« PreviousContinue »
proof that this book of Daniel was not composed or compiled by him who is the hero of the romance; it is evidently by the work of some person who lived later than Cyrus. To me there appears to be a great anachronism in the Bible history with respect to Darius. I am not aware, by what I recollect of my reading in antient history, that there was, in fact, more than one Darius, and he lived in the time of Alexander the Great and suffered a total overthrow by him. There are various stories, I know, about the manner in which this Darius came to the throne of Persia; and one in particular was, that he obtained it by the neighing of his horse; it having been agreed by several of the Persian princes, at the time of a vacancy on the throne, that they would on a certain morning meet at a certain place on horseback, and he whose horse was the first to neigh should obtain the kingdom. It is further said, that Darius used a stratagem over night to obtain this prize by leading his horse to a mare on the same spot, so that the next morning his horse recollected the amour, and was the first to neigh. I am aware that this tale is treated with contempt as a fabrication, and I am aware that other Darius's have been mentioned in history, but I think it has been done merely to make apparent the incongruities and anachronisms of the Bible. The King of Greece is mentioned in the book of Daniel, but there is no mention of the battle between him and Darius. In this book it is said, that Darius took the kingdom from Belshazzar, and ended the Chaldean dynasty, it is also said that Darius was the son of Ahasuerus; it might then be asked, how Ahasuerus could reign over those provinces in which the Jews were captive, as is related in the book of Esther, since we here find it said that Darius made the conquest of those kingdoms: and why is the Artaxerxes mentioned in the book of Ezra not mentioned in the book Daniel, since Daniel is said to have been of the first of the captives during the reign of Jehoiachim, and during his captivity he is said to have reached the first offices of the state, and the succession of kings is carefully mentioned, for there are no less than four of them? Volumes upon volumes have been written to explain the idle and nonsensical dreams related in in this book, but it would be well to settle those anachronisms, and slew how Cyrus could reign after Darius, when Alexander defeated Darius and over ran all his territory. In short there is scarce an incident mentioned in the Bible, that can be relied on as an historical fact, and placed in its due time of occurrence. Let it first be fairly shewn that the Darius mentioned
in the Bible was not the Darius opposed to Alexander the Macedonian, and then it will be time to see about unriddling the dreams. Now-a-day, we dream of simple and natural events, but formerly, it appears, they dreamed parables and hierglyphics as well as spoke by them. Mystery is the handmaid of priestcraft. The first effort of Priestcraft was to stupify the minds of mankind by hieroglyphics; after making some progress and having become powerful it descended to parable as less mysterious; it now dares to assert that it can come to argument and support itself by reason, but when we can once bring it to this latter test, without the fear of persecution, we shall soon see it annihilated. It cannot exist without some mystery.
We now come to the book of Hosea. Hosea was another of those lewd prophets who endeavoured to who studied to state his prophecies and types by the sexual intercourse! Those men must either have made the prostitution of the female sex their conversation, study, or practice, or they could not have been so ready with their pens in depicting it. Although, the Jews have not represented their Jehovah quite so amourous as the Jupiter of the Grecians and Romans, still, they have painted him as initiated into all the arts of coquetry and intrigue, and professing to feel an abhorrence for it. I insert the first chapter of the book of Hosea as a strange mass of filth, nonsense, and contradiction:
"The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea: and the Lord said to Hosea, go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms; for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Dib. laim; which conceived, and bare him a son: and the Lord said unto him, call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel: and it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. Aud she conceived again, and bare a daughter; and God said unto him, call her name Lo-ruhamah, for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, call his name
Lo-ammi; for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel."
Independent of the filth and nonsense of this chapter, there is a direct contradiction. At first, it is said, that Jehovah "will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but he will utterly take them away," yet at the close of the chapter we are told, that the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, and shall be called "the sons of the living God." This is the common character of all the pretended prophets among the Jews: they have promised both blessings and cursings, so that come which would, they would be sure to be true prophets; it is only to say that the time is past or not yet come for the contrary. The second chapter is equally gross and lewd with the first, but the third, being more pointed, is still worse. I insert it.
"Then said the Lord unto me, go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adultress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half home of barley and I said unto her, thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man; so will I also be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and David their king: aud shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."
The fourth chapter is extremely lewd, and after that the book becomes less obscene, but not less nonsensical and ridiculous.
We are now come among what are called the minor pro-. phets, when, it appears, Jehovah did not visit above once or twice, therefore, they have prophesied but little, and I can take but very little notice of them. The next is Joel, and in the second chapter of his book, he threatens to make the sun dark, and turn the moon into blood! The reader will recollect that the New Testament writers have repeated this threat, but we have nothing to fear from them, they are
harmless in this respect, although, extremely mischievous in others.
It is evident that these prophets were opposed to the priests and kings, and were a species of reformers or free-thinkers: the following quotation from the seventh chapter of the book of Amos affords a proof of it :
"Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos has conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos saitli, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land: also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread and prophecy there: but prophecy not again any more at Beth-el; for it is the king's chapel and it is the king's court. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit; and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, go, prophecy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: thou sayest, prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. Therefore thus saith the Lord; thy wife shall be a harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line, and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.”
I pass over Obadiah, who was the wisest of all the prophets, because he said but little or nothing, and come to the famous navigator Jonah. The original tale of Jonah's residence in the belly of the fish, is so very common, that I need not insert it here. Josephus himself, who was a Jew, could not swallow the tale! However, Jonah was a very obstreperous prophet, and seemed disposed to wrangle with Jehovah on every opportunity. At length, Jehovali silences him, and once in the course of the Jewish history he is painted as merciful, in not giving up Nineveh to destruction as he had made Jonah prophesy, but pardons on the score of repentance. I hardly know whether it will be expected that I should quit the subject of Jonah and the fish, or add more nonsense to the original stock, for it is impossible to bring rational argument against it: the tale is too gross for comment or contradiction, so I shall pass on as the wisest course.
(To be Continued.)
Printed and Published by J. CARLILE, 55, Fleet Street.
No. 8, Vol. 4.]
LONDON, FRIDAY, OCT. 20, 1820. [PRICE 6D.
STATE OF AFFAIRS BETWEEN THE QUEEN AND THE KING FRANKLY DISCUSSED.
Matters are now drawing to a close between her Majesty and her husband (if he deserves the name.). It is probable that by the time this reaches the public, the Bill of Pains and Penalties will be moistened with the tears of its promoters and supporters. It is a precious document and should be preserved, if it be possible to rescue it from its patrons. Some of the ignobles themselves are beginning to make terrible denunciations against the Bill, and any further progress with it'; and not one of them cares to father it, or to say that he has any connection with it: but all their shuffling will be vain, all their, talk about an invisible personage being the instigator of this measure will not do, they cannot delude the public on the subject; and even if a dozen of them would voluntarily put their heads in a noose as a confession that they were the instigators, the public will still keep its eye on a certain individual. It is too late to practice any kind of delusion on this subject. The thing stands as clear as the sun and moon on a fair day and night.
To crown the infamy of this business, the agents of the Bill have allowed the most obnoxious of their witnesses to escape to the continent, and now they show a strong disposition to suspend the business altogether, without any decision upon it by the Ignobles. At a moment when an evidence on the part of the Queen was prepared to develope the proceedings of the Milan Commission, and to shew that the Italians had been first asked to swear against the Queen, without bèing asked what they knew, or what they would swear to, RasVol. IV. No. 8.
Printed by JANE CARLILE, 55, Fleet Street.