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CONTENTS.

Page

PROLEGOMENA.

Importance of the subject....Criminality of indifference....Dr. Whitby's

last thoughts, &c.

CHAP. I.—Definitions.... Time, Place, Circumstances, Identity of Jesus

Christ of Nazareth, necessary to be established.... Geography of Palestine

CHAP. II.—The Christian and Pagan Creeds collated.... The Apostle's
Creed, a Forgery....Inference that it is a Pagan document applied to Christian
purposes.... Necessity of examining the pretences of all writings that lay claim

to Canonical authority

CHAP. III.-State of the Heathen World.... Heathenism to be judged as

Christians would

wish their own religion to be judged.... The Pacific Age....

The genius of Paganism most tolerant and philosophical.... Vast difference

between the philosophers and the vulgar.... The philosophers were Deists.... The

vulgar infinitely credulous

CHAP. IV.–The state of the Jews.... The Jews the grand exception to
the prevalence of universal toleration.... They plagiarized Pagan fables into
their pretended divine theology....Were as gross idolaters as the Heathens....

Truth of Judaism not essential to the truth of Christianity... The Pharisees....

The Sadducees.... The Cabbala.... The Jews had no notion of the immortality

of the soul ; while the Heathens had more practical faith therein, than any

Christians of the present day

CHAP. V.- State of Philosophy....A general prevailing debility of the

human understanding.... Vitiation of morals.... Destruction of documents....Max-

ims of deceiving the vulgar, and perpetuating ignorance, approved by St.

Paal....King's College, London....Gnosticism.... Systems of philosophy

CHAP. VI.-Admissions of Christian writers.... Deficiency of evidence...

Christians before the Christian era.... Christian frauds.... Christian scriptures not
in the hands of the laity.... Christianity and Paganism hardly distinguishable....

Miraculous powers, dreams, visions, charms, spells....Name of Jesus a spell

CHAP. VII.-Of the Essenes or Therapeuts.... Differences of opinion with

respect to them....Every thing of Christianity is of Egyptian origin.... Apostolic

and Apotactic monks.... The Therapeuts were Christians before the Augustan

era....Eclectics.... The forgery of the gospel ascribed to mongrel Jews

CHAP. VIII.-The Christian scriptures, doctrines, discipline and ecclesi-

astical polity, long anterior to the period assigned as that of the birth of

Christ....Recapitulation....An original translation of the famous 16th chapter

of the 2nd book of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History

CHAP. IX.-Of Philo and his testimony....Sum of his admissions

CHAP. X.-Corollaries....Eusebius....Sufficient guarantee for the text of

Philo....Conflicting opinions....Severe sarcasm of Gibbon.... The demonstration

absolate that the monks of Egypt were the authors of the gospels... Mr.

Evangon's perplexities relieved....Alexandria the cradle of Christianity.... Its

alow progress....Episcopal insolence of Dionysius....St. Mark, a monk

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CHAP. XI.-Corroborations of the evidence arising from the admissions

of Eusebius, in the New Testament itself

86

CHAP. XII.-References to the monkish or Therapeutan doctrines to be

traced in the New Testament....John the Baptist, a monk....Monkish rules in

the New Testament....Apollos, a Thera ut.... Vagabond Jews.... The New

Testament entirely allegorical.... The English translation of it, Protestantizes

in order to keep its monkish origin out of sight....St. Paul's account of the

resurrection wholly different from that of the Evangelists.... The conclusion 90

CHAP. XIII.—On the claims of the scriptures of the New Testament to

be considered as genuine and authentic....Preliminary.... The authenticity of

St. Paul's epistles, and of so much of his history (miracles excepted) as is

contained in the Acts of the Apostles, affords no presumption in favour of the

Canonical gospels.... The canon of the New Testament not settled even so late

as the niddle of the sixth century.... Mode of argument to be observed in this

DIEGESIS

109

CHAP. XIV.-Canons of criticism.... Data of criticism to be applied in

judging the comparative claims of the apocryphal and canonical gospels....

Corollaries.... Dr. Lardner's table of times and places

113

CHAP. XV.-Of the four gospels in general....Confession of the forgery

of the gospels, by Faustus.... Twenty objections to be surmounted....Order for

a general alteration of the gospels by Anastasius.... Alterations by Lanfranc 114

CHAP XVI. Of the origin of our three first canonical gospels.... The

great plagiarism gradually discovered.... Le Clerc....Dr. Semler....Lessing's

hypothesis, Niemeyer's, Halfeld's, Beausobre's, Bishop Marsh's.... The Die-

GESIS.... The Gnomologue

119

CHAP. XVII.--Of St. John's gospel in particular.... Dr. Semler's hypo-

thesis....Evanson....Bretschneider....Falsehood of gospel geography, of gospel
dates, of gospel statistics, of gospel phraseology

180
CHAP. XVIII.--Ultimate result.... The monks of Egypt, the fabricators of

the whole Christian system

136

CHAP. XIX.-Resemblances of the Pagan and Christian theology....

Augury and bishops.... Æsculapius.... Hercales....Adonis.... Parallel passages in

Cicero and the New Testament....Royal priests....Subordinate clergy...Priests

of Cybele.... Parasites or domestic chaplains....Conversion from Paganism to

Christianity brought about entirely by a transfer of property

CHAP. XX.-Æsculapius and Jesus Christ, the same figment of imagina-

tion.... Miracles of Æsculapius better authenticated than those of Jesus....

Æsculapius distinguished by the very epithets afterwards ascribed to Jesus 148

CHAP. XXI.-Hercules and Jesus Christ, the same figment of imagina-

tion....Dr. Parkhurst's anger at those who doubt that Hercules was a divinely

intended type of Jesus Christ....Pagan form of swearing.... Superior moral

virtue of Turks

154

CHAP. XXII.--Adonis.... Ridiculous literal renderings of the Psalms....

Jehovah and Adonis used indifferently as common names of the same deity...

Words of our Easter hymn used at the festival of the Adonia

168

CHAP. XXIII.-The mystical sacrifice of the Phænicians....A draft of the

whole Christian system....Archbishop Magee, one of the Author's persecutors 168

CHAP. XXIV:-Chrishna, of the Brahmins, the original Jesus Christ....

The absolute identity of Chrishna and Christ, triumphant in the complete

overthrow of all the attempts of Drs. Bentley and Smith, Beard, and others

to disprove it....Dishonest engagement of Christian Missionaries

168

CHAP. XXV.-Apollo, Jesus Christ the Egyptian version of the Indian

Christ

180

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CHAP. XXVI.—Mercury, Jesus Christ.... The Word, Jesus Christ....Ame-

lins proves their identity

183

CHAP. XXVII.-Bacchus, Jesus Christ....His name Yes.... Bacchus ad-

dressed in the very words of Christian worship....A personification of the

Sun.... The Bacchanalia identical with Christian sanctification

186

CHAP. XXVIII.-Prometheus, Jesus Christ.... The Grecian version of

the Indian Chrishna, identical with the Christian god, Providence.... The

preternatural darkness at the Crucifixion a palpable falsehood, derived from

Æschylus's tragedy of Prometheus Bound

191

CHAP. XXIX.—The Sign of the Cross entirely Pagan... .Found in the

temple of the god Serapis....

The high priests of Serapis known and distin-

guished by the title of Bishops of Christ

198

CHAP. XXX.—The Tauribolia... The whole theory and practice of the

Christian doctrine of Regeneration

207

CHAP. XXXI.-Baptism.... The Baptists an effeminate and debauched

order of Pagan priests....Astrological character of John the Baptist....Of St.

Thomas.... The New Testament entirely allegorical

208

CHAP. XXXII.-The Eleusinian Mysteries entirely the same as the

Christian Sacrament of the Lord's Supper....Bacchus, as the Sun, the common

object of worship in both

212

CHAP. XXXIII.—Pythagoras, the type of the human or man-Jesus....

The Pythagorean Metempsychosis the best system of supernaturalism 217

CHAP. XXXIV.--Archbishop Tillotson's Confession of the identity of

Christianity and Paganism

224

CHAP. XXXV.-Resemblance of Pagan and Christian forms of worship

.... The White Surplice.... The Baptismal Font....Nundination and Infant Bap-

tism.... The old stories of the ancient ganism adopted into Christianity....

The Pantheon.... Similar inscriptions in Pagan Temples and Christian Church-

Es....Saints and Martyrs that never existed

229

CHAP. XXXVI.—Specimens of Pagan piety.... The first Orphic Hymn to

Prothyræa....Hymn to Diana.... The Creed and Golden Verses of Pythagoras....

The Morals of Confucius

239

CHAP. XXXVII.-Charges brought against Christianity by its early

adversaries, and the Christian manner of answering those charges.... The

Doctrine of Manes and his History.... Demonstration that no such person as

Jesus Christ ever existed....Admission of Bishop Herbert Marsh....Admissions

10 the same effect of the early Fathers

244

CHAP. XXXVIII. Christian Evidences adduced from Christian Writ-

ings... Dorotheas' Lives of the Apostles....Origin of the Acts of the Apostles,

Cephas, Judas, Mark, Luke, Paul... That there is no difference between the

Popish legends and the canonical Acts of the Apostles....That no such persons

as the twelve Apostles ever existed

260

CHAP. XXXIX.—The Arguments of Martyrdom.... That Martyrdom is

not the kind of evidence which we have a right to expect.... The impropriety

of the argument as it respects the character of God.... The impropriety of the

argument as it respects the character of Man.... That the argument of martyr-

dom is absolutely not true....Specimens of Martyrology

274

CHAP. XL:--The Apostolic Fathers.... St. Barnabas, St. Clement, St.

Hermas, St. Polycarp, St. Ignatius.... Correspondence of Ignatius with the

Virgin Mary.... Result....Perfect Parallel of Pagan and Christian Mysteries 287

CHAP. XLI.—The Fathers of the Second Century....Papias Quadratus,

Arístides, Hegesippus, Justin Martyr, Melito, St. Irenæus, Pantænus, Clemens,

Alexandrinus, Tertullian

304

CHAP. XLII.--The Fathers of the Third Century....Origen....

The dolorous

lamentation of Origen....His answer to Celsus, St. Gregory Thaumatargas, St.

Cyprian.

328

CHAP. XLIII.—The Fathers of the Fourth Century....Constantine the

Great....Motives of his Conversion.... The Evidences of Christianity as they

appeared to Constantine. His oration to the clergy.... Eusebius, the great

Ecclesiastical Historian.... The holy dog.

346

CHAP. XLIV.–Testimony of Heretics, who denied Christ's humanity....

Cerdon, Marcion, Leucius, Apelles, Faustus....Who denied Christ's divinity....

Who denied Christ's Crucifixion.... Who denied Christ's Resurrection

364

CHAP. XLV.-The whole of the external evidence of the Christian Reli-

gion... The testimony of Lucian, of Phlegon.... The passage of Macrobius....

Publius Lentulas.... The Veronica handkerchief.... The testimony of Pilate....A

coincident passage from Arnobius.... The passage of Josephus.... The celebrated

inscription to Nero.... Similar Inscriptions.... Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny, Epicte-

tus, Plutarch, Juvenal, Emp. Adrian, Emp. Aurelius Antoninus, Martial, Apu-

leius, Lucian....List of Ancient writers.

376

APPENDIX.-Containing an account of the various known M.S. copies of

the New Testament, and the source of the present received copy....

Various

versions, Greek editions, and translations, of the New Testament....Spurious

passages in ditto....False representations...Abbreviations....Dates of the reigns
of the Roman Emperors.... Names and order of the succession of the Christian

fathers and heretics....Ecclesiastical Historians and councils....Sketch of the

general councils....Present ecclesiastical revenues....Numerical extent of Christi-

anity....Authorities adduced in this Diegesis.... Texts of Seripture brought into

illustration in this Diegesis.

416

4

PROLEGOMENA.

ON all hands 'tis admitted that the Christian religion is matter of most serious importance : it is so, if it be truth, because in that truth a law of faith and conduct measuring out to us a propriety of sentiment and action, which would otherwise not be incumbent upon us, is propounded to our observance in this life ; and eternal consequences of happiness or of misery, are at issue upon our observance or neglect of that law.

To deny to the Christian religion such a degree of importance, is not only to launch the keenest sarcasm against its whole apparatus of supernatural phenomena, but is virtually to withdraw its claims and pretensions altogether. For if men, after having received a divine reve. lation, are brought to know no more than what they knew before, nor are obliged to do any thing which otherwise they would not have been equally obliged to do ; nor have any other consequences of their conduct to hope or fear, than otherwise would have been equally to be hoped or feared ; then doth the divine revelation reveal nothing, and all the pretence thereto, is driven into an admission of being a misuse of language. On the other hand, the Christian religion is of scarce less importance, if it be false ; because, no wise and good man could possibly be indifferent or unconcerned to the prevalence of an extensive and general delusion. No good and amiable heart could for a moment think of yielding its assent to so monstrous an idea, as the supposition that error could possibly be useful, that imposture could be beneficial, that the heart could be set right by setting the understanding wrong, that men were to be made rational by being deceived, and rendered just and virtuous by crédulity and ignorance. ! To be in error one's self, is a misfortune ; and if it be such an error as mightily affects our peace of mind, it is a very grievous misfortune ; to be the cause of error to others, either by deceiving them ourselves, or by connivance, and furtherance of the councils and machinations by which we see that they are deceived, is a crire ; it is a most cruel triumph over nature's weakness, a most

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