Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...

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“Nothing better than those MYSTERIES, by which, from a rough and fierce life, we

are polished to gentleness (humanity, kindness), and softened.” — CICERO: de Legibus,

 ii., 14.

“Descend, O Soma, with that stream with which thou lightest up the Sun. . . .

Soma, a Life Ocean spread through All, thou fillest creative the Sun with beams.” — Rig-

Veda, ii., 143.

“. . . the beautiful Virgin ascends, with long hair, and she holds two ears in her hand, and

sits on a seat and feeds a BOY as yet little, and suckles him and gives him food.” –

AVENAR. IT is alleged that the Pentateuch was written by Moses, and yet it contains the account of his own death (Deuteronomy xxxiv. 6); and in Genesis (xiv. 14), the name Dan is given to a city, which Judges (xviii. 29), tells us was only called by that name at that late day, it having previously been known as Laish. Well might Josiah have rent his clothes when he had heard the words of the Book of the Law; for there was no more of Moses in it than there is of Jesus in the Gospel according to John.

We have one fair alternative to offer our theologians, leaving them to choose for themselves, and promising to abide by their decision. Only they will have to admit, either that Moses was an impostor, or that his books are forgeries, written at different times and by different persons; or, again, that they are full of fraudulent interpolations. In either case the work loses all claims to be considered divine Revelation. Here is the problem, which we quote from the Bible the word of the God of Truth:

“And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name of JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (Exodus vi. 3), spake God unto Moses.

A very startling bit of information that, when, before arriving at the book of Exodus, we are told in Genesis (xxii. 14) that “Abraham called the name of that place” — where the patriarch had been preparing to cut the throat of his only-begotten son — “JEHOVAH-jireh”! (Jehovah sees.) Which is the inspired text? — both cannot be — which the forgery?

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Now, if both Abraham and Moses had not belonged to the same holy group, we might, perhaps, help theologians by suggesting to them a convenient means of escape out of this dilemma. They ought to call the reverend Jesuit Fathers — especially those who have been missionaries in India — to their rescue. The latter would not be for a moment disconcerted. They would coolly tell us that beyond doubt Abraham had heard the name of Jehovah and borrowed it from Moses. Do they not maintain that it was they who invented the Sanscrit, edited Manu, and composed the greater portion of the Vedas?

Marcion maintained, with the other Gnostics, the fallaciousness of the idea of an incarnate God, and therefore denied the corporeal reality of the living body of Christ. His entity was a mere illusion; it was not made of human flesh and blood, neither was it born of a human mother, for his divine nature could not be polluted with any contact with sinful flesh. He accepted Paul as the only apostle preaching the pure gospel of truth, and accused the other disciples of “depraving the pure form of the gospel doctrines delivered to them by Jesus, mixing up matters of the Law with the words of the Saviour.”

Finally we may add that modern biblical criticism, which unfortunately became really active and serious only toward the end of the last century, now generally admits that Marcion’s text of the only gospel he knew anything about — that of Luke, is far superior and by far more correct than that of our present Synoptics. We find in Supernatural Religion the following (for every Christian) startling sentence: “We are, therefore, indebted to Marcion for the correct version even of ‘the Lord’s Prayer.‘ “

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