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chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea-shore for multitude." The chapter, after mentioning a dispute between Samuel and Saul, wherein the insolent priest threatens to unking him, finishes in the following manner:
"Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan : but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash."
Now here is a pretty state the Israelites are in to combat the above host of the Philistines, yet in the next chapter we are told, that Jonathan with his single sword, and an armour bearer (who could have no armour to bear, according to the above tale) attack the whole host of the Philistines by themselves, kill twenty of them and set the rest a killing each other, and thus discomfit this great multitude: and to crown the whole, Jonathan is near losing his life because he ate a little honey-comb and had his eyes enlightened with it, at a moment when he was ignorant of an injunction which Saul had laid on his followers, that they should not eat any thing until the evening of that day at the peril of their lives. Saul is anxious to destroy his son Jonathan, but the people rescue him in consequence of his former valour: thus we see the word of a sanguinary despot is but as the idle wind, unless he has men as sanguinary as himself to put it into execution.
In the fifteenth chapter we have the sanguinary character of a priest displayed in a strong light. Samuel sendeth Saul to exterminate the Amalekites: Saul performs this holy exploit, with the exception of saving the king and a few oxen, sheep, &c., as he knew Jehovah was fond of a savoury smell, and which he intended to sacrifice on Gilgal. Samuel, finding this ground of quarrel, comes out to meet Saul, and reproaches him with infidelity in saving this king and the cattle, threatens to deprive him of his kingdom, and talks very largely about Jehovah not being a man that he should repent, and such like bombast: but, at last, he becomes reconciled to Saul, and hews Agag, the king of the Amalekites, in pieces with his own hands, before the Lord in Gilgal! After this,
we ought not to hear any thing further of the Amalekites. After all the talk about Jehovah not being a man that he should repent, the chapter concludes with saying, "and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel." The Jews have never attributed any foresight to their God.
The sixteenth chapter represents Samuel and Jehovah as intriguing against Saul, and anointing David as king. The good spirit goes out of Saul and enters David, and an evil spirit goes from the Lord into Saul! But the conclusion of the chapter represents King David as contented to become an harper to King Saul to drive away the evil spirit, in which he is successful.
The seventeenth chapter introduces the story of David and Goliah, but here David is introduced to Saul as a stranger, whilst in the last chapter we were told that he pleased Saul by playing on the harp, and Saul made him his armourbearer! but this is but a trifling inaccuracy, and hardly worth notice amidst so many glaring ones. I shall pass over the story of David and Goliah, as I can say nothing on the subject: the tale is very well narrated, but I think we ought to have heard something about David's killing the lion and the bear before. This is a tale, taking it altogether, that will not bear a flat contradiction, and comment upon it will be idle and useless.
The eighteenth chapter displays Saul as jealous of David because the women were more attached to him, and amidst various attempts to destroy him, he bids him procure an hundred foreskins of Philistines as a dowry for his daughter, Michal, hoping by this demand, that he (David) would fall into the hands of the Philistines and be slain. David however doubles the number of foreskins without any danger: but we are not told whether or not Michal presented them to her father!
The remainder of the first book of Samuel is filled with the jealousies, reconciliations, escapes, dangers, oddities, &c. of Saul and David: the various incidents are preposterous beyond measure. David is displayed as an intriguing character throughout, and Saul as a jealous and evil-minded despot. David has an intrigue with the wife of Nabal, and gets her to poison her husband, at least, to destroy him, and then makes David master of herself and all her husband's possessions and store. Saul has an intrigue with the witch of Endor the particulars of which are too important to pass by unnoticed, so I ⚫ insert them.
"Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek ine a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at En-dor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall fame unto thee. And the woman said unto him, behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land wherefore then layest thou a suare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, as the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. Then said the woman, whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, bring me up Samuel. And when the woinan saw Sanuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. And the king said unto her, be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, what form is he of? and she said, an old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said to Saul, why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Then said Samuel, wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me : for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day. Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night. And the woman came into Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto
him, behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in thy hand, and have hearkened unto thy word which thou spakest unto me. Now, therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way. But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So be arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed. And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hastened, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake un leavened bread thereof: And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night."
I scarcely need say any thing here of the supposed power of witches: I have before made some few observations on the subject, but I feel it my duty again to pronounce that there is nothing in the whole regions of space that is supernatural ; that the idea of witchcraft and spirits grew up with the ignorance and credulity of mankind, and is entirely a fiction of the human brain. There is nothing spiritual in nature; no human being has ever seen any thing of the kind; the various stories of the kind are either the effect of invention or a frenzied imagination. The Bible is the grand reservoir of those lying tales, and this book having the character of being holy, and being called the word of God, every one who is weak and ignorant enough to believe the one are compelled to believe the other. It is time that the fraud should be unmasked, and it shall be my career through life to unmask and explode it.
In the thirtieth chapter, we have a resurrection of the Amalekites, for the purpose, no doubt, of displaying the prowess of David. This is sufficient proof that the present part of the Bible is not history but fiction. We read of an utter extermination of the Midianites, and by and by they are brought on the carpet again; but the case of the Amalekites is still more glaring, for it was in the life time of David that they are said to be exterminated, yet a few years after they form an army and sack and destroy a town, and David has to encounter them for the recovery of his wives and property. The Bible is a book of lies. The death of Saul and his sons take place according to the word of Samuel Redivivus and the Witch of Endor.
(To be continued.)
Printed by JANE CARLILE, 55, Fleet Street.
No. 3, Vol. 4.] LONDON, FRIDAY, SEPT. 15, 1820. [PRICE 6D.
THE GLORIOUS PROGRESS OF REVOLUTION: PORTUGAL FREE.
ANOTHER REVOLUTION HAS COMMENCED. The Portuguese army and Citizens have united in the demand for a representative government, and resistance to that demand will be vain. I have ne further particulars at the moment of writing this, than that the city of Oporto, which is the second city in Portugal, has denounced the existing institutions and demanded a national Cortes. The whole of the army in that city and neighbourhood have joined the inhabitants in the demand, and in a few days this spirit must run throughout Portugal. There is no obstacle. There are no Austrians or Russians in the neighbourhood to create any fears or doubts. The Vice Regal government at Lisbon has been weak and foolish enough to issue a proclamation, denouncing the insurgents as rebels! rebels to what, or to whem? Mr. Wilkes said, in the English Parliament, near fifty years back, when opposing the war against the American Colonies, that a successful resistance was not a rebellion, but a glorious revolution. Such it has been in Spain, such it has been in Naples, such it will be in Sicily, such it will be in Portugal, and such it will be in&c. &c. &c. Where the soldier and citizen unite, the despot had better be silent and retire; it is in vain for him to clamour. Ferdinand of Spain endeavoured to treat Quiroga and his army with contempt, but the contempt recoiled on himself. The despot of Naples shew a similar disposition but it was vain, he had neither a soldier nor a citizen on his side, and he #ery prudently submitted, shook hands, and said, you must de VOL IV. No. 3.
Printed and Published by J. CARLILE, 55, Fleet Street.