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about fifteen hundred years. I shall say something in my next Letter, relative to Eusebius being the forger of this paragraph. If it can be traced to him, then what becomes of your principal Ecclesiastical Historian? What becomes of his authority, in relation to the Christian religion; he, to whom you are indebted for the history of the origin of that religion? In the first place, (if he committed this forgery) he is guilty of lying, and gross imposition, and in the second place, according to Dr. Warburton, he lies and forges in a stupid manner. A very
fit man to be believed, when he tells us, that the Bible is a book of divine revelation, and Jesus Christ the Son of God!
The design, my Lord, of all these exposures, is to show, that we can have no confidence in the early advocates of the Christian religion; that in consequence of their incessant practice of lying and forging, they have forfeited their character, as honest men, and consequently unfit to be believed.
I am, my Lord, respectfully,
C. J. HASLAM.
Hulme, October 29th 1840.
PRINTED BY C. J. HASLAM, HULME
TO THE BISHOP OF EXETER:
WHETHER OR NOT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD?
BY C. J. HASLAM.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR, HULME,
Price one Penny.
In reference to the paragraph in the works of Josephus, concerning Jesus Christ, we have now to consider, who it was that forged that paragraph. The question is settled that it is a forgery, and that the forger of it was a professed Christian. This is declared by Dr. Lardner, in extracts in my two preceding Letters, and fully established by indisputable rea
Who then this professed Christian ? Was it Eusebius the Ecclesiastical Historian; or was it some one else? No man
can doubt, but that it was some one of high station in the Church. ference to this question, Dr. Lardner says, in his work before referred to, vol. 1. page
“ Who was the author of this interpolation, cannot be said. Tanaquil Faber suspected Eusebius. I do not charge it upon him. But I think it was first made about his time.”
Eusebius then, according to the suspicion of Tanaquil Faber, was the forger of this paragraph. Tanaquil Faber was a learned French critic, and a Christian, so that he would not suspect Eusebius, without good reasons for doing so. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, Book 2, ch. XII. after quoting the paragraph, says :
“ Now when as this Historiographer, (meaning Josephus] by blood an Hebrew born, hath of old delivered in writing these and the like things concerning John Baptist, and our Saviour Christ, what refuge or shift, now have they, but that they be condemned for impudent persons, which of their own brain, have fained commentaries, contrary to these allegations."
Eusebius condemns as impudent persons, all who may venture to dispute the divinity of Jesus Christ, because Josephus has given his testimony in favour of that divinity. Now suppose Eusebius was the forger of that testimony, suppose he forged this paragraph, and stuck it into the works of Josephus, as Tanaquil Faber suspected, what must be the amount of his impudence to talk in this manner? Forging a paragraph in favour of the Christian religion, inserting that paragraph into the works of Josephus, and then condemning as impudent persons, all who may happen to say something not in accordance with that paragraph, and that too, because it would be contrary to the testimony of Josephus ! Is this not a fine moral portrait of your Ecclesiastical Historian? And, my Lord, whether Eusebius forged this
paragraph or not, his crime, or guilt is equally the same; for he must have known that it was a forgery. If he did not know, how did Dr. Lardner know, after a lapse of nearly fifteen hundred years ? Eusebius lived in the
time of the forgery, and he is the first writer who refers to such a passage in the works of Josephus, and is it likely that he would know less of that passage, than Dr. Lardner, who lived about fifteen hundred years after ? Eusebius was a bishop of the Christian Church, at the time this paragraph was first used as a “record very
favourable to the Christian religion,” and it is not to be supposed that he knew less of that “record,” than men who lived fifteen hundred years after him. Eusebius, therefore, if he did not forge this paragraph himself, must have known that it was a forgery. His guilt, therefore, is the same.
And yet Eusebius is the only Historian you have, who gives an account of the origin of the Christian religion, and it is to him that you are indebted for nearly all you know of that religion, for the first three hundred years of its existence! Is such a man worthy of credit ? Is he fit to be believed, when he tells us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the Bible a book of divine revelation ? How do we know but that this is a lie, as well as that about the testimony of Josephus ? If he lies in one instance, how do we know but what he lies in another, or how do we know when he does not lie? And only consider the impudence of this man, condemning as impudent persons, those who should say any thing contrary to the testimony of Josephus, while that testimony was as rank a forgery as ever proceeded from the mind of an impostor, and while he knew it to be a forgery, if he himself was not the forger of it! Is this your
famous Ecclesiastical Historian ? Du Pin says, in his History of Ecclesiastical Writers, vol. 11. pages 3 and 4:
“In short, without the history of Eusebius, we should scarce have any knowledge, not only of the history of the first ages of the Church, but even of the authors that wrote at that time, and their works, since no other writer but he, has given an account of those things.”
And yet Eusebius was guilty of fraud and imposture! Without his history, we should scarce have any knowledge of the history of the first ages of the Church, for no other writer has given an account of these things, and yet Eusebius was nothing short of an impostor! He imposed upon the people forgeries, for genuine writings, and obtained converts to the Christian religion, in virtue of those forgeries. How are we to have confidence in such a man? How can we believe in his narrations ? The divine character of the Bible, and the Christian religion, rests chiefly upon the authority of Eusebius, yet Eusebius was a dishonest man, and a cheat.
And again Du Pin
in the same work, vol. II. page 9: “ Eusebius was one of the most learned men of all antiquity, as both his friends and enemies do equally acknowledge; of whom it may be said without fear of mistaking, that there was no man of so great reading and learning amongst all our Greek authors.”
If Eusebius was a man of such learning, and great reading, it only confirms the fact more, that he must have been conscious of the spurious character of the above mentioned paragraph, which he imposed upon the people, as the genuine sentiment of Josephus. He must have been acquainted with the writings of the Christian Apologists, and other distinguished writers in favour of Christianity, who preceded him, and the fact of none of these referring to such a passage, in their several writings, proves that that passage was not in the works of Josephus in their time. And he must have been acquainted also, with the several other reasons, such as a want of connection in the passages before and after this paragraph, and all the other considerations, which induced Dr. Lardner and others to declare, that the paragraph was a forgery. Had Eusebius been a moderately learned man, we might have excused him on the ground that he might have been imposed upon, or that he was mistaken, and his moral character would have remained