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There is no God!

we stand to the principle of the universe. But if the

Note 13, page 117, col. 1. principle of the universe be not an organic being, the model and prototype of man, the relation between it

This negation must be understood solely to affect a and human beings are absolutely none. Without some creative Deity. The hypothesis of pervading Spirit insight into its will respecting our actions, religion is cocternal with the universe, remains unshaken. nugatory and vain.

But will is only a mode of animal A close examination of the validity of the proofs mind; moral qualities also are such as only a human adduced to support any proposition, is the only secure being can possess; to attribute them to the principle of way of attaining truth, on the advantages of which it is the universe, is to annex to it properties incompatible unnecessary to descant: our knowledge of the existwith any possible definition of its nature. It is probable ence of a Deity is a subject of such importance, that it that the word God was originally only an expression des cannot be too minutely investigated ; in consequence noting the unknown cause of the known events which of this conviction we proceed briefly and impartially to men perceived in the universe. By the vulgar mistake examine the proofs which have been adduced. It is of a metaphor for a real being, of a word for a thing, necessary first to consider the nature of belief. it became a man, endowed with human qualities and

When a proposition is offered to the mind, it pergoverning the universe as an earthly monarch governsceives the agreement or disagreement of the ideas of his kingdom. Their addresses to this imaginary being, which it is composed. A perception of their agreeindeed, are much in the same style as those of subjects ment is termed belief. Many obstacles frequently to a king. They acknowledge bis benevolence, depre- prevent this perception from being immediate; these cate his anger, and supplicate his favour.

the mind attempts to remove, in order that the percepBut the doctrine of Necessity teaches us, that in tion may be distinct. The mind is active in the invesno case could any event have happened otherwise than tigation, in order to perfect the state of perception of it did happen, and that, if God is the author of good, the relation which the component ideas of the proposihe is also the author of evil; that, if he is entitled to tion bear to each, which is passive: the investigation our gratitude for the one, he is entitled to our hatred being confused with the perception, has induced many for the other; that, admitting the existence of this falsely to imagine that the mind is active in belief,— hypothetic being, he is also subjected to the dominion that belief is an act of volition, -in consequence of of an immutable necessity. It is plain that the same which it may be regulated by the mind. Pursuing, arguments which prove that God is the author of food, continuing this mistake, they have attached a degree of light, and life, prove him also to be the author of criminality to disbelief; of which, in its nature, it is poison, darkness, and death. The wide-wasting earth- incapable: it is equally incapable of merit. quake, the storm, the battle, and the tyranny, are at

Belief, then, is a passion, the strength of which, like tributable to this hypothetic being in the same degree every other passion, is in precise proportion to the as the fairest forms of nature, sunshine, liberty, and

degrees of excitement. peace.

The degrees of excitement are three. But we are taught, by the doctrine of Necessity,

The senses are the sources of all knowledge to the that there is neither good nor evil in the universe, other mind; consequently their evidence claims the strongest wise than as the events to which we apply these epithets assent. have relation to our own peculiar mode of being. Still The decision of the mind, founded upon our own less than with the hypothesis of a God, will the doctrine experience, derived from these sources, claims the next of Necessity accord with the belief of a future state of degree. punishment. God made man such as he is, and then

The experience of others, which addresses itself to damned him for being so: for to say that God was the former one, occupies the lowest degree. the author of all good, and man the author of all evil, (A graduated scale, on which should be marked the is to say that one man made a straight line and a capabilities of propositions to approach to the test of crooked one,

and another man made the incongruity. the senses, would be a just barometer of the belief which A Mahometan story, much to the present purpose, is ought to be attached to them.) recorded, wherein Adam and Moses are introduced Consequently no testimony can be admitted which is disputing before God in the following manner. Thou, contrary to reason; reason is founded on the evidence says Moses, art Adam, whom God created, and animated of our senses. with the breath of life, and caused to be worshipped by Every proof may be referred to one of these three the angels, and placed in Paradise, from whence man- divisions: it is to be considered what arguments we kind have been expelled for thy fault. Whereto Adam receive from each of them, which should convince us of answered, Thou art Moses, whom God chose for his the existence of a Deity. apostle, and entrusted with his word, by giving thee the 1st. The evidence of the senses. If the Deity should tables of the law, and whom he vouchsafed to admit appear to us, if he should convince our senses of his to discourse with himself. How many years dost thou existence, this revelation would necessarily command find the law was written before I was created ? Says belief. Those to whom the Deity has thus appeared Moses, Forty. And dost thou not find, replied Adam, have the strongest possible conviction of his existence. these words therein, And Adam rebelled against his Lord But the God of Theologians is incapable of local visiand transgressed? Which Moses confessing, Dost thou bility. therefore blame me, continued be, for doing that which 2d. Reason. It is urged that man knows that whatGod wrote of me that I should do, forty years before ever is, must either have had a beginning, or 'have I was created; nay, for what was decreed concerning me existed from all eternity: he also knows, that whatever fifty thousand years before the creation of heaven and is not eternal must have had a cause.

When this reaearth ?-Sale's Prelim. Disc. to the Koran, page 164. soning is applied to the universe, it is necessary to

ments :

prove that it was created : until that is clearly demon- dies possessing a variety of powers: we merely know strated, we may reasonably suppose that it has endured their effects; we are in a state of ignorance with respect from all eternity. We must prove design before we can to their essences and causes. These Newton calls the infer a designer. The only idea which we can form of phenomena of things; but the pride of philosophy is causation is derivable from the constant conjunction of unwilling to admit iis ignorance of their causes. From objects, and the consequent inference of one from the the phenomena, which are the objects of our senses, we other. In a case where two propositions are diametrically attempt to infer a cause, which we call God, and graopposite, the mind believes that which is least incompre- tuitously endow it with all negative and contradictory hensible;—it is easier to suppose that the universe has qualities. From this hypothesis we invent this general existed from all cternity, than to conceive a being be- name, to conceal our ignorance of causes and essences. yond its limits capable of creating it: if the mind sinks The being called God by no means answers with the conbeneath the weight of one, is it an alleviation to in- ditions prescribed by Newton; it hears every mark of a crease the intolerability of the burthen?

veil woven by philosophical conceil, to hide the ignoThe other argument, which is founded on a man's rance of philosophers even from themselves. They borknowledge of his own existence, stands thus. A man row the threads of its texture from the anthropomorphism knows not only that he now is, but that once lie was of the vulgar. Words have been used by sophists for not; consequently there must have been a cause. But the same purposes, from the occult qualities of the our idea of causation is alone derivable from the con- peripatetics to the effluvium of Boyle and the crinities stant conjunction of objects and the consequent infer- or nebulæ of Herschel. God is represented as infinite, ence of one from the other; and, reasoning rimen- eternal, incom ole; he is contained under every tally, we can only infer from effects, causes exactly prædicate in non that the logic of ignorance could adequate to those effects. But there certainly is a fabricate. Even his worshippers allow that it is imposgenerative power which is effected by certain instru-sible to form any idea of lim : they exclaim with the

we cannot prove that it is inherent in these French poet, instruments ; nor is the contrary hypothesis capable of

Pour dire ce qu'il est, il faut être lui-même. demonstration: we admit that the generative power is incomprehensible; but to suppose that the same effect Lord Bacon says, that atheisin leaves to man reason, is produced by an eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, philosophy, natural piety, laws, reputation, and every being, leaves the cause in the same obscurity, but ren- thing that can serve to conduct him to virtue; but ders it more incomprehensible.

superstition destroys all these, and erects itself into a 3d. Testimony. It is required that testimony should tyranny over the understandings of men : hence atheism not be contrary to reason. The testimony that the never disturbs the government, but renders man more Deity convinces the senses of men of his existence can clear-sighted, since be sees nothing beyond the boundaonly be admitted by us, if our mind considers it less ries of the present life.» Bacon's Moral Essays. probable that these men should have been deceived, La première théologie de l'homme lui fit d'abord than that the Deity should have appeared to them. craindre et adorer les éléments même, des objets matėOur reason can never admit the testimony of men, who riels et grossiers; il rendit ensuite ses hommages à des not only declare that they were eye-witnesses of mi- agents présidents aux éléments, à des génies inférieurs, racles, but that the Deity was irrational; for he com- à des héros, ou à des hommes doués de grandes quamanded that he should be believed, he proposed the lités. A force de réfléchir, il crut simplifier les choses en highest rewards for faith, eternal punishments for dis- soumettant la valure entière à un seul agent, à un esbelief. We can only command voluntary actions ; prit, à une ame universelle, qui mettoit cette nature et belief is not an act of volition; the mind is even pas- ses parties en mouvement. En remontant des causes en sive, or involuntarily active : from this it is evident that causes, les mortels ont fini par ne rien voir; et c'est dans we have no sufficient testimony, or rather that testi- cette obscurité qu'ils ont placé leur Dieu; c'est dans cet mony is insufficient to prove the being of a God. It abyme ténébreux que leur imagination inquièle travaille has been before shown that it cannot be deduced from toujours à se fabriquer des chimères, qui les aftligeront reason. They alone, then, who have been convinced jusqu'à ce que la connoissance de la nature les détrompe by the evidence of the senses, cao believe it.

des fantômes qu'ils ont toujours vainement adorés. Hence it is evident that, having no proofs from either Si nous voulons nous rendre compte de nos idées sur of the three sources of conviction, the mind cannot be- la Divinité, nous serons obligés de convenir que, par le lieve the existence of a creative God: it is also evident, mot Dieu, les bommes n'ont jamais pu désigner que that, as helief is a passion of the mind, no degree of cri- la cause la plus cachée, la plus éloignée, la plus inconminality is attachable to disbelief; and that they only nue des effets qu'ils voyoient : ils ne font are reprehensible who neglect to remove the false me- mot, que lorsque le jeu des causes naturelles et condium through which their mind views any subject of nues cesse d'être visible pour eux; dès qu'ils perdent le iliscussion. Every reflecting mind must acknowledge Sl de ces causes, ou dès que leur esprit ne peut plus en that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity. suivre la chaine, ils tranchent leur difficulté, et ter

God is an hypothesis, and, as such, stands in need of minent leur recherches en appellant Dieu la dernière proof: the onus probandi rests on the theist. Sir Isaac des causes, c'est-à-dire celle qui est au-delà de toutes Newton says: «Hypotheses non fingo, quicquid enim ex les causes qu'ils connoissent; ainsi ils ne font qu'assigner phænomenis non deducitur, hypothesis vocanda est, et une dénomination vague à une cause ignorée, à laquelle lıypothesis vel meta physicæ, vel physicæ, vel qualitatum leur paresse ou les bornes de leurs connoissances les occultarum, seu mechanicæ, in philosophià locum non forcent de s'arrêter. Toutes les fois qu'on nous dit que habent.. To all proofs of the existence of a creative Dieu est l'auteur de quelque phénomène, cela signifie God apply this valuable rule. We see a variety of bo- qu'on ignore comment un tel phénomène a pu s'opérer

usage de

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En un

par le secours des forces ou des causes que nous con- , tiles dont la théologie s'est partout remplie dans quelques noissons dans la nature. C'est ainsi que le commun pays, ces inventions si ingénieuses, imaginées par des des hommes, dont l'ignorance est le partage, attribue à penseurs qui se sont succédés depuis tant de siècles, la Divinité non seulement les effets inusités qui les n'ont fait, hélas ! qu'embrouiller les choses, et jamais la frappent, mais encore les événemens les plus simples, science la plus nécessaire aux hommes n'a jusqu'ici pu dont les causes sont les plus faciles à connoître pour qui- acquérir la moindre fixité. Depuis des milliers d'années, conque a pu les méditer. En un mot, l'homme a lou ces réveurs oisifs se sont perpétuellement relayés pour jours respecté les causes inconnues des effets surprenans, méditer la Divinité, pour deviner ses voies cachées, pour que son ignorance l'empêchoit de démêler. Ce fut sur inventer des hypothèses propres à développer cette les débuts de la nature que les hommes élevèrent le co- énigme importante. Leur peu de succès n'a point délosse imaginaire de la Divinité.

couragé la vanité théologique; toujours on a parlé de Si l'ignorance de la nature donna la naissance aux Dieu : on s'est égorgé pour lui, et cet être sublime de dieux, la connoissance de la nature est faite pour les meure toujours le plus ignoré et le plus discuté. détruire. A mesure que l'homme s'instruit, ses forces et Les hommes auroient été trop heureux, si, se bornant ses ressources augmentent avec ses lumières; les sciences, aux objets visibles qui les intéressent, ils eussent emles arts conservateurs, l'industrie, lui fournissent des ployé à perfectionner leurs sciences réelles, leurs lois, secours ; l'expérience le rassure ou lui procure des leur morale, leur éducation, la moitié des efforts qu'ils moyens de résister aux efforts de bien des causes qui ont mis dans leurs recherches sur la Divinité. Js aucessent de l'alarmer dès qu'il les a connues,

roient été bien plus sages encore, et plus fortunés, s'ils mot, ses terreurs se dissipent dans la même proportion eussent pu consentir à laisser leurs guides désauvrés se que son esprit s'éclaire. L'homme instruit cesse d'être quereller entre eux, et sonder des profondeurs capables superstitieux.

de les étourdir, sans se mêler de leurs disputes insenCe n'est jamais que sur parole que des peuples en-sées. Mais il est de l'essence de l'ignorance d'attacher tiers adorent le Dieu de leurs pères et de leurs prêtres : de l'importance à ce qu'elle ne comprends pas. La l'autorité, la confiance, la soumission, et l'habitude, leur vanité humaine fait que l'esprit se roidit contre les diffitiennent lieu de conviction et de preuves; ils se pros-cultés. Plus un objet se dérobe à nos yeux, plus nous ternent et prient, parce que leurs pères leur ont appris à faisons d'efforts pour le saisir, parceque dés-lors il aise prosterner et prier : mais pourquoi ceux-ci se sont-ils guillonne notre orgueil, il excite notre curiosité, il nous mis à genoux? C'est que dans les temps éloignés leurs paroit intéressant. En combattant pour son Dieu chalégislateurs et leurs guides leur en ont fait un devoir. cun ne combattit en effet que pour les intérêts de sa « Adorez et croyez,» ont-ils dit, « des dieux que vous ne propre vanité, qui de toutes les passions produits par la pouvez comprendre; rapportez-vous en à notre sagesse mal organisation de la société, est la plus prompte à profonde; nous en savons plus que vous sur la Divinité., s'alarmer, et la plus propre à produire de très grandes Mais pourquoi m'en rapporterois-je à vous? C'est que

folies. Dieu le veut ainsi, c'est que Dieu vous punira si vous Si écartant pour un moment les idées fâcheuses que osez résister. Mais ce Dieu n'est-il donc pas la chose en la théologie nous donne d'un Dieu capricieux, dont les question? Cependant les hommes se sont toujours payés décrets partiaux et despotiques décident du sort des de ce cercle vicieux ; la paresse de leur esprit leur fit humains, nous ne voulons fixer nos yeux que sur la trouver plus court de s'en rapporter au jugement des bonté prétendue, que tous les hommes, même en trem

Toutes les notions religieuses sont fondées uni- blant devant ce Dieu, s'accordent à lui donner; quement sur l'autorité ; toutes les religions du monde lui supposons le projet qu'on lui prête, de n'avoir tradéfendent l'examen et ne veulent pas que l'on raisonne; vaillé que pour sa propre gloire; d'exiger les hommages c'est l'autorité qui veut qu'on croye en Dieu; ce Dieu des êtres intelligens; de ne chercher dans ses œuvres n'est lui-même fondé que sur l'autorité de quelques que le bien-être du genre humain; comment concilier bommes qui prétendent le connoître, et venir de sa part ses vues et ses dispositions avec l'ignorance vraiment pour l'annoncer à la terre. Un Dieu fait par les hommes, invincible dans laquelle ce Dieu, si glorieux et si bon, a sans doute besoin des hommes pour se faire connoitre laisse la plupart des hommes sur son compte ? Si Dieu aux hommes.

veut être connu, chéri, remercié, que ne se montre-t-il Ne seroit-ce donc que pour des prêtres, des inspirés, sous des traits favorables à tous ces êtres intelligens dont des métaphysiciens que seroit réservée la conviction de il veut être aimé et adoré? Pourquoi ne point se manil'existence d'un Dieu, que l'on dit néanmoins si néces- fester à toute la terre d'une façon pon équivoque, bien saire à tout le genre humain ? Mais trouvons-nous de plus capable de nous convaincre, que ces révélations l'harmonie entre les opinions théologiques des différers particulières qui semblent accuser la Divinité d'une parinspirés, ou des penseurs répandus sur la terre ? Ceux tialité fâcheuse pour quelques unes de ses créatures? Le mêmes qui font profession d'adorer le même Dieu, sont- Toul-Puissant n'auroit-il donc pas des moyens plus conils d'accord sur son compte ? Sont-ils contents des vainquans de se montrer aux hommes que ces métamorpreuves que leurs collègues apportent de son existence ? phoses ridicules, ces incarnations prétendues, qui nous Souscrivent-ils unanimement aux idées qu'ils présentent sont attestées par des écrivains si peu d'accord entre eux sur sa nature, sur sa conduite, sur la facon d'entendre dans les récits qu'ils en font? Au lieu de tant de mirases prétendus oracles ? Est-il une contrée sur la terre, cles inventés pour prouver la mission divine de tant de où la science de Dieu se soit réellement perfectionnée ? législateurs révérés par les différens peuples du monde, A-t-elle pris quelque pare la consistance et l'uniformité le souverain des esprits ne pouvoit-il pas convaincre tout que nous voyons prendre aux connoissances humaines, d'un coup l'esprit humain des choses qu'il a voulu lui aux arts les plus futiles, aux métiers les plus méprisés ? faire connoître? Au lieu de suspendre un soleil dans la Des mots d'esprit, d'immaterialité, de création, de pré- voûte du firmament; au lieu de répandre sans ordre les destination, de grace; celte foule de distinctions sub- étoiles et les constellations qui remplissent l'espace,

nous

autres.

n'eut-il pas été plus conforme aux vues d'un Dieu simob. Had this author, instead of inveighing against jaloux de sa gloire et si bien intentionné pour l'homme, the guilt and absurdity of atheism, demonstrated its d'écrire d'une facon non sujette à dispute, son nom, ses falsehood, his conduct would have been more suited to attributs, ses volontés permanentes en caractères inef- the modesty of the sceptic and the toleration of the phifaçables et lisible également pour tous les habitans de losopher. la terre? Personne alors n'auroit pu douter de l'exis Omnia enim per Dei potentiam facta sunt: imo, quia tence d'un Dieu, de ses volontés claires, de ses intentions natura potentia nulla est nisi ipsa Dei potentia, artem visibles. Sous les yeux de ce Dieu si terrible personne est nos catemus Dei potentiam non intelligere, quatenus n'auroit eu l'audace de violer ses ordonnances; nul causas naturales ignoramus; adeoque slulte ad eandem mortel n'eût ose se mettre dans le cas d'attirer sa colère; Dei potentiam recurritur, quando rei alicujus, causam enfin nul bomme n'eût eu le front d'en imposer en son naturalem, sive est, ipsam Dei potentiam ignoramus.nom, ou d'interpréter ses volontés suivant ses propres Spinosa, Tract. Theologico-Pol. chap. i, page 14. fantaisies. En effet, quand même on admettroit l'existence du

Note 14, page 117, col. 2. Dieu théologique, et la réalité des attributs si discordans

Abasuerus, rise! qu'on lui donne, l'on ne peut en rien conclure, pour * Ahasuerus the Jew crept forth from the dark cave autoriser la conduite ou les cultes qu'on prescrit de lui of Mount Carmel. Near iwo thousand years have rendre. La théologie est vraiment le tonneau des Da- elapsed since he was first goaded by never-ending restnaides. A force de qualités contradictoires et d'asser- lessness lo rove the globe from pole to pole. When our tions hasardées, elle a, pour ainsi dire, tellement garoté Lord was wearied with the burthen of his ponderous son Dicu qu'elle l'a mis dans l'impossibilité d'agir. S'il cross, and wanted to rest before the door of Ahasuerus, est infiniment bon, qu'elle raison aurions nous de le the unfeeling wretch drove him away with brutality. craindre? S'il est infiniment sage, de quoi nous inquié- The Saviour of mankind staggered, sinking under the ter sur notre sort? S'il sait lout, pourquoi l'avertir de heavy load, but uttered no complaint. An angel of nos besoins, et le fatiguer de nos prières ? S'il est par- death appeared before Ahasuerus, and exclaimed iodigtout, pourquoi lui élever des temples ? S'il est maître nantly, 'Barbarian ! thou hast denied rest to the Son de tout, pourquoi lui faire des sacrifices et des offrandes ? of Man: be it denied thee also, until he comes to judge S'il est juste, comment croire qu'il punisse des créatures the world. qu'il a remplies de foiblesses ? Si la grace fait tout en

· A black demon, let loose from hell upon Ahasuerus, elles, quelle raison auroit-il de les récompenser? S'il goads him now from country to country: he is denied est tout-puissant, comment l'offenser, comment lui ré- the consolation which death affords, and precluded sister? S'il est raisonnable, comment se mettroit-il en from the rest of the peaceful grave. colère contre des aveugles, à qui il a laissé la liberté de * Abasuerus crept forth from the dark cave of Mount déraisonner! S'il est immuable, de quel droit préten- Carmel — he shook the dust from his beard--and taking drions-nous faire changer ses décrets ? S'il est inconce- up one of the sculls heaped there, hurled it down the vable, pourquoi nous en occuper ? S'IL A PARLÉ, POUR- eminence : it rebounded from the earth in shivered QUOI L'Univers N'EST-IL PAS CONVAINCU ? Si la connoissance atoms. This was my father! roared Ahasuerus. Seven d'un Dieu est la plus nécessaire, pourquoi n'est-elle pas more sculls rolled down from rock to rock; while the la plus évidente, et la plus claire ?-Système de la Na- infuriate Jew, following them with ghastly looks, exture. London, 1781.

claimed-And these were my wives! He still continued The enlightened and benevolent Pliny thus publicly to hurl down scull after scull, roaring in dreadful professes himself an atheist :-Quapropter effigiem Dei, accents-And these, and these, and these were my formarnque quærere, imbecillitatis humanæ reor. Quis- children! They could die; but I! reprobate wretch, quis est Deus (si modo est alius) et quacunque in parte, alas! I cannot die! Dreadful beyond conception is the totus est sensus, totus est visus, lotus auditus, totus judgment that hangs over me. Jerusalem fell - I animæ, totus animi, totus sui.

crushed the sucking babe, and precipitated myself into Imperfectæ vero in homine naturæ præcipua solatia ne the destructive flames. I cursed the Romans—but, alas! deum quidem posse omnia. Namque nec sibi potest alas! the restless curse held me by the hair,-and I mortem consciscere, si velit, quod homini dedit optimum could not die! in tantis vita pænis : nec mortales æternitate donare, * Rome the giantess fell-I placed myself before the aut revocare defunctos; nec facere ut qui vixit non falling statue--she fell, and did not crush ine. Nations vixerit, qui honores gessit non gesserit, nullumque ha- sprung up and disappeared before me ;-—but I remained bere in præteritum jus, præterquam oblivionis, atque ut and did not die. From cloud-encircled cliffs did I facetis quoque argumentis societas hæc cum deo copule precipitate myself into the ocean; but the foaming tur, ut bis dena viginta non sint, et multa similiter ef- billows cast me upon the shore, and the burning arrow ficere non posse.- Per quæ,

declaratur haud dubie, na of existence pierced my cold heart again. I leaped into turæ potentiam id quoque esse, quod Deum vocamus. Eina’s flaming abyss, and roared with the giants for ten -Plin. Nat. Hist. cap. de Deo.

long months, polluting with my groans the Mount's The consistent Newtonian is necessarily an atheist. sulphureous mouth-ah! ten long months. The volcano See Sir W. DRUMMOND's Academical Questions, chap. iii. fermented, and in a fiery stream of lava cast me up. I -Sir W. seems to consider the atheism to which it leads, lay torn by the torture-snakes of hell amid the glowing as a sufficient presumption of the falsehood of the system cinders, and yet continued to exist. —A forest was on of gravitation : but surely it is more consistent with the fire: 1 darted on wings of fury and despair into the good faith of philosophy to admit a deduction from crackling wood. Fire dropped upon me from the trees, facts than an hypothesis incapable of proof, although it but the flames only singed my limbs; alas! it could not might militate with the obstinate preconceptions of the consume them.-I now mixed with the butchers of

mankind, and plunged in the tempest of the raging suspected that it was a fable and imposture, and that battle. I roared defiance to the infuriate Gaul, defiance Jesus Christ, so far from being a God, was only a man to the victorious German; but arrows and spears re- like themselves. But a numerous set of men, who debounded in shivers from my body. The Saracen's rived and still derive immense emoluments from this flaming sword broke upon my scull: balls in vain opinion, in the shape of a popular belief, told the vulhissed upon me: the lightnings of battle glared harmless gar, that, if they did not believe in the Bible, they would around my loins : in vain did the elephant trample on be damned to all eternity; and burned, imprisoned, and me, in vain the iron hoof of the wrathful steed! The poisoned all the unbiassed and unconnected inquirers mine, big with destructive power, burst upon me, and who occasionally arose. They still oppress them, so far hurled me high in the air-I fell on heaps of smoking as the people, now become more enlightened, will allow. limbs, but was only singed. The giant's steel club re The belief in all that the Bible contains, is called bounded from my body; the executioner's hand could Christianity. A Roman governor of Judea, at the innot strangle me, the tiger's tooth could not pierce me, stances of a priest-led mob, crucified a man called Jesus nor would the hungry lion in the circus devour me. I eighteen centuries ago. He was a man of pure life, who cohabited with poisonous snakes, and pinched the red desired to rescue his countrymen from the tyranny of crest of the dragon. The serpent stung, but could not their barbarous and degrading superstitions. The comdestroy me.—The dragon tormented, but dared not to mon fate of all who desire to benefit mankind awaited devour me.-I now provoked the fury of tyrants: I bim. The rabble, at the instigation of the priests, desaid to Nero, Thou art a bloodhound! I said to Chris manded his death, although his very judge made public tiern, Thou art a bloodhound! I said to Muley Ismail, acknowledgment of his innocence. Jesus was sacrificed Thou art a bloodhound!—The tyrants invented cruel to the honour of that God with whom he was afterwards torments, but did not kill me.-----Ha! not to be confounded. It is of importance, therefore, to distinguish able to die—not to be able to die—not to be permitted between the pretended character of this being as the to rest after the toils of life-to be doomed to be im- Son of God and the Saviour of the world, and his real prisoned for ever in the clay-formed dungeon- to be character as a man, who, for a vain attempt to reform for ever clogged with this worthless body, its load of the world, paid the forfeit of his life to that overbearing diseases and infirmities--to be condemned to hold for tyranny which has since so long desolated the universe milleniums that yawning monster Sameness, and Time, in his name. Whilst the one is a hypocritical demon, that hungry byena, ever bearing children, and ever de- who announces himself as the God of compassion and vouring again her offspring!—Ha! not to be permitted peace, even whilst he stretches forth his blood-red hand to die! Awful avenger in heaven, hast thou in thine with the sword of discord to waste the carth, having conarmoury of wrath a punishment more dreadful ? then fessedly devised this scheme of desolation from eternity; let it thunder upon me, command a hurricane to sweep the other stands in the foremost list of those true heroes, me down to the foot of Carmel, that I there may lie ex who have died in the glorious martyrdom of liberty, tended; may pant, and writhe, and die!,

and have braved torture, contempt, and poverty, in the This fragment is the translation of part of some Ger cause of suffering humanity." man work, whose title I have vainly endeavoured to The vulgar, ever in extremes, became persuaded that discover. I picked it up, dirty and torn, some years the crucifixion of Jesus was a superoatural event. ago, in Lincoln's-Inn Fields.

Testimonies of miracles, so frequent in unenlightened Note 15, page 118, col. 1.

ages, were not wanting to prove that he was something

divine. This belief, rolling through the lapse of ages, I will beget a Son, and he shall bear

met with the reveries of Plato and the reasonings of

Aristotle, and acquired force and extent, until the A book is put into our hands when children, called divinity of Jesus became a dogma, which to dispute was the Bible, the purport of whose history is briefly this: death, which to doubt was infamy. That God made the earth in six days, and there planted Christianity is now the established religion: he who a delightful garden, in which he placed the first pair of attempts to impugn it, must be contented to behold human beings. In the midst of the garden he planted murderers and traitors take precedence of him in puba tree, whose fruit, although within their reach, they lic opinion: though, if his genius be equal to liis courage, were forbidden to touch. That the Devil, in the shape and assisted by a peculiar coalition of circumstances, of a snake, persuaded them to eat of this fruit; in con- future ages may exalt him to a divinity, and persecute sequence of which God condemned both them and their others in his name, as he was persecuted in the name of posterity yet unborn, to satisfy his justice by their his predecessor in the homage of the world. eternal misery. That, four thousand years after these The same means that have supported every other events (the human race in the mean while having gone popular belief, have supported Christianity. War, imunredeemed to perdition), God engendered with the prisonment, assassination, and falsehood ; deeds of unexbetrothed wife of a carpenter in Judea (whose virginity ampled and incomparable atrocity have made il what was nevertheless uninjured), and begat a Son, whose it is. The blood shed by the votaries of the God of name was Jesus Christ; and who was crucified and died, mercy and peace, since the establishment of his religion, in order that no more men might be devoted to hell-fire, would probably suffice to drown all other sectaries now he bearing the burthen of bis Father's displeasure by on the habitable globe. We derive from our ancestors proxy. The book states, in addition, that the soul of a faith thus fostered and supported : we quarrel, persewhoever disbelieves this sacrifice will be burned with cute, and hate for its maintenance. Even under a everlasting fire.

During many ages of misery and darkness this story I Since writing this note, I have seen reason to suspect that Jesus gained implicit belief; but at length men arose who was an ambitious man, who aspired to the throne of Judea,

Tbe sins of all the world.

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