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Kersey Graves 16 Chap45

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IN writing the concluding chapter of this work, the author deems it proper to re-state some points, and elaborate others, and anticipate some objections to some of the positions advanced. Each division of the subject will be marked by a separate figure, and treated in a brief and succinct manner, as follows: —


  1. Several persons, who examined this work before it went to press, have expressed the opinion that it must exert a powerful influence in the way of producing an entire revolution in the religion of orthodox Christendom sooner or later. But this must of course be the work of time as moral revolutions are not the work of a day. When the human system has been long prostrated with chronic disease, no system of medication can restore it at once to health. The same principle governing the mind makes it morally impossible to eradicate its deeply-seated moral and religious errors in a day by even the presentation of the most powerful and convincing truths and demonstrations that can be brought to bear or operate upon the human judgment. The mind instinctively repels everything (no difference how true or how beautiful) that conflicts with its long- established opinions and convictions. The fires of truth usually require much time to burn their way through those incrustations of moral and religious error which often environ the human mind as the products of a false education. But when they once enter, the work of convincement is complete.


  2. It has been stated that the resemblance between Christianity and the more ancient heathen systems is complete and absolute throughout in all their essential doctrines, and principles, and precepts. And if it shall be found, on a critical reading of this work after it comes from the press, that there is one feature of Christianity which has not been traced to pagan origin, or that any points of resemblance have been omitted, they will be supplied in an appendix.


  3. It has been stated that a transfiguration is related of Chrishna of Tndia (1200 B.C.) in the Hindoo bible (the Baghavat Gita), which is strikingly similar to that of Christ. We will here present the proof. “Abandoning the mortal form, he (Chrishna) appeared to his disciples in all the divine eclat of his Divine Majesty, his brow encircled with such a brilliant light that Adjourna and the other disciples, unable to bear it, fell with their faces in the dust, and prayed the Lord (Chrishna) to pardon their unworthiness. He replied, ‘Have you not faith in me? Know ye not, that whether present or absent in body, I will be ever present with you to guard and protect you?'” (Gaghavat Gita.) How remarkable this to the story of Christ’s transfiguration!


  4. Some readers, perhaps, will be surprised to observe that we have named so many crucified gods to whom some writers assign a different death. But we have followed, as we believe, the best authorities in doing so.


  5. In our work, “The Bibles of Bibles,” we have shown that the score of bibles which have been extant in the world teach essentially the same doctrines, principles, and precepts. There are to be found in the old pagan bibles the same grand and beautiful truths mixed up with the same mind-enslaving errors and deleterious superstitions as those contained in the Christian bible. And the same exalted claim is set up by the disciples of each for their respective holy books — that of being a direct revelation from God, and inspired at the fountain of infinite wisdom. And all were exalted, adored, and idolized by their respective admirers, as containing a perfect embodiment of truth, without any admixture of error. The ancient Persians carried their bibles in their bosoms, and read them and prayed over them daily. The Hindoos often read their bible through on their bended knees, and sometimes committed it all to memory. The Baghavat has the following text: “The most important of all duties is to study the Holy Scriptures, which is the word of Brahma and Chrishna, revealed to the world.” Some of the Mahomedans claim that immortal life can only be obtained by reading the Koran, and that the reading of it is essential to the progress and practice of good morals, and the advancement of civilization; and that it will ultimately reform and civilize the world. Both they and the Hindoos, like the Christian world, have numerous commentaries, explaining the obscure texts of their bibles, and aiming to reconcile their teachings with reason and science. And the disciples of all bibles had a mode of doing away with the immoral teachings, and concealing the worst features of their sacred books by bestowing on them a spiritual meaning, as Christians do theirs, thus dressing up error in the guise of truth. The Hindoo bible, the Mahomedan bible, and other holy books, consign those who disbelieve in their teachings to eternal damnation, denouncing them as infidel’s. In this respect, also, they are like the Christian’s bible.


  6. “But then, after all (as some good pious Christian will probably exclaim after reading this work), the bible and Christianity are essential to the progress of good morals, and the advancement of the cause of civilization, and the civilized world would sink into a state of heathen darkness, demoralization, and savagism without them; for every enlightened nation owes its present moral and intellectual greatness to the Christian bible and the Christian religion, and would relapse into barbarism without them.” This is a mistake, a most egregious mistake, my good brother Christian, as the following facts of history will show: —


    1. There are heathen nations now existing who never saw a bible, and others which flourished in the past, before our bible was written, who nevertheless attained to a higher state of morals, and a higher state of civilization in some respects, than any Christian nation known to history. A whole volume of facts might be adduced, if we had space for them, drawn from the ablest and most reliable authorities, to prove that India, Egypt, Greece, and other countries had reached a high state of civilization centuries before Christianity or any of its founders were even heard of, or made their appearance in the world. India was distinguished for her learning, her laws, her legislation, her civil courts, her judicial tribunals, her astronomers, her poets, her philosophers, her writers, her moralists, her libraries, her men of literature, and her good morals before Moses was found in the bulrushes. Jacolliot says, “India gave civilization to the world.” Egypt borrowed of India, the Greeks of the Egyptians, and the Jews and Christians are indebted to the Greeks for both their morals and their civilization. Dubois, a Christian missionary, in his “Memoirs of India,” testifies that “kindness, justice, humanity, good faith, compassion, disinterestedness, and in fact nearly all the moral virtues, were familiar to the ancient Brahmans and Hindoos, and they taught them both by precept and example.” Can as much be said of any Christian nation? Certainly not. And the Rev. D.O. Allen says they were distinguished for all the arts and refinement of civilized life — thus placing them on the highest plane of civilization and moral elevation. And other nations might be referred to. Egypt had her vast temples of science, Chaldea her astronomical observatories, and Greece her distinguished academies of learning, her profound philosophers, and her high-toned moral writers and moral teachers, while the Jews, “God’s holy people,” were in a state of semi-barbarism. So affirms the Rev. Albert Barnes.


    2. No advancement has often been made in morals or civilization in any country by the introduction of the Christian bible or the Christian religion. It is the arts and sciences which accompany or follow the bible which do the work. A proof of this statement is found in the fact, that no improvement takes place in the morals of the people by the introduction of the bible till the arts and sciences are also introduced amongst them. On the contrary, the morals of many deteriorate by reading the bible alone, because it sanctions as well as condemns every species of crime then known to society, (For proof see Chap. XXXIX. of this work.) That India has become corrupted and sunk in morals since the introduction of the Christian bible, is admitted by the Rev. D.O. Allen, for twenty-five years a missionary in that country. But science, especially moral science, imparts a different influence. It explains the nature of crimes, and teaches and demonstrates that a life of honesty and virtue can alone produce true and real happiness, while the bible augments the temptation to commit sin by teaching that “it is a sweet morsel to be rolled under the tongue,” and that its punitive effects may be entirely escaped by an act of divine forgiveness. But science, either directly or by the enlightening of the mind, teaches and convinces the wrong-doer that there is no escape from the evil effects of a wrong or wicked act, and that sin is not a sweet morsel,” but ultimately a bitter pill. And thus it arrests the demoralizing effects of this pernicious doctrine of the Christian bible.


    3. It may startle some of the bible devotees to be told that their sacred book, instead of being a prompter to civilization and good morals, is really a hindrance to those ends; and that consequently nations without bibles advance faster in these respects than those who are well supplied with this book. But the facts of history seem to establish this as a fact. As a proof we will contrast the present condition of heathen Japan with that of Christian Abyssinia. Colonel Hall and Dr. Oliphant both testify that no drunkenness, no fighting, no quarreling, no thefts, no robberies, no rapes, no fornication, no domestic feuds or broils, and no fraudulent dealing take place in Japan. No locks or keys are used, for none are needed. There is no disposition to steal, or even to cheat, or overreach in dealing. But in Christian Abyssinia, on the other hand, according to Mr. Goodrich, where bibles and churches are numerous, and preaching and praying are heard every day, nearly all the crimes above enumerated are daily committed. The people go naked, eat raw flesh, cheat, lie, and murder, and practice polygamy. Such a thing as a legitimate child, he tells us, is not known. And thus it has been for fifteen hundred years, while in the daily practice of reading their bible. The arts and sciences have never been introduced amongst them. And this fact explains the cause of their continued moral degradation.


    4. According to Noah Webster, the cultivation of the arts and sciences is essential to the progress of civilization and good morals. But bible religion knows nothing about the arts and sciences. It don’t even use the words, Paul uses the word science only once, and then to condemn it. But Jesus omits any allusion to science, philosophy, or natural law. So thoroughly convinced were the early disciples of the Christian faith that the teachings of their bible are inimical to the arts and sciences, that they destroyed works of art wherever they could find them, and opposed with a deadly aim every new discovery in the sciences even unto this day.


    5. As bibles represent only the morals and state of society in the age in which they are written, and are not allowed to be altered or transcended, they thus hold their disciples back in all coming time, and compel them to teach and practice the morals of that semi-barbarous age as found taught in their bibles. And thus bibles prevent the moral growth of the people as effectually as the Chinese wooden shoes prevent the growth of the feet of young girls. For a fuller exposition of this matter, see The Bible of Bibles, Chap. XIV.


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