *rom the ecclesiastical histories/ an# the 5ritings o* the *athers as they are calle#/ several matters 5hich sho5 the opinions that prevaile# among the #i**erent sects o* hristians/ at the time the (estament/ as 5e no5 see it/ 5as vote# to be the 5or# o* 8o#. (he *ollo5ing e2tracts are *rom the secon# chapter o* that 5or>: (he ,arcionists (a hristian sect) asserte# that the evangelists 5ere *ille# 5ith *alsities. (he ,anichaeans/ 5ho *orme# a very numerous sect at the commencement o* hristianity/ reCecte# as *alse all the 4e5 (estament/ an# sho5e# other 5ritings Duite #i**erent that they gave *or authentic. (he erinthians/ li>e the ,arcionists/ a#mitte# not the )cts o* the )postles. (he "ncratites an# the ;evenians a#opte# neither the )cts/ nor the "pistles o* Paul. hrysostom/ in a bomily 5hich he ma#e upon the )cts o* the )postles/ says that in his time/ about the year FLL/ many people >ne5 nothing either o* the author or o* the boo>. ;t. %rene/ 5ho live# be*ore that time/ reports that the 1alentinians/ li>e several
188

other sects o* the hristians/ accuse# the scriptures o* being *ille# 5ith imper*ections/ errors/ an# contra#ictions. (he "bionites/ or 4aIarenes/ 5ho 5ere the *irst hristians/ reCecte# all the "pistles o* Paul/ an# regar#e# him as an impostor. (hey report/ among other things/ that he 5as originally a Pagan: that he came to .erusalem/ 5here he live# some time: an# that having a min# to marry the #aughter o* the high priest/ he ha# himsel* been circumcise#: but that not being able to obtain her/ he Duarrelle# 5ith the .e5s an# 5rote against circumcision/ an# against the observation o* the ;abbath/ an# against all the legal or#inances. '' )uthor. G,uch abri#ge# *rom the "2am. rit. #e la 1ie #e ;t. Paul/ by 4.). Boulanger/ 177L. '' "#itor.H

7hen 5e consi#er the lapse o* more than three hun#re# years intervening bet5een the time that hrist is sai# to have live# an# the time the 4e5 (estament 5as *orme# into a boo>/ 5e must see/ even 5ithout the assistance o* historical evi#ence/ the e2cee#ing uncertainty there is o* its authenticity. (he authenticity o* the boo> o* 0omer/ so *ar as regar#s the authorship/ is much better establishe# than that o* the 4e5 (estament/ though 0omer is a thousan# years the most ancient. %t 5as only an e2cee#ing goo# poet that coul# have 5ritten the boo> o* 0omer/ an#/ there*ore/ *e5 men only coul# have attempte# it: an# a man capable o* #oing it 5oul# not have thro5n a5ay his o5n *ame by giving it to another. %n li>e manner/ there 5ere but *e5 that coul# have compose# "ucli#$s "lements/ because none but an e2cee#ing goo# geometrician coul# have been the author o* that 5or>. But 5ith respect to the boo>s o* the 4e5 (estament/ particularly such parts as tell us o* the resurrection an# ascension o* hrist/ any person 5ho coul# tell a story o* an apparition/ or o* a man$s 5al>ing/ coul# have ma#e such boo>s: *or the story is most 5retche#ly tol#. (he chance/ there*ore/ o* *orgery in the (estament
189

is millions to one greater than in the case o* 0omer or "ucli#. &* the numerous priests or parsons o* the present #ay/ bishops an# all/ every one o* them can ma>e a sermon/ or translate a scrap o* 9atin/ especially i* it has been translate# a thousan# times be*ore: but is there any amongst them that can 5rite poetry li>e 0omer/ or science li>e "ucli#K (he sum total o* a parson$s learning/ 5ith very *e5 e2ceptions/ is a/ b/ ab/ an# hic/ haec/ hoc: an# their >no5le#ge o* science is/ three times one is three: an# this is more than su**icient to have enable# them/ ha# they live# at the time/ to have 5ritten all the boo>s o* the 4e5 (estament. )s the opportunities o* *orgery 5ere greater/ so also 5as the in#ucement. ) man coul# gain no a#vantage by 5riting un#er the

name o* 0omer or "ucli#: i* he coul# 5rite eDual to them/ it 5oul# be better that he 5rote un#er his o5n name: i* in*erior/ he coul# not succee#. Pri#e 5oul# prevent the *ormer/ an# impossibility the latter. But 5ith respect to such boo>s as compose the 4e5 (estament/ all the in#ucements 5ere on the si#e o* *orgery. (he best imagine# history that coul# have been ma#e/ at the #istance o* t5o or three hun#re# years a*ter the time/ coul# not have passe# *or an original un#er the name o* the real 5riter: the only chance o* success lay in *orgery: *or the church 5ante# pretence *or its ne5 #octrine/ an# truth an# talents 5ere out o* the Duestion. But as it is not uncommon (as be*ore observe#) to relate stories o* persons 5al>ing a*ter they are #ea#/ an# o* ghosts an# apparitions o* such as have *allen by some violent or e2traor#inary means: an# as the people o* that #ay 5ere in the habit o* believing such things/ an# o* the appearance o* angels/ an# also o* #evils/ an# o* their getting into people$s insi#es/ an# s>a>ing them li>e a *it o* an ague/ an# o* their being cast out again as i* by an emetic '' (,ary ,ag#alene/ the boo> o* ,ar> tells us ha# brought up/ or been brought to be# o* seven #evils:) it 5as nothing e2traor#inary that
190

some story o* this >in# shoul# get abroa# o* the person calle# .esus hrist/ an# become a*ter5ar#s the *oun#ation o* the *our boo>s ascribe# to ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn. "ach 5riter tol# a tale as he hear# it/ or thereabouts/ an# gave to his boo> the name o* the saint or the apostle 5hom tra#ition ha# given as the eye'5itness. %t is only upon this groun# that the contra#ictions in those boo>s can be acounte# *or: an# i* this be not the case/ they are #o5nright impositions/ lies/ an# *orgeries/ 5ithout even the apology o* cre#ulity. (hat they have been 5ritten by a sort o* hal* .e5s/ as the *oregoing Duotations mention/ is #iscernible enough. (he *reDuent re*erences ma#e to that chie* assassin an# impostor ,oses/ an# to the men

calle# prophets/ establishes this point: an#/ on the other han#/ the church has complimente# the *rau#/ by a#mitting the Bible an# the (estament to reply to each other. Bet5een the hristian'.e5 an# the hristian'8entile/ the thing calle# a prophecy/ an# the thing prophesie# o*/ the type an# the thing typi*ie#/ the sign an# the thing signi*ie#/ have been in#ustriously rummage# up/ an# *itte# together li>e ol# loc>s an# pic>'loc> >eys. (he story *oolishly enough tol# o* "ve an# the serpent/ an# naturally enough as to the enmity bet5een men an# serpents (*or the serpent al5ays bites about the heel/ because it cannot reach higher/ an# the man al5ays >noc>s the serpent about the hea#/ as the most e**ectual 5ay to prevent its biting:) G@%t shall bruise thy hea#/ an# thou shalt bruise his heel.@ 8en. iii. 1E. '' )uthor.H this *oolish story/ % say/ has been ma#e into a prophecy/ a type/ an# a promise to begin 5ith: an# the lying imposition o* %saiah to )haI/ $(hat a virgin shall conceive an# bear a son/$ as a sign that )haI shoul# conDuer/ 5hen the event 5as that he 5as #e*eate# (as alrea#y notice# in the observations on the boo> o* %saiah)/ has been perverte#/ an# ma#e to serve as a 5in#er up.
191

.onah an# the 5hale are also ma#e into a sign an# type. .onah is .esus/ an# the 5hale is the grave: *or it is sai#/ (an# they have ma#e hrist to say it o* himsel*/ ,att. 2ii. FL)/ @+or as .onah 5as three #ays an# three nights in the 5hale$s belly/ so shall the ;on o* man be three #ays an# three nighis in the heart o* the earth.@ But it happens/ au>5ar#ly enough/ that hrist/ accor#ing to their o5n account/ 5as but one #ay an# t5o nights in the grave: about =6 hours instea# o* 7A: that is/ the +ri#ay night/ the ;atur#ay/ an# the ;atur#ay night: *or they say he 5as up on the ;un#ay morning by sunrise/ or be*ore. But as this *its Duite as 5ell as the bite an# the >ic> in 8enesis/ or the virgin an# her son in %saiah/ it 5ill pass in the lump o* ortho#o2 things. '' (hus much *or the historical part o*

the (estament an# its evi#ences. "pistles o* Paul '' (he epistles ascribe# to Paul/ being *ourteen in number/ almost *ill up the remaining part o* the (estament. 7hether those epistles 5ere 5ritten by the person to 5hom they are ascribe# is a matter o* no great importance/ since that the 5riter/ 5hoever he 5as/ attempts to prove his #octrine by argument. 0e #oes not preten# to have been 5itness to any o* the scenes tol# o* the resurrection an# the ascension: an# he #eclares that he ha# not believe# them. (he story o* his being struc> to the groun# as he 5as Courneying to 3amascus/ has nothing in it miraculous or e2traor#inary: he escape# 5ith li*e/ an# that is more than many others have #one/ 5ho have been struc> 5ith lightning: an# that he shoul# lose his sight *or three #ays/ an# be unable to eat or #rin> #uring that time/ is nothing more than is common in such con#itions. 0is companions that 5ere 5ith him appear not to have su**ere# in the same manner/ *or they 5ere 5ell enough to lea# him the remain#er o* the Courney: neither #i# they preten# to have seen any vision. (he character o* the person calle# Paul/ accor#ing to the accounts
192

given o* him/ has in it a great #eal o* violence an# *anaticism: he ha# persecute# 5ith as much heat as he preache# a*ter5ar#s: the stro>e he ha# receive# ha# change# his thin>ing/ 5ithout altering his constitution: an# either as a .e5 or a hristian he 5as the same Iealot. ;uch men are never goo# moral evi#ences o* any #octrine they preach. (hey are al5ays in e2tremes/ as 5ell o* action as o* belie*. (he #octrine he sets out to prove by argument/ is the resurrection o* the same bo#y: an# he a#vances this as an evi#ence o* immortality. But so much 5ill men #i**er in their manner o* thin>ing/ an# in the conclusions they #ra5 *rom the same premises/ that this #octrine o* the resurrection o* the same bo#y/ so

*ar *rom being an evi#ence o* immortality/ appears to me to be an evi#ence againt it: *or i* % have alrea#y #ie# in this bo#y/ an# am raise# again in the same bo#y in 5hich % have #ie#/ it is presumptive evi#ence that % shall #ie again. (hat resurrection no more secures me against the repetition o* #ying/ than an ague'*it/ 5hen past/ secures me against another. (o believe there*ore in immortality/ % must have a more elevate# i#ea than is containe# in the gloomy #octrine o* the resurrection. Besi#es/ as a matter o* choice/ as 5ell as o* hope/ % ha# rather have a better bo#y an# a more convenient *orm than the present. "very animal in the creation e2cels us in something. (he 5inge# insects/ 5ithout mentioning #oves or eagles/ can pass over more space 5ith greater ease in a *e5 minutes than man can in an hour. (he gli#e o* the smallest *ish/ in proportion to its bul>/ e2cee#s us in motion almost beyon# comparison/ an# 5ithout 5eariness. "ven the sluggish snail can ascen# *rom the bottom o* a #ungeon/ 5here man/ by the 5ant o* that ability/ 5oul# perish: an# a spi#er can launch itsel* *rom the top/ as a play*ul amusement. (he personal po5ers o* man are so limite#/ an# his heavy *rame so little
193

constructe# to e2tensive enCoyment/ that there is nothing to in#uce us to 5ish the opinion o* Paul to be true. %t is too little *or the magnitu#e o* the scene/ too mean *or the sublimity o* the subCect. But all other arguments apart/ the consciousness o* e2istence is the only conceivable i#ea 5e can have o* another li*e/ an# the continuance o* that consciousness is immortality. (he consciousness o* e2istence/ or the >no5ing that 5e e2ist/ is not necessarily con*ine# to the same *orm/ nor to the same matter/ even in this li*e. 7e have not in all cases the same *orm/ nor in any case the same matter/ that compose# our bo#ies t5enty or thirty years ago: an# yet 5e are conscious o* being the same persons. "ven legs an#

arms/ 5hich ma>e up almost hal* the human *rame/ are not necessary to the consciousness o* e2istence. (hese may be lost or ta>en a5ay an# the *ull consciousness o* e2istence remain: an# 5ere their place supplie# by 5ings/ or other appen#ages/ 5e cannot conceive that it coul# alter our consciousness o* e2istence. %n short/ 5e >no5 not ho5 much/ or rather ho5 little/ o* our composition it is/ an# ho5 e2Duisitely *ine that little is/ that creates in us this consciousness o* e2istence: an# all beyon# that is li>e the pulp o* a peach/ #istinct an# separate *rom the vegetative spec> in the >ernel. 7ho can say by 5hat e2cee#ing *ine action o* *ine matter it is that a thought is pro#uce# in 5hat 5e call the min#K an# yet that thought 5hen pro#uce#/ as % no5 pro#uce the thought % am 5riting/ is capable o* becoming immortal/ an# is the only pro#uction o* man that has that capacity. ;tatues o* brass an# marble 5ill perish: an# statues ma#e in imitation o* them are not the same statues/ nor the same 5or>manship/ any more than the copy o* a picture is the same picture. But print an# reprint a thought a thousan# times over/ an#
194

that 5ith materials o* any >in#/ carve it in 5oo#/ or engrave it on stone/ the thought is eternally an# i#entically the same thought in every case. %t has a capacity o* unimpaire# e2istence/ una**ecte# by change o* matter/ an# is essentially #istinct/ an# o* a nature #i**erent *rom every thing else that 5e >no5 o*/ or can conceive. %* then the thing pro#uce# has in itsel* a capacity o* being immortal/ it is more than a to>en that the po5er that pro#uce# it/ 5hich is the sel*'same thing as consciousness o* e2istence/ can be immortal also: an# that as in#epen#ently o* the matter it 5as *irst connecte# 5ith/ as the thought is o* the printing or 5riting it *irst appeare# in. (he one i#ea is not more #i**icult to believe than the other: an# 5e can see that one is true.

(hat the consciousness o* e2istence is not #epen#ent on the same *orm or the same matter/ is #emonstrate# to our senses in the 5or>s o* the creation/ as *ar as our senses are capable o* receiving that #emonstration. ) very numerous part o* the animal creation preaches to us/ *ar better than Paul/ the belie* o* a li*e herea*ter. (heir little li*e resembles an earth an# a heaven/ a present an# a *uture state: an# comprises/ i* it may be so e2presse#/ immortality in miniature. (he most beauti*ul parts o* the creation to our eye are the 5inge# insects/ an# they are not so originally. (hey acDuire that *orm an# that inimitable brilliancy by progressive changes. (he slo5 an# creeping caterpillar 5orm o* to #ay/ passes in a *e5 #ays to a torpi# *igure/ an# a state resembling #eath: an# in the ne2t change comes *orth in all the miniature magni*icence o* li*e/ a splen#i# butter*ly. 4o resemblance o* the *ormer creature remains: every thing is change#: all his po5ers are ne5/ an# li*e is to him another thing. 7e cannot conceive that the consciousness o* e2istence is not the same in this state o* the animal as be*ore: 5hy then must % believe that the resurrection o* the same bo#y is necessary to
195

continue to me the consciousness o* e2istence herea*terK %n the *ormer part o* $(he )gee o* -eason.$ % have calle# the creation the true an# only real 5or# o* 8o#: an# this instance/ or this te2t/ in the boo> o* creation/ not only sho5s to us that this thing may be so/ but that it is so: an# that the belie* o* a *uture state is a rational belie*/ *oun#e# upon *acts visible in the creation: *or it is not more #i**icult to believe that 5e shall e2ist herea*ter in a better state an# *orm than at present/ than that a 5orm shoul# become a butter*ly/ an# Duit the #unghill *or the atmosphere/ i* 5e #i# not >no5 it as a *act. )s to the #oubt*ul Cargon ascribe# to Paul in 1 orinthians 2v./ 5hich ma>es part o* the burial service o* some hristian sectaries/

it is as #estitute o* meaning as the tolling o* a bell at the *uneral: it e2plains nothing to the un#erstan#ing/ it illustrates nothing to the imagination/ but leaves the rea#er to *in# any meaning i* he can. @)ll *lesh/@ says he/ @is not the same *lesh. (here is one *lesh o* men/ another o* beasts/ another o* *ishes/ an# another o* bir#s.@ )n# 5hat thenK nothing. ) coo> coul# have sai# as much. @(here are also/@ says he/ @bo#ies celestial an# bo#ies terrestrial: the glory o* the celestial is one an# the glory o* the terrestrial is the other.@ )n# 5hat thenK nothing. )n# 5hat is the #i**erenceK nothing that he has tol#. @(here is/@ says he/ @one glory o* the sun/ an# another glory o* the moon/ an# another glory o* the stars.@ )n# 5hat thenK nothing: e2cept that he says that one star #i**erlth *rom another star in glory/ instea# o* #istance: an# he might as 5ell have tol# us that the moon #i# not shine so bright as the sun. )ll this is nothing better than the Cargon o* a conCuror/ 5ho pic>s up phrases he #oes not un#erstan# to con*oun# the cre#ulous people 5ho come to have their *ortune tol#. Priests an# conCurors are o* the same tra#e. ;ometimes Paul a**ects to be a naturalist/ an# to prove his system o* resurrection *rom the principles o* vegetation. @(hou *ool@ says
196

he/ @that 5hich thou so5est is not Duic>ene# e2cept it #ie.@ (o 5hich one might reply in his o5n language/ an# say/ (hou *ool/ Paul/ that 5hich thou so5est is not Duic>ene# e2cept it #ie not: *or the grain that #ies in the groun# never #oes/ nor can vegetate. %t is only the living grains that pro#uce the ne2t crop. But the metaphor/ in any point o* vie5/ is no simile. %t is succession/ an# GnotH resurrection. (he progress o* an animal *rom one state o* being to another/ as *rom a 5orm to a butter*ly/ applies to the case: but this o* a grain #oes not/ an# sho5s Paul to have been 5hat he says o* others/ a *ool. 7hether the *ourteen epistles ascribe# to Paul 5ere 5ritten by him

or not/ is a matter o* in#i**erence: they are either argumentative or #ogmatical: an# as the argument is #e*ective/ an# the #ogmatical part is merely presumptive/ it signi*ies not 5ho 5rote them. )n# the same may be sai# *or the remaining parts o* the (estament. %t is not upon the "pistles/ but upon 5hat is calle# the 8ospel/ containe# in the *our boo>s ascribe# to ,atthe5/ ,ar>/ 9u>e/ an# .ohn/ an# upon the preten#e# prophecies/ that the theory o* the church/ calling itsel* the hristian hurch/ is *oun#e#. (he "pistles are #epen#ant upon those/ an# must *ollo5 their *ate: *or i* the story o* .esus hiist be *abulous/ all reasoning *oun#e# upon it/ as a suppose# truth/ must *all 5ith it. 7e >no5 *rom history/ that one o* the principal lea#ers o* this church/ )thanasius/ live# at the time the 4e5 (estament 5as *orme#: G)thanasius #ie#/ accor#ing to the hurch chronology/ in the year =71 '' )uthor.H an# 5e >no5 also/ *rom the absur# Cargon he has le*t us un#er the name o* a cree#/ the character o* the men 5ho *orme# the 4e5 (estament: an# 5e >no5 also *rom the same history that the authenticity o* the boo>s o* 5hich it is compose# 5as #enie# at the time. %t 5as upon the vote o* such as )thanasius
197

that the (estament 5as #ecree# to be the 5or# o* 8o#: an# nothing can present to us a more strange i#ea than that o* #ecreeing the 5or# o* 8o# by vote. (hose 5ho rest their *aith upon such authority put man in the place o* 8o#/ an# have no true *oun#ation *or *uture happiness. re#ulity/ ho5ever/ is not a crime/ but it becomes criminal by resisting conviction. %t is strangling in the 5omb o* the conscience the e**orts it ma>es to ascertain truth. 7e shoul# never *orce belie* upon ourselves in any thing. % here close the subCect on the &l# (estament an# the 4e5. (he evi#ence % have pro#uce# to prove them *orgeries/ is e2tracte# *rom the boo>s themselves/ an# acts/ li>e a t5o'e#ge s5or#/ either 5ay. %* the evi#ence be #enie#/ the authenticity o* the ;criptures is

#enie# 5ith it/ *or it is ;cripture evi#ence: an# i* the evi#ence be a#mitte#/ the authenticity o* the boo>s is #isprove#. (he contra#ictory impossibilities/ containe# in the &l# (estament an# the 4e5/ put them in the case o* a man 5ho s5ears *or an# against. "ither evi#ence convicts him o* perCury/ an# eDually #estroys reputation. ;houl# the Bible an# the (estament herea*ter *all/ it is not that % have #one it. % have #one no more than e2tracte# the evi#ence *rom the con*use# mass o* matters 5ith 5hich it is mi2e#/ an# arrange# that evi#ence in a point o* light to be clearly seen an# easily comprehen#e#: an#/ having #one this/ % leave the rea#er to Cu#ge *or himsel*/ as % have Cu#ge# *or mysel*.

CHAPTER III
' &4 9<;%&4 %4 the *ormer part o* $(he )ge o* -eason$ % have spo>en o* the three *rau#s/ mystery/ miracle/ an#.Prophecy: an# as % have seen nothing in any o* the ans5ers to that 5or> that in the least a**ects 5hat % have there sai# upon those subCects/ % shall not encumber
198

this ;econ# Part 5ith a##itions that are not necessary. % have spo>en also in the same 5or> upon 5hat is celle# revelation/ an# have sho5n the absur# misapplication o* that term to the boo>s o* the &l# (estament an# the 4e5: *or certainly revelation is out o* the Duestion in reciting any thing o* 5hich man has been the actor or the 5itness. (hat 5hich man has #one or seen/ nee#s no revelation to tell him he has #one it/ or seen it '' *or he >no5s it alrea#y '' nor to enable him to tell it or to 5rite it. %t is ignorance/ or imposition/ to apply the term revelation in such cases: yet the Bible an# (estament are classe# un#er this *rau#ulent #escription o* being all revelation. -evelation then/ so *ar as the term has relation bet5een 8o# an# man/ can only be applie# to something 5hich 8o# reveals o* his

5ill to man: but though the po5er o* the )lmighty to ma>e such a communication is necessarily a#mitte#/ because to that po5er all things are possible/ yet/ the thing so reveale# (i* any thing ever 5as reveale#/ an# 5hich/ by the bye/ it is impossible to prove) is revelation to the person only to 5hom it is ma#e. 0is account o* it to another is not revelation: an# 5hoever puts *aith in that account/ puts it in the man *rom 5hom the account comes: an# that man may have been #eceive#/ or may have #reame# it: or he may be an impostor an# may lie. (here is no possible criterion 5hereby to Cu#ge o* the truth o* 5hat he tells: *or even the morality o* it 5oul# be no proo* o* revelation. %n all such cases/ the proper ans5er shoul# be/ @7hen it is reveale# to me/ % 5ill believe it to be revelation: but it is not an# cannot be incumbent upon me to believe it to be revelation be*ore: neither is it proper that % shoul# ta>e the 5or# o* man as the 5or# o* 8o#/ an# put man in the place o* 8o#.@ (his is the manner in 5hich % have spo>en o* revelation in the *ormer part o* (he )ge o* -eason: an# 5hich/ 5hilst it reverentially a#mits revelation as a possible thing/ because/ as
199

be*ore sai#/ to the )lmighty all things are possible/ it prevents the imposition o* one man upon another/ an# preclu#es the 5ic>e# use o* preten#e# revelation. But though/ spea>ing *or mysel*/ % thus a#mit the possibility o* revelation/ % totally #isbelieve that the )lmighty ever #i# communicate any thing to man/ by any mo#e o* speech/ in any language/ or by any >in# o* vision/ or appearance/ or by any means 5hich our senses are capable o* receiving/ other5ise than by the universal #isplay o* himsel* in the 5or>s o* the creation/ an# by that repugnance 5e *eel in ourselves to ba# actions/ an# #isposition to goo# ones. G) *air parallel o* the then un>no5n aphorism o* ?ant: @(5o things *ill the soul 5ith 5on#er an# reverence/ increasing evermore as % me#itate more closely upon

them: the starry heavens above me an# the moral la5 5ithin me.@ (?riti> #erpra>tischen 1ernun*e/ 17BB). ?ant$s religious utterances at the beginning o* the +rench -evolution brought on him a royal man#ate o* silence/ because he ha# 5or>e# out *rom @the moral la5 5ithin@ a principle o* human eDuality precisely similar to that 5hich Paine ha# #erive# *rom his Jua>er #octrine o* the @inner light@ o* every man. )bout the same time Paine$s 5ritings 5ere suppresse# in "nglan#. Paine #i# not un#erstan# 8erman/ but ?ant/ though al5ays in#epen#ent in the *ormation o* his opinions/ 5as evi#ently 5ell acDuainte# 5ith the literature o* the -evolution/ in )merica/ "nglan#/ an# +rance. '' "#itor.H (he most #etestable 5ic>e#ness/ the most horri# cruelties/ an# the greatest miseries/ that have a**licte# the human race have ha# their origin in this thing calle# revelation/ or reveale# religion. %t has been the most #ishonourable belie* against the character o* the #ivinity/ the most #estructive to morality/ an# the peace an# happiness o* man/ that ever 5as propagate# since man began to e2ist. %t is better/ *ar better/ that 5e a#mitte#/ i* it 5ere possible/ a
200

thousan# #evils to roam at large/ an# to preach publicly the #octrine o* #evils/ i* there 5ere any such/ than that 5e permitte# one such impostor an# monster as ,oses/ .oshua/ ;amuel/ an# the Bible prophets/ to come 5ith the preten#e# 5or# o* 8o# in his mouth/ an# have cre#it among us. 7hence arose all the horri# assassinations o* 5hole nations o* men/ 5omen/ an# in*ants/ 5ith 5hich the Bible is *ille#: an# the bloo#y persecutions/ an# tortures unto #eath an# religious 5ars/ that since that time have lai# "urope in bloo# an# ashes: 5hence arose they/ but *rom this impious thing calle# reveale# religion/ an# this monstrous belie* that 8o# has spo>en to manK (he lies o* the Bible have been the cause o* the one/ an# the lies o* the (estament Go*H the other.

;ome hristians preten# that hristianity 5as not establishe# by the s5or#: but o* 5hat perio# o* time #o they spea>K %t 5as impossible that t5elve men coul# begin 5ith the s5or#: they ha# not the po5er: but no sooner 5ere the pro*essors o* hristianity su**iciently po5er*ul to employ the s5or# than they #i# so/ an# the sta>e an# *aggot too: an# ,ahomet coul# not #o it sooner. By the same spirit that Peter cut o** the ear o* the high priest$s servant (i* the story be true) he 5oul# cut o** his hea#/ an# the hea# o* his master/ ha# he been able. Besi#es this/ hristianity groun#s itsel* originally upon the G0ebre5H Bible/ an# the Bible 5as establishe# altogether by the s5or#/ an# that in the 5orst use o* it '' not to terri*y/ but to e2tirpate. (he .e5s ma#e no converts: they butchere# all. (he Bible is the sire o* the G4e5H (estament/ an# both are calle# the 5or# o* 8o#. (he hristians rea# both boo>s: the ministers preach *rom both boo>s: an# this thing calle# liristianity is ma#e up o* both. %t is then *alse to say that hristianity 5as not establishe# by the s5or#. (he only sect that has not persecute# are the Jua>ers: an# the only
201

reason that can be given *or it is/ that they are rather 3eists than hristians. (hey #o not believe much about .esus hrist/ an# they call the scriptures a #ea# letter. G(his is an interesting an# correct testimony as to the belie*s o* the earlier Jua>ers/ one o* 5hom 5as Paine$s *ather. '' "#itor.H 0a# they calle# them by a 5orse name/ they ha# been nearer the truth. %t is incumbent on every man 5ho reverences the character o* the reator/ an# 5ho 5ishes to lessen the catalogue o* arti*icial miseries/ an# remove the cause that has so5n persecutions thic> among man>in#/ to e2pel all i#eas o* a reveale# religion as a #angerous heresy/ an# an impious *rau#. 7hat is it that 5e have learne# *rom this preten#e# thing calle# reveale# religionK 4othing that is use*ul to man/ an# every thing that is #isbonourable to his

,a>er. 7hat is it the Bible teaches usK '' repine/ cruelty/ an# mur#er. 7hat is it the (estament teaches usK '' to believe that the )lmighty committe# #ebauchery 5ith a 5oman engage# to be marrie#: an# the belie* o* this #ebauchery is calle# *aith. )s to the *ragments o* morality that are irregularly an# thinly scattere# in those boo>s/ they ma>e no part o* this preten#e# thing/ reveale# religion. (hey are the natural #ictates o* conscience/ an# the bon#s by 5hich society is hel# together/ an# 5ithout 5hich it cannot e2ist: an# are nearly the same in all religions/ an# in all societies. (he (estament teaches nothing ne5 upon this subCect/ an# 5here it attempts to e2cee#/ it becomes mean an# ri#iculous. (he #octrine o* not retaliating inCuries is much better e2presse# in Proverbs/ 5hich is a collection as 5ell *rom the 8entilcs as the .e5s/ than it is in the (estament. %t is there sai#/ (62v. A %) @%* thine enemy be hungry/ give him brea# to eat: an# i* he be thirsty/ give him 5ater to #rin>:@ G)ccor#ing to 5hat is calle# hrist$s sermon on the mount/ in the boo> o* ,atthe5/ 5here/ among some other Gan#H goo# things/ a great #eal o* this *eigne# morality is
202

intro#uce#/ it is there e2pressly sai#/ that the #octrine o* *orbearance/ or o* not retaliating inCuries/ 5as not any part o* the #octrine o* the .e5s: but as this #octrine is *oun# in @Proverbs/@ it must/ accor#ing to that statement/ have been copie# *rom the 8entiles/ *rom 5hom hrist ha# leame# it. (hose men 5hom .e5ish an# hristian i#olators have abusively calle# heathen/ ha# much better an# clearer i#eas o* Custice an# morality than are to be *oun# in the &l# (estament/ so *ar as it is .e5ish/ or in the 4e5. (he ans5er o* ;olon on the Duestion/ @7hich is the most per*ect popular govemment/@ has never been e2cee#e# by any man since his time/ as containing a ma2im o* political morality/ @(hat/@ says he/ @5here the least inCury #one to the meanest in#ivi#ual/ is consi#ere# as an insult on the 5hole constitution.@ ;olon live#

about ELL years be*ore hrist. '' )uthor.H but 5hen it is sai#/ as in the (estament/ @%* a man smite thee on the right chce>/ turn to him the other also/@ it is assassinating the #ignity o* *orbearance/ an# sin>ing man into a spaniel. 9oving/ o* enemies is another #ogma o* *eigne# morality/ an# has besi#es no meaning. %t is incumbent on man/ as a moralist/ that he #oes not revenge an inCury: an# it is eDually as goo# in a political sense/ *or there is no en# to retaliation: each retaliates on the other/ an# calls it Custice: but to love in proportion to the inCury/ i* it coul# be #one/ 5oul# be to o**er a premium *or a crime. Besi#es/ the 5or# enemies is too vague an# general to be use# in a moral ma2im/ 5hich ought al5ays to be clear an# #e*ine#/ li>e a proverb. %* a man be the enemy o* another *rom mista>e an# preCu#ice/ as in the case o* religious opinions/ an# sometimes in politics/ that man is #i**erent to an enemy at heart 5ith a criminal intention: an# it is incumbent upon us/ an# it contributes also to our o5n tranDuillity/ that 5e put the best construction upon a thing that it 5ill bear. But even this erroneous motive in him ma>es no motive *or love on the
203

other part: an# to say that 5e can love voluntarily/ an# 5ithout a motive/ is morally an# physically impossible. ,orality is inCure# by prescribing to it #uties that/ in the *irst place/ are impossible to be per*orme#/ an# i* they coul# be 5oul# be pro#uctive o* evil: or/ as be*ore sai#/ be premiums *or crime. (he ma2im o* #oing as 5e 5oul# be #one unto #oes not inclu#e this strange #octrine o* loving enemies: *or no man e2pects to be love# himsel* *or his crime or *or his enmity. (hose 5ho preach this #octrine o* loving their enemies/ are in general the greatest persecutors/ an# they act consistently by so #oing: *or the #octrine is hypocritical/ an# it is natural that hypocrisy shoul# act the reverse o* 5hat it preaches. +or my o5n part/ % #iso5n the #octrine/ an# consi#er it as a *eigne# or *abulous

morality: yet the man #oes not e2ist that can say % have persecute# him/ or any man/ or any set o* men/ either in the )merican -evolution/ or in the +rench -evolution: or that % have/ in any case/ returne# evil *or evil. But it is not incumbent on man to re5ar# a ba# action 5ith a goo# one/ or to return goo# *or evil: an# 5herever it is #one/ it is a voluntary act/ an# not a #uty. %t is also absur# to suppose that such #octrine can ma>e any part o* a reveale# religion. 7e imitate the moral character o* the reator by *orbearing 5ith each other/ *or he *orbears 5ith all: but this #octrine 5oul# imply that he love# man/ not in proportion as he 5as goo#/ but as he 5as ba#. %* 5e consi#er the nature o* our con#ition here/ 5e must see there is no occasion *or such a thing as reveale# religion. 7hat is it 5e 5ant to >no5K 3oes not the creation/ the universe 5e behol#/ preach to us the e2istence o* an )lmighty po5er/ that governs an# regulates the 5holeK )n# is not the evi#ence that this creation hol#s out to our senses in*initely stronger than any thing 5e can rea# in a boo>/ that any imposter might ma>e an# call the 5or# o*
204

8o#K )s *or morality/ the >no5le#ge o* it e2ists in every man$s conscience. 0ere 5e are. (he e2istence o* an )lmighty po5er is su**iciently #emonstrate# to us/ though 5e cannot conceive/ as it is impossible 5e shoul#/ the nature an# manner o* its e2istence. 7e cannot conceive ho5 5e came here ourselves/ an# yet 5e >no5 *or a *act that 5e are here. 7e must >no5 also/ that the po5er that calle# us into being/ can i* he please/ an# 5hen he pleases/ call us to account *or the manner in 5hich 5e have live# here: an# there*ore 5ithout see>ing any other motive *or the belie*/ it is rational to believe that he 5ill/ *or 5e >no5 be*orehan# that he can. (he probability or even possibility o* the thing is all that 5e ought to >no5: *or i* 5e >ne5 it as a *act/ 5e shoul# be the mere slaves o* terror: our belie*

5oul# have no merit/ an# our best actions no virtue. 3eism then teaches us/ 5ithout the possibility o* being #eceive#/ all that is necessary or proper to be >no5n. (he creation is the Bible o* the #eist. 0e there rea#s/ in the han#'5riting o* the reator himsel*/ the certainty o* his e2istence/ an# the immutability o* his po5er: an# all other Bibles an# (estaments are to him *orgeries. (he probability that 5e may be calle# to account herea*ter/ 5ill/ to re*lecting min#s/ have the in*luence o* belie*: *or it is not our belie* or #isbelie* that can ma>e or unma>e the *act. )s this is the state 5e are in/ an# 5hich it is proper 5e shoul# be in/ as *ree agents/ it is the *ool only/ an# not the philosopher/ nor even the pru#ent man/ that 5ill live as i* there 5ere no 8o#. But the belie* o* a 8o# is so 5ea>ene# by being mi2e# 5ith the strange *able o* the hristian cree#/ an# 5ith the 5il# a#ventures relate# in the Bible/ an# the obscurity an# obscene nonsense o* the (estament/ that the min# o* man is be5il#ere# as in a *og. 1ie5ing all these things in a con*use# mass/ he con*oun#s *act 5ith *able: an# as he cannot believe all/ he *eels a #isposition to reCect all. But
205

the belie* o* a 8o# is a belie* #istinct *rom all other things/ an# ought not to be con*oun#e# 5ith any. (he notion o* a (rinity o* 8o#s has en*eeble# the belie* o* one 8o#. ) multiplication o* belie*s acts as a #ivision o* belie*: an# in proportion as anything is #ivi#e#/ it is 5ea>ene#. -eligion/ by such means/ becomes a thing o* *orm instea# o* *act: o* notion instea# o* principle: morality is banishe# to ma>e room *or an imaginary thing calle# *aith/ an# this *aith has its origin in a suppose# #ebauchery: a man is preache# instea# o* a 8o#: an e2ecution is an obCect *or gratitu#e: the preachers #aub themselves 5ith the bloo#/ li>e a troop o* assassins/ an# preten# to a#mire the brilliancy it gives them: they preach a hum#rum sermon on the merits o* the e2ecution: then praise .esus hrist *or being

e2ecute#/ an# con#emn the .e5s *or #oing it. ) man/ by hearing all this nonsense lumpe# an# preache# together/ con*oun#s the 8o# o* the reation 5ith the imagine# 8o# o* the hristians/ an# lives as i* there 5ere none. &* all the systems o* religion that ever 5ere invente#/ there is none more #erogatory to the )lmighty/ more une#i*ying to man/ more repugnant to reason/ an# more contra#ictory in itsel*/ than this thing calle# hristianity. (oo absur# *or belie*/ too impossible to convince/ an# too inconsistent *or practice/ it ren#ers the heart torpi#/ or pro#uces only atheists an# *anatics. )s an engine o* po5er/ it serves the purpose o* #espotism: an# as a means o* 5ealth/ the avarice o* priests: but so *ar as respects the goo# o* man in general/ it lea#s to nothing here or herea*ter. (he only religion that has not been invente#/ an# that has in it every evi#ence o* #ivine originality/ is pure an# simple #eism. %t must have been the *irst an# 5ill probably be the last that man believes. But pure an# simple #eism #oes not ans5er the purpose o* #espotic governments. (hey cannot lay hol# o* religion as an
206

engine but by mi2ing it 5ith human inventions/ an# ma>ing their o5n authority a part: neither #oes it ans5er the avarice o* priests/ but by incorporating themselves an# their *unctions 5ith it/ an# becoming/ li>e the government/ a party in the system. %t is this that *orms the other5ise mysterious connection o* church an# state: the church human/ an# the state tyrannic. 7ere a man impresse# as *ully an# strongly as he ought to be 5ith the belie* o* a 8o#/ his moral li*e 5oul# be regulate# by the *orcc o* belie*: he 5oul# stan# in a5e o* 8o#/ an# o* himsel*/ an# 5oul# not #o the thing that coul# not be conceale# *rom either. (o give this belie* the *ull opportunity o* *orce/ it is necessary that it acts alone. (his is #eism. But 5hen/ accor#ing to the hristian (rinitarian scheme/ one part

o* 8o# is represente# by a #ying man/ an# another part/ calle# the 0oly 8host/ by a *lying pigeon/ it is impossible that belie* can attach itsel* to such 5il# conceits. G(he boo> calle# the boo> o* ,atthe5/ says/ (iii. 16/) that the 0oly 8host #escen#e# in the shape o* a #ove. %t might as 5ell have sai# a goose: the creatures are eDually harmless/ an# the one is as much a nonsensical lie as the other. )cts/ ii. A/ =/ says/ that it #escen#e# in a mighty rushing 5in#/ in the shape o* cloven tongues: perbaps it 5as cloven *eet. ;uch absur# stu** is *it only *or tales o* 5itches an# 5iIar#s. '' )uthor.H %t has been the scheme o* the hristian church/ an# o* all the other invente# systems o* religion/ to hol# man in ignorance o* the reator/ as it is o* government to hol# him in ignorance o* his rights. (he systems o* the one are as *alse as those o* the other/ an# are calculate# *or mutual support. (he stu#y o* theology as it stan#s in hristian churches/ is the stu#y o* nothing: it is *oun#e# on nothing: it rests on no principles: it procee#s by no authorities: it has no #ata: it can #emonstrate nothing: an# a#mits o* no
207

conclusion. 4ot any thing can be stu#ie# as a science 5ithout our being in possession o* the principles upon 5hich it is *oun#e#: an# as this is not the case 5ith hristian theology/ it is there*ore the stu#y o* nothing. %nstea# then o* stu#ying theology/ as is no5 #one/ out o* the Bible an# (estament/ the meanings o* 5hich boo>s are al5ays controverte#/ an# the authenticity o* 5hich is #isprove#/ it is necessary that 5e re*er to the Bible o* the creation. (he principles 5e #iscover there are eternal/ an# o* #ivine origin: they are the *oun#ation o* all the science that e2ists in the 5orl#/ an# must be the *oun#ation o* theology. 7e can >no5 8o# only through his 5or>s. 7e cannot have a conception o* any one attribute/ but by *ollo5ing some principle

that lea#s to it. 7e have only a con*use# i#ea o* his po5er/ i* 5e have not the means o* comprehen#ing something o* its immensity. 7e can have no i#ea o* his 5is#om/ but by >no5ing the or#er an# manner in 5hich it acts. (he principles o* science lea# to this >no5le#ge: *or the reator o* man is the reator o* science/ an# it is through that me#ium that man can see 8o#/ as it 5ere/ *ace to *ace. oul# a man be place# in a situation/ an# en#o5e# 5ith po5er o* vision to behol# at one vie5/ an# to contemplate #eliberately/ the structure o* the universe/ to mar> the movements o* the several planets/ the cause o* their varying appearances/ the unerring or#er in 5hich they revolve/ even to the remotest comet/ their connection an# #epen#ence on each other/ an# to >no5 the system o* la5s establishe# by the reator/ that governs an# regulates the 5hole: he 5oul# then conceive/ *ar beyon# 5hat any church theology can teach him/ the po5er/ the 5is#om/ the vastness/ the muni*icence o* the reator. 0e 5oul# then see that all the >no5le#ge man has o* science/ an# that all the mechanical arts by 5hich he ren#ers his
208

situation com*ortable here/ are #erive# *rom that source: his min#/ e2alte# by the scene/ an# convince# by the *act/ 5oul# increase in gratitu#e as it increase# in >no5le#ge: his religion or his 5orship 5oul# become unite# 5ith his improvement as a man: any employment he *ollo5e# that ha# connection 5ith the principles o* the creation/ '' as everything o* agriculture/ o* science/ an# o* the mechanical arts/ has/ '' 5oul# teach him more o* 8o#/ an# o* the gratitu#e he o5es to him/ than any theological hristian sermon he no5 hears. 8reat obCects inspire great thoughts: great muni*icence e2cites great gratitu#e: but the grovelling tales an# #octrines o* the Bible an# the (estament are *it only to e2cite contempt. (hough man cannot arrive/ at least in this li*e/ at the actual scene % have #escribe#/ he can #emonstrate it/ because he has >no5le#ge

o* the principles upon 5hich the creation is constructe#. 7e >no5 that the greatest 5or>s can be represente# in ino#el/ an# that the universe can be represente# by the same means. (he same principles by 5hich 5e measure an inch or an acre o* groun# 5ill measure to millions in e2tent. ) circle o* an inch #iameter has the same geometrical properties as a circle that 5oul# circumscribe the universe. (he same properties o* a triangle that 5ill #emonstrate upon paper the course o* a ship/ 5ill #o it on the ocean: an#/ 5hen applie# to 5hat are calle# the heavenly bo#ies/ 5ill ascertain to a minute the time o* an eclipse/ though those bo#ies are millions o* miles #istant *rom us. (his >no5le#ge is o* #ivine origin: an# it is *rom the Bible o* the creation that man has learne# it/ an# not *rom the stupi# Bible o* the church/ that teaches man nothing. G(he Bible'ma>ers have un#erta>en to give us/ in the *irst chapter o* 8enesis/ an account o* the creation: an# in #oing this they have #emonstrate# nothing but their ignorance. (hey ma>e there to have been three #ays an# three nights/ evenings an# mornings/ be*ore there 5as any sun: 5hen it is the presence or absence o* the sun
209

that is the cause o* #ay an# night '' an# 5hat is calle# his rising an# setting that o* moming an# evening. Besi#es/ it is a puerile an# piti*ul i#ea/ to suppose the )lmighty to say/ @9et there be light.@ %t is the imperative manner o* spea>ing that a conCuror uses 5hen he says to his cups an# balls/ Presto/ be gone '' an# most probably has been ta>en *rom it/ as ,oses an# his ro# is a conCuror an# his 5an#. 9onginus calls this e2pression the sublime: an# by the same rule the conCurer is sublime too: *or the manner o* spea>ing is e2pressively an# grammatically the same. 7hen authors an# critics tal> o* the sublime/ they see not ho5 nearly it bor#ers on the ri#iculous. (he sublime o* the critics/ li>e some parts o* "#mun# Bur>e$s sublime an# beauti*ul/ is li>e a 5in#mill Cust visible in a *og/ 5hich imaginanation might #istort into a *lying mountain/ or

an archangel/ or a *loc> o* 5il# geese. '' )uthor.H )ll the >no5le#ge man has o* science an# o* machinery/ by the ai# o* 5hich his e2istence is ren#ere# com*ortable upon earth/ an# 5ithout 5hich he 5oul# be scarcely #istinguishable in appearance an# con#ition *rom a common animal/ comes *rom the great machine an# structure o* the universe. (he constant an# un5earie# observations o* our ancestors upon the movements an# revolutions o* the heavenly bo#ies/ in 5hat are suppose# to have been the early ages o* the 5orl#/ have brought this >no5le#ge upon earth. %t is not ,oses an# the prophets/ nor .esus hrist/ nor his apostles/ that have #one it. (he )lmighty is the great mechanic o* the creation/ the *irst philosopher/ an# original teacher o* all science. 9et us then learn to reverence our master/ an# not *orget the labours o* our ancestors. 0a# 5e/ at this #ay/ no >no5le#ge o* machinery/ an# 5ere it possible that man coul# have a vie5/ as % have be*ore #escribe#/ o* the structure an# machinery o* the universe/ he 5oul# soon conceive the i#ea o* constructing some at least o* the mechanical
210

5or>s 5e no5 have: an# the i#ea so conceive# 5oul# progressively a#vance in practice. &r coul# a mo#el o* the universe/ such as is calle# an orrery/ be presente# be*ore him an# put in motion/ his min# 5oul# arrive at the same i#ea. ;uch an obCect an# such a subCect 5oul#/ 5hilst it improve# him in >no5le#ge use*ul to himsel* as a man an# a member o* society/ as 5ell as entertaining/ a**or# *ar better matter *or impressing him 5ith a >no5le#ge o*/ an# a belie* in the reator/ an# o* the reverence an# gratitu#e that man o5es to him/ than the stupi# te2ts o* the Bible an# the (estament/ *rom 5hich/ be the talents o* the preacher: 5hat they may/ only stupi# sermons can be preache#. %* man must preach/ let him preach something that is e#i*ying/ an# *rom the te2ts that are >no5n to be true.

(he Bible o* the creation is ine2haustible in te2ts. "very part o* science/ 5hether connecte# 5ith the geometry o* the universe/ 5ith the systems o* animal an# vegetable li*e/ or 5ith the properties o* inanimate matter/ is a te2t as 5ell *or #evotion as *or philosophy '' *or gratitu#e/ as *or human improvement. %t 5ill perhaps be sai#/ that i* such a revolution in the system o* religion ta>es place/ every preacher ought to be a philosopher. ,ost certainly/ an# every house o* #evotion a school o* science. %t has been by 5an#ering *rom the immutable la5s o* science/ an# the light o* reason/ an# setting up an invente# thing calle# @reveale# religion/@ that so many 5il# an# blasphemous conceits have been *orme# o* the )lmighty. (he .e5s have ma#e him the assassin o* the human species/ to ma>e room *or the religion o* the .e5s. (he hristians have ma#e him the mur#erer o* himsel*/ an# the *oun#er o* a ne5 religion to superse#e an# e2pel the .e5ish religion. )n# to *in# pretence an# a#mission *or these things/ they must have suppose# his po5er or his 5is#om imper*ect/ or his 5ill changeable: an# the changeableness o* the 5ill is the imper*ection
211

o* the Cu#gement. (he philosopher >no5s that the la5s o* the reator have never change#/ 5ith respect either to the principles o* science/ or the properties o* matter. 7hy then is it to be suppose# they have change# 5ith respect to manK % here close the subCect. % have sho5n in all the *oregoing parts o* this 5or> that the Bible an# (estament are impositions an# *orgeries: an# % leave the evi#ence % have pro#uce# in proo* o* it to be re*ute#/ i* any one can #o it: an# % leave the i#eas that are suggeste# in the conclusion o* the 5or> to rest on the min# o* the rea#er: certain as % am that 5hen opinions are *ree/ either in matters o* govemment or religion/ truth 5ill *inally an# po5er*ully prevail. Brought to you by http://thecmrevolution.com/

THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO REVOLUTION
WATCHING THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT SHIFT TO REVOLUTION AS ONE WORLD SYSTEM NEARS.CONTACT

http://thecmrevolution.com/

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful