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opinion. Mosheim's opinion of the early writers all disposed to lie and
deceive. Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Allen, and Washington. Bishop Horne's
Bentiment that democracy and scepticism go hand in hand. Contradictory
assertions.

LETTER VIII.-PAGE 104.
Johnson's definition of miracle. Does not prove the divine origin of any
precept, or the truth of any assertion. Spirit of evil as well as spirit of good
exerting its influence. Difficulty in determining to which to ascribe any
phenomena. Reason the sole judge whether a precept be good or bad. A ghost
cannot bear the rays of the sun. Comparison between the evidence of Bible
miracles and Cotton Mather's. Getting rid of a difficulty by swallowing it.
Miracles of Prince Hohenlohe to be taken next. Specimen of Athanasian
miracles. Speaking without tongues. No Bible story so well attested.
Withered elm restored to vegetation by the body of St. Zenobia. Veracity of
the Christian fathers concerned in the authenticity of the New Testament.
All historical evidence hangs upon it. Text altered by Origen and others.
Washington a deist in 1799, rejected clerical officiousness on his death-bed.
Adains' letter to Thomas Jefferson. Opinions of the sublimity of the Bible
style and that of the Koran. Opinions regarding suicide no bearing upon the
subject. ' Christian ceremonies compared with the mythology of Greece.

LETTER IX.-PAGE 136.
The argument deduced from prophecy. Ambiguity of prophecy in general
equally applicable to the Bible as to the Delphic oracles. "Prophecy of Isaiah
respecting Rezin and Pekah. Prophecy_imputed to Jesus; not fulfilled.
Appeal to the prejudice of birth noticed. Franklin and Whitfield. Injunction
of Paul violated by the American patriots. No memorials confirm the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible apologist should not reject
Catholic evidence. Authorities for the Athanasian miracle, Hallucination
the cause of a belief in miraculous appearances. Suicide no feature of infi.
delity. Summary of opponent's argument. Common sense sufficient to detect
the sophistry. None of the apostolic fathers mention the gospels of the
evangelists. Gibbon's eloquent allusion. Effect of the democratic tendency
of Jesus' precepts. Sages of the first century found no proof worth examin.
ing of the Christian miracles. The sages of Greece and Rome ignorant or un-
conscious of the prodigies said to have taken place amongst Christians.
Darkness of the passion not noticed by Seneca or Pliny. Josephus, Plutarch,
and Appian either deceivers or deceived. Earliest catalogue of books in the
New Testament published about the year 350. No proof can be adduced that
the gospels were written by the men whose names they bear.

LETTER X.-PAGE 195.
Examination of Isaiah's prediction. Singular way of getting out of a
difficulty. The Jews deny that the prophecies in the Bible apply to Jesus.
Consequence of limiting the promise of supernatural powers to the apostolic
age. Death of Washington. Weems' testimony of Jefferson in relation to
Washington's orthodoxy-proof of Adams' scepticism. Comparison between
the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and Rousseau's prediction of the
fall of monarchies. Blunders of inspiration. Difficulties and inconsistencies
not to be considered evidences of genuineness. The fact that alleged
miracles were not contradicted at the time said to have taken place not
admissible in evidence. Decree of the Emperor Theodosius, for the destruc-
tion of all evidence against Christianity. Ancient traditions of various
nations resemble each other. Different conclusion drawn therefrom. The
deluge; geology furnishes evidence against it. Blunder regarding the
Emperor Zeno and Æneas Gazæus. Pious exhortation of a clergyman.
Charge of wilful representation rebutted. Orthodoxy of Bacon, Milton,
Locke, and Newton very que able. Infallibility of the church in danger.
Summary of the arguments. Conclusion.

ON THE

AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE,

BETWEEN

ORIGEN BACHELER

AND

ROBERT DALE OWEN.

Let Truth and Falsehood grapple. Who ever knew Truth put to the worno

in a free and open encounter |--Milton,

LONDON:

J. WATSON, 15, CITY ROAD, FINSBURY.

1840,

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TO THE READER.

Every individual should be a friend to free inquiry. If he holds the truth, he should urge inquiry, because that promotes truth; if he holds error, he should still court inquiry, because that tends to expose error; and surely it is desirable to be reclaimed from error, inasmuch as a belief in that, however agreeable, will not make it truth. But free inquiry consists not merely in the perusal of works favourable to our own views, thereby confirming ourselves in our preconceived opinions. It consists in the full examination of both sides of a question. No subject is thoroughly investigated, and settled on an immoveable basis, till it has been assailed at every point, and has met and repelled its assailant in his full strength; till on it the belligerents have met, and measured swords, and done their mightiest; for it is expecting quite too much of one of the parties, to suppose that he will do the other's fighting as bloodily as he would himself. It is, therefore, not in the nature of the case, that the controvertist who treats on a subject alone, how fairly soever he may represent the side which he opposes, will have so warm a battle, as if that side were in the field. He will indeed answer opposing arguments, but he will not answer himself. He cannot feel as an opponent would, and therefore his wits will not be sharpened and his invention strained, as would the other's, to create objections and obstacles, and to throw the last possible missile. Indeed, it were desirable that the champion of truth have always an opponent, to produce all manner of difficulties for him to obviate, instead of having them afterwards advanced unanswered, to the annoyance, and, perhaps, the discomfiture of others less prepared for the encounter. Error defeated in her full strength, is effectually defeated. Crippled and disabled, she lies supine; and over her prostrate form, the veriest invalid, who never dared the mighty conflict, can safely peal the notes of victory. But let her off with a passing defeat; suffer her to escape with her legions armed, broken and scattered though they be, and she will rally again her strength, and fall on the defenceless when their champion is withdrawn from the scene of action.

No man who merely reads a controversial work written by one of the parties, reads thoroughly on the subject; nor is he fully qualified by that course of reading to defend a cause. Were he to grapple with an antagonist, he would find, with all

B

his controversial lore, new objections to meet, and new arguments to answer;—for which, unless he were himself a master, he would find he were inadequate. But the principal advantage in sending into the world both sides of a controversy in connection, lies in this : that those on the erroneous side will thereby be induced to read what truth has to say in her own behalf, and that too in her own words. This is a desideratum, and one too which this measure alone can secure. Every reasonable man must certainly prefer the full investigation of a question to a partial one; and surely the investigation is more thorough where both sides speak for themselves, than where one of the parties speaks for both. Here, then, we find, at last, the means of obviating that great difficulty so generally the subject of complaint, viz. : that errorists will not examine the evidences in favour of truth. In this way they will examine them. Certainly they cannot object to reading their own arguments in their own words. And the circumstance, that the arguments of the opposite side are attached to them, ought to be no objection; for every one should be willing to give a subject a fair examination, by hearing both sides. And as far as the cause of truth is concerned, the sending out of both sides in connection, so far from eing an objection, is much the better; for, in this way, direct replies are furnished to those arguments; so that, although the reader sees the arguments in favour of error, he likewise sees their counteraction at the same time. The abettors of error will scatter abroad their arguments at any rate; and surely it is better, seeing they will thus scatter them, to have them go out in connection with their antidote, than to go alone. Nor need the friends of truth be afraid to have their arguments and evidences sent into the world in such a connection; for, though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple. Who ever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter ?”

Some there are who, in view of all these things, are ready to exclaim, What good does all this do? They might as well ask what good it does to give the reasons and evidences of a thing. They must be very unreasonable who object to reasoning, Yea, so impracticable is their theory on this point, that, ere they are aware, they find themselves warmly engaged in controversy against controversy, and striving to give reasons why men should not reason ! But whom do we convince, ask they. Let them apply their rule throughout, and ask whom lawyers and witnesses convince; whom the speakers in the legislature and in Congress convince. And then let them tell us whom they themselves convince without argument and evidence. And, after having done this, let them, in order to be consistent, give not one reason why we should not reason, but permit us to take our own course without interruption.

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