“You must obey,” says the bible; “by no means mind whether or not you understand the commandments, or whether you approve of them or not.” Is that morality? And the bible can’t deal with you as its equal, else what’s going to become of its infallibility? In different words, the bible wants slaves who will do its bidding without protest or question. Under slavery there could be no self-development; that’s to say, slaves can not be moral. It might be seen that by morality we mean very much more than the observance of some “thou shalt nots.” But it’s only by evaluating Athens with Jerusalem that we notice how very rather more fantastic is the truth of paganism than Jewish fiction.
The three hundredth anniversary of the King James’ version of the Holy Bible was recently celebrated in the great cities of Christendom. All the pulpits have been heard from in reward of the book. It shall be seen, nonetheless, that almost each one of the preachers confined himself to glittering generalities in regards to the bible.
An angle of passivity is alone turning into to a believer. To bestir oneself concerning the tares, or the evil on the earth, is to show that one has lost faith in the Lord of the harvest. “Stand nonetheless and see the salvation of the Lord,” is the word of inspiration.
Even the satan just isn’t so black as he’s painted; and however dark will be the crimes of the ancient Jews, the historian is certain to ascertain whether there aren’t some shiny spots in the huge pall of evil deeds that spreads over their history. Yet to me the task is hopeless; I can’t find one single redeeming trait within the national character of the ancient Hebrews. It is difficult Lift up a banner to discover a people within the olden occasions, whereof we have a historical past, who were not superior to the necks shall be your footstools. And while not even David, another bible saint, ever considered separating himself from the woman he had stolen by causing her husband to be shot, these “heathen” princes returned to Abraham and Isaac their wives. I am conscious, after all, of the argument that Israel’s superiority lay in its clearer moral visions.
And let a person divorce his wife each time it shall please him to take action. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt relaxation. In the next chapter shall be discussed the claim that the superiority of the bible lies in the perfect morality which it teaches. Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.—Psalms cxxxviii, 1. Nor has the bible added a single new doctrine to the non secular creeds that have been already present in the world. Was it the doctrine of immortality, or of the incarnation, the immaculate conception, the trinity, the satan, unique sin, or atonement by blood which the bible found.
If the agnostics with out divine aid, or with solely a “sleepy” God to assist them, as Bryan avers, have accomplished no extra than to compel the believers to put up a defense for their Word of God, they have demonstrated what man, unaided by ghostly powers, can do. And it’s mere chatter to speak of agnostics as praying “to their God to answer with fireplace,” and so forth. Agnostics will pray for fire only when they lose religion in Reason. They have prayed to their God to reply with fire—prayed to inanimate matter, with an earnestness that is pathetic; they’ve employed in the worship of blind force a faith higher than religion requires, but their Almighty is asleep.