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Genesis, because, according to either of the statements, no such place as Dan existed in the time of Moses: and therefore the writer of Genesis must have been some person who lived after the town of Laish had the name of Dan; and who that person was nobody knows, and consequently the book of Genesis is anonymous, and without authority.

proceed now to state another point of historical and chrono logical evidence, and to show therefrom, as in the preceding case, that Moses is not the author of the book of Genesis.

In the 36th chapter of Genesis there is given a genealogy of the sons and descendants of Esau, who are called Edomites, and also a list, by name, of the kings of Edom: in enumerating of which, it is said, ver. 31, And these are the kings that reigned the land of

Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

Now, were any dateless writings to be found in which, speaking of any past events, the writer should say, These things happened before there was any congress in America, or before there was any convention in France, it would be evidence that such writing could not have been written before, and could only be written after, there was a congress in America, or a convention in France, as the case might be; and consequently that it could not be written by any person who died before there was a congress in the one country, or a convention in the other.

Nothing is more frequent, as well in history as in conversation, than to refer to a fact in the room of a date: it is most natural so to do, first, because a fact fixes itself in the memory better than a date; secondly, because the fact includes the date, and serves to excite two ideas at once: and this manner of speaking by circumstances implies as positively that the fact alluded to is past, as if it was so expressed. When a person speaking upon any matter, says, It was before I was married, or before my son was born, or before I went to America, or before I went to France, it is absolutely understood, and intended to be understood, that he has been married, that he has had a son, that he has been in America, or been in France. Language does not admit of using this mode of expression in any other sense: and whenever such an expression is found any where, it can only be understood in the sense in which only it could have been used.

The passage, therefore, that I have quoted, that "these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel," could only have been written after the first king began to reign over them; and consequently the book of Genesis, so far from having been written by Moses, could not have been written till the time of Saul at least. This is the positive sense of the passage; but the expression, any king, implies more kings than one; at least it implies two; and this will carry it to the time of David; and, if taken in a general sense, it carries itself through all the times of the Jewish monarchy

Had we met with this verse in any part of the Bible that professed to have been written after kings began to reign in Israel, it would have been impossible not to have seen the application of it. It happens then that this is the case: the two books of Chronicles, which give a history of all the kings of Israel, are professedly, as well as in fact, written after the Jewish monarchy began; and this verse that I have quoted, and all the remaining verses of the 36th chapter of Genesis, are, word for word, in the 1st chapter of Chronicles, beginning at the 43rd verse.

It was with consistency that the writer of the Chronicles could say, as he has said, 1 Chronicles, chap. i., ver. 43, these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the children of Israel; because he was going to give, and has given, a list of the kings that had reigned in Israel; but as it is impossible that the same expression could have been used before that period, it is as certain as any thing can be proved from historical language, that this part of Genesis is taken from Chronicles, and that Genesis is not so old as Chronicles, and probably not so old as the book of Homer, or as Esop's Fables; admitting Homer to have been, as the tables of Chronology state, contemporary with David or Solomon, and Æsop to have lived about the end of the Jewish monarchy.

Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies. The story of Eve and the serpent, and of Noah and his ark, drops to a level with the Arabian tales, without the merit of being entertaining; and the account of men living to eight and nine hundred years, becomes as fabulous as the immortality of the giants of the Mythology.

Besides, the character of Moses, as stated in the Bible, is the most horrid that can be imagined. If those accounts be true, he was the wretch that first began and carried on wars, on the score, or on the pretence of religion; and under that mask, or that infatuation, committed the most unexampled atrocities that are to be found in the history of any nation, of which I will state only

one instance.

When the Jewish army returned from one of their plundering and murdering excursions, the account goes on as follows, Numbers, chap. xxxi., ver. 13.

And Moses and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp; and Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle: and Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? behold these caused the children of Israel, through the sound of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the

matter of Peor; and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now, therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him; but all the women children that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

Among the detestable villains that in any period of the world have disgraced the name of man, it is impossible to find a greater than Moses, if this account be true. Here is an order to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers, and debauch the daughters.

Let any mother put herself in the situation of those mothers; one child murdered, another destined to violation, and herself in the hands of an executioner; let any daughter put herself in the situation of those daughters, destined as a prey to the murderers of a mother and a brother, and what will be their feelings? It is in vain that we attempt to impose upon nature, for nature will have her course, and the religion that tortures all her social ties is a false religion.

After this detestable order, follows an account of the plunder taken, and the manner of dividing it; and here it is that the profaneness of priestly hypocrisy increases the catalogue of crimes. Ver. 37 to 40, "And the Lord's tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen; and the beeves were thirty and six thousand, of which the Lord's tribute was threescore and twelve; and the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred, of which the Lord's tribute was threescore and one; and the persons were sixteen thousand, of which the Lord's tribute was thirty and two persons." In short, the matters contained in this chapter, as well as in many other parts of the Bible, are too horrid for humanity to read, or for decency to hear: for it appears, from the 35th verse of this chapter, that the number of women children consigned to debauchery by the order of Moses was thirty-two thousand.

People in general know not what wickedness there is in this pretended word of God. Brought up in habits of superstition, they take it for granted that the Bible is true, and that it is good; they permit themselves not to doubt of it, and they carry the ideas they form of the benevolence of the Almighty to the book which they have been taught to believe was written by his authority Good heavens! it is quite another thing; it is a book of lies, wickedness, and blasphemy; for what can be greater blasphemy, than to ascribe the wickedness of man to the orders of the Almighty?

But to return to my subject, that of showing that Moses is not the author of the books ascribed to him, and that the Bible is spurious. The two instances I have already given would be sufficient, without any additional evidence, to invalidate the authenticity of any book that pretended to be four or five hundred years more ancient than the matters it speaks of or refers to as facts, for, in the case of pursuing them unto Dan, and of the kings that

reigned over the children of Israel, not even the flimsy pretence of prophecy can be pleaded. The expressions are in the preter tense, and it would be downright idiotism to say that a man could prophecy in the preter tense.

But there are many other passages scattered throughout those books that unite in the same point of evidence. It is said in Exodus, (another of the books ascribed to Moses) chap. xvi., ver. 34, "And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.

Whether the children of Israel ate manna or not, or what manna was, or whether it was any thing more than a kind of fungus or small mushroom, or other vegetable substance common to that part of the country, makes nothing to my argument; all that I mean to show is, that it is not Moses that could write this account, because the account extends itself beyond the life and time of Moses. Moses, according to the Bible, (but it is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe, or whether any) died in the wilderness, and never came upon the borders of the land of Canaan; and consequently it could not be he that said what the children of Israel did or what they ate when they came there. This account of eating manna, which they tell us was written by Moses, extends itself to the time of Joshua, the successor of Moses; as appears by the account given in the book of Joshua, after the children of Israel had passed the river Jordan, and came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. Joshua, chap. v., ver. 12, "And the manna ceased on the morrow, after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel munna any more, but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.'

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But a more remarkable instance than this occurs in Deuteronomy: which, while it shows that Moses could not be the writer of that book, shows also the fabulous notions that prevailed at that time about giants. In the 3rd chapter of Deuteronomy, among the conquests said to be made by Moses, is an account of the taking of Og, king of Bashan. Ver. 11, "For only Og, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of the giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath, of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man." A cubit is 1 foot 9 888-1000ths inches; the length, therefore, of the bed, was 16 feet 4 inches, and the breadth 7 feet 4 inches: thus much for this giant's bed. Now for the historical part, which, though the evidence is not so direct and positive as in the former cases, is nevertheless very presumable and corroborating evidence, and is better than the best evidence on the contrary side.

The writer, by way of proving the existence of this giant, refers to his bed as to an ancient relic, and says, Is it not in Rabbath, [or

Rabbah] of the children of Ammon? meaning that it is; for such is frequently the Bible method of affirming a thing. But it could not be Moses that said this, because Moses could know nothing about Rabbah, nor of what was in it. Rabbah was not a city belonging to this giant king; nor was it one of the cities that Moses took. The knowledge, therefore, that this bed was at Rabbah, and of the particulars of its dimensions, must be referred to the time when Rabbah was taken, and this was not till 400 years after the death of Moses; for which, see 2 Samuel, chap. xii., ver. 26. And Joab [David's general] fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.

As I ain not undertaking to point out all the contradictions in time, place, and circumstance, that abound in the books ascribed to Moses, and which prove to a demonstration that those books could not be written by Moses, nor in the time of Moses, I proceed to the book of Joshua, and to show that Joshua is not the author of that book, and that it is anonymous, and without authority. The evidence I shall produce is contained in the book itself; I will not go out of the Bible for proof against the supposed authenticity of the Bible. False testimony is always good against itself.

Joshua, according to the 1st chapter of Joshua, was the immediate successor of Moses; he was moreover a military man, which Moses was not; and he continued as chief of the people of Israel 25 years; that is, from the time that Moses died, which, according to the Bible chronology, was 1451 years before Christ, until 1426 years before Christ, when, according to the same chronology, Joshua died. If, therefore, we find in this book, said to have been written by Joshua, reference to facts done after the death of Joshua, it is evidence that Joshua could not be the author, and also that the book could not have been written till after the time of the latest fact which it records. As to the character of the book, it is horrid; it is a military history of rapine and murder, as savage and brutal as those recorded of his predecessor in villany and hypocrisy, Moses; and the blasphemy consists, as in the former books, in ascribing those deeds to the orders of the Almighty.

In the first place, the book of Joshua, as is the case in the preceding books, is written in the third person; it is the historian of Joshua that speaks, for it would have been absurd and vain-glorious that Joshua should say of himself, as is said of him in the last verse of the 6th chapter, that his fame was noised throughout all the country." I now come more immediately to the proof.

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In the 24th chapter, ver. 31, it is said, "And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua." Now in the name of common sense, can it be Joshua that relates what people had done after he was dead? This account must not only have been written by some historian that lived after Joshua, but that lived also after the elders that out-lived Joshua.

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