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vered and exposed-so that the very existence of the belief in a god, prophet, or man, called Christ, after the lapse of so many centuries from its origin, is sufficient guarantee for its soundness; which sort of reasoning is vastly popular, but most unsound,—as will appear by reflecting that the Chinese have, from time immemorial, worshipped the god Foh as an incarnate god,-precisely as Christians believe in the existence of an incarnate god in the person of Jesus Christ, but surely no Christian will allow that the belief proves any thing more than the belief-they will surely not allow that the finger of the god Foh will work miracles!—as the Chinese now contend that it will, and would sooner suffer death than proclaim anything to the contrary. They held this belief before the advent of the Christian religion-centuries before the wonderful conception, by the power of the holy ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, yet none of our Christian readers will think that a proof of its soundness! Those who think highly of antique opinions, simply because they are antique, would do well to remember that time may give error consistency and strength, and its roots a firmer hold of the soil in which they are cast-but cannot consecrate them. No prescriptive lease can show falsehood's right and title to reception among men; for as things are eternal, so is the nature of things eternal,—and time, itself ever the same, changes the form, and in a manner gives a new dress to things-but cannot change their essence or principle. What is true now, was true a thousand years ago, and will be no less true a thousand years hence,

-as beautifully observed by the Psalmist: "A thousand years in the sight of God are but as yesterday, when it is past, and as a watch in the night." To others who may object to our reasonings -not because they are inconclusive, but on the ground that the majority of mankind ever have been, and ever must be, kept in the dark, and their reason abused, if we desire to maintain even the appearance of virtue-we shall often have occasion to allude thereto in the course of these Letters.

It is matter of history, that religion has hitherto been the most powerful political instrument of which corrupt legislators have ever availed themselves in order to effect their selfish purposes. By religion we mean, the sentiment of faith in things beyond the visible, which, when warped and made the plastic instrument of political tyrants, becomes a cruel and desolating superstition! Nor are

the superstitious notions of the lower orders fostered and encou raged by bad men only, but even by those reputed wise and good, if, indeed, it is possible that men can be wise or good who hold the fatal maxim-that it is necessary to deceive the vulgar! The practical application of this maxim gave birth to the opinions of the ancient philosophers spoken of by Cicero, who declared that—all religious dogmas had been imagined by ancient sages, with a view to guide those who could not be guided or restrained by reason. Numa, that wily Pagan, so much lauded by those who would fain smother, because they dare not develope, the human intellect, to us appears little better than a cheat, who cunningly feigned to have secret conversations with the nymph Egeria, with a view the more readily to impose upon his countrymen, and give them such a character and consistence as would fit them to bear the yoke of servitude-to which he gave a lasting character by the establishment of pontiffs, augurs, and that troop of deluders who for ages fattened on the vitals of the Roman people. As observed by a modern author-it would be superfluous to shew how much ancient priests followed this maxin, in keeping for themselves sublime doctrines, while they fed the people with fables to which we may add, that the modern priests are not for behind in this particular; but in no country were priests and legislators of this class so'numerous as in Egypt, where the trick, so profitable everywhere, of pretending to govern by divine authority, never failed of complete success. Diodorus Siculus (b. 1, p. 59) after mentioning that Muenes, the first mortal legislator among the Egyptians, pretended to derive his laws from Hermes, adds, "similarly it is said, that of the Grecians, Minos in Crete, and Lycurgus in Lacedæmon, gave out that they had derived their laws, the one from Jupiter, and the other from Apollo ;" and among the nations it is reported that this maxim obtained and was a cause of great advantage to the believers. We, however, who think that none can be permanently advantaged by falsehood-who hold for maxim, that it is necessary to undeceive the vulgar,-promise our readers to do it -boldly! but at the same time, shall carefully avoid shocking, wantonly, the conscientious scruples of the most orthodox. Evidence none can gainsay will be furnished-let it be examined by those who are competent to the task,-we ask no more, and fear not the result!

London: H. Hetherington; A. Heywood Manchester; and all Booksellers.
J. Taylor, Printer, 29, Small rook Street, Birmingham.











"I even I am the Lord; and besides me there is no other."-PSALM XLIII.

CHRISTIANS,―Those among you familiar with the old Jewish writings as well as modern Jewish opinions-are aware that we reject the Christian Histories touching the divine character of Jesus Christ-and read as fable what is told of his resurrection from the dead-together with what is said of his second coming in power and glory, in order to judge the world-in a word, all that is included under the head Christian Doctrine. We have heard the Bible justly called "The Compendium of Ancient Hebrew Literature"--and it is not a little strange that the prophecies therein contained, so often triumphantly referred to by Christians as proofs of the soundness of their doctrines, are considered by the Jews as the very pillars of their heterodoxy-as to them it appears that a careful examination of the prophecies, so far from supporting, offer a complete refutation to the notion that the Messiah has fulfilled his mission upon earth according to the promises made by the GOD OF HOSTS through the mouths of his prophets. At the very time Christ is said to have appeared, the Jews, we are informed, rejected him as an imposter-except a few of the most credulous, who, like the credulous people of all other nations, are ever ready to swallow strange stories and follow the first cunning man who sets about religion-making-nor will the strangeness of his doctrine be any ob

jection to it, but rather tell in its favour and swell the number of his dupes. Josephus observes-that the belief in a Messiah was a "vulgar error," which obtained credence among some few of his nation, by their building their expectations "on but one ambiguous oracle or prophecy found in their sacred books." What say the prophecies of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and those in Deuteronomy? By Ezekiel we are told that when God shall deliver Israel, "The tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. And they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bonds of their yoke and delivered them out of the hands of those that served themselves of them." And what was to be the sign of the covenant of Christ according to Jeremiah, but this: "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity. And I will remember their sin no more." In Deuteronomy we read that "The Lord God will raise up unto thee (that is the Jews) a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken." Daniel prophecies that in the days of the Messiah there should be only one kingdom and one king on earth, the King Messiah-and any who are sufficiently painstaking to read the beautiful Prophecies of Isajah, will find it therein declared that there shall be one religion and one law throughout the world in the days of the Messiah.-What the above prophecies prove, we leave every candid reader to determine. For ourselves, we rely not upon interpretations of prophecy merely, but draw apologies for our bold declaration, that no such God, prophet, or mere man ever did exist, from the fountain of nature itself. We have grown grey in the study of these subjects, and hasten to give all it may concern the results of our experience.

The opinion that the character of Christ was a Mythos, has long been held by the most distinguished among the literati of Europebut none have been so successful in working out and giving currency to that opinion as the celebrated Straus, a German writer of immense erudition and research, who, in his " New Life of Christ," has done more than any who have preceded him to sap and undermine the foundation of the Christian System. The work is almost unknown in this country, as it has not yet been translated—and

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few even among the elite of society care to read German books--besides the work is very expensive, and therefore beyond the reach of the millions-else, perhaps, would it be unnecessary that our Letters should appear-but the poorest may read these, and at their leisure --and as our philosophy is in substance the same as this learned writer, all may now become acquainted with his wonderful conceptions, in a modified, and we trust, simple form.

The term Mythos has been variously interpreted, but may be shortly stated as incarnated conception, or purely ideal personifications of certain vague and slender ancient traditions-partly true and partly false—in part historic, in part philosophic-imaginatively amplified—from which slender traditions and veritable history the materials were drawn of which the character of Christ was made upprecisely as was the case with Osiris and Isis with the Egyptians Jupiter, Minerva, Venus, and others among the Greeks.

Our readers will be materially assisted in the comprehension of the full meaning of the term Mythos, by being reminded that it was formerly the custom with Hebrew, Pagan, and Christian doctors to write in an allegorical style-but as the unlettered may not know what is conveyed by the word allegorical, for their benefit we may observe that it is that mode of speech in which the words used enclose a meaning which does not appear by attending only to the letter of the discourses. Varro, a celebrated Roman writer, mentions three ages of the world-the unknown, the mythological (when everything was concealed, except to the few, under the veil of allegory), and the historical. We profess now to speak only of the second, or age of mythology. As to the first, or what Varro calls the unknown, we believe that it is treated of in the sacred book, but almost always under the veil of allegory, as will presently appear, when we refer to the books of Genesis, written by the sagest of all human lawgivers-if he can be called a human lawgiver who was inspired by God himself-stood face to face with The Most High-and received laws written by the finger of God amid the thunders of Mount Sinai. Zathraustes, Minos, Zamolxis, Muenes, Zaleucus (who gave out that he was assisted by Minerva), and Solon (who availed himself of the sanctity of Epimenides)all professed to hold a divine right to teach and govern maukind— but who were then wise enough to question the validity of their credentials? The same, perhaps, may be said by sceptics with re

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