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Joseph Wheless Forgery In Christianity Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Joseph Wheless

36 page printout, pages 112 to 147 of 322


"The greater Saint, the greater Liar." Diegesis.
"The principal historians of the patristic period cannot
always be completely trusted." (CE. vi, 14.)

EMBRACED WITIFIN CE.'s confession of patristic
untrustworthines and perversion of truth is every "Father" and
Founder of the Church of Christ of the first three centuries of the
fabrication of the new Faith, -- as by their own words will now be
demonstrated. Yet upon these self-same not-to-be-trusted fabulists
and forgers do the truth and validity of the Christ and the
Christian religion solely and altogether depend. They dertroy it.

The Fathers of our country, framers of our Constitution and
form of government, were men of personal honor and of public
probity; the most of them were Infidels. The "Fathers" and founders
of the Christian religion and Church of Christ were, all of them,
ex-Pagan charlatans -- "we who formerly used magical arts," as
Father Justin Martyr admits (I Apology, xiv), who took up the new
Christian superstition and continued to ply the same old magical
arts under a new veneer, upon the ignorant and superstitious pagans
and near-pagans, as the ensuing pages will demonstrate. The,
Fathtrs will show themselves to be wholly destitute of common sense
of opinion and of common honesty of statement, credulous and
mendacious to the n-th degree.

It is of capital importance to an intelligent and adequate
understanding of the Christian religion, of which these Fathers
were the originators and propagandists, to see their work in the
making, and to know the mental and moral limitations and
obliquities of these fatuous, fabling, forging Fathers of the
Church. We shall see them to be grotesquely credulous of every
fable, many of which themselves fabricated: reckless of truth to
the highest degree; fluent and unscrupulous Liars of the Lord,
whose lies, if thereby the "glory of God" were made the more to
abound, they, like Paul, counted it no sin (Rom. iii, 7), as we
have seen confessed. lake Paul, "being crafty," they made a holy
craft of catching the credulous with guile; and like Paul, they
boasted of it. (2 Cor. xii, 16.)

For the ampler appreciation of the utter incapacity of these
pious ex-Pagan and ex-Magician Fathers to comprehend truth or to
tell it, and of their childish and reckless irresponsibility in
relating as truth what they knew was not true, we need but look
briefly at their records and wonder at their moronic mentality. For
this purpose, and to watch the snow-ball-like roll and growth of
their Fatherly "traditions" and fabrications into forged Church,
Creed, and Dogma, a brief sketch is given, in chronological order
-- a veritable Roll of Dishonor -- of the chiefest of them; citing
Under each name a few -- out of innunierable -- of their
extravagant, childish-minded and tortuous precepts and practices of
Christian propaganda; together with sundry forgeries perpetrated by
them or in their sainted names.

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An admirable norm and test of trustworthiness is stated by
Middleton, one of the keenest critics of the Miracle-mongering of
the Feathers: "The authority of a writer who affirms any
questionable fact, must depend on the character of his veracity and
judgment. In many cases the want of judgment alone has all the same
effect, as the want of veracity, too, towards invalidating the
testimony of a witness; especially in cases of an extraordinary or
miraculous nature, where the weakness of men is more apt to be
imposed upon." (A Free Inquiry, P. 26.) It will give pause to
think, to that yet great and priest-taught clash of Believers who,
like the Fathers themselves, "think the credibility of a witness
sufficient evidence of the certainty of all facts indifferently,
whether natural or supernatural, probable or improbable, and
knowing no difference between faith and facts, take a facility of
believing to be the surest mark of a good Christian." (Ibid,
Preface, v.) Their faith reasons -- if at all -- in the terms of
Father Tertullian: "It is by all means to be believed, because it
is absurd; the fact is certain, because it is impossible." (De
Carne Christi, ch. v, ANF. iii, 525.)

The mental limitations of the Fathers we have seen several
times admitted and apologized for by CE.; further it confesses of
them: "It was natural that in the early days of the Church, the
Fathers, writing with little scientific knowledge, should have a
tendency" to fall into sundry comical and preposterous errors "now
entirely abandoned" (iii, 731). This is but another of its many
luminous confessions of the ignorance and uncritical credulity of
the pious Fathers, extending over fifteen hundred years of Church
history, and even yet!

The childlike mental processes of the Fathers, their all-
accepting credulity, and the utter worthlessness of their opionns
and "traditions" as to things divine and human, is oft-admitted and
will be made manifest. We shall soon see that the Four Gospels
which Christans, with childlike faith accept as the genuine
handiwork of the apostles and immediate companions of Christ, are
anonymous forgeries of a century and more after their time, and
that the other New Testament booklets, Acts and Epistles of the
alleged apostles, are so many other forgeries made long after their

The forged New Testament booklets and the foolish writings of
the Fathers, are the sole "evidence" we have for the alleged facts
and doctrines of our most holy Faith, as is admited by (CE.: "Our
documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity
and its earliest development, are chiefly the New Testament
Scriptures and various sub-Apostolic writings, the authenticity of
which we must to a great extent take for granted here. (CE, iii,
712.) The Christian religion and the Church thus confessedly exist
upon data and documents the authenticity and verity of which "must
be taken for granted," -- but which are well known, and are here
easily shown, to be false and fabricated, with deceptive intent.

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This word "tradition," of Fathers and Chirch, we shall
frequently meet, such "tradition" being urged as evidence of the
reality and verity of these things with easy gesture "taken for
granted" by the beneficiaries of the System based upon them. What,
then, is "tradition"? Of what value is "tradition," as evidence of
things naturally incredible and unverifiable, -- of alleged events
and miraculous happenings over a century before the "traditions" --
invariably contradictory -- which first allege them as facts for
Faith? For instance: "The famous texts of Irenaeus on Apostolic
Succession are a testimony to the faith [i.e. "traditions"] of the
second century, rather than an example of historical narrative."
(CE. vii, 341.)

Tradition is popular stories and hand-me-down reports or
gossip current in the community or passing current among any
particular class of people; it is of the same stuff as legend is
made of. One pious Father or propagator of the Faith would aver
some wonder-tale which would attract credulous interest; the next,
in repeating it, invariably embroiders it with new fancies, and so
it grows like a snowball of fables. We have seen the example of the
garnishments of the Fathers to the forged Aristeas-tale regarding
the Septuagint; we shall see the Fatherly "traditions" suddenly
crop up a century or two after some alleged event, embroider and
expand -- and contradict themselves from Father to Father in the
telling, with respect to every single instance: Gospel-tales,
forged "apocrypha" narratives, false foundations of churches,
bishops, popes, apostolic successions. Thus the Fathers inflated
their originally fictitious "traditions" of this and that, and on
such bases the New Testament and the Church of Christ arose. Of
course, the credibility of any "tradition" or alleged fact depends
wholly on the credit of the first narrator of it, to all later
repeaters it is purely hearsay, and gains no further credit from
the number of those repeating the original tale. If a thing is a
lie when first told, repetaion ad infinitum cannot make it into a

In a note to one instance of patristic tradition recorded in
the bulky collection, the editors of the ANF., to which we are
indebted for most of what follows regarding these fatuous Fathers,
make fhis sententious comment: "Hearsay at second-hand, and handed
about among many, amounts to nothing as evidence." And this is the
comment of Father Bishop Eusebius, the first Church historian, on
the "traditions" of good Father Bishop Papias, firist of the sub-
Apostolic Fathers: "These sayings [of Jesus Christ and apostles]
consisted of a number of strange parables, and doctrines of our
Saviour, which the authority of so venerable a person, who had
lived with the apostles, imposed on the Church as genuine." (Mist.
Eccles. Bk. III, ch. 39.) But this is simply another fictitious
"tradition," that Papias "lived with the apostles," for he did not,
as his own words and CE. will disclose when we come to sketch that
pious fabulist of a Father. Such are patristic and ecclesiastical
"traditions," of which sufficient examples are yet to be noticed,

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There were Twelve Tribes of Israel: and Moses, coming down
from Sinai, appointed twelve young men "according to the twelve
tribes of Israel" to sacrifice at the twelve phallic pillars which
he get up to celebrate the giving of the Law. (Ex. xxiv, 4-5.) So
"tradition" has it that Jesus appointed Twelve Apostles: "The
number twelve was symbolical, corresponding to the twelve tribes of
Israel" (EB. i, 264); but the whole story is fictitious, says EB.
(iii, 2987), with the soundest Scriptural basis for its conclusion.
As this -- and many other fictional features of the Christ-
biographies -- are fully examined in my Is It God's Word? (Chaps.
XIII-XIV), I must refer to it for the confused "traditions" of the
Twelve, for the purpose of showing their wholly fictitious

After the same "symbolical" fashion the legendary "Seventy
Elders of Israel," commanded by Yahveh and chosen by Moses (Num.
xi, 16, 24), had their counterpart in the equally legendary
"Seventy Disciples, whom also the lord appointed" (Luke x, 1), --
and who furnished so many zealous missionaries and early church-
founders, as their "records" pretend, and so many of which are by
CE,. declared to be fraudulent and forged. Bear in mind that the
"Gospel"' records, as we shall see, are anonymous forgeries of a
century and more after the "traditional" events recorded; and the
unreliable nature of "tradition" is further illutitrated.

The probability if not assurance will appear the stronger, as
we proceed with the Fathers and with the "sacred writings," that
the Holy Twelve had no exintence in the flesh, but their "cue"
being taken from the Old Testament legends, they were mere names --
dramatic persons, -- masks of the play, -- of "tradition," such as
Shakespeare and all playwrights and fiction-writers create for the
actors of their plays and works of admitted fiction.

A very curious and challenging admission is made by CE. in
speaking of the noted forgeries, long regarded as inspired, of the
"Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagitc," who "clove unto Paul" after his
Mar's Hill harangue (Acts xvii, 34), and all whose name many
precious forgeries -- "a series of famous writings" (CE. v, 13) --
were forged by pious Christians "at the very earliest in the latter
half of the fifth century," and which were "of highest and
universully acknowledged authority, both in the Western and in the
Eastern Church, lasting until the beginning of the fifteenth
century," followed by a "period of aharp conflict Waged about their
authenticity, begun by Laurentius Valla, and closing only within
recent years." (CE. v, 15.) "Those writings," says CE. -- with more
far-reaching suggestion than intinded "with intent to deceive,
weave into their narrative certain fictitious personages, such as
Peter, James, John, Timothy, Carpus, and others." (CE. vii, 345.)
If these great Apostles and "pillars of the Faith" are "fictitious
personages" in the long-revered but now admitted forgeries of
Pseudo-Dionysius, by what token may they be any the less fictitious
personages in the hundreds of other equally forged Christian
writings Which we shall notice, -- as also in the to-be-
deomonstrated forgeries of Gospel, Acts and Epistles, in which the
identical personages, or dramatis personae, play their imaginary

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and self-contradictory roles, as we shall promptly see? For fifteen
hundred years, and until "only within recent years," were the
Dionysian forguries tenaciously proclaimed as genuine by the Holy-
Ghost-guided Church; may it not have been equally misguided as to
the "suthenticity" of its Gospels and other "sacred writings"? If,
in the venerated "pseudo-Areopagite," the sainted Peter, Paul,
John, et als., are admittedly "fictitious personages," how do they
acquire the flesh and blood of actual persons in Gospels and
Epistles? We shall see.

I. The Apostles

Two of them, the principal, Peter anh John, are described to
be "anthropoi agrammatoi kai idiotai -- unlearned and ignorant men"
(Acts iv, 13); all Twelve were of the same type and well matched.
They were variously picked up from among the humblest and most
superstitious of the Galilee peasants, fishermen and laborers,
"called" personally, we are told by the Son of God, the proclaimed
King-to-be of the Jews, to be his counsellors and associates in the
establishment of his earthly and heavenly Kingdoms -- of Jews. As
for the King-to-be and his prospective Court, a saddening and
repellent portraiture is sketched in the inspired Biographics:
though it is true, "The chronology of the birth of Christ and the
subsequent Bibical events is most uncertain." (CE. vii, 419.) His
parents and family regarded him as insane and sought to resrtrain
him by foree. (Mark iii, 21; cf. John x, 20.) He and his Apostle-
band toured Palestine with a retinue of bare-foot and unwrshed
peasant men and women, shocking polite people by their habits of
not washing even their hands to eat when invited as guests, and by
the violence of their language. These traits ran in his peasant
family and relatives, His cousin, known as John the Baptist, was a
desert dervish, unwashed and unshorn, who wore a leather loin-strap
for clothes and whose regular diet, was wild bumble-bee honey and
raw grasshoppers. His own brother James was an unkempt and filthy
as any Saint in the calendar; of him Bishop Eusebius records:
"James, the brother of the Lord, ... a razor never came upon his
head, he never anointed with oil, and never used a bath"! (HE. II,
23.) With the Master at their hend, the Troupe wandered up and down
the little land, proclaiming the immediate end of the world,
playing havoc with the legions of devils who infested the
peasantry, and preaching Hell and Damnation for all who would not
heed their fanatical preachments.


As for the Twelve, the hope of great reward was the inspiredly
recorded motive of these peanants; who left their petty crafts for
hope of greater gain by following the lowly King-to-be. The zeal
and greed for personal aggrandizement of the Chosen Twelve is
constantly revealed throughout the inspired record. hardly had the
Holy Twelve gotten organized and into action, when the cunning and
crafty Peter, spokesman for the craft, boldly came forward and
advanced the itching palm: "Then answered Peter and said unto him,
Behold we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have
therefore?" (Matt. xix, 27.) And the Master came back splendidly
with the Promise: "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you,
That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son

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of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon
twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. xix,
28). But even these brillant future rewards could not satisfy the
greed of the Holy Ones, and led not to gratitude, but to greater
greed and strife.

The Mother of James and John, probably inspired by them, and
zealous for their greater glory, came secretly with her two sons,
to Jesus, "worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him"
(Matt. xx, 20); and when Jesus asked her what it was, "she saith
unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy
right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom." (v. 21.)
But Mark contradicts the assurance of Matthew that it was Mrs.
Zebedee who came and made the request, and avers that "James and
John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, stying, Maister, we would
that thou shouldst do for us whatsoever we shall desire," and
stated their own modest demands for preferment. (Mark x, 35-37.)
But, in either contradictory event, both agree that "when the ten
heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two
brethren." (Matt. xxix, 24; Mark x, 41.)

Not during the whole one -- or three -- years of association
with their Master, did these holy Apostles abate their greed and
strife. Several times are recorded desputes among them as to "who
should be greatest among them" (Matt. xviii, 1; Mark ix, 33-34;
Luke ix, 46) -- here again the "harmony of the Gospels" assuring
the constant inharmony of the Apostles. And even at the Last
Supper, when Jesus had announced that one of them would that night
betray him to death, "there was also strife among them, which of
them should be accounted the greatest." (Luke xxii, 24.) And great
was the disgust of the Master at his miserable Apostles, and
especially at the craven and crafty Peter, Jesus had spurned him
with blasting scorn, "and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me,
Satan; thou art an offense to me" (Matt. xvi, 23); and again the
Gospels are in harmony (Mt. xvi, 23; Mk. viii, 33). Such are the
Holy Apostles of Jesus Christ, said to be painted by some of
themselves through inspiration. This "Satan" Peter, later
constituted "Saint" Peter, shall again deserve our attention.

II. The Apostolic Fathers

Under this rubric CE. lists, as those who were "converted with
the apostles," and, after them. were the first propagandists of the
Truth, the Catholic Saints Clement, Ignatiut;, Polycarp, Barnabas,
and Hermas; they fill up the first half of the second century of
the era. Tte "traditions" preserved of these saintly Fathers of the
Church are very scanty and dubious; but from what exists they were
all within the apostolic description of Peter and John, "ignorant
and unlearned men," and like Bishop Pipias, as described by Bishop
Eusebius, "men of very small minds, if we may judge from their own
words," of which we shall now read for ourselves. It will be noted
that all these Fathers, like all the sub-apostolic Fathers for the
first two centuries and more, were ex-Pagans, and (with the alleged
exception of "Pope" Clement), were Greeks, of scattered parts of
the Empire, who wrote and taught in Greek, and with the very
questionable exception of Clement, had nothing to do with "the
Church which sojourns at Rome." Each was the Bishop and hend of his

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own local, and independent, Church; and never once does one of them
(except Clement of Rome, in a forged Epistle), speak of or mention
the Church of Rome, or more than barely mention Peter (and only as
one of the Apostles), nor mention or quote a single book of the New
Testament, -- though they are profuse in quoting the Old Testament
books, canonical and apoeryphal, the Pagan gods, and the Sibylline
oracles, as inspired testimonies of Jesus Christ. The significance
of all this will appear.

1. CLEMENT OF ROME (about 30-96 A.D.). He is alleged to be the
first, second, third, or fourth, Bishop, or Pope, of Rome (CE. iv,
13); and to be the author of two Epistles to the Corinthians,
besides other bulky and important forgeries, thus confessed and
catalogued by CE:

"Many writings have been faslely attributed to Pope St.
Clement: (1) The 'Second Clementine Epistle to the Corinthians.'
Many critics have believed them genuine [they having been read in
the Churches]. ... But it is now admitted on all hands that they
cannot be by the same author as the genuine [?] Epistle to the
Corinthians. ... (2) Two Epistles to Virgins.' (3) At the head of
the Pscudo-Isidorian Decretals stand five letters attributed to St.
Clement. (4) Ascribed to Clement are the 'Apostolic Constitutions,'
'Apostolic Canons,' and the "Testament of our lord.' (5) The
'Clementines' or 'Pseudo-Clementines,' including the Recognitions
and Homilies," hereafter to be noticed. (CE. iv, 14-15; cf. 17,

The second of these alleged Epistles of Clement to the
Corinthians is thus admittedly a forgery, together with everything
else in his name but the alleged First Epistle. The case for this
First Epistle is little if any better; but as it is the very flimsy
basis of one of the proudest claims of Holy Church -- though
suppressed as "proof" of another claim which it disproves, -- it
is, as it were, plucked as a brand from the burning of all the
other Clementine forgeries, and placed at the head of all the
writings of the Fathers. Of this I Clement EB. says: "The author is
certainly not Clement of Rome, whatever may be our judgment as to
whether or not Clement was a bishop, a martyr, a disciple of the
apostles. The martyrdom, set forth in untrustworthy Acts, has for
its sole foundation the identification of Clement of Rome with
Flavius Clement the consul, who was executed by cominand of
Domitian," -- A.D. 81-96. (EB. iii, 3486.) This First Epistle is
supposed to have been written about the year 96-98, by Clement,
friend and coworker of Paul, according to the late "tradition"
first set in motion by Dionysius, A.D. 170. But "This Clement,"
says CE., after citing the Fathers, "was probably a Philippian."
(CE. iv, 13.) "Who the Clement was to whom the writings were
asscribed, cannot with absolute certainty be determined." (ANF. i,

It is notable that the pretendedly genuine "First Epistle"
does not contain or mention the name of any one as its author, nor
name Clement; its address is simply: "The Church of God which
sojourns at Rome, to the Church of God sojurning at Corinth." There
is only one MS. of it in existence, a translation into Latin from
the original Greek. This is the celebrated MS. of "Holy Scripture"

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known as Codex A, which was discovered and presented to Charles I
of England by Cyril of Alexandria, in 1628; the Fathers cited both
I and II Clement as Seripture. On this MS., at the end of I
Clement, is written, "The First Epistle of Clement to the
Corinthians": a subscription which proves itself a forgery and that
it was not written by Clement, who could not know that a later
forger would write a "Second Clement," so as to give him occasion
to call his own the First. (ANF. viii, 55-56.)

By whomever this "First Epistle" was written, by Father,
Bishop, or Pope of Rome, his zeal and his intelligence are
demonstrated by his argument, in Chapter xxv, of the truth of the
Resurrection; in proof of which he makes this powerful and faith-
compelling plea: "Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the
resurrection) which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in
Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which
is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives
five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near
that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and
myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it
enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is
produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird,
brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it
takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and
bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the
City called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of
all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done
this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect
the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly
as the 500th year was completed." (ANF. i. p. 12. Note: "This fable
respecting the phoenix is mentioned by Herodotus (ii, 73) and by
Pliny (Nat. X, 2), and is used as above by Tertullian (De Resurr.,
see. 13), and by others of the Fathers." CF,. iv, 15.)

The occasion for the pretended writing of this Epistle, and
the very high significance of it, will be noticed when we treat of
the origin of the Church which sojourns at Roine.

2. IGNATIUS: Saint, Bishop of Antioch (born in Syria, c. 50 --
died rather latitudinously "between 98 and 117"). "More than one of
the early ecclesiastical writers has given credence, though
apparently without good reason, to the legend that Ignatius was the
child whom the Saviour took up in his armos, as described in Mark,
ix, 35." (CE. vii, 644.) "If we include St. Peter, Ignatius was the
third Bishop of Antioch," (CE, vii, 644), -- thus casting doubt on
another and a most monumental but confused Church "tradition." He
was the subject of very extensive forgeries; fifteen Epistles bear
the name of Ignatius, including one to the Virgin Mary, and her
reply; two to the apostle John, others to the Philippians,
Tarsians, Antiocheans, Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans,
Philadelphians, Smyrneans, and to Polycarp, besides a forged
Martyrium; the clerical forgers were very active with the name of
Saint Ignatius. Of these, eight Epistles and the Martyrium are
confessedly forgeries; "they are by common consent set aside as
forgeries, which were at various dates and to serve special
purposes, put forth under the name of the celebrated Bil;hop of
Antioch" (ANF. i, 46; CE. vii, 645); though, says CE., "if the

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Martyrum is genuine, this work has been greatly interpolated." As
to the seven supposed by some to be genuine, "even the genuine
epistles were greatly interpolated to lend weight to the personal
views of its author. For this reason they are incapable of bearing
witness to the original form" (CE. vii, 645); and even the
authenticity of the "genuine seven" was warmly disputed for several
centuries. The dubious best that CE. can say is: "Perhaps the best
evidence for their authenticity is to be found in the letter of
Polycarp to the Philippians, which mentions each of them by name
... UNLESS, indeed, that of Polycarp itself be regarded as
interpolated or FORGED." (Ib. p. 646.)

As good proofs as may be that these "seven genuine" are late
forgeries, are: of each one of them, as printed in the ANF., there
are "two recensions, a shorter and a longer," printed in parallel
columno, thus demonstrating that the longer at least is "greatly
interpolated"; the most significant being a refercnce to Peter and
Paul, constituting the "interpolated" part of Chap. vii of the
Epistle to the Romans, hereafter noticed. That as a whole they are
late forgeries, is further proved by the fact, stated by Cardinal
Newman, that "the whole system of Catholic doctrine may be
discovered, at least in outline, not to say in parts filled up, in
the course of his seven Epistles" (CE, vii, 646); this including
the impossibilities -- for that epoch -- of the claborated
hierarchy of the Imperial Chureh as having been instituted by the
humble Nazarene, -- who was to "come again" and put an end to all
earthly things within the generation; the infallibility of the
Church, the supernatural virtue of virginity, and the primacy of
the See of Rome, -- at the supposed time of Ignatius, a little
horde of nondescripts burrowing in the Catacombs of imperial Rome!
Oh, Church of God: never a scrap of paper even touched by you but
was a loathsome forgery to the glory of your fictitious God and
Christ! So as Father Saint Ignatius did not write anything
authentic, he escapes the self-condemnation of the other Apostolic
Fathers. May his martyred remains rest in peace.

3. POLYCARP: (69 -- 155). Saint, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr.
Only one Epistle, addressed to the Philippians, remains of
Polycarp, and of it CE. discusses the "serious qucstion" of its
genuineness, which depends upon that of the Ignatian Epistles, and
vice versa, above discussed; it says: "If the former were
forgeries, the latter, which supports -- it might almost be said
presupposes -- them, must be a forgery from the same hand." (CE.
xii, 219.) Poor Church of God, cannot you produce something of your
Saints that isn't a forgery?

But if Saint Polycarp did not write anything genuine, his
Church of Smyrna did itself proud in doing honor to his pretended
Martyrtioin, in A.D. 154-5, or 165-6 (lb.) -- so exact is Church
"tradition." In one of the earliest Encyclicals -- (not issued by
a Pope) -- the wondrous tale is told. It it; addressed: "The "The
Church of God which sojourns at Smyrna, to the Church of God
sojourning in Philomelium, and to all the congregations of the holy
and Catholic -- [first use of term] -- Church in every place"; and
proceeds in glowing words to recount the virtues, capture, trial
and condemnation to death by fire, of the holy St. Polycarp. Just
before his capture, polycarp dreamed that his pillow was afire; he

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exclaimed to those around, "prophetically, 'I am to be burned
alive.'" The forged and fabling Epistle proceeds: "Now, as Polycerp
was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from
heaven, saying, 'Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp.' No
one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who
were present heard the voice" (Ch. ix). Then the details of his
trial before the magistrates, and the verbatim report of his prayer
when led to his fate (xiv). Then (Chap. xv):

"When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his
prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the
fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom
it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have
been preserved that we might report to others what then took
place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch.,
like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed
as by a circle of fire the body of the martyr. And he appeared
within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is
baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnsce. Moreover,
we prececived such a sweet odor (coming from the pile), as if
frankincene or some such precious spices had been smoking
there. (Ch. xvi.) At length, when those wicked men perceived
that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they
commanded an executioner to go near and pierce him through
with a dagger. And on his doing this, there came forth a dove,
and a great quantity of blood, so that the fire was
extinguished"! (Letter of the Church at Smyrna, ANF. i. 39-44;
CE. xii, 221.)

Even this holy Encyclical, at least as to its appended date,
is not without suspicion; for, "The possibility remains that the
subscription was tampered with by a later hand. But 155 must be
approximately correct." (CE. xii, 221.) Oh, for something saintly
above suspicion!

4. BARNABAS: (no dates given): Saint, a Jew; styled an
Apostle, and variously a Bishop, and wholly "traditional." "Though
nothing is recorded of Barnabas for some years, he evidently
acquired a high position in the Church"; for "a rather late
tradition recorded by Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius -- [over
200 years later] -- says he was one of the Seventy Disciples; but
Acts (iv, 36-37)" indicates the contrary. "Various traditions
represent him as the first Bishop of Milan, as preaching at
Alexandria and at Rome, whose fourth Bishop, St. Clement, he is
said to have converted, and as having suffered martyrdom in Cyprus.
The traditions are all late and untrustworthy. He is credited by
Tertullian (probably falsely) with the authorship of the Epistle to
the Hebrews, and the so-called Epistle attributed to him." (CE. ii,
300, 301.) Saint Barnabas, or his clerical counterfeiter, had some
queer notions of natural history. Expounding the reasons why Moses
banned certain animals as "unclean" and unfit for "Kosher" food,
the Saintly writer says: that Moses banned the hare, "Because the
hare multiplies, year by year, the places of its conception; for as
many years as it lives, so many it has"; and the hyena, "Wherefore?
Because that animal annually changes its sex, and is at one time
male, and at another female"; and the weasel, "For this animal
conceives by the mouth." (Epist. Barnabas, Ch. x,; ANF. i, 143.)

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Perhaps from this, other holy Fathers derived the analogous idea,
to save the rather imperiled virginity of "the proliferous but ever
Virgin mother of God," Mary, that she "per aurem concepit --
conceived through her ear" -- as sung in the sacred Hymn of the

"Gaude Virgo, mater Christi,
Quae per aurem concepisti,
Gabriels nuntio."
(Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, 1, p. 212.)

Thus we have, in CE. (supra) several Fathers imputed as liars,
and a suspicion suggested as to Paul's inspired Epistle to the
Hebrews (which is another forgery), and the admission of a forged
Epistle of Saint Barnabas. Poor Church of Christ!

5. HERMAS: Saint, Martyr, seems to have missed being Bishop,
"first or second century," -- though the Church Saint record is so
confused that I cannot vouch whether this one is the reputed author
of the forged Epistle of Barnabas. But "in the lists of the Seventy
Apostles by the Pseudo-Doretheus and the Pseudo-Hippolytus [two
more forgeries], Hermas figures as Bishop of Philippi. No one any
longer supposes that he was the author of the Shepherd of Hermas,
the date of which is about 40 A.D., though from Origen onwards
Church-writers have expressed this view, and accordingly have given
that allegorical work a place among the writings of the apostolic
Fathers." (EB. ii, 2021; cf. CE. vii, 268.) The latter says that
this "work had great authority in ancient times and was ranked with
Holy Scripture" and included as such in the MSS. of Holy Writ; but
it is called "apocryphal and false," -- like everything else the
Holy Church has ever had for "Scripture" or for self-
aggrandizement. The pious author quotes the quaint forged Eldad and
Medad as Scripture, and the Pagan Sibyls as inspired Oracles of

III. The Sub-Apostolic Fathers

6. PAPIAS: (about 70-155 A.D.); Bishop of Hieropolis, in
Phrygia, of whose "life nothing is known" (CE. xi, 459); who, after
the Apostles and contemporary with the early Presbyters, was the
first of the sub-Apostolic Fathers. He was an ex-Pagan Greek, who
flourished as a Christian Father and Bishop during the first half
of the second Christian century; the dates of his birth and death
are unknown. He is said to have written five Books entitled
"Expositions of the Oracles of the Lord" -- that is, of the Old
Testament "prophecies"; these are now lost, "except a few precious
fragments" (CE. vi, 5), whether fortunately or otherwise may be
judged from the scanty "precious fragments" preserved in quotations
by some of the other Fathers. According to Bishop Eusebius (HE.
iii, 39), quoted by CE. (xi, 549), "Papias was a man of very small
mind, if we may judge by his own words"; -- though again he calls
him "a man well skilled in all manner of learning, and well
acquainted with the [O.T.] Scriptures." (HE. iv, 36,) As examples,
Eusebius cites "a wild and extraordinary legend about Judas
Iscariot attributed to Papias," wherein he says of Judas; "his body
having swollen to such extent that he could not pass where a
chariot could pass easily, he was crushed by the chariot, so that

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his bowels gushed out." (ANF. i, 153.) This Papian "tradition" of
course impeaches both of the other contradictory Scriptural
traditions of Judas, towit, that "he went and hanged himself"
(Matt. xxvii, 5), and Peter's alleged statement that "falling
headlong, he burst asunder in the midst and all his bowels gushed
out." (Acts i, 15-18.) Bishop Eusebius says that Bishop Papias
states that "those who were raised to life by Christ lived on until
the age of Trajan," -- Roman Emperor from 98-117 A.D. Father Papias
falls into what would by the Orthodox be regarded as "some" error,
in disbelieving and denying the early crucifixion and resurrection
of Jesus Christ -- evidently not then a belief; for he assures us,
on the authority of what "the disciples of the Lord used to say in
the old days," that Jesus Christ lived to be an old man; and so
evidently died in peace in the bosom of his family, as we shall see
explicitly confessed by Bishop Irenaeus. Father Papias relates the
raising to life of the mother of Manaimos; also the drinking of
poison without harm by Justus Barsabas; which fables he supported
by "strange parables of the Savior and teachings of his, and other
mythical matters," says Bishop Eusebius (quoted by CE.), which the
authority of so venerable a person, who had lived with the
Apostles, imposed upon the Church as genuine." (Eusebius, Hist.
Eccles. Bk. III, ch. 39.) But Father Papias -- this is important to
remember -- is either misunderstood or misrepresented, in his claim
to have known the Apostles, or at least the Apostle John; for, says
CE., in harmony with EB. and other authorities: "It is admitted
that he could not have known many Apostles. ... Irenaeus and
Eusebius, who had the works of Papias before them, understood the
presbyters not to be Apostles, but disciples of disciples of the
Lord, or even disciples of disciples of the Apostles." (CE. xi,
458; see Euseb. HE. III, 39.) This fact Papias himself admits, that
he got his "apostolic" lore at second and third hand: "If, then,
any one who had attended on the elders came, I asked minutely after
their sayings, -- what Andrew or Peter said, or what was said by
Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by
any other of the Lord's disciples: which things Aristion and the
presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I imagined that
what was to be got from books was not so profitable to me as what
came from the living and abiding voice." (Papias, Frag. 4; ANF. i,

One of the "wild and mythical matters" which good Father
Papias relates of Jesus Christ, which is a first-rate measure of
the degree of his claimed intimacy with John the Evangelist, and of
the value of his pretended testimony to the "Gospels" of Matthew
and Mark, to be later noticed, is the "curious prophecy of the
miraculous vintage in the Millennium which he attributes to Jesus
Christ," as described and quoted by CE. In this, Papias assures us,
on the authority of his admirer Bishop Irenaeus, that he "had
immediately learned from the Evangelist St. John himself," that:
"the Lord taught and said, That the days shall come in which vines
shall spring up, each having 10,000 branches, and in each branch
shall be 10,000 arms, and on each arm of a branch 10,000 tendrils,
and on each tendril 10,000 bunches, and on each bunch 10,000
grapes, and each grape, on being pressed, shall yield five and
twenty gallons of wine; and when any one of the Saints shall take
hold of one of these bunches, another shall cry out, 'I am a better
bunch, take me, and bless the Lord by me.'" The same infinitely

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pious twaddle of multiplication by 10,000 is continued by Father
Papias with respect to grains of wheat, apples, fruits, flowers and
animals, precisely like the string of jingles in the nursery tale
of The House that Jack Built; even Jesus got tired of such his own
alleged inanities and concluded by saying: "And those things are
believable by all believers; but the traitor Judas, not believing,
asked him, 'But how shall these things that shall propagate thus be
brought to an end by the Lord?' And the Lord answered him and said,
'Those who shall live in those times shall see.'" "This,
indicates," explains Bishop Irenaeus, who devotes a whole chapter
to the repetition and elaboration of this Christ-yarn as "proof" of
the meaning of Jesus, that he would drink of the fruit of the vine
with his disciples in his father's Kingdom, -- "this indicates the
large size and rich quality of the fruits." (CE. xi, 458; Iren.
Adv. Haer. IV, xxxiii, 4; ANF. i, 564.) How far less wild a myth,
one may wonder, is this prolific propagation than that fabled by
this same John the Evangelist in his supposed "Revelation," wherein
he saw in heaven the River of Life proceeding out of the Throne of
God and of the Lamb, and "in the midst of the street of it, and on
either side of the River, was there the Tree of Life, which bare
twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the
leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the nations." (Rev.
xxii, 1, 2.) Verily, "out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou
hast perfected praise"! (Mt. xxi, 16.)

7. JUSTIN MARTYR: (c. 100-165): Saint, Martyr, a foremost
Christian Apologist. A Gentile ex-Pagan of Samaria, turned
Christian, and supposed to have suffered martyrdom in the reign of
Marcus Aurelius, in whose name he forged a very preposterous
rescript. His principal works, in Greek, are his two Apologies, the
first addressed to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, whose reply he also
forged; the second to "the sacred Senate" of Rome; his Dialogue
with Trypho the Jew, and his Hortatory Address to the Greeks. He
describes himself and fellow Christian Fathers as "we who formerly
used magical arts." (I Apol. ch. xiv.) The burden of his arguments
is Pagan "analogies" of Christianity, the contents of many of his
chapters being indicated by their captions, as "The Demons Imitate
Christian Doctrine," and "Heathen Analogies to Christian Doctrine,"
in chapters xiv and xv of his First Apology, and elsewhere. His
whole faith in Christ and in Christianity, he declares, is
confirmed by these heathen precedents and analogies: "Be well
assured, then, Trypho, that I am established in the knowledge of
and faith in the Scriptures by those counterfeits which he who is
called the Devil is said to have performed among the Greeks; just
as some were wrought by the Magi in Egypt, and others by the false
prophets in Elijah's days. For when they tell that Bacchus, son of
Jupiter, was begotten by [Jupiter's) intercourse with Semele, and
that he was the discoverer of the vine; and when they relate, that
being torn in pieces, and having died, he rose again, and ascended
to heaven; and when they introduce wine into his mysteries, do I
not perceive that [the devil] has imitated the prophecy announced
by the patriarch Jacob, and recorded by Moses? ... And when he [the
devil] brings forward AEsculapius as the raiser of the dead and
healer of all diseases, may I not say in this matter likewise he
has imitated the prophecies about Christ? ... And when I hear that
Perseus was begotten of a virgin, I understand that the deceiving
serpent counterfeited this also." (Dial, with Trypho, ch. lxix;
ANF. i, 233.)
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Father Justin accepts the heathen gods as genuine divine
beings; but says they are only wicked demons who lead men astray;
and he says that these "evil demons, effecting apparitions of
themselves, both defiled women and corrupted boys." (I Apol. ch. v,
eh. liv, passim.) The devils "having heard it proclaimed through
the prophets that the Christ was to come, ... they put forward many
to be called the sons of Jupiter, under the impression that they
would be able to produce in men the idea that the things which were
said in regard to Christ were more marvelous tales, like the things
which were said by the poets. The devils, accordingly, when they
heard these prophetic words, said that Bacchus was the son of
Jupiter, and gave out that he was the discoverer of the vine"; and
so through many twaddling chapters, repeating the argument with
respect to Bellerophon and his horse Pegasus, of Perseus, of
Hercules, of AEsculapius, etc., as "analogies" prophetic of
baptism, sacraments, the eucharist, resurrection, etc., etc. The
Pagan myths and miracles are true; therefore like fables of the
Christ are worthy of belief: "And when we say also that the Word,
who is the first-born of God, was produced without sexual union,
and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified. and rose
again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from
what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.
... But as we have said above, wicked devils perpetrated these
things. And if we assert that the Word of God was born in a
peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation, let this, as
said above, be no extraordinary thing to you, who say that Mercury
is the angelic word [Logos] of God. ... And if we even affirm that
He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you accept
of Perseus. And in what we say that he made whole the lame, the
paralytic, and those born blind, we seem to say what is very
similar to the deeds said to have been done by AEsculapius." (I
Apol., chs. xxi, xxii; ANF. i, 170; cf. Add. ad Grace. ch. lxix;
Ib. 233.)

Father Justin also retails to the Emperor the old fable of
Simon Magus and his magical miracles at Rome, and attributes it all
to the work of the devils. For "the evil spirits, not being
satisfied with saying, before Christ's appearance, that those who
were said to be sons of Jupiter were born of him, but after he
appeared, ... and when they learned how He had been foretold by the
prophets, put forward again other men, the Samaritans Simon and
Menander, who did many mighty works by magic; ... and so greatly
astonished the sacred Senate and people of the Romans that he was
considered a god, and honored with a statue; ... which statue was
erected in the river Tiber, between the two bridges, and bore this
inscription in the language of Rome: 'Simoni Deo Sancto -- To Simon
the holy God" (I Apol. chs. xxvi, lvi; ANF. i, 171, 182; cf. Iren.
Adv. Haer. ch. xxiii; ANF. i, 347-8; Euseb. HE. II, 13.) We have
seen this much embroidered "tradition" myth exploded, and the
statue discovered and deciphered, it being a simple private pious
monument to a Pagan god!

Father Justin in many chapters cites and appeals for Christian
proofs to "The Testimony of the Sibyl," of Homer, of Sophocles, of
Pythagoras, of Plato. (Add. ad Grace. chs. 18-20; ANF. i, 279-280.)
Of the Sibyl, so often quoted: "And you may in part learn the right
religion from the ancient Sibyl, who by some kind of potent

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inspiration teaches you, through her oracular predictions, truths
which seem to be much akin to the teachings of the prophets. ... Ye
men of Greece, ... do ye henceforth give heed to the words of the
Sibyl, ... predicting, as she does in a clear and patent manner,
the advent of our Savior Jesus Christ," quoting long verses of
Christian-forged nonsense. (Ib. chs. 37-38; ANF. i, 288-289.)

8. IRENAEUS (120-c. 200) Saint, Martyr, Bishop of Lyons; ex-
Pagan of Smyrna, who emigrated to Gaul and became Bishop;
"information of his life is scarce, and [as usual] in some measure
inexact. ... Nothing is known of the date of his death, which may
have occurred at the end of the second or beginning of the third
century." (CE., vii, 130.) How then is it known that he was a
Martyr? Of him Photius, ablest early critic in the Church, warns
that in some of his works "the purity of truth, with respect to
ecclesiastical traditions, is adulterated by his false and spurious
readings" (Phot.; Bibl. ch. cxx); -- though why this invidious
distinction of Irenaeus among all the clerical corruptors of
"tradition" is not clear. The only surviving work of Irenaeus in
four prolific Books is his notable Adversus Haereses, or, as was
its full title, "A Refutation and Subversion of Knowledge falsely
so Called," -- though he succeeds in falsely subverting no little
real knowledge by his own idle fables. This work is called "one of
the most precious remains of early Christian antiquity." Bishop St.
Irenaeus quotes one apt sentiment from Homer, the precept of which
he seems to approve, but which he and his Church confreres did not
much put into practice:

"Hateful to me that man as Hades' gates,
Who one thing thinks, while he another states."
(Iliad, ix, 312, 313; Adv. Haer. III, xxxiii, 3.)


Most remarkable of the "heresies" attacked and refuted by
Bishop Irenaeus, is one which had just gained currency in written
form in the newly published "Gospels of Jesus Christ," in the form
of the "tradition" that Jesus had been crucified to death early in
the thirties of his life, after a preaching career of only about
one year, according to three of the new Gospels, of about three
years, according to the fourth. This is rankly false and
fictitious, on the "tradition" of the real gospel and of all the
Apostles, avows Bishop Irenaeus, like Bishop Papias earlier in the
century; and he boldly combated it as "heresy." It is not true, he
asserts, that Jesus Christ died so early in life and after so brief
a career. "How is it possible," be demands, "that the Lord preached
for one year only?"; and on the quoted authority of John the
Apostle himself, of "the true Gospel," and of "all the elders," the
saintly Bishop urges the falsity and "heresy" of the Four Gospels
on this crucial point. Textually, and with quite fanciful
reasonments, he says that Jesus did not die so soon:

"For he came to save all through means of Himself -- all,
I say, who through Him are born again to God -- infants, and
children, and boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore
passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, thus
sanctifying infants; a child for children, thus sanctifying

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those who are of this age; a youth for youths, and thus
sanctifying them for the Lord. So likewise He was an old man
for old men, that He might be a perfect Master for all, not
merely as respects the setting forth of the truth, but also as
regards age, sanctifying at the same time the aged also, and
becoming an example to them likewise. Then, at last, He came
on to death itself, that He might be 'the first-born from the

"They, however, that they may establish their false
opinion regarding that which is written, 'to proclaim the
acceptable year of the Lord,' maintain that he preached for
one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month. [In
speaking thus], they are forgetful to their own disadvantage,
destroying His work and robbing Him of that age which is both
more necessary and more honorable than any other; that more
advanced age, I mean, during which also, as a teacher, He
excelled all others. ...

"Now, that the first stage of early life embraces thirty
years, and that this extends onward to the fortieth year,
every one will admit; but from the fortieth and fiftieth year
a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord
possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher,
even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were
conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord,
(affirming) that John conveyed to them that information. AND
Emperor, A.D. 98-117]. Some of them, moreover, saw not only
John, but the other Apostles also, and heard the very same
account from them, and bear testimony as to [the validity of
] the statement. Whom then should we rather believe?" (Iren.
Adv. Haer. Bk. II, ch. xxii, secs. 3, 4, 5; ANF. I, 891-2.)

The Bishop's closing question is pertinent, and we shall come
back to it in due course.

Irenaeus also vouches his belief in magic arts, repeating as
true the fabulous stories of Simon Magus and his statue in the
Tiber and the false recital of the inscription on it; and as a
professional heresy-hunter he falls upon Simon as the Father of
Heresy: "Now this Simon of Samaria, from whom all heresies derive
their origin. ... The successor of this man was Menander, also a
Samaritan by birth; and he, too, was a perfect adept in the
practice of magic." (Adv. Haer. I, xxiii; ANF. i, 348.)

9. TERTULLIAN: Bishop of Carthage, in Africa; ex-Pagan born
about 160, died 220. He was "the first of the Latin theological
writers; ... and the first witness to the existence of a Latin
Bible ... Tertullian's canon of the O.T. included the deutero-
canonical books -- [i.e. the forged apocrypha]. ... He also cites
the Book of Henoch [Enoch] as inspired, ... also recognizes IV
Esdras and the Sibyl." (CE. xiv, 525.)

He was the most violent distribist of them all in promoting
the Christian religion, but renounced Christianity after 200 and
became equally violent in propagating the extravagant heresy of

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Montanus. In this recantation of faith he gave evidence that he was
in error in his former complete acceptance of Christianity as the
last word and irrevocable posture in revealed truth, -- and
revealed his own errant credulity. In attacking the heretics --
before he became one, of the most preposterous sect, -- he thus
formulates the assurance of the finality of Christian Faith: "One
has succeeded in finding definite truth, when he belie lies. ...
After we have believed, search should cease." (Against Heresies,
ch. xi; ANF. iii, 248.) Tertullian is noted for several
declamations regarding the assurance of faith which have become
famous, as they are fatuous: "Credo quia incredibilis est -- I
believe because it is unbelievable"; and, like Paul's "I am become
a fool in glorying," he vaunts thus his own folly: "Other matters
for shame I find none which can prove me to be shameless in a good
sense, and foolish in a happy one, by my own contempt for shame.
The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed [to believe it]
because men must needs be ashamed of it. And the Son of God died;
it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And He was
buried and rose again; the fact is certain because it is
impossible." (De Carne Christi, ch. v; ANF. iii, 525.) Reasoning
thus, -- or quite without reason -- Christians yet believe these
confessed absurdities and impossibilities.

Tertullian denounces the sin of theater-going, and in this
awful illustration he invokes his God to witness of one of his lies
to God's glory: "We have the case of the woman -- the Lord Himself
is witness -- who went to the theater, and came back possessed. In
the outcasting (exorcism), accordingly, when the unclean creature
was upbraided with having dared to attack a believer, he firmly
replied: 'And in truth I did most righteously, for I found her in
my domain.'" (De Spectaculis, ch. xxvi; ANF. iii, 90.) In one of
his sumptuary diatribes on woman's dress -- yet a favorite theme of
the Vicars of God, though nowadays the complaint is of nether
brevity -- he warns and assures: "to us the Lord has, even by
revelations, measured the space for the veil to extend over. For a
certain sister of ours was thus addressed by an angel, beating her
neck," and telling her that she had as well be "bare down to your
loins" as any elsewhere below the neck. (On the Veiling of Virgins,
ch. xvii; ANF. iv, 37.) And he expresses the clerical concept of
women, saying that "females, subjected as they are throughout to
men, bear in their front an honorable mark of their virginity."
(Ib. ch. x, p. 33.) The celibate Fathers all glorified the
suppression of sex: "Marriage replenishes the earth, virginity
fills Paradise," says St. Jerome. (Adv. Jovianum, I, 17; N&PNF. vi,
360.) The Fathers regarded Woman as did St. Chrysostom: "a
necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a
domestic peril, a deadly fascination, and a painted ill!" Good
Father Tertullian, in his Exhortation to Chastity, has chapters
captioned: "Second Marriage a Species of Adultery," and "Marriage
Itself Impugned as akin to Adultery." (On Chastity, chs. ix, x;
ANF. iv, 55.)

Strongly, and upon what seems good physiological reason, he
"denies the virginity of Mary, the mother of Christ, in part,
though he affirms it [oddly] ante partum." (CE. xiv, 523.) Father
Tertullian was strong in advocacy of virginity not alone feminine,
but of the men, exclaiming, "So many men-virgins, so many voluntary

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eunuchs" (Ib.). He commends with marked approval the fanatical
incitation of the Christ to self-mutilation "for the kingdom of
heaven's sake" (Mt. xix, 11), and avers that to this same cause was
due Paul's much-complained-of "thorn in the flesh," saying: "The
Lord Himself opens the kingdoms of heaven to eunuchs, as being
Himself a virgin; to whom looking, the apostle [Paul] also -- for
this reason -- gives the preference to continence (I Cor. vii, 1,
7, 37, 40). ... 'Good,' he says, 'it is for a man not to have
contact with her, for nothing is contrary to good except evil."'
(On Monogamy, ch. iii; ANF. iv, 60.) For like reason it was, he
assures, that Noah was ordered to take two of each animal into the
ark, "for fear that even beasts should be born of adultery. ...
Even unclean birds were not allowed to enter with two females
each." (Ib. ch. iv; p. 62.) Father Tertullian shares the fantastic
notions of natural history stated by Bishop St. Barnabas; in proof
of the eternal renovation of all things, Tertullian says: "The
serpent crawls into a cave and out of his skin, and uncoils himself
in a new youth; with his scales, his years, too, are repudiated.
The hyena, if you observe, is of annual sex, alternately masculine
and feminine. ... The stag, feeding on the serpent, languishes --
from the effects of the poison -- into youth." (On the Pallium, ch.
iii; ANF. iv, 7.) Magic admirably supplements nature and medical
remedies as cure for the scorpion's sting, assures Father
Tertullian: "Among cures certain substances supplied by nature have
very great efficacy; magic also puts on some bandages." (Scorpiace,
ch. i; ANF. iii, 633.)

Like all the credulous ex-Pagan Fathers of Christianity,
Tertullian is a confirmed Sibyllist, and believes the forged Pagan
oracles as inspired truth of God. Citing several of her
"prophecies," he assures with confidence: "And the Sibyl is thus
proved no liar." (Pallium, ch. ii; ANF. iv, 6.)

Tertullian admits, in a tu quoque argument, that the
Christians are sun-worshippers: "You [Pagans] say we worship the
sun; so do you." (CE. xiv, 525; Ad. Nationes, xiii; ANF. iii, 123.)
He is in common with the Fathers in the belief in magic and
astrology, which since Christ, however, are turned into holier
channels in token of His divinity: "But Magi and astrologers came
from the East (Matt. ii). We know the mutual reliance of magic and
astrology. The interpreters of the stars, then, were the first to
announce Christ's birth, the first to present gifts. ... Astrology
now-a-days, forsooth, treats of Christ -- is the science of the
stars of Christ; not of Saturn, or of Mars. But, however, that
science has been allowed until the Gospel, in order that after
Christ's birth no one should thenceforward interpret anyone's
nativity by the heaven." (On Idolatry, ch. ix; ANF. iii, 65.)

In common with all the Fathers, Tertullian appeals to the
Phoenix as proof supreme of the resurrection of the body. It will
be noticed, that the modern false translators of our Bibles have
slipped in another bit of falsification by suppressing the word
"phoenix" in the passage quoted by Tertullian, and have substituted
the word "palm-tree" to express the flourishing state of the
righteous, as there depicted:

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"Then take a most complete and unassailable symbol of our
hope [of resurrection], subject alike to life and death. I
refer to the bird which is peculiar to the East, famous for
its singularity, marvelous from its posthumous life, which
renews its life in a voluntary death; its dying day is its
birthday, for on it it departs and returns: once more a
phoenix where just now there was none; once more himself, but
just now out of existence; another, yet the same. What can be
more express and more significant for our subject; or to what
other thing can such a phenomenon bear witness? God even in
His own Scripture says: 'The righteous shall flourish like the
phoenix' [Greek Septuagint: Dikaios os phoenix anthesei; Ps.
xcii, 12]. Must men die once for all, while birds in Arabia
are sure of a resurrection?" (Tert., On the Resurrection of
the Flesh, ch. xiii; ANF. iii, 554.)

Father Tertullian vouches, too, with the other Fathers, for
the bogus official Report of Pilate to Caesar, and for Pilate's
conversion to Christianity, saying: "All these things Pilate did to
Christ; and now in fact a Christian in his own convictions, he sent
word of Him to the reigning Caesar, who was at the time Tiberius.
Yes, and even the Caesars would have believed on Christ, if either
the Caesars had not been necessary for the world, or if Christians
could have been Caesars." (Apol. ch. xxi; ANF. iii,. 35.) Father
Tertullian gives fall credence to the fable of the Septuagint, and
assures the Emperors: "To this day, at the temple of Serapis, the
librariis of Ptolemy are to be seen, with the identical Hebrew
originals in them." (Apology, to the Rulers of the Roman Empire, I,
xviii; ANF. iii, 32.) And, as all the other Fathers, he gives full
faith and credit to the Pagan gods, as "effective witnesses for
Christ"; -- "Yes, and we shall prove that your own gods are
effective witnesses for Christ ... "Yes, and we shall prove that
your own gods are effective witnesses for Christ. ... Against the
Greeks we urge that Orpheus, at Piera, Musaeus at Athens, (etc.)
imposed religious rites. ... Numa Pompilius laid on the Romans a
heavy load of costly superstitions. Surely Christ, then, had a
right to reveal Deity." (Apol. ch. xxi; ANF. iii, 36.) Like the
other Fathers, Tertullian is also in the ranks of patristic forgers
of holy fables, being either the author or the publisher of "The
Passion of the Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas," the fabulous
Martyrdom of two of the Church's most celebrated bogus Saints,
annexed to his accredited works. (ANF. iii, 699-706.)

10. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA: (c. 153-c. 215). Ex-Pagan; head of
the catechetical school of Alexandria; tutor of Origen. He wrote an
Exhortation to the Heathen, the Poedagogus, or Instructor, and
eight books called Stromata, or Miscellanies. From the latter a few
random assays are taken which fully accredit him among the simple-
minded and credulous Fathers of Christianity.

Clement devotes ample chapters to showing the 'Plagiarism by
the Greeks of the Miracles related in the Sacred Books of the
Hebrews"; he quotes as inspired the forged book "Peter's
Preaching," and the heathen Sibyls and Hystaspes; he assures us,
with his reason therefor, that "The Apostles, following the Lord,
preached the Gospel to those in Hades. For it was requisite, in my
opinion, that as here, so also there, the rest of the disciples

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should be imitators of the Master." Abraham was a great scientist:
"As thin in astronomy we have Abraham as an instance, so also in
arithmetic we have the same Abraham," the latter diploma being
founded on the feat that Abraham, "hearing that Lot had been taken
captive, numbered his own. servants, 318"; this mystic number,
expressed in Greek letters T I E, used as numerals: "the character
representing 300 (T) is the Lord's sign (Cross), and I and E
indicate the Savior's name," et cetera, of cabalistic twaddle.
(Strom. VI, xi; ANF. ii, 499.) Clement believes the heathen gods
and the Sibyls, and all the demigods and myths of Greece: "We have
also demonstrated Moses to be more ancient, not only than those
called, poets and wise men, but than most of their deities. Not
alone he, but the Sibyl, is more ancient than Orpheus. ... On her
arrival at Delphi she sang:

'O Delphians, ministers of far-darting Apollo,
I come to declare the mind of AEgis-bearing Zeus,
Enraged as I am at my own brother Apollo.'"
(Strom. ii, 325.)

11. ORIGEN: born in Alexandria, Egypt, about, 165; a wild
fanatic, he made himself "a eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven's
sake"; died at Tyre or Caesarea about 254; was the first of the'
Fathers said to be born of Christian parents; he was a pupil and
protege of Clement of Alexandria. Origen was the greatest
theologian and biblical scholar of the Church up to his time; he
was the author of the famous Hexapla, or comparative edition of the
Bible in Hebrew, with Greek transliteration and the Greek texts of
the Septuagint and other versions. in six parallel columns. Origen
was badly tainted with the Arian heresy which denied the divinity
of Jesus Christ, and was deposed from the priesthood, but his
deposition was not generally recognized by all the Churches, --
which again proves that they were not then subject to Rome. For
sheer credulity and nonsense Father Origen was the peer of any of
the Pagan-born Patriarchs of "the new Paganism called,
Christianity," as is evidenced by the following extracts from his
chief works.

Accepting as living realities the heathen gods and their
miracles, he argues that the Hebrews must have had genuine miracles
because the heathens had many from their gods, which were, however,
only devils; that the Hebrews viewed. "with contempt all those who
were considered as gods by the heathen" as not being gods, but
demons, 'For all the gods of the nations are demons' (Ps, xcvi, 5).
... In the next place, miracles were performed in all countries, or
at least in many of them, as Celsus himself admits, instancing the
case, of AEsculapius, who conferred benefits on many, and who
foretold future events to entire cities," -- citing instances. If
there had been no miracles among the Hebrews "they would
immediately have gone over to the worship of those demons which
gave oracles and performed cures." (Contra Celsum, III, ch. ii-iii;
ANF. iv, 466.) The heathen oracles were indeed inspired and true,
but were due to a loathsome form of demoniac inspiration, which he
thus -- (with my own polite omissions) -- describes:

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"Let it be granted that the responses delivered by the
Pythian and other oracles were not the utterances of false men
who pretended to a divine inspiration; but let us see if,
after all, that they may be traced to wicked demons, -- to
spirits which are at enmity with the human race. ... It is
said of the Pythian priestess, that when she sat down at the
mouth of the Castalian cave, the prophetic spirit of Apollo
entered her private parts; and when she was filled with it,
she gave utterance to responses which are regarded with awe as
divine truths. Judge by this whether that spirit does not show
its profane and impure nature." (Contra Cetsum, VII, iii; ANF.
iv, 611-612). ... "It is not, then, because Christians cast
insults upon demons that they incur their revenge, but because
they drive them away out of the images, and from the bodies
and souls of men." (Ib. c. xliii, p. 655.)

Father Origen clung to the pagan superstition that comets and
new stars portend and herald great world-events, and urges that
this undoubted fact gives credibility to the fabled Star of
Bethlehem: "It has been observed that, on the occurrence of great
events, and of mighty changes in terrestrial things, such stars are
wont to appear, indicating either the removal of dynasties or the
breaking out of wars, or the happening of such circumstances as may
cause commotions upon the earth" -- why not then the Star of
Bethlehem? (Contra Celsum, I, lix; ANP. iv, 422.) All the stars and
heavenly bodies are living, rational beings, having souls, as he
curiously proves by Job and Isaiah, as well as upon clerical

"Let us see what reason itself can discover respecting sun,
moon, and stars. ... To arrive at a clearer understanding on these
matters, we ought first to inquire whether it is allowable to
suppose that they are living and rational beings; then, whether
their souls came into existence at the same time with their bodies,
or seem to be anterior to them; and also whether, after the end of
the world, we are to understand that they are to be released from
their bodies; and whether, as we cease to live, so they also will
cease from illuminating the world. ... We think, then, that they
may be designated as living beings, for this reason, that they are
said to receive commandments from God, which is ordinarily the case
only with rational beings: 'I have given commandments to all the
stars' (Isa, xiv, 12), says the Lord." (De Principiis, I, vii; ANF.
iv, 263.)

12. LACTANTIUS: (-?-330). Ex-Pagan, and eminent Christian
author and defender of the faith. On account of his great
reputation for learning, he was invited by the Emperor Constantine
to become the tutor of his son Crispus, about 312-318 A.D. Thus,
omitting two entire volumes (V and VI) of the Fathers, we are
brought to the beginning of Christianity as the official or state
religion -- accredited yet by fables and propagated by
superstitious myth. The great work of Lactantius, The Divine
Institutes, dedicated to the Emperor, was thus addressed: "We now
commence this work under the auspices of your name, O mighty
Emperor Constantine, who were the first of the Roman princes to
repudiate errors, and to acknowledge and honor the majesty of the
one and only true God." (I, i.) This work, in seven lengthy Books,
occupies over 200 double-columns of vol. VII of the Ante-Nicene
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Written for the purpose of confirming Constantine in his very
uncertain "Christian" faith, and to appeal for conversion of the
higher classes of the Pagans under the imperial favor, no work of
the Fathers is more positive in the recognition of the Pagan gods
as divine realities, who are rather demons of very active
malignity; and none equalled him in profuse appeals to the Pagan
gods and the Sibyls as their prophetesses, as divine "testimonies"
to Jesus Christ and virtually every natural and supernatural act
attributed to him in the romantic Gospels. In fact, his whole work
is a sort of digest of Paran mythology taken as divinely true and
inspired antecedents and evidences of the fictitious "facts" of the
new Paganism called Christianity. We have already noticed some of
his tributes to the Sibyls as prophecies of Jesus Christ; as it is
impossible to cite but a few out of exceeding many, these are
selected, demonstrating the origins of the heathen gods as actually
demons; the verity of their being, words and deeds, and that they
one and all testify of Jesus Christ and the holy mysteries of the
Christian faith. In a word, Christianity is founded on and proved
by Pagan myths. And first, of the demon-gods, for whom he thus

"God in his forethought, lest the devil, to whom from the
beginning He had given power over the earth, should by his
subtility either corrupt or destroy men, ... sent angels for
the protection and improvement of the human race; and inasmuch
as He had given these a free will, He enjoined them above all
things not to defile themselves. ... He plainly prohibited
them from doing that which He knew that they would do, that
they might entertain no hope of pardon. Therefore, while they
abode among men, that most deceitful ruler of the earth ...
gradually enticed them to vices, and polluted them by
intercourse with women. Then, not being admitted into heaven
on account of the sins into which they had plunged themselves,
they fell to the earth. Thus from angels the devil makes them
to become his satellites and attendants.

"But they who were born from these, because they were
neither angels nor men, but bearing a kind of mixed nature,
were not admitted into hell as their fathers were not into
heaven. Thus there became two kinds of demons; one of heaven,
the other of the earth. The latter are the evil spirits, the
authors of all the evils which are done, and the same devil is
their Prince. Whence Trismegistus calls him the ruler of
demons. ... They are called demons, that is, skilled and
acquainted with matters; for they think that these are gods.

"They are acquainted, indeed, with many future events,
but not all since it is not permitted to them entirely to know
the counsel of God. These contaminated and abandoned Spirits,
as I say, wander over the whole earth, and contrive a solace
for their own perdition by the destruction of men. Therefore
they fill every place with snares, frauds and errors for they
cling to individuals, and occupy whole houses from door to
door. ... And these, since spirits are without substance and
not to be grasped, insinuate themselves into the bodies of
men; and secretly working in their inward parts, they corrupt
the health, hasten diseases, terrify their souls with dreams,

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harass their maids with frenzies, that by these means they may
compel men to have recourse to their aid." (Lact. Divine
Instit. II, xv; ANF. vii, 64.)

He assures us, in chapter headings, and much detail of text:
"That Demons have no Power over Those who are Established in the
Faith" (Ch. xvi); "That Astrology, Soothsaying, and Similar Arts
are the Inventions of Demons" (Ch. xvii). These demon-gods are the
most potent witnesses to the Christian faith, and scores of times
he cites and appeals to them. The Hermes Trismegistus so often
quoted and vouched for, is the god Mercury "Thrice Greatest," and
is the greatest of the Christian witnesses. In many chapters the
"divine testimonies" of Trismegistus, Apollo, and the other demon-
gods, are confidently appealed to and their proofs recited. He
proves the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the dead
by renewed appeals to Hermes, Apollo, and the Sibyl: "Of the Soul,
and the Testimonies concerning its Eternity" (Ch. xiii). "And I
will now allege the testimony of the prophets. ... Hermes,
describing the nature of man, that he might know that he was made
by God, introduced this statement. ... Let us therefore seek
greater testimony. A certain Polites asked Apollo of Miletus
whether the soul remains after death or goes to dissolution; and he
replied in these verses [quoting the response]. What do the
Sibylline poems say? Do they not declare that this is so, when they
say that the time will come when God will judge the living and the
dead? -- whose authority we will hereafter bring forward. ...
Therefore the Son of the most high and mighty God shall come to
judge the quick and the dead, as the Sibyl testifies and says
[quoting]. ... 'Dies irae, dies illa, Teste David et Sibylla.'"
(Ibid, VII, chs. xiii, xxii; ANF. vii, 210, 218.)

Malignantly powerful as these demon-gods are, the simple but
potent name of Christ, or the "immortal sign" of the Cross, on the
instant renders them impotent and puts them to flight; all the
demon-gods may be evoked by magic, only Christ cannot be thus

As for man -- here occurring the famous epigram Homo ex humo:
"He formed man out of the dust of the ground, from which he was
called man, because he was made from the earth. Finally Plato says
that the human form was godlike; as does the Sibyl, who says, --
'Thou are my image, O man, possessed of right reason.' (Ib. II,
lviii; p. 58.) Chapter vi is entitled, "Almighty God begat His Son;
and the Testimonies of the Sibyls and of Trismegistus concerning
Him"; and he urges: "But that there is a Son of the Most High God
is shown not only by the unanimous utterances of the prophets, but
also by the declaration of Trismegistus and the predictions of the
Sibyls [quoting them at length]. The Erythrean Sibyl proclaims the
Son of God as the leader and commander of all [quoting] ... And
another Sibyl enjoins: 'Know him as your God, who is the Son of
God'; and the Sibyl calls Him 'Counsellor.'" (Ib. IV, vi; p. 105.)


Treating at length of the prolific adoption and adaptation by
"that new Paganism later called Christianity," of the terms, rites
and ceremonies of Paganism, CE. says: "Always the Church has

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forcefully molded words, and even concepts (as Savior, Epiphany,
Baptism, Illimination, Mysteries, Logos, to suit her own Dogma and
its expression. It was thus that John could take the [Pagan]
expression 'Logos,' mould it to his Dogma, cut short all perilous
speculation among Christians, and assert once for all that the
'Word was made Flesh' and was Jesus Christ." (CE. xi, 392.) And
thus Father Lactantius, appealing to Pagan gods and Sibyls for
cogent confirmation, deals with the ancient Pagan notion of the
"Logos," converted now into a "revealed" and most holy Christian
Mystery and the Son of God:

"For though He was the Son of God from the beginning, He
was born again a second time according to the flesh: and this
two-fold birth of His has introduced great terror into the
minds of men, and overspread with darkness even those who
retained the mysteries of true religion. But we will show this
plainly and clearly. ... Unless by chance we shall profanely
imagine, as Orpheus supposed, that God is both male and
female. ... But Hermes also was of the same opinion, when he
says that He was 'His own father' and 'His own mother' [self-
father and self-mother']. ... John also thus taught: 'In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All
things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything

"But the Greeks speak of Him as the Logos, more
befittingly than we do as the word, or speech: for Logos
signifies both speech and reason inasmuch as He is both the
speech and reason of God. ... Zeno represents the Logos as the
arranger of the established order of things, and the framer of
the universe. ... For it is the spirit of God which he named
the soul of Jupiter. For Trismegistus, who by some means or
other searched into almost all truth, often describes the
excellence and majesty of the Word." (Lact. Div. Inst. IV,
viii-ix; ANF. vii, 106-7.)

As there can be no more positive and convincing proof that the
Christ was and is a Pagan Myth, -- the old Greek "Logos" of
Heraclitus and the Philosophers revamped by the Greek priest who
wrote the first chapter of the "Gospel according to St. John" and
worked up into the "Incarnate Son" of the old Hebrew God for
Christian consumption as the most sacred Article of Christian Faith
and Theology, I append to the admission of Father Lactantius the
culminating evidences of the "Gospel" and the further confession of
the Church through the Catholic Encyclopedia. The inspired
"revelation" of the Holy Ghost concerning the holy Pagan doctrine
of the "Creative, Logos" or "Word of God," made flesh in Jesus
Christ, is thus "taken and molded to his dogma" by the Holy Saint

"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with
God, and the Logos was God. The same was in the beginning with
God. All things were made by him [i.e. by the Logos); and
without him was not anything made that was made." (John, i,

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The doctrine of the Logos was a Pagan speculation or invention
of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived 535-475 Before
Christ, and had never heard of Christ. From it the science of Logic
takes its name; and on it the first principle of Stoicism and the
Christian doctrine of "The Word" are based. If this startling
statement out of secular history is questioned, let CE. bear its
clerical witness to the Pagan origin of the Logos and the curious
Christian metamorphosis of it wrought by "St. John" and the Church

"The word Logos (Gr. Logos; Lat. Verbum) is the term by
which Christian theology in the Greek language designates the
Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Before
St. John had consecrated this term by adopting it, the Greeks
and the Jews had used it to express religious conceptions
which, under divers titles, have exercised a certain influence
on Christian theology. ... It was in Heraclitus that the
theory of the Logos appears for the first time, and it is
doubtless for this reason that, first among the Greek
philosophers, Heraclitus was regarded by St. Justin (Apol. I,
46) as a Christian before Christ. ... It reappears in the
writings of the Stoics, and it is especially by them that this
theory is developed. God, according to them, 'did not make the
world as an artisan does his work -- [though Genesis ii says
he did] -- but it is by wholly penetrating an matter -- [thus
a kind of ether] -- that He is the Demiurge of the universe.'
He penetrates the world 'as honey does the honeycomb'
(Tertullian, Adv. Hermogenem, 44). ... This Logos is at the
same time a force and a law -- [How, then, a Second Person
Trinitarian God?]. ... Conformably to their exegetical habit,
the Stoics made of the different gods personifications of the
Logos, e.g. of Zeus and above all of Hermes. ... In the
[apocryphal] Book of Wisdom this personification is more
directly implied, and a parallel is established between Wisdom
and the Word. in Palestinian Robbinism the Word (Memra) is
very often mentioned. ... it is the Memra of Jehovah which
lives, speaks, and acts. ... Philo's problem was of the
philosophical order; God and man are infinitely distant from
each other; and it is necessary to establish between them the
relations of action and of prayer; the Logos is here the
intermediary. ... Throughout so many diverse [Pagan and
Jewish] concepts may be recognized a fundamental doctrine: the
Logos is an intermediary between God and the world; through it
God created the world and governs it; through it also men know
God and pray to Him. ... The term Logos is found only in the
Johannine writings. ... This resemblance [to the notion in the
Book of Wisdom] suggests the way by which the doctrine of the
Logos entered into Christian theology." (CE. ix, 328-9.)

Thus confessedly is the Divine Revelation of the "Word made
flesh" a Pagan-Jewish Myth, and the very Pagan Demiurge is the
Christian Christ -- "Very God" -- and the "Second Person of the
Blessed Trinity"! Here is the evolution of a Pagan speculation into
a Christian revelation: Heraclitus first devised "the theory of the
Logos"; by the Stoics "this theory is developed" into the Demiurge
-- "at the same time a force and a law" -- which wrought the
several works of creation instead of Zeus or Hermes. In the

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admittedly forged Book of Wisdom, -- which is nevertheless part of
the inspired Canon of the Catholic Bible, -- the Pagan Demiurge
becomes Divine Wisdom and "paralleled" with "the Word" of the
Hebrew God, and "is the Memra of Jahveh which lives, speaks, acts."
The Jewish philosopher Philo evolved it into "an intermediary --
[Mediator] -- between God and the world, through which God created
the world." This Pagan notion echoes in: "There is one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. ii, 5.) Then
comes the Christian Greek priest who wrote the first chapter of
"the Gospel according to John," and, Lo! "the Logos [Word] was God.
... All things were made by him"! The Pagan speculation is first
philosophized, then personified, then Deified into the "Second
Person" of a Blessed Trinity which was first dogmatized in 381
A.D.; and the blasphemy laws of England and a number of American
States decree imprisonment for ridiculing this Most Holy Mystery of
Christian Faith. Yet Christians decry the doctrine of Evolution and
pass laws to outlaw teaching it.

Having pursued these incontestable Pagan "proofs" through his
seven Books, and so vindicated the truth and divinity of
Christianity, the eminent Doctor Lactantius concludes with this
strange apostrophe to the near-Pagan Emperor, assuring him of the
overthrow now of all error and the triumph of Catholic Truth: "But
all fictions have now been hushed, Most Holy Emperor, since the
time when the great God raised thee up for the restoration of the
house of justice, and for the protection of the human race. ...
Since the truth now comes forth from obscurity, and is brought into
light"! (Ib. VII, xxvi; p. 131.) Father Lactantius then quite
correctly, from a clerical viewpoint, defines truth and
superstition, but oddly enough confuses and misapplies the terms so
far as respects the Christian religion: "Truly religion is the
cultivation of the truth, but superstition is that which is false.
... But because the worshippers of the gods imagine themselves to
be religious, though they are superstitious, they are neither able
to distinguish religion from superstition, nor to express the
meaning of the names." (Ib. IV, xxviii; p. 131.)

13. AUGUSTINE (354-430): Bishop of Hippo, in Africa; "Saint,
Doctor of the Church; a philosophical and theological genius of the
first order, dominating, like a pyramid, antiquity and the
succeeding ages. ... Compared with the great philosophers of past
centuries and modern times, he is the equal of them all; among
theologians he is undoubtedly the first, and such has been his
influence that none of the Fathers, Scholastics, or Reformers has
surpassed it." (CE. ii, 84.) This fulsome paean of praise sung by
the Church of its greatest Doctor, justifies a sketch of the fiery
African Bishop and a look into his monumental work, De Civitate Dei
-- "The City of God," written between the years 413-426 A.D. This
will well enough show the quality of mind of the man, a
monumentally superstitious and credulous Child of Faith; and throw
some light on the psychology of the Church which holds such a mind
as its greatest Doctor, towering like a pyramid over the puny
thinkers and philosophers of past centuries and of modern times. We
may let CE. draw the biographical sketch in its own words, simply
abbreviated at places to save space. Augustine's father, Patricius,
was a Pagan, his mother, Monica, a convert to Christianity; when
Augustine was born "she had him signed with the cross and enrolled

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among the catechumens. Once, when very ill, he asked for baptism,
but, all danger being passed, he deferred receiving the sacrament,
thus yielding to a deplorable custom of the times." when sixteen
years old he was sent to Cartage for study to become a lawyer;
"Here he formed a sinful liaison with the person who bore him a son
(372) -- [Adeodatus, "the gift of God"] -- 'the son of his sin' --
an entanglement from which he only delivered himself, at Milan,
after fifteen years of its thralldom." During this time Augustine
became an ardent heretic: "In this same year Augustine fell into
the snares of the Manichaeans. ... Once won over to this sect,
Augustine devoted himself to it with all the ardor of his
character; he read all its books, adopted and defended all its
opinions. His furious proselytism drew into error [several others
named]. it was during this Manichaean period that Augustine's
literary faculties reached their full development." ...

In 383 Augustine, at the age of twenty-nine, went to Italy,
and came to Milan, where he met and fell under the influence of
Bishop Ambrose -- [he who forged the Apostles' Creed]. "However,
before embracing the Faith, Augustine underwent a three years'
struggle. ... But it was only a dream; his passions still enslaved
him. Monica, who had joined her son at Milan, prevailed upon him
[to abandon his mistress]; and though he dismissed the mother of
Adeodatus, her place was soon filled by another. At first he
prayed, but without the sincere desire of being heard. -- [In his
"Confessions" (viii, 17) he addresses God: "Lord, make me pure and
chaste but not quite yet"! Finally he resolved to embrace
Christianity and to believe as the Church believed.] -- The grand
stroke of grace, at the age of thirty-three, smote him to the
ground in the garden at Milan, in 386. ... From 386 to 395
Augustine gradually became acquainted with the Christian doctrine,
and in his mind the fusion of Platonic philosophy with revealed
dogmas was taking place. ... So long, therefore, as his philosophy
agrees with his religious doctrines, St. Augustine is frankly neo-
Platonist; as soon as a contradiction arises, he never hesitates to
subordinate his philosophy to religion, reason to faith! (p. 86)
... He thought too easily to find Christianity in Plato, or
Platonism in the Gospel. Thus he had imagined that in Platonism he
had discovered the entire doctrine of the Word and the whole
prologue of St. John." Augustine was baptized on Easter of 387. He
did not think of entering the priesthood; but being in church one
day at prayer, the clamor of the crowd caused him to yield, despite
his tears, to the demand, and he was consecrated in 391, and
entered actively into the fray. A great controversy arose "over
these grave questions: Do the hierarchical powers depend upon the
moral worth of the priest? How can the holiness of the Church be
compatible with the unworthiness of its ministers? -- [The moral
situation must have been very acute to necessitate such a debate].
In the dogmatic debate he established the Catholic thesis that the
Church, so long as it is upon earth, can, without losing its
holiness, tolerate sinners within its pale for the sake of
converting them" [?] -- or their property.

In the City of God, which "is considered his most important
work," Augustine "answers the Pagans, who attributed the fall of
Rome (410) to the abolition of Pagan worship. In it, considering
the problem of Divine Providence with regard to the Roman Empire,

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in a burst of genius he creates the philosophy of history,
embracing as he does with a glance the destinies of the world
grouped around the Christian religion, the only one which goes back
to the beginning and leads humanity to its final term." (CE. ii,
84-89.) Let us now admire


-- whereof, says His present Holiness in a special Encyclical on
the great Philosopher: "The teaching of St. Augustine constitutes
a precious statement of sublime truths.", (Herald-Tribune, Apr. 22,

The City of God, by which he intends the Christianized. World
-- City of Rome, is a ponderous tome, which cost Augustine some
thirteen years to write. Like the work of all the Fathers it is an
embellished rehash of the myths of the Old Testament, highly spiced
with "proofs" from the Pagan gods and their prophetic Sibyls, the
same style of exegesis being also used for the Gospels, all of
which he accepts as Gospel truth. He begins his philosophizing of
history by swallowing the "Sacred Science" of Genesis whole; he
entitles a chapter: "Of the Falseness of the History which allots
Many Thousand Years to the World's Past"; and thus sneeringly
dismisses those who knew better: "They are deceived, too, by those
highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of
many thousand years, though reckoning by the sacred writings, we
find that not yet 6,000 years have passed. ... There are some,
again, who are of opinion that this is not the only world, but that
there are numberless worlds." (Civ. Dei, Bk. xii, 10, 11; N&PNF.
ii, 232, 233.) Such persons are not to be argued with but to be
ridiculed: "For as it is not yet 6,000 years since the first man,
who is called Adam, are not those to be ridiculed rather than
refuted who try to persuade us of anything regarding a space of
time so different from, so contrary to, the ascertained truth?"
(Ib. xviii, 40; p. 384.) To prove that "there were giants in those
days," and that the ante-Diluvians were of greater size than men of
his times, he vouches: "I myself, along with others, saw on the
shore at Utica a man's molar tooth of such a size, that if it were
cut down into teeth such as we have, a hundred, I fancy, could have
been made out of it. ... Bones of almost incredible size have been
found by exposure of sepulchres." (xv, 9; p. 291.) And he shows
how, "according to the Septuagint, Methuselah survived the Flood by
fourteen years." (xv, 11; p. 292.) He accepts the earth as flat and
inhabited on the upper side only: "As to the fable that there are
Antipodes, that is to say, men who are on the opposite side of the
earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with
their feet opposite ours, is on no ground credible." (xvi, 9; p.

Augustine is credited with a scientific leaning towards the
doctrine of Evolution and as recognizing the origin of species; but
some of his species are truly singular, and withal are but
variations from the original divine norm of Father Adam, who is
father of them all. In all soberness, tinged with a breath of
skepticism with respect to some, he thus philosophizes: "It is
reported that some monstrous races of men have one eye in the
middle of the forehead; some, the feet turned backward from the

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heel; some, a double sex, the right breast like a man, the left
like a woman, and that they alternately beget and bring forth;
others are said to have no mouth. ... They tell of a race who have
two feet but only one leg, and are of marvelous swiftness, though
they do not bend the knee; they are called Skiopedes, because in
the hot weather they lie down on their backs and shade themselves
with their feet. Others are said to have no head on their
shoulders. ... What shall we say of the Cynocephali, whose doglike
head and barking proclaim them beasts rather than men? But we are
not bound to believe all we hear of these monstrosities. ... But
who could enumerate all the human births that have differed widely
from their ascertained parents? No one will deny that all these
have descended from that one man, ... that one first father of all.
... Accordingly, it ought not to seem absurd to us, that as in the
individual races there are monstrous births, so in the whole race
there are monstrous races; ... if they are human, they are
descended from Adam." (xvi, 8; p. 315.)

It is not alone in the realm of the genus homo that oddities
exist, in the animal world there are some very notable
singularities, for which the Saint vouches with all confidence as
out of his personal knowledge and experience. Several times he
repeats the marvel of the peacock, "which is so favored by the
Almighty that its flesh will not decay," and "which triumphs over
that corruption from which even the flesh of Plato is not exempt."
He says: "It seems incredible, but a peacock was cooked and served
to me in Carthage; and I kept the flesh one year and it was as
fresh as ever, only a little drier." (xxi, 4, 5; pp. 455, 458.) The
now exploded doctrine of abiogenesis was strong with Augustine;
some animals are born without sexual antecedents: "Frogs are
produced from the earth, not propagated by male and female parents"
(xvi, 7; p. 314); "There are in Cappadocia mares which are
impregnated by the wind, and their foals live only three years."
(xxi, 5; p. 456.) There was much question as to the efficacy of
hell-fire in toasting lost souls through eternity. The master
philosopher of all time solves the knotty problem in two chapters,
under the titles: "2. Whether it is Possible for Bodies to last
Forever in Burning Fire," and, "4. Examples from Nature proving
that Bodies may remain Unconsumed and Alive in Fire." In the first
place, before the lamentable Fall of Adam, our own bodies were
imperishable; in Hell we will again get unconsumable bodies: "Even
this human flesh was constituted in one fashion before there was
Sin, -- was constituted, in fact, so that it could not die." (xxi,
8; p. 459.) But there are other proofs of this than theological
say-so, the skeptical may have the proofs with their own eyes in
present-day Nature: "There are animals which live in the midst of
flames. ... The salamander is well known, that it lives in fire.
Likewise, in springs of water so hot that no one can put his hand
in it with impunity, a species of worm is found, which not only
lives there, but cannot live elsewhere. ... These animals live in
that blaze of heat without pain, the element of fire being
congenial to their nature and causing it to thrive and not to
suffer," -- an argument which "does not suit our purpose" on the
point of painless existence in fire of these animals, in which
particular the wisdom of God has differentiated the souls of the
damned, that they may suffer exquisitely forever; in which argument
Augustine implies the doctrine, as feelingly expressed by another

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holy Saint, the "Angelic Doctor" Aquinas: "In order that nothing
may be wanting to the felicity of the blessed spirits in heaven, a
perfect view is granted to them of the tortures of the damned"; all
these holy ones in gleeful praise to God look down at the damned
disbelievers "tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of
the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of
their torment ascendeth for ever and ever; and they have no rest
day nor night." (Rev. xiv., 10, 11.)

In the realm of inorganic nature are many marvels, a long
catalogue of which our philosopher makes, and at several places
repeats; some of these are by hearsay and current report, for which
cautiously he does not vouch the truth; "but these I know to be
true: the case of that fountain in which burning torches are
extinguished, and extinguished torches are lit: and the apples of
Sodom, which are ripe to appearance, but are filled with dust"!
(xxi, 7; p. 458.) The diamond is the hardest known stone; so hard
indeed that it cannot be cut or worked "by anything, except goat's
blood." (p. 455.)

The greatest of Christian Doctors, pyramid of philosophers,
has abiding faith in the reality of the Pagan gods, who, however,
as held by all the Fathers, are really demons or devils; they are
very potent as wonder-workers and magicians. Some of them, however,
are evidently not of a malicious nature: "The god of Socrates. if
he had a god, cannot have belonged to this class of demons." (xiii,
27; p. 165.) Time and again he vouches for and quotes the famous
Hermes Trismegistus, who he assures us was the grandson of the
"first Mercury." (viii, 23, 24; pp. 159, 161.) And for history he
says, that "At this time, indeed, when Moses was born, Atlas is
found to have lived, that great astronomer, the brother of
Prometheus, and maternal grandson of the elder Mercury, of whom
that Mercury Trismegistus was the grandson." (xviii, 39; p. 384.)
Also that "Picus, son of Saturn, was the first king of Argos."
(xviii, 15; p. 368.) He accepts as historic truth the fabulous
founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus, their virgin-birth by the
god Mars, and their nursing by the she-wolf, but attributes the
last to the provident interference of the Hebrew God. Some of his
comments might be applicable to One later Virgin-born. "Rhea, a
vestal virgin, who conceived twin sons of Mars, as they will have
it, in that way honoring or excusing her adultery, adding as a
proof that a she-wolf nursed the infants when exposed. ... Yet,
what wonder is it, if, to rebuke the king who had cruelly ordered
them to be thrown into the water, God was pleased, after divinely
delivering them from the water, to succor, by means of a wild beast
giving milk, these infants by whom so great a City was to be
founded?" (xviii, 21; p. 372.)

The great philosopher, at one with Cicero in this respect,
distinguishes between the ancient fables of the gods in an age of
ignorance and superstition, and those true histories of their later
deeds in a time, such as that of the Founding of the City, when
intelligence reigned among men. A singular reversion to the mental
state of the Homeric ages would seem to have come upon men with the
advent of the new Faith. Cicero had related the fables of Homer and
contrasted them with the true history of Romulus and his more
enlightened times, saying: "Homer had flourished long before

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Romulus, and there was now so much learning in individuals, and so
generally diffused an enlightenment, that scarcely any room was
left for fable. For antiquity admitted fables, and sometimes very
clumsy ones; but this age of Romulus was sufficiently enlightened
to reject whatever had not the air of truth"! On this the great
Saint Augustine thus philosophizes, -- accounting, indeed, for the
age-long persistence of all superstitions, as due to inheritance
and early teaching: "But who believed that Romulus was a god except
Rome, which was then small and weak? Then afterwards it was
necessary that succeeding generations should preserve the
traditions of their ancestors; that, drinking in this superstition
with their mother's milk, their nation should grow great and
dominate the world"? (xxii, 6; p. 483.) In likewise it may be
queried: Who believed that Jesus was a virgin-born god except
superstitious Pagans who already believed such things of Romulus,
Apollo, AEsculapius, et id omne genus? and the succeeding
generations, "drawing in this superstition with their mother's
milk," have passed it on through the Dark Ages of Faith even unto
our own day. Even the great St. Jerome has said, that no one would
have believed the Virgin-birth of Jesus or that his mother was not
an adulteress, "until now, that the whole world has embraced the
faith" -- and would therefore believe anything -- except the truth!

All who did not believe such things, when related by the ex-
Pagan Christians, were heretics instigated by the devil; for "the
devil, seeing the temples of the gods deserted, and the human race
running to the name of the living Mediator, has moved the heretics
under the Christian name to resist the Christian doctrine." (xviii,
51; p. 392.) Whether St. Augustine, in his earlier Pagan years,
practiced the arts of magic, as did many of the other ex-Pagan
Christian Fathers, he maintained a firm Christian faith in magic
and magicians, and explains how the gift is acquired. He gives an
account of a remarkable lamp which hung in a temple of Venus in a
great candelabra; although exposed to the open air, even the
strongest winds could not blow out the flame. But that is nothing
strange to the philosophic mind of the Saint: "For to this
[inextinguishable lamp] we add a host of marvels wrought by man, or
by magic, that is, by man under the influence of devils, or by the
devils directly, -- for such marvels we cannot deny without
impugning the truth of the sacred Scriptures we believe. ... Now,
devils are attracted to dwell in certain temples by means of the
creatures who present to them the things which suit their various
tastes. ... The devils cunningly seduce men and make of a few of
them their disciples, who then instruct others. ... Hence the
origin of magic and magicians." (xxi, 6; p. 457.) A most notable
example of magical power is that which transforms men into animals,
sometimes effected by the potent word, sometimes through material
means, as where sundry inn-keepers used to put a drug into food
which would work the transformation of their guests into wild or
domestic animals.

The philosopher Saint vouches for such magical metamorphoses
as of his own knowledge and on unimpeachable authority. At much
length he relates: "A certain man named Praestantius used to tell
that it happened to his father in his own house, that he took that
poison in a piece of cheese, ... and that he had been made a
sumpter horse, and, along with other beasts of burden, had carried

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provisions for the Rhoetian Legion. And all this was found to have
taken place just as he told. ... These things have not come to us
from persons we might deem unworthy of credit, but from informants
we could not suppose to be deceiving us. Therefore, what men say
and have committed to writing about the Arcadians being often
changed into wolves by the Arcadian gods, or demons rather, and
what is told in the song about Circe transforming the companions of
Ulysses, if they were really done, may, in my opinion, have been in
the way I have said -- [that is, by demons through the permission
of God]. ... As for Diomede's birds, that they bring water in their
beaks and sprinkle it on the temple of Diomede, and that they fawn
on men of Greek race and persecute aliens, is no wonderful thing to
be done by the inward influence of demons." (xviii, 18; p. 370.) To
the Saint and to all the Fathers, the air was full of devils: "All
diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to these demons; chiefly
do they torment fresh-baptized Christians, yea, even the guiltless
new-born infant." (De Divinatione Daemonorum, ch. iii), -- a whole
tome devoted to the prophetic works of the Devil, "after the
working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," as
avouched in Holy Writ (II Thess. ii, 9); for: "The responses of the
gods are uttered by impure demons with a strong animus against the
Christians." (De Civ. Dei, xix, 23; p. 416.) And no wonder, for "by
the help of magicians, whom Scripture calls enchanters and
sorcerers, the devils could gain such power. ... The noble poet
Vergil describes a very powerful magician in these lines,"
(quoting; xxi, 6; p. 457).

Again, like all the holy Fathers and Popes down at least to
Benedict XIV, elsewhere quoted, the great philosopher and Saint is
a devoted Sibyllist, and frequently quotes and approves the
utterances of these Pagan Seeresses, inspired by the devil through
the permission of the Christian God to reveal the holy mysteries of
the Christian Faith. Augustine devotes a chapter, entitled "Of the
Erythraean Sibyl, who is known to have sung many things about
Christ more plainly than the other Sibyls," to these signal Pagan
proofs of the Christ; and he dwells with peculiar zest on the
celebrated "Fish Anagram." On this theme he enlarges: "This Sibyl
certainly wrote some things concerning Christ which are quite
manifest [citing instances]. ... A certain passage which had the
initial letters of the lines so arranged that these words could be
read in them: 'Iesous Xristos Theou Uios Soter' -- [quoting the
verses at length]. ... If you join the initial letters in these
five Greek words, they will make the word Ixthus, that is, 'fish,'
in which word Christ is mystically understood, because he was able
to live, that is, to exist, without sin, in the abyss of this
mortality as in the depths of water." (xviii, 23; p. 372-3.)

With full faith the great Doctor Augustine accepts the old
fable of the miraculous translation of the Septuagint, and to it
adds some new trimmings betraying his intimate knowledge of the
processes and purposes of God in bringing it about: "It is reported
that there was an agreement in their words so wonderful,
stupendous, and plainly divine, each one apart (for so it pleased
Ptolemy to test their fidelity), they differed from each other in
no word, or in the order of the words; but, as if the translators
had been one, so what all had translated was one, because in very
deed the one Spirit had been in them all. And they received so

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wonderful a gift of God, in order that these Scriptures might be
commended not as human but divine, for the benefit of the nations.
who should at some time believe, as we now see them doing. ... If
anything is in the Hebrew copies and not in the version of the
Seventy, the Spirit of God did not choose to say it through them,
but only through the prophets. But whatever is in the Septuagint
and not in the Hebrew copies, the same Spirit chose rather to say
it through the latter, thus showing that both were prophets."
(xviii, 42, 43; pp. 385-387.) If this latter be true, that some
divine revelation is found in the Septuagint which is not in the
Hebrew, and vice versa how then can it be true, as the Saint has
just said, and as all the Fathers say, that there was perfect
agreement between the Hebrew original and the Greek translations?
If matters in the Hebrew text were omitted in the Greek, then the
inspired truth of God was not in those parts of the original, or
else what was inspired truth in the Hebrew became now false; and if
there was new matter now in the Greek, such portions were not
translation but were interpolations or plain forgeries of the
translators, yet inspired by God. The divine origin of the Hebrew
language, as invented by God for the use of Adam and Eve and their
posterity, is thus fabled by the great Doctor: "When the other
races were divided by their own peculiar languages [at Babel],
Heber's family preserved that language which is not unreasonably
believed to have been the common language of the race, and that on
this account it was henceforth called Hebrew." (p. 122.) As for the
origin of writing, our Saint agrees with St. Chrysostom, St.
Jerome, and other erudite Saints, that "God himself showed the
model and method of all writing when he delivered the Law written
with his own finger to Moses." (White, Warfare of Science against
Theology, ii, 181.)

This greatest philosopher of all time attacks with profound
learning a problem which, he says, he had "previously mentioned,
but did not decide," and he proceeds with acutest wisdom to solve
the question: "Whether angels, inasmuch as they are spirits, could
have bodily intercourse with women?" With all the powers of his
mighty philosophico-clerical mind he reasons on the ethereal nature
of angels, and reaches the conclusion, fortified by many ancient
instances, that they can and do. There are, be points out, "many
proven instances, that Sylvans and Fauns, who are commonly called
'Incubi,' had often made wicked assaults upon women, and satisfied
their lusts upon them: and that certain devils, called Duses by the
Gauls, are constantly attempting and effecting this impurity."
(City of God, xv, 23; p. 303.) As the greatest Doctor and
Theologian of the Church, he discusses weightily what books of
Scripture are inspired and canonical, which are fables and
apocryphal: "Let us omit, then, the fables of those Scriptures
which are called apocryphal. ... We cannot deny that Enoch, the
seventh from Adam, left some divine writings, for this is asserted
by the Apostle Jude in his canonical Epistle"! (Ibid,, p. 305.)
Thus the great Doctor vindicates the potentiality of the Holy
Ghost, in the guise of the angel Gabriel, to maintain carnal
copulation with the "proliferous yet Ever Virgin" Mother of God;
and vouches for the divinity of the crude Jewish forgery of the
Book of Enoch, which is duly canonized as genuine and authentic
work of the mythical Patriarch, by the equally mythical "Apostle"

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author of the forged Epistle of Jude. So great a Doctor of the
Church looks, by now, very much like an extraordinary "quack
doctor" peddler of bogus nostrums.

Such are a few picked from numberless examples of the quasi-
divine wisdom and philosophy of this unparalleled, pyramidal Saint
and Doctor of the Church, who "never hesitated to subordinate his
reason to Faith." Most luminously and profoundly of all the Fathers
and Doctors, Augustine spoke the mind and language of the Church
and of its Pagan-born Christianity; more ably than them all he used
the same methods of propaganda of the Faith among the superstitious
ex-Pagan Christians; with greater authority and effect than all the
others, he exploited the same fables, the same falsehoods, the same
absurdities, exhibited to the n-th degree the same fathomless
fatuity of faith and subjugation of reason to credulity.

A final appeal to the Pagan Sibyls and to the fabulous Phoenix
for "proofs" of the Christian mysteries, I add from the famous
forged Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, falsely through the
centuries attributed as the individual and collective inspired work
of the mythic Twelve: "If the Gentiles laugh at us, and disbelieve
our Scriptures, let at least their own prophetess Sibylla oblige
them to believe, who says thus in express words: [quoting]. If,
therefore, this prophetess confesses the Resurrection ... it is
vain for them to deny our doctrine. They say there is a bird single
in its kind which affords a copious demonstration of the
Resurrection. ... They call it a phoenix, and relate [here
repeating the old Pagan fable of the self-resurrecting phoenix].
If, therefore, as even themselves say, a resurrection is exhibited
by means of an irrational bird, wherefore do they disparage our
accounts, when we profess that He who by His power brings that into
being which was not in being before, is able to restore this body,
and raise it up again after its dissolution?" (Apost. Const. V, 1,
vii; ANF. vii, 440-441.)


The whole of Paganism we have seen taken over bodily into
"that new Paganism later called Christianity," by the ex-Pagan
Fathers of the Christ's Church, and all its myths and fables urged
by them as the credible and only "evidence of things not seen" of
the new Faith. What does it all signify for proof of Christian
Truth? "Nothing stands in need of lying but a Lie"; and by that
unholy means we see the holy false new Faith established among the
ignorant and superstitious Pagans.

These sainted ex-Pagan Fathers of Christianity, one and all,
fully and explicitly accepted and believed in childlike simplicity
of faith the reality and potency of their old heathen gods,
reducing them only in immortal rank to demons or devils of
fantastic origin and powers permitted by the One True God to work
true miracles; by their inspired oracles to foretell futurity and
the most sacred mysteries of the Christian faith, and maliciously
to "imitate' -- hundreds of years in advance -- its most holy rites
and sacraments; to endow their votaries with the gift of magic and
the powers of magical practices, -- practices to this day performed
by their priestly successors under more refined euphemisms of
thaumaturgy. To the malignant works of the Devil and the hordes of

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devils the Fathers imputed, and their now-a-day successors yet
impute, the working of mighty lying wonders designed to thwart, and
often very effective in "queering" the inscrutable plans and
providences of their Almighty God. "When pious Christians,"
mordantly says Middleton, "are arrived at this pitch of Credulity,
as to believe that evil spirits or evil men can work real miracles,
in defiance and opposition to the authority of the Gospels, their
very piety will oblige them to admit as miraculous whatever is
wrought in the defense of it, and so of course make them the
implicit dupes of their wonder-workers." (A Free Inquiry, p. 71.)

This review of the ex-Pagan Fathers of Christ's True Church is
made at some length because of its capital, fatal importance to the
notion of the "authority," veracity and credibility of these the
sole witnesses and vouchers for the pretended truth and validity of
the new faith, and the "Gospel" wonders reputed as having occurred
a century and more before their times, and for the foundation of
the Church and the miraculous fundamentals of the Christian
religion. Fabling, false and fatuous in point of every single
pretended "proof" which they offer for Christianity, in every
respect fatal to their intelligence, their intellectual honesty,
their common veracity and general and particular credibility with
respect to matters both natural and supernatural -- How can they be
believed as to the miracles and miraculous and incredible basic
"truths" of Christianity? False in one thing, false and discredited
in all, must be the verdict of every one concerned to know the
truth of the new Faith sponsored and established alone through the
mongering of Pagan myths of these fatuous, childishly credulous,
unscrupulous ex-Pagan Fathers of Christianity. They knew not fable
from fact, and scrupled not to assert fable for fact, recklessly
lying to the greater glory of God and glorification of themselves
and their Paganized Church, in the name of Divinely revealed Truth
of God. But, as we have seen, there can be no "divine revelation"
of fanciful "fact" and dogma which for centuries had been, and in
the early Christian ages were, the current mythology of credulous
Pagandom. Thus the system of veneered Paganism which the ex-Pagan
Fathers revamped under the name of Christianity, cannot be true; by
a thousand tokens and tests of truth it is not true.

In the words of Macbeth is the whole mythical scheme to be
appraised, and adjudged -- and junked:

"...... It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing!"

But -- "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!"

Our review of the fabling forging Fathers of Christianity
brings us through, the epoch of the establishment of Christianity
-- the whole of the second and third centuries of the Christ, --
the epoch (in the latter half of the second), when the forged
"Gospel" biographies of the Demiurge-Christ, and the forged
Epistles of the Apostles, were, out of hundreds of like pious
Christian forgeries, worked into shape and put into circulation by
the growing Churches zealously gathering swarms of illiterate and
superstitious ex-Pagan "converts" into the Fold of Christ. With
Eusebius and Lactantius, contemporaries and retainers of the

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"Christian" Constantine, we see the official "triumph" of
Christianity in the early fourth century; with the Sainted
Augustine, late in the fourth and early in the fifth centuries, we
see the new Faith, by dint of Christian persecuting laws and of
patristic lying, well established in the Empire, -- "the human race
running to the name of the living Mediator," but yet, at the
instigation of the Devil, disturbed and threatened with extinction
by the Christian "heretics," of whom Augustine says there were
ninety-three warring sects up to his time; and against whom this
great Doctor and Saint produced that fearful text of the Wedding
Feast, "Compel them to come in," and that other fatal bloody
precept of the Christ: "Those mine enemies, which would not that I
should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me," --
murderous slogans of the Church Persecutrix which bloodily carried
it to final triumph through a thousand years of the Dark Ages of
Faith, as we shall soon see.

Others of the noted Fathers of the epochs under review will be
noticed as the occasion arises. There are many of them; the four
"great Latin Fathers ... are undoubtedly Sts. Augustine, Jerome,
Ambrose, and Gregory the Great"; died 604. (CE. vi, 1.) Vast is
their output of puerile superstition and pettifogging dialectic, of
which we have seen but some random examples. The overwhelming
volume of patristic palaver of nonsense is evidenced by the "Migne
Collection." of their writings, which comprises 222 ponderous tomes
in Latin and 161 in Greek. (CE. vi, 16.)

In the next chapter we shall consider the "canonical" Gospels
and Epistles, and the palpable convincing and convicting evidences
of their forgery by the priests and Fathers -- original forgeries
themselves with multiplied forged "interpolations" or purpose-
serving later additions to each of the original sacred forgeries.

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Joseph Wheliss

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