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smack of humanity, if not of Jewish and priestly epicurism, about the smell of cooking in Gen. (viii. 21), where we are told that the “heart” of the divine author of the O. T. writings “was softened,” and that he had decided “not again to curse the ground for man's sake, nor again to smite every living thing," as he had already done. How very kind and considerate! But, as far as we know, the cursing of the ground and man has not made a bit of difference to either up to the present. Repentance and change of mind are not suggestive of either omnipotence or divineness; and the cursing of inanimate objects, such as the ground, is more like the petulance of a little human child deprived of its toy than the act of an almighty creator. These attributes are distinctly human ; and not only is the hand of man to be traced upon all, but also that of the Hebrew priest, scribe, and captive from Babylon.
Such errors in science as are manifest all through the Bible could not proceed from an inspired pen. The Jew writer, in his semi-barbarity and ignorance, just released from servitude, believed that the earth was flat and surrounded by water; that under the earth was a Hell, and above it, in the sky, a Heaven, with a gilded throne, upon which sat, surrounded by the “ glorious ” rays of the sun, Yahuh; and from which throne he descended occasionally in a cloud to his seat between the cherubim over the box. He believed that man was created instantaneously, as if by a conjurer's wand, some five or six centuries B.C., when we find evidences of the existence of ancestors many thousands of years before, and of his gradual evolution from lower animal life.
Had the books of the Bible been written by divinelyinspired men, its science and history would have been unimpeachable, its moral teaching and logical instruction perfect, so that no doubt could possibly have arisen in the mind of the most cultured reader. If all were born tainted with “original sin," and if that sin were removable, means would have been taken to impart this remedy or mode of salvation to the whole world, and not only to a few gipsy tribes ; and in such a way that conviction of its truth would follow immediately. But what, on the contrary, do we see ? A huge Catholic Church teaching one particular set of doctrines ; a Protestant system of opposing sects—for it cannot be called a Church-teaching sets of doctrines, at variance with each other on every point except one, and that one being opposition to the Catholic Church. The Protestant sects in England alone number about 180, and the Catholic Church is divided into Roman, Greek, Russian, Armenian, etc., etc. Yet all appeal to the Bible to support them in their struggles and controversies with each other, that book being the fetich of them all. In it are to be found childish errors in science; the American continent known nothing of; the earth (a globe) referred to as having four corners; things spoken of as being above and under it, as if it were a table"; and mistakes and contradictions made concerning dates and ancestry inexcusable in writings claiming to be inspired. We search the history of the period when all these extraordinary events were said to be taking place, and everywhere we find absolute silence. It would be impossible that all the writers of the period, separated from each other by long distances, could have combined in a plot to keep such records out of history.
We hear of miracles; but if such unnatural occurrences could take place, and in such trifling cases as the replenishing of empty wine bottles for wedding guests who had already “drunk well,” why was there no miraculous intervention to prevent the loss of the divinely-inspired writings of the O. T., and to secure the immediate and undoubted acceptance of those which were divine, and the rejection of those that were not, so that the divine message could be published before all men ? Instead of which, when Jesus died, all was vagueness, uncertainty, and chaos, and the divine message, which was supposed to save humanity, was wrapped up in mysteries and allegories, over which priests and people fought and squabbled, and have continued doing so to this day. Nothing is decided as to the conditions of salvation, and there is no one to decide. Writings once regarded with suspicion now find an honoured place in the sacred volume; writings once included in the sacred collections of the early Churches are now cast aside as spurious ; and mankind is left in this happy-go-lucky manner to ascertain the conditions of redemption from a sin which they did not commit, but yet have to incur penalty for. The divine message, instead of being published in the sight of all men, has been inscribed on old parchments hidden away in all
sorts of holes and corners, as if the very authors had been ashamed of their productions. These parchments are, in some instances, old skins from which Pagan manuscripts had been partially erased before the “Word of God” was written on them by Christian pens. Is this the way in which a good and just deity would treat mankind ? No; it does not commend itself to our reason or to our sense of justice, and it is by these alone that mankind can be called upon to judge of things.
The following are a few examples of the contradictions to be found in the Bible, which conclusively prove the human origin of the writings contained in it :Yahuh wrong; Adam condemnea Satan right; Lives 930 to a prompt death.
years. “But of the tree of the know- “And the serpent said, Ye shall ledge of good and evil thou shalt not surely die......And all the days not eat: for in the day that thou that Adam lived were nine huneatest thereof thou shalt surely dred and thirty years, and he die” (Gen. ii. 17).
died” (Gen. v. 5). Yahuh pleased with his work. Displeased with his work. "And God saw everything that “And it repented the Lord that he had made, and behold it was he had made man on the earth, very good” (Gen. i. 31).
and it grieved him at his heart”
(Gen. vi. 6). Does not repent.
Does repent. “God is not a man that he “And God saw their works, should lie; neither the son of man that they turned from their evil that he should repent” (Num. xxiii. way; and God repented of the 19).
evil that he had said that he would
do unto them” (Jonah iii. 10). Unchangeable.
Changeable. “For I am the Lord ; I change “Therefore the Lord God of not” (Mal. iii. 6).
Israel saith, I said indeed that thy
Sam. ii. 30).
Warlike. “God is not the author of con- “ The Lord is a man of war" fusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. xiv. (Ex. xv. 3).
“ Think ye that I am come to give peace on earth ? I tell you no, but a sword [division] ” (Luke xii. 51).
Unmerciful. “The Lord is good to all, and “I will not pity, nor spare, nor his tender mercies are over all his have mercy, but destroy them” work” (Ps. cxlv. 9).
(Jer. xiii. 14). “The Lord is very pitiful, and “And Joshua did unto them as of tender mercy” (Jas. v. 11). the Lord bade him. He houghed
“For his mercy endureth for their horses, and burnt their chariots ever” (1 Chron. xvi. 34).
with fire......and smote all the souls that were therein, with the edge of the sword, utterly destroy. ing them” (Josh. xi. 9).
“For ye have kindled a fire in mine anger that shall burn for ever” (Jer. xvii. 4).
“And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the Sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned
away from Israel ” (Num. xxv. 4). Rests and is refreshed.
Is never tired. “For in six days the Lord made “Hast thou not heard that the heaven and earth, and on the everlasting God, the Lord, the seventh day he rested and was creator of the ends of the earth, refreshed ” (Ex. xxxi. 17).
fainteth not, neither is weary ?"
(Is. xi. 28). · Omnipresent.
Not omnipresent. “Whither shall I fee from thy “And the Lord said, because of presence ? If I ascend up into the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is heaven, thou art there ; if I make great, and because their sin is very my bed in hell, behold thou art grievous ; I will go down now and there. If I take the wings of the see whether they have done altomorning, and dwell in the utter- gether according to the cry of it most parts of the sea ; even there which is come unto me, and, if not, shall thy hand lead me, and thy I will know” (Gen. xviii. 20). right hand shall hold me ” (Ps. cxxxix. 7). Omniscient.
Not omniscient. “For his eyes are upon the ways “And Adam and his wife hid of man and he seeth all his goings, themselves from the presence of there is no darkness nor shadow of the Lord God, among the trees of death, where the workers of ini- the garden” (Gen. ïïi. 8). quity may hide themselves” (Job xxxiv. 21). All-powerful.
Not all-powerful. “With God all things are pos "And the Lord was with Judah, sible” (Matt. xix. 26).
and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain, but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron ” (Judges i. 19).