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thereby lost to the human race, He would see the uselessness of writing them, or causing them to be written; and this we must consider, in deciding the question be
The next passage which I shall quote, is from Simon's « CRITICAL HISTORY OF THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT", and a passage of the greatest importance. It is as follows:
“We have no solid proof in antiquity to make it appear to us, that the names that are set at the head of every Gospel, were thereunto prefixed by those who are the authors of them: St. Chrysostom assures us expressly of the contrary in one of his Homilies : Moses (saith this learned bishop) hath not put his
to the five books of the law that he hath wrote: those also that have collected the acts after him, have not set their names at the beginning of their Histories. The same may be said of the Evangelists, (what, my Lord ?) Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As for Paul, he hath always set his name at the beginning of his Epistles, except that which he directed to the Hebrews: and the reason that St. Chrysostom produceth is, because the former wrote for the use of persons that were present; whereas St. Paul wrote letters to persons that were at a distance."
To the same effect is a passage from Du Pin's work, as follows:
“St. Chrysostom observes, in his first Homily on the Epistle to the Romans, That Moses did not put his name to the five books that he wrote, no more than those did that wrote the history after him: That St. Matthew, St. John, St. Mark, and St. Luke had not put their names to the beginning of their gospels, but that St. Paul had put his at the head of all his Epistles, except that which was wrote to the Hebrews, where he designedly left out his name, because he was odious to them."
These, my Lord, are of service in deciding the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? Here we are told, by three high authorities of the Church, that the whole of the books, composing the Old and New Testament, with the exception of thirteen Epistles of Paul, had not the names prefixed to them, by those who wrote them; and that of course they have been prefixed by some body else. It follows therefore, that it is upon human authority alone that we have to depend, as to whether these books were written by the persons whose names they bear, In order then to understand the nature and quality of human authority, and especially of that human authority upon which we have here to depend, it will be necessary that I quote a passage from the work of Simon, which is as follows:
“ We ought not too easily to give credit to the first originals of Churches: every one strives to advance their antiquity as much as is possible, and they make no scruple on such occasions, TO COUNTERFIET ACTS WHEN THEY HAVE NONE THAT ARE TRUE.”
This, my Lord, is the nature of human authority. and this is the human authority upon which we have to depend, (as I shall presently show) when we believe that the books of the Bible were written by the persons whose names they bear.
The CHURCH, says this Christian author, makes no scruple to forge when it sees a necessity. These, my Lord, are of service in deciding the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? And Du Pin says,
“It is by the testimony of the Church, that we know the apostles to be the authors of the books which bear their name.
It is the Church, then, upon which we have to depend for this information; and the Church, according to Simon, makes no scruple to counterfiet acts when they have none that are true. This, my Lord, is important. And again Du Pin says,
“ There are some books whose authors are not altogether certainly known: As for instance, in the New Testament, the Episle to the Hebrews, and the Revelations, and in the Old, most of the books, of whose true authors we are not certainly assured.
Here we are told, by a Dr. of Divinity, and a Professor of Philosophy, and one of the highest authorities of the Christian Church, that the authors of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Revelations, are not possitively known; and the same with most of the books of the Old Testament. Yet, my Lord, both Old and New Testament are the word of God. They are divine revelation, although they do not know who wrote them. They were written by men divinely inspired, although they do not know who these men were, when they lived, or any thing about them. Nothing could be of more service in settling the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? And if this be calculated to satisfy the mind's of men, that it is the word of God, let them be satisfied. Again Du Pin says,
• In the most ancient times, there was not so much as any distinction of phrases and words in the Bible, as appears by the old inscriptions, and the most ancient manuscripts.
Whether they could clearly understand the Bible, without this distinction, I mean not to declare. Let every man judge. I am, my Lord, respectfully,
C. J. HASLAM. P.S. You will please to expect one of these Letters every fortnight, until further notice. Salford, April 29th, 1840.
C. J. HASLAM, PRINTER, SALFORD.
TO THE BISHOP OF EXETER:
MATERIALS FOR DECIDING THE QUESTION,
WHETHER OR NOT
THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD
BY C. J. HASLAM.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR,
79 ST. STEPHEN-STREET, SALFORD.
Price one Penny.
I do not mean to declare, in these Letters, that the Bible is not the word of God. To do so would be blasphemy; and for this crime Mr. Cleave is now suffering four months imprisonment in London. I mean only to furnish
fellow-creatures with materials wherewith they may judge, whether the Bible is the word of God or not. This country has now arrived at such a state of intellectual advancement, that people dare not speak what they think. They are obliged to smother their real sentiments, and, in many instances, declare sentiments which they do not hold. Thus are people forced to be hypocrites. They are impelled to this, first, in consequence of persecution from friends and neighbours, or those on whom they depend for a livelihood, and second, from the Government. I now dare not declare, that the Bible is not the word of God, although I may entertain the sentiment as sincerely as sentiment was ever entertained. If I did so, nobody would sell my publication, because it would be criminal.' Thus is it a crime to be sincere, and a virtue to be insincere: for if I were to declare that the Bible was the word of God, I might pass for a pious and virtuous Christian. Talk about stimulants to morality! Is this one of your
stimulants? Is that a stimulant to morality which induces people to become hypocrites ? And talk about the dangerous tendency of my publications! until you can show that they tend to make people into hypocrites, and to deprive them of the exercise of those faculties which God has given them to distinguish them from the brute creation, as you are doing, and as the Government of this Country are now doing, you ought to be silent upon such a subject. How many thousands are there in this country, who are obliged to assume the character of hypocrite on this particular point; who declare their sincerity in sentiments which they repudiate; and are obliged to put on this immoral and degrading mask, merely for the sake of a livelihood?
And you, my Lord, and the Government of this Country, are mainly instrumental in forcing human beings into this immoral and degrading condition. Yet you talk about the immoral tendency of my publications.
Mr. Justice Coltman, in passing sentence on Mr. Cleave, was pleased to observe, that “the publication in question (meaning my Letters to the Clergy) was one of such a dangerous nature, that a stop must be put to it. If Mr. Justice Coltman meant, that it was dangerous to priests and their craft, I could
agree with the remark; but as to it being dangerous in relation to morality, I sincerely believe the very opposite. LETTERS TO THE CLERGY were written with as sincere a sentiment to undeceive people, and to show the impo