The Koran says that Saint Matthew was an honest man. Therefore Mahomet was a false prophet for calling honest men wicked, or for not admitting what they have said of Jesus Christ.

It is not by the obscurities in Mahomet which may be interpreted in a mysterious sense, that I would have him judged, but in what he speaks clearly, as of his paradise, and the rest, he is ridiculous. And because what is clear is so absurd, it is not just to take his obscurities for mysteries.

It is not the same with the Scripture. It may be admitted that in it are obscurities as strange as those of Mahomet, but much is admirably clear, and prophecies are manifestly fulfilled. The cases are not the same. We must not confound and compare things which only resemble each other in their obscurity, and not in that clearness, which should induce us to reverence the obscurities.

Suppose two persons tell foolish stories, one whose words have a two-fold sense, understood only by his own followers, the other which has only the one sense, a stranger not being in the secret, who hears them both speak in this manner, would pass on them a like judgment. But if afterwards in the rest of their conversation one speak with the tongue of angels, and the other mere wearisome common-places, he will judge that the one spoke in mysteries and not the other; the one having sufficiently shown that he was incapable of absurdity, and capable of being mysterious, the other that he is incapable of mystery, and capable of absurdity.

The Old Testament is a cipher.

History of China.-I believe those histories only, whose witnesses let themselves be slaughtered.

It is not a question of seeing this in bulk. I say there is in it a something to blind and something to enlighten. In this one word I destroy all your reasoning. "But China obscures," you say, and I answer, "China obscures, but there is light to be found; seek it."

Thus all that you say makes for one of these designs, and not at all against the other. So this serves, and does no harm.

We must then look at this in detail, the papers must be laid on the table.

Against the history of China, the historians of Mexico. The five suns, of which the last is but eight hundred years




SEE the Christian Religion founded on an earlier
Religion, and this is what I find of positive fact.

I do not here speak of the miracles of Moses, of Jesus Christ, and of the Apostles, because they do not at first seem convincing, and because I only wish here to adduce in evidence all those foundations of the Christian Religion which are beyond a doubt, and on which doubt cannot be cast by any person soever. It is certain that we see in many places in the world a peculiar people, separated from all other peoples of the world, which is called the Jewish people.

I see then a mass of religions in many countries, and in all times, but they neither please me by their morality, nor convince me by their proofs. Thus I should equally have refused the religion of Mahomet and of China, of the ancient Romans and of the Egyptians, for the sole reason, that none having more marks of truth than another, nor any thing which necessarily decides me, reason cannot incline to one rather than the other.

But while I consider this vacillating and strange variety of morals and beliefs at different times, I find in one corner of the world a peculiar people, separated from all other nations upon earth, the oldest of all, and whose histories are earlier by many ages than the most ancient in our possession.

I find then this great and numerous people, sprung from a single man, who adore one God, and guide themselves by a law, given them as they say, by his own hand. They maintain that to them alone in the world God has revealed

his mysteries, that all men are corrupt and under the wrath of God, are all abandoned to their senses and imagination, whence arise the strange errors and continual changes among them, both of religions and of manners, whereas this nation remains unshaken in its conduct: but that God will not leave other nations in darkness for ever, that there will come a Saviour for all, that they are in the world to announce his coming, that they were expressly formed to be the forerunners and heralds of this great advent, and to call on all nations to join with them in the expectation of this Redeemer.

Advantages of the Jewish people.—In this search the Jewish people at first attracts my attention by a number of wonderful and singular things which appear among


I see first that they are a people wholly composed of brethren, and whereas all others are formed by the assemblage of an infinity of families, this, though so prodigiously fruitful, has sprung from one man only, and being thus all one flesh, and members one of another, they form a powerful state consisting of one family, a fact without example.

This family or nation is the most ancient known to men, a fact which seems to invest it with a peculiar veneration, especially in regard to our present enquiry, because if God has during all time revealed himself to men, these are they from whom we must learn the tradition.

This people is not peculiar only by their antiquity, but also remarkable by their duration, which has been unbroken from their origin till now. For while the nations of Greece and Italy, of Lacedæmon, Athens and Rome, and others who came after, have long been extinct, these still remain, and in spite of the endeavours of many powerful princes who have a hundred times striven to destroy them, as their historians testify, and as we can easily understand by the natural order of things during so long a space of years, they have nevertheless been preserved, and extending from the earliest times to the latest, their history comprehends in its duration all our histories.

The Law by which this people is governed is at once the most ancient law in the world, the most perfect, and the only one which has been kept without interruption in a State. This is what Josephus excellently shows, against Apion, as does Philo the Jew in many places, where they point out that it is so ancient that the very name of law was only known by the men of old more than a thousand years afterwards, so that Homer, who has treated the history of so many States, has not once used the word. And it is easy to judge of the perfection of the Law by simply reading it, for it plainly provides for all things with so great wisdom, equity and judgment, that the most ancient legislators, Greek and Roman, having had some glimpse of it, have borrowed from it their principal laws, as appears by those called Of the Twelve Tables, and by the other proofs given by Josephus.

Yet this Law is at the same time severe and rigorous beyond all others in respect to their religious worship, constraining the people, in order to keep them in their duty, to a thousand peculiar and painful observances, on pain of death. Whence it is a most astonishing fact that it has been constantly preserved during many ages by a people so rebellious and impatient, while all other States have changed their laws from time to time, although they are far more lenient.

The book containing this Law, the first of all laws, is itself the most ancient book in the world, those of Homer, Hesiod and others dating from six or seven hundred years later.

Falsity of other religions.-They have no witnesses; this people has them. God challenges other religions to produce such marks. Is. xliii. 9,—xliv. 8.

This is fact. While all philosophers separate into different sects, there is found in one corner of the world, a people, the most ancient in the world, declaring that all the world is in error, that God has revealed to them the truth, that they will abide always on the earth. In fact, all other sects come to an end, this one still endures, and has

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