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Mr. BRADLAUGH: Mr. Roberts says he never meant it to be understood that we were to be bound, in this debate, by the ordinary English version. But I will remind him that, in my first speech, I said I should assume, for the purposes of this debate, that he meant the ordinary authorised English version, beginning with the Book of Genesis and ending with the Book of Revelation; and supposing I might happen to be wrong, I asked him if that was his meaning, and he said "Yes". It was the very first question I asked him: "Do you mean by 'the Scriptures' or by 'these Scriptures' the authorised English version of the Bible, commencing with Genesis and ending with Revelation?" Mr. Roberts' answer was "Yes". If that is not explicit language, language can have no meaning. If Mr. Roberts does not remember it, he ought never to enter into another debate. Then what does he say? He says that which positively I confess I cannot understand: that some version other than the English would distinguish a Sabbath preceding the Passover from the ordinary Jewish Sabbath, and that in fact there were two Sabbaths. Does he suppose I will admit that? He does not suppose anything of the kind. He says there is a Greek version. I know that. I have thirty of them at home; and I know that none of them I have yet seen speak of a second Sabbath or two Sabbaths. All the books I have seen speak of "the first day of the week". Then Mr. Roberts spoke about Mr. Bradlaugh's "class". I might mention Sir Charles Lyall as one of my class, Baron Bunsen, and there are a few more of my class; and as we have, amongst others, the evidence of these men, it is rather unfair to talk of Mr. Bradlaugh's class, because Mr. Roberts knows nothing about them. But with respect to the remains I spoke of, Mr. Roberts suggests that they might have belonged to a pre-Adamite period. In that case, the Bible is disproved; for it says Adam was the first man. We are told that the first man Adam was made a living soul. According to Mr. Roberts the first man was not the first man; and if there was a pre-Adamite man there is no truth that Jesus Christ came into the world to save the descendants of the first man. Then take the case of the prophecy of Daniel, the date of which Mr. Roberts gives as 553 B.C., and which he says relates to something which happened after that. He has proved nothing about the date of 553 B.C., although challenged over and over again to produce proofs of the dates he specifies. How dare he pretend that 553 B.C. is an accurate date? He might just as well have said twenty or a million, or any other date, but simply it suited his own purpose. It is about as funny a way of conducting a debate as anyone could adopt. Oh, Mr. Roberts says, but of course, Mr. Bradlaugh will say that this is a forgery. This word forgery is a convenient word, when wanting to describe in the future time what has already taken place. I might, in describing what would be the result of another quarrel, give a warning as to how the quarrel would begin. Unless you can tell me when Daniel was written you have no right to claim it as a prophecy. Mr. Roberts cannot even show that it was not written after the event, and it is a deliberate impertinence to assume that upon which the whole argument turns. If you please, let me draw your attention to the fact that Mr. Roberts changes the whole course of things, and brings about a revolution of religious sentiment. He says that "to the pure all things are pure", and thereby justifies those people who are prosecuted for selling things which we say are not pure. There is no justification for a man taking a coarse and filthy way of stating a thing, when we might have taken a pure way of stating it.

We have now got near the end of this debate. One point upon which our friend has complained is that he has not had time to elaborate his arguments, but this might have been obviated if he had not read so many texts. He says that I have dealt with these things in a way that he won't criticise as unfair. In this case I did not come here--I never have come to any place--to plead for a foregone conclusion, regardless of what could be said on the other side. I have always been ready to listen to the arguments of an adversary. You will admit that I have met every point with distinctness and as directly as possible. If Mr. Roberts has not heard my explanation it is not my fault. To prove that this book is a revelation from God it seems to me absurd that a debate should be conducted solely in reference to its internal contents, without respect to its history outside. To answer me with a pile of texts is no answer at all. It is an admission that the spokesman has undertaken a task which he ought not to have undertaken at all. The jury to whom he has submitted the case during the six nights of the debate, have no evidence outside the book for any of the books of the Bible. For the Old Testament none exist, so far as Mr. Roberts knows; for the New Testament, a number of names have been given to you, Mr. Roberts carefully refraining, until pressed by me, from giving those names. When still further pressed on the subject, he had nothing practically to produce beyond the book. He certainly did quote Athenagoras with a pretence upon which I do not congratulate him. He fixed the date of Athenagoras at A.D. 180, but his witness never mentions one of the gospels or the names of their writers. This cannot be said to have sprung, as a mine, upon Mr. Roberts, because he had been challenged by me to produce his witnesses. He did so, but then discovered that they were "trash". When we come to the book itself, we have the statement from Mr. Roberts that the people of the world, with the exception of a few descendants of Abraham, were as animals, and that God had, no doubt, in mercy, justice, and love transferred them to the Jews for ever as bondsmen, and as the sport of their cruelty, lust, and pride--a position so terrible as to make any man shudder. I shall only have one further opportunity of addressing you. I am obliged to you for having treated me as you have. I beg, during the few minutes I have to speak, at any rate, to say that we have no other object than the common object of truth. Don't look upon our class as if it was few or weak. It is a growing class. It is a class increasing in influence with respect to the education of the day. It consists of those who have been struggling for the education of the country during the last fifty years. It is a class worthy of a better advocate than he who stands before you at the present time.

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The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer
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