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father Saul's concubines. Abner becomes insolent, and revolts to David. Joab, Davids chief captain, is jealous of Abner, and in the most treacherous manner assassinates him. The assassinations related in the Bible are of the basest kind, and hold out a most dangerous example to all fanatics, they are all represented as the effects of jealousy, and committed under the mask of friendship. Assassination may be viewed in two opposite lights: the assassination of a private individual for hire or for a private wrong that the law might remedy, is a most heinous offence, and will ever find the reprobation of good men, but the assassination of a tyrant, who is above the reach of law, and violates the social contract with impunity and arrogance, is a moral and virtuous act that will find the approbation of all good men. It is at once the best and most efficacious remedy against tyranny, and its application should never be delayed when tyranny exists. It is evidently a law of nature grounded on its first principle of self-preservation.

Soon after the assassination of Abner, his former master Ishbosheth is also assassinated by two of his domestics, who fly with his head to David. This man of blood is here represented in a less horrible character. I give the particulars from the original tale.

“ And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life ; and the Lord hath avenged my Lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed. And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerotlite, and said unto them, As the Lord liveth, who hath re. deemed my soul out of all adversity. When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed ? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebrou. But they took the bead of Islbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebrou."

The tale of David's slaying the Amalekite for his tidings of the death of Saul stands inexcusable, but his slaying of Rechab and Baanah for the murder of Ishbosheth, was quite justifiable. I pass my opinions on those tales as I should on a romance, I believe nothing of the bistory.

The eleventh chapter of the first book of Chronicles contains

a string of mighty feats performed by some of David's soldiers, but as they correspond with the tales that the Talmuds of the Jewish Rabbies abound in, I shall not condescend to notice them more particularly. The falsehood is too glaring to need exposure.

In the sixth chapter of the second book of Samuel, we have a curious account about David removing the ark to Jerusalem, and how one Uzzah was slain by Jehovah for attempting to stay it when he feared it was upsetting in consequence of the oxen having stumbled! This summary punishment is justified on the ground that it was a presumption to consider the ark to be in danger of falling, whilst Jehovah himself was in it, or had it under his especial protection. The following oddities and humours of David form a part of the same tale.

Can any thing be conceived more ridiculous than Dayid's reply to Michael.

“ And David danced before the Lord with all his mighl; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the Sound of the trumpet. And as the art of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to ineet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth bimself! And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel : therefore will I play before the Lord. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou bast spoken of, of them shall I be liad in honour. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child uato the day of her death."

In the sixteenth chapter of the first book of Chronicles, which forms part of the subject of the removal of the ark, with variations, but no particular contradictions to that in the book of Samuel, it is said in the seventh verse,' Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into

the hand of Asaph and his brethren.' The Jewish historian, or rather fabulist, has made here a strange anachronism in making David and Asaph cotemporaries. Many of the psalms, in the book of Psalms, are attributed to Asuph, and such psalms bear internal testimony that they were composed during and subsequent to the Bahylonish Captivity is the book of

Psalms form a composition of matter, that will not call forth much objection as to their merits, as pieces of Jewish rant and poetry, I shall, in this place once for all, make my observations on it, and this I feel I can do with propriety, as the names of David and Asaph are brought in question, to whom the bulk of the Psalms are attributed for composition. In the first place, I mean to object to the idea that any

of those Psalms were written by the person called David, and who is here represented as the second king in Israel. In doing this, I must first caution the reader, that I have not noticed the heads or description of the contents of each chapter as I have passed on, as they form no part of the Jewish writings, but must be viewed as interpolations by the English translator. Although those heads, or descriptions of contents, are so glaringly mis-stated, as to give the substance quite a different meaning to its original intent. For instance, in every shape possible, and at every possible opportunity, the Christian has made the books of the Old Testament to be a prophesy of, or a reference to, Jesus Christ. Thus we continually meet at the head of a chapter, Christ this, that, and the other thing; whilst it has no more allusion to Jesus Christ than it has to me. This is an impudent fraud of the Christian, to mutilate and pervert the writings of another sect, and to put a false construction on them, and such as their authors had never dreamt of, and such as the Jews have ever treated with a becoming indignity. This perversion is no where more conspicuous than in the book of Psalms; and here I must confess, that this perversion has partly originated with the Jews, who have attributed psalms as applying to, and having been written by David, when, in fact, they have no application to him, in the one sense nor the other. The first that I shall notice is the fourteenth psalm, entitled a Psalm of David ; it is as follows:

“ The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge ? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord. There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."

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This psalm is called by the Christian, David's description : of a natural man;' but it is, in fact a psalm written by a Jew during his captivity, of which the last verse is sufficient evidence. It should be observed, that the Babylonians had no other idol than a serpent, which they worshipped as an emblem of wisdom : they also worshipped fire as an emblem of the sun. Thus it is that we see the Jews cry out 'The fool hath

said in his heart, there is no God.' The Jews made their God into the form of a human being, and attributed considerable power to him; and under this idea they fancied themselves

to the Babylonians who had conquered them, and formed an excuse that their captivity and degradation had arisen from their having offended their God Jehovah, by seeking after other Gods, and held out that their God, in submiting them to the captivity of the heathen, had reduced them to the lowest state of misery and degradation. Thus they upbraided the Babylonians with the epithet “The fool hath said

in his heart, there is no God.' The Grecians and the Romans held the atheists among them in a similar contempt; and it is thus that the atheists have been hitherto treated in all societies, for being bold enough to doubt what no man can prove. There are thousands of atheists in disguise in England, and I doubt not, when the press is unshackled, and opinion sacred, that in point of argument the deist must bend to the atheist. For he who keeps clear of hypothesis and proceeds no further than demonstration will guide him, will be sure to beat his antagonist in argument, in whatever character he apa pears, or however antiquated or revered the opinions under which he shields himself. The pretended horror at atheism is no more than the common rage of fanaticism, and whilst the latter exists the former will be generated and applied to some purpose or other. The fanatic does not, cannot argue, he is a perfect weed in society, that destroys the beauty and corrupts the growth of science and improvement. As I have before observed, the word God, as commonly received, instead of being the creator of all things, has been the destroyer of all things. Scarce any two men have the same ideas on the word, and they are but few that have any distinctly applicable to it.

I have digressed from the more particular subject before me, but I claim the fourteenth psalm as a proof of having been written during the Babylonish Captivity.

The eighteenth psalm has the first mention of the name of David, it is also called a psalm of David ; but the last verse is

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a proof that it could not be written by David, and that the name is but a figurative allusion : it is thus, Great deliver“ance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anoint

ed, to David, and to his seed for evermore. Could David say that God sheweth mercy to his seed for evermore? It is evidently a piece of Jewish rant and figure. The former verse implies that it was written among the heathen, Therefore

will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen. and sing praises unto thy name.'

The forty-second, forty-third, and forty-fourth Psalms, bear internal evidence of having been written during a captivity. The fifty-third psalm is a repetition of the fourteenth; and why it is again inserted and numbered, I cannot say. The reader must ask some Jew or Christian. The different psalms, and extracts of psalms, we find interspersed through the Bible, are mere quotations, with some occasional alterations. The sixty-eighth psalm is an excellent specimen of the Jewish ideas of a God: I quote the seventeenth verse: “ The chariots

of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. The Pagans had better ideas of the nature of the Gods, as Cicero calls it, they had a God expressly for war, but the Jews leave all their work to Jehovah. In the seventy-second psalm, we are told that 'the prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.' Would David have written thus of himself? or is there the slightest proof that any one of the foregoing psalms was written by David ? I say no: they were no more written by David than by my grandfather, taking the history of David as it stands in the Bible.

The Psalms seventy-three to eighty-three are attributed to Asaph, and those particularly apply to my quotation from the book of Chronicles, and my assertion of its being an anachronism. It strikes me forcibly, that Asaph was one of the principal of the Jewish bards, and to him I am inclined to attribute the chief part of the Jewish poetry. It is a common admission, that traditionary history has been preserved in song, and in the book of Psalms, the whole outline of Jewish history might be traced, that is to say, down to the time of the Babylonish captivity, where the Jews first learnt the use of letters, and from which time their history has appeared in a more authentic or probable state.

There is an evident uniformity in all the poetry throughout the Old Testament, particularly that which comes under the head of Song, Psalm, or Thanksgiving, but whether Asaph

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