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Charles Bradlaugh Roberts Bradlaugh Night1 1bradlaugh3

Mr. BRADLAUGH: Your statement was that the Septuagint was accepted and recognised by all educated men; you made no exception whatever. You have curiously forgotten that I said that you classed together Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, and Irenaeus, as "of those days"; and you said you gave the date of Tertullian. I did not say a word about Tertullian, and I say that you did not give the dates of the others; and it would be a great deal better if you would attend to exactly what I say, and not answer what I do not say. It is perfectly true that in six minutes you could not answer all the contradictions, but you might have answered one. Instead of that you have referred to an American society that has issued 144 contradictions; and you have said that I cannot prove the existence of Shakespeare. Supposing I cannot, that would not show that the Bible is a divine revelation. On matters of ordinary occurrence, I accept the best experience of the best men as I find it fairly recorded, and upon that canon of evidence I can prove all reasonable historic events. It is only when you give me an extraordinary occurrence–of men who have no fathers; who are in the grave when they are out of it; and who are seen by one woman, who is two women, who are more than three women; it is then that the experience does not apply; and, surely, in six minutes you might have taken one illustration. If you would devote yourself to doing that, then we should have this matter cleared up very much. Now, I submit that, though we have got nearly to the end of our first night’s debate, there has not been an attempt to state the attributes of Deity on the other side. There is an admission now that there is the variation I said in the chronology between the Septuagint and the Hebrew, which in one case is 900 years, and in the other, 1,200 years; and those are called trifling differences; but are we to be damned or saved by them? And you say there have been tamperings. Is it by God’s consent or against it? And then you say, Oh! you quote the Septuagint to prove that the Hebrew books existed in the time of Ptolemy; but you have got to prove that your Septuagint translation was made in the time of Ptolemy. A statement of Josephus will not prove it, because you have got to go back to something behind it; and I will, to-morrow, give you the whole of the evidence for and against the Septuagint. I will quote every author about it. You ought to do it; but if you will not, I must do the work that you ought to do, unless you abandon the evidence. Now, I ask, that through this debate, when an author is quoted, that we shall have the author and his express words, and the date when he is supposed to have written, and not general statements that all educated men have accepted it. I submit that, up to the present moment, not one atom of evidence has been advanced in support of the proposition that Mr. Roberts has undertaken to prove.

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