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AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE,
Let Truth and Falsehood grapple. Who ever knew Truth put to the worse in
a free and open encounter ?-Milton.
J. WATSON, 15, CITY ROAD, FINSBURY.
''LETTER VIII.- Page 92.
The question under discussion, not the infallibility, but the authenticity of
the Bible. Miracles no objection to the Bible as a revelation, but rather an
evidence in its favour. The Bible miracles of such a kind as to leave on
chance for deception &c., and therefore they stand on ground peculiarly their
own. The credibility of a thing not lessened by mere length of time.
Absurdity of doubting one's own senses, rather than to believe in a miracle.
The miraculous conception and divine character of the Saviour. Religion the
safe side. Any religion preferable, on account of its consolations, to scene
ticism. Christianity not an enemy to free inquiry. Remarks relative to the
Christian fathers and the French Revolution. Character of our revolutionary
patriots, and of the American people at that period. Instances in which
religionists have been friends of reform. Unfairness of sceptics in charging
the wickedness of Anti-Christians upon Christianity. Rousseau's testimony,
that nothing but Christianity improves mankind. Prophecy an evidence of
the divine character of the Bible. Internal evidence.
LETTER IX.-PAGE 116.
In what sense the Bible is the word of God. Inconsistency of Mr. Owen
relative to the subject of miracles. How to distinguish between divine
and infernal miracles. Certainty not necessary to induce belief. An almighty
being can enable us to know whether a revelation is from himself. Every
subject disputed. Difference in the cases of the scripture miracles and others.
Characters of our revolutionary leaders. Mr. Owen's opinion on suicide
considered. His sensual heaven. Extracts from various authors in proof of
the genuineness, authenticity, and uncorrupted preservation of the Bible, and
the rapid spread of Christianity in the first three centuries. Proposition to
sceptics, to see if they can spread it as they say it was spread.
LETTER X.-PAGE 160.
Distinction between real and false miracles and predictions. Clearness of
some of the Bible predictions. Reply to Mr. Owen's objection to several
predictions. Original letter from Rev. Wm. Jackson of Alexandria, relative
to the religious character of Washington. Original letter from Rev. Mr.
Whitney of Quincy, relative to the religious character of John Adams.
Difference between a revolution and a violation of law. Explanation of the
seeming difficulty in the case of the prediction relative to the destruction of
Jerusalem and the end of the world. Various prophecies noticed. Papyrus.
parchment, &c. Confirmation of the Bible history and miracles, by the actual
state of things, and by universal history and tradition. Catholics have never
had the sole keeping of the Bible. The Florentine and Athanasian mira-
cles. Several modern cases of a supernatural character. Suicide, &c.,
considered. Utility not the test of right and wrong. Character of heathen
philosophers as given by Quinctilian. Character of modern infidel philosophers,
by Rousseau. Parallel between Christian and infidel philosophers. The
manner in which Christianity has always been opposed, and the unreasonable.
ness of expecting to overthrow it now. Recapitulation. Conclusion.
LETTER I.- Page 7.
Moral influence of religion on mankind. Virtue not the mere offspring of
a creed, but exists independent of it. Human feeling stronger than creeds.
Metamora Frightful effects of religion. Religion distinct from morality,
Loss of life in religious persecutions. Dissensions about the eucharist,
Quarrel of the econoclastes and econoclaters. Bloody persecution of Theo.
dora. Burning of John Huss and Jerome of Prague Holy inquisition.
Religious war of Japan. Crusades. Massacre of the aborigines of the
Western Continent. Eighteen millions of human beings sacrificed to religion.
LETTER II.PAGE 16.
! Supernatural beliefs make men sometimes vicious, always unhappy. Na-
zarene reformer worthy of admiration. The Bible the tyrant's defence, the
inquisitor's credentials. Barbarity and cruelty of the Israelites. Murder of
women and children. Triumph of superstition over nature. Frightful
pictures of superhuman atrocity. Torquemado justified by the Pentateuch,
Comparison between the Bible cruelties and gladiator fights. The Pentateuch
not a record of cruelty alone, but of obscenity and unseemly imaginations.
LETTER III.- Page 26.
All creeds judged calmly but our 'own. Imaginary dialogue between a
Mahomedan and Mr. Bacheler. Licentious brutality sanctioned. No evidence
of greater turpitude amongst the Canaanites. Spirit of the Bible neutralized
by that of progressive improvement. Inviduous recrimination no defence of
scripture obscenity. Errors of the ancients no proof of the necessity of revela-
: LETTER IV.-Page 39.
Submission of the question. Midianite massacre. A. Tappan and the
Magdalen report. Merit of Moral Physiology not the subject of discussion.
Lack of presumption not blameworthy. French Revolution grossly mis.
represented. Excesses produced by British emissaries. Statements of
Lafayette and Pinel. Arguments in favour of royalty and orthodoxy equally
conclusive. Argument of American Protestants very heterodox. Spirit of
fanaticism in the Salem tragedy. Persecution of the Quakers. Doctrines
styled absurd and blasphemous. Origin of intolerance. Just belief often a
blessing. False belief a misfortune, not a fault. Belief not to be changed at
pleasure. Slanders circulated against philosophers unworthy to be revived.
LETTER V.- PAGE 51.
General commands regarding idolaters in the Pentateuch. Particular
examples cited. Test of jealousy. Slaughter justifiable if commanded by
God. An unchangeable God made changeable. The conqueror, inquisitor,
and slave-holder, commanded to act their parts if the scripture be inspired.
Infallible proof must come through an infallible channel. Mignet's history of
the French Revolution the most impartial. Festival in honour of the Supreme
Being instituted by Robespierre. Bloody controversy political, not theological,
Bishop Horne equally opposed to republicanism as scepticism.
LETTER VI.-PAGE 67.
The authenticity of the Bible, as a record from heaven, and not the truth of
parts of it, which is questioned. Historical evidence scanty and insufficient.
Liability to error before the art of printing. Ancient history not to be
depended on to prove any occurrence, much less miracles. An infallible
revelation can come through the senses alone; cannot be imparted, and con-
tinue a revelation to others. The miracles recorded of Jesus as unworthy of
credit as those recorded by Livy. General character of Jesus too good to be
the invention of his biographers. Flagrant confounding of dates and events
in the French Revolution. Dissection. Sketch of the first years of the
revolution. Walter Scott's declaration at an anti-reform meeting. Proof of
the interference of salaried enemies.
LETTER VII.- PAGE 83.
The Bible-historical evidence only to support it. Impossible to prove
miracles by ancient history. Stories of Curtius and Camillus. Miracles in
every other history except the Bible discredited because they are miracles.
Second sight of the high-standing Cotton Mather and the prestigious spirits.
The most incredible stories well attested. Salem witchcraft. The Bible needs
more effective vouchers than dreams to defend it. Utility of history not
impeached. Argument that sceptics may lose but cannot gain, a common
one, Doctrinal religion, if false, pregnant with mischief-reasons therefore.
Origen and Celsus' discussion regarding demons. Eusebius' use of falsehood
as a medicine. Practice followed by Chrysostom and others. Gregory's
impe Doctrinal religiscussion regard by Chryso