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times repeated, that it was written that it might be fulfilled ; ihat is, it was written to be brought into the story, and to make up a good one.
The Gospel was written, and the stories it contains drawn up, not in any respect to real occurrences, but in fulfilment of the vision of Isaiah, the son of Amox, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziąh, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah."
And there you see you have a clear explanation of the whole matter, it was all got up in a vision it was dreamed—Isaiah the son of Amoz dreamed-a dream about-(God knows what it was about)—and so somebody told a story that was all about the dream.
The part of the dream in the passage referred to is in the 53rd of Isaiah, 4th verse—“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;" which the Evangelist paraphrases, “ Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Where you see at once, (and I'm sure you're stone-blind if you can't see,) that any literal understanding of these infirmities and sicknesses, and bedevilments, is sheer out of the world of conceivability: for it turns out that Doctor Jesus, instead of possessing any miraculous skill in curing diseases, had no better way of treating them than catching them himself. And if there's a word of literal truth in the Gospel, aye ! or of any sort of truth in it,'twas he ihat had the devils in him; and the fever, and the palsy, and the dropsy, and all the rest of the bad complaints, which gave him reason enough to guess that we should surely say unto him, Physician, heal thyself.-Luke iv. 23,
Monstrous as this sense is, it really is the best sense that can be fairly put on this monstrous story: where you see with your owp. eyes that this Gospel has been written (written whenever it might have been) in conformity to the conceits of those barbarous Christian ourang-outangs, who really believed that diseases could be cured by transmission from one person to another; and who were wont to pollute the tender and wholesome flesh of children, from a persuasion that by infecting them they could relieve them selves.
And this notion, wild as it is, insanely ķild, I admit, is not merely in this passage so positively asserted, but is through every one of these miraculous cures always kept in view, and made the leading and characteristic idea. There was always to be some touching and contact, some palmistry dabbling of fingers, and juxta-position between the scabby, mapgy, or leprous patients, and the good-natured Jesus, when he came to inoculate "himself with their infirmities, and to bare their sicknesses."
Luke has it not merely that he touched the old woman, but that he stood over her, and rebuked the fever, chap. iv. 39. O what a sublime idea ! '« Get out you naughty fever you ; what d'ye mean by plaguing the poor old lady so damnably? get out I
say." So the lever not liking to be blackguarded at that rate went out of the woman-it was evidently not a very obstinate sever.
But we are not to think, my brethren, (when once we take the Scripture for our guide) that inanimate ihings, such as fevers, winds, seas, and trees, are destitute of moral sensibility, and have no feelings. Far, far, to the contrary: for when Jesus used this sort of language to the fever, the fever was so deeply affected, that it ran away.
When he rebuked the winds and the seas, and said unto them, Peace, be still, I say; the winds and the seas were so frightened, that immediately there was a great calm. But the worst on't is, that when he curst and blasted the fig-tree, the poor little figtree took his rough language so much to heart, that it died of a broken heart. It did indeed.
Aud this is the fly
That saw it die-(pretending to catch a fly). Methinks, I hear the Son of God venting his majestic rage on the poor fig-tree. “ No man cat fruit of thee hereafter for eoer. Mark xi. 14.
() show me folly in all thy registers, a folly second to this.
The Son of God blasting the fig-tree. The everlastingly begotten of the Faiher, fall of grace and truth.
So fond of figs, as to curse and blast on being disappointed of them : so sweet a tooth in so foul a mouth.
And here, Christians, is your teacher sent from God-a cursing and blasting teacher sent from God! Infinite Wisdom scolding the winds, rebuking fevers, and persecuting pigs. God, if thou hast ever given the faculty of reason to mankind, take it away again, they've got the Gospel, and reason is superfluous. Reason is the attribute of the brutes, that have twice as many legs and twice the understanding of a Christian.
They cannot get over this notion of transferring, Sirs; they cannot pretend that it isn't the true sense and purport of the text, or accuse us of conjuring it up, to throw an air of absurdity over their gospel that doesn't essentially belong to it. For not only is this horrid conceit of making-over of transmission, transfusion, fransinjection, and substitution of the person of one for the person of another, the leading idea in every one of these miracuTous cures ; but it is the leading idea, the sine qua non of the whole Gospel-Dispensation, the most immoral and wicked system that ever was in the world. “Go it my boys—sin away as fast as you may sin—lie like a parson-trick like a lawyer cheat like a Quaker-cut throats like a soldier.” There's your scape-goat Jesus.
“ And the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.”
“He was wounded for our iniquities, and bruised for our transgressions; the chastisement of our peace was upon him: we've
only to run up the bill, and the good landlord will take it out in black puddings.
Eternal gods and everlasting goddesses,
Κυδιστε Κελαινεφες αιθερι ναιων. . Thou first and greatest God, by gods adored, why gave ye up the sceptre of the sky into the hands of these Galilean gods--these transfusers from one to t'other—these makers-over of commodities for sinning—these melters-down of sterling virtue, and stampers of base metal—these Jew-gods-these swindlers of salvation.
I challenge the faculties of man to name me any thing that ever was on earth besides so wicked as the Gospel.
Wonder we then, Sirs, that the ministers and preachers of this Gospel, who pocket their vast revenues at the gulled people's cost, should be ashamed of their gospel: yes, Sirs, ashamed of it, they are ashamed of it.
And with all their vaunting, where themselves only may be heard, you see them struck as dumb as posts in the presence of an infidel, who armed only in the panoply of innocence, and relying only on his own strength, is ready, willing, and eager to confute their fallacies, confront their folly, and confound their falsehood.
Their missionaries, their Christian Instruction Society men, yes, their reverend Home missionaries, whose professed avocation and engagement is, as they say, to visit all the dark and benighted parts of this metropolis, and to encounter Satan in his strong holds, have never yet had courage to look Satan in the face : some of 'em, indeed, have ventured to push their little bits of dirty papers towards the mouth of our strong holds; and others have even ventured to try their powers of argument with one of our cubs, the little devil there, when the old one was out of the way; and, like the disinterested and tender-hearted wolf in the apologue, have been playing it off with them.
'Pon my word, my pretty kid, it brings tears into my eyes to see you standing on the top of that there shed ; your father is bringing your soul into perdition as fast as he can bring it. O what a pity 'lis that such a young and tender soul as yours should-O Lord ! O Lord! O Lord !
Don't aplict yourself 80 much, says the kid, I overhear the foot of a friend coming this way; then good-by, Master Alfred. Not the thief from the presence of an officer-not the rat out of the pantry when the cat's coming—not the dirty water out of a bursting cistern, runs off so fast as the boy-converting and child-convincing propagators of the Gospel.
Suffer the little children to come unto Jesus, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven." And I s'pose it is; for never has there been a single instance of any one individual of the human race, who became a man first, and became a Christian afterwards. If religion be not put in our way before we've done with the
nurse, we shall never stumbleon it after we've had dealings with the barber.
And hence do these propagandists deal only in siander, vituperation, and calomny; and deal only in that upon guarantee that the persons they asperse shall never be vindicated nor be heard, either by others or themselves, in their own just defence.
They bring their railing accusations against me, and heap such grievous criminations, that were the hundredth part of them but charged with probability of circumstance, the weight might
sink a navy.
I appear, or 'tis but rumoured that I shall appear, alive, with not any unsound part for them to peck at, and the crows are scared back again to their rascal rookeries, where they may caw in concert to the line of " God forbid that we should listen lo any thing an infidel could say.' Il can nerer he suffered that any body should be heard in the axsembly who doesn't beliere in the Holy Scriptures. I can't sit here, and hear blasphemy, God forbid that we should hear any thing, but cuw lo the Father, oni to the Son, and cuw to the Hcly Ghost. Enough, I hope.
DELENDA EST CARTHAGO.
On Equanimity. Being the last delivered in the Areopagus, on Sunday, Juno
24th, 1827. By the Rev. ROBERT TAYLOR, B. A. Orator of the Society.
MEN AND BRETHREN- Industry, temperance, prudence, and perseverance, are the moral qualities which each of them (as we have in so many distinctive discourses seen) naturally conduce lo prosperity; and all of them by a happy junction in any one man concurring he cannot fail 9f the best chance, at least that human energies can ensure, of being a happy and a prosperons man.
But the best chance is far from certainty. "The most felicitotis concurrence of all the good qualities we can suppose, is guarantee for no absolute assurance of prosperity. Nay, there are men to whom, by a strange fatality, it seems as if their good qualities themselves had only conspired to make their lot in life all the worse, and none the better, as if their very virtues had served but as holy traitors to them.
And hence, to heedlessly calculating or hastily concluding minds, arise a' determination of sentinent, equally at variance with reason and with virtue, which is nothing else but reason, appearing in actions.
Who has not seen, or may not every day see, or must not himsell run the chance of being, instead of the happy man whom his good qualities should have crowned with merited success, the victim of his virtues, the sacrifice, the sufferer, ruined for any thing in the world but having deserved to be so. And, alter all his industry, temperance, prudence, and perseverance, with no good quality wanting, and no bad one existing, with the puresti of molives, and the best of conduct, like Cato in Utica, with ills a:d covered with misfortunes.”
At such a sight (and sure 'tis vain to say the picture is too heavily drawn) ibe moral science, were it not indeed the best, as it is the most useful to man, mighi well be desperate of its counsels. and give up the steerage of human conduct. At such a sight, the vicious man seems to take up the best of the argument, and to have reason on his side, in launting the apparent impotence of virtue.
" Talk not of honesty ! Men should be rrise, for honesty's a fool." And the religious man, in the phrase of his fanaticism, feels himself tempted to donbt the overruling providence, which either with a reason or without one, I don't know which, his faith propounds to bim.
* His life so sacred, his serene repose
Sermed henven itself, till osse suggestion rose;
And all the tenor of his soul is lost."
There is a remedial sentiment, and an acquirable díathesis or siate of mind, the mixed result of a physical as well as a moral economy; which will ensure to men the best of the worst plight; and make their state, whatever it be, "for happy, though but ill-for ill, not worsi-if they procure not to themselves, more woe."
This it will assuredly do for men, even of the most feeble and irritable nervous constitution, though it should not be quite so extensively beneficial as the absolute stoicism of the ancient, Roman, who conld so subdue himself and all his nalure's weaknesses, as to exclaim—" Major sum quam cui possit fortuna noceri"-- 1 an greater than any man whom fortune can injure.
What that most excellent remedial sentiment is, its exact propriety and fitness to the condition of a man-how we may acquire it if we tave it not, and wonderfully increase it if we have it, is now in regular sequence emergent on our study.