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OR,

A CRITICAL INQUIRY

INTO

THE HISTORY

OF

JESUS OF NAZARETH

BEING

A RATIONAL ANALYSIS

OF

THE GOSPELS.

The Cross was the banner, under which madmen assembled to glut the
earth with blood. Vide Chap. 18.

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NEW-YORK:
PRINTED FOR THE PROPRIETORS OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL
LIBRARY, UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF THE NEW.

YORK FREE PRESS ASSOCIATION,

1827.

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*********

* * * *

Southern District of New-York, ss.

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 21st day of March, L. S.

A. D. 1827, in the fifty-first year of the Independence of the

United States of America, George Houston, of the said Disa * ******** trict, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor in the words following, to wit :

“Ecce Homo ! Or a Critical Inquiry into the History of Jesus of Nazareth; being a Rational Analysis of the Gospels. The Cross was the banner under which madmen assembled to glut the earth with blood.–Vide Chap. 18. The first American edition, revised and corrected."

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned.” And also to an Act, entitled “An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of de signing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

FRED. J. BETTS, Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.

PREFACE.

The first edition of the following work was printed at Edinburgh in the year 1799; but it was not till 1813, when a second edition appeared in London, that it was publicly announced by the author. Two years imprisonment, and a fine of two hundred pounds sterling, was the consequence of this fearless act; and to justify so wanton an outrage, the pious instigators of it sheltered themselves under the fallacious plea, that the religion which the writer attacked, was

a part of the law of the land, and therefore must be protected:” thus tacitly acknowledging, that they were incapable of maintaining it without the assistance of the civil power

Although a few fanatics have endeavored in this country, to identify what is erroneously called, “the common law of England," on our free institutions, for the purpose of suppressing this and similar works, all their efforts to accomplish their object have been defeated by the liberality of sentiment which pervades society, and which is now more conspicuous in the United States, than it was at any former period of our history.

We are aware there are some who have had the courage to exercise their own judgments on religious topics, and who have in consequence, discovered the frauds practised on the minds of the credulous, but who, nevertheless, entertain the opinion, that the sentiments promulgated in the following pages, are calculated to do harm among the uninformed, who it is thought, require to be deceived in order to be governed. But we have yet to learn, that free discussion, with the view of arriving at the truth, can injure any one. It is only error

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