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ford, is a dreadful aggravation of the circumstance, and is a proof, that Scroggs and Jefferies are exceeded in the present day. For my part I am not disappointed in the character of the judges, a similar conduct has been visible in all who have filled the bench for the last 25 years, they have been altogether mean, base, and servile men, which every state trial since that time has fully proved. They pant for the blood of the victims selected as much as the Attorney and Solicitor Generals, or the Treasury Solicitor, and their influence is far more dangerous than that of the last three persons together. Weak men are apt to listen to a judge with the same feeling as a Roman Catholic would to the Pope. Their hypocritical gravity is calculated to banish suspicion in all minds but those who are exposed to its direful effects. Whilst the monarch and his ministers are profligate we shall be sure to find every one whom they appoint to ottice to be the same, and the English government has long been a nursery for every thing that is vile and that disgraces human nature and reason. But to address you on this point is almost superfluous, I can do nothing more than repeat that which is deeply impressed in your bosoms; I do not expect to convey information to you. Be of good cheer, the day of triumph is not far distant, and you shall surely find all your exertions crowned with success, and enjoy the blessing of a representative system of government. I remain your's, in civic affection,
CONTINUATION OF REPLY TO THE REV. THO.
MAS HARTWELL HORNE'S PAMPHLET, ENTITLED “ DEISM REFUTED.”-From p. 612.
I proceed with the book of Joshua,
The word in Hebrew, which is translated Joshua, is the same from whence the word Jesus is derived, and signifies Saviour. Josephus calls the person Jesus whom we call Joshua. It is this that makes me think, that it is a fictious name, although, after the Jewish books were established and known, it became a very common name among the Jews, still all who bore the name are displayed as famous for something or other, and therefore more probable to be a surname.
Almost alí distinguished leaders in Asia, have acquired the appellation of Saviour or Liberator, and it is from this that I infer the Christian Religion had its origin; at a time when the Jews by
their seditions had brought down the vengeance of the Romans upon them, some of them in the agony of their distress vamped up the story of Jesus, and held out his second coming as about to take place, to form for them a Messiah, a Saviour, one who should liberate them from the hands of the Romans. Fraud increased upon fraud, and mystery upon mystery, and almost every passage in their scriptures was in some measure made to apply to this period, and thus the imposition went on, until it reached that astonishing heighth, which Asia and Europe have witnessed to their sorrow and misery. The Jews never troubled themselves about a Jesus or Saviour, when they were in prosperity, but in their adversity they have always consoled themselves with this notion: but when the great body of them saw that the person worshipped and prayed for as Jesus Christ, was embraced by the Gentiles, or what they called the heathen, they rejected him with contenapt, and continue to do so to this day; still they retain a hope of a Jesus, a Saviour, or Messiah!
The first thing worthy of notice in the Book of Joshua is the passage over the Jordan.. I have spoken already of the Jordan as a puddling brook, which might be passed dry shod, by the help of a few stones to step on, as is common in passing across most brooks and streams of water, in country places, in this country: but here, in the book of Joshua, it is said to overflow its banks in harvest time. Rather a strange time this for such a purpose! By looking into our commentators, I find they make out the tale by saying, that Mount Libanus, being covered with snow all the winter, does not derive sufficient heat to dissolve it until the approach of harvest. This may be the case, but I doubt whether the snow would dissolve so suddenly and rapidly from one mount, as to càuse a brook or river to overflow its banks and to become impassable at a considerable distance from it, and even if so, it could not last above a day or two at the farthest.
The tale is introduced into the Book of Joshua as the first miracle performed by Joshua, but it unfortunately happened for its veracity, that, before this general and supposed miraculous passage of all the Israelites, Joshua sent over two spies to examine the strength of the city of Jericho, these spies must have passed and repassed the Jordan, which was by no means difficult, and with them very properly there is no fuss made about it. When Joshua and the rest of the Israelites have to pass, the tale is made into a miracle, as great as the passing of the Red Sea, and no doubt had its origin in the
Vol. ll. No. 18.
same brain, or that of some copyist from it. Another gross contradiction happens on the same subject : when they had all passed over, Joshua bids twelve men take out twelve stones from the bed of the Jordan, that he might set them up in the form of a pillar, as a memorial of this miraculous passage. The stones are taken up accordingly, and if we admit them to weigh 2 cwt. each, which is the outside of what twelve strong men could carry, they would form but a poor pillar for appearance. In the first place we are told that Joshua set up the twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, to mark the spot where they had passed, and in the second, we are told that he set them up in Gilgal on the border of Jericho as a memento of the passage, and because Jehovah dried up Jordan for them to pass over as he had before dried up the Red Sea.
The next curious circumstance that we meet with, is in the fifth chapter, respecting the general circumcision. The second verse is as follows:- At that time the Lord said unto
Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the
children of Israel the second time. I don't know whether or not the children of Israel were fond of this operation, but I should think even the first time was rather too much of a good thing, much more the second. The next verse goes on to say: ' And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised
the children of Israel at the hill of the Foreskins. The hill of the Foreskins! Again the next verse says:
And this is the cause why Jo. hua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out were cir
cumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilder6 ness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they
had not circumcised. This is a direct contradiction to the second verse, for there we are distinctly and repeatedly told, that this was to be a second circumcision. Besides, is it probable, from the character given to Moses, that he would have neglected this rite, even when he was in daily conference with Jehovah. Again, they must have been in a state of idleness in the wilderness, and could have nothing to do to excuse them from it, whereas, here, where Joshua is said to make this havoc among the foreskins, they were in the face of an enemy, and the consequence of such an act might have been fatal to the whole body. We have read what the sons of Jacob did to the Shechemites in this state, and is it not probable
that the inhabitants of Jericho might have taken the same opportunity to rid themselves of a powerful enemy. It is said, that this operation disables grown persons for three weeks from walking or taking any bodily exercise. I should not have envied Joshua his job, as he must have had 600,000 men besides male children to have operated upon. Really this tale will not do: it is too gross: so I drop it.
The next circumstance which comes in review, is the mira. culous falling of the walls of Jericho: this we are told was accomplished by walking round the walls once each day for six days, and seven times the seventh day, each time seven priests blowing rams horns, and at the last circumition, the ram's horns gave a long blast, the people shouted, and down came the walls ! He that believeth this let him. I do not envy him his ideas. Any comment on this would be superfluous, therefore, to be as brief as possible, I shall say at once
It is a lie.
I must not pass unnoticed the preservation of Rahab the harlot, as she forms the line of genealogy, according to Jewish scripture, to Jesus Christ. The whole tale of the reception which Rahab gave the spies, their escape, and her consequent escape from destruction, is not at all improbable. We have only to wonder what need Jehovah could have of spies, when his omnipotence could fetch down the walls of Jericho in so singular a manner. The very act of employing spies is a proof of fear, or the support of a bad cause.
We are also told, that the Israelites 6 utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.” We : have not even the order of Jehovah as an excuse for this wana', ton extermination of animal life, nor any crime or offence alledged against the inhabitants of Jericho. I suppose we must take it as the pleasure of General Joshua and the Jewish mode of carrying on war. But why destroy the sheep and oxen with the sword; was the savoury appetite of Jehovah satiated, or were the Israelites over-burthened with their own cattle? Neither of those cases seem to be likely by foregoing accounts, for we are just before told, that the children of Israel desisted from eating manna after they passed the Jora dan. This story too has a strange appearance, for they are represented as having possession of sufficient corn belonging to the Canaanites before they take Jericho, and before they had taken any place after passing the Jordan. It might be said, did they not conquer Midian, and Sihon, and Og ?
but then why did they not eat the corn, and why did the manna continue after they possessed corn? But these are but minor points, and scarcely worth notice here; they better become the priestly commentator.
The argument of the priest on the foregoing verse has ever been the following, which I quote from Dr. Adam Clarke's Commentary on this verse; the twenty-first of the sixth chapter :--- As this was ordered by God himself, who is the maker and judge of all men, it must be right : for the judge of all the earth cannot do wrong. Nothing that breathed was permitted to live: hence the oxen, sheep, and asses, were destroyed, as well as the inhabitants. There are two apparent axioms by which the priests solve every difficulty; the first is, that there is nothing impossible with God; and the second is, that an omnipotent God can do no wrong. It is this word God that sanctions every abuse, every vice, every monstrosity, that has been practised among the human race. Man first forms to himself certain notions of a God, and then makes him the author of all his vices and wickedness. The whole train of error lies in our mistaken notions of God; and I do not see on what ground Dr. Adam Clarke can lay claim to the title of a moral,
humane, or virtuous man, whilst he sanctions such an indiscriminate massacre of fellow-animals as above, and attributes it to the justice of his God. Admitting, for the sake of argument, that the inhabitants of Jericho were every thing that could degrade humanity, of which there is not even the slightest charge against them, still that degradation could not infect their cattle, for, at least, the cattle were insensible of committing wrong. I would wish no better proof than the above comment of Dr. Adam Clarke's, to shew that religion is destructive of morality. It matters not, whether it be the religion of the Pagan, of the Jew, of the Christian, or of the Mahometan, each and all of them have uniformly committed the grossest violations of nature, of morality, of decency, and of humanity, under the feigned sanction of their oracles, their prophets, and their gods. To quote cases in support of my assertion would be superfluous, for every mind must abound with them that has been accustomed to read the history of the past. This error amongst mankind may
be traced to their mistaken notions and attributes of God Their ignorance of the God of Nature, and their forming their God as the simile of themselves, has been the source of all the misery with which the earth hath uniformly abounded. The God of Nature delights in the destruction of nothing--he is