The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1
Absurd Theological Interpretations
Absurd Theological Interpretations.
Now, as some persons may object to my way of reading the Bible, I will for their benefit, give a sample of the way in which theologians read it.
In the seventh chapter of Solomon's song and fourth verse, we find these words: "Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fish-pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim; thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh towards Damascus."page 12
Now the first question is, what does the above quotation tell us? So far as I am able to judge, without having subscribed to the thirty-nine articles, we are told neither more nor less than some one (Solomon if you like) compared some lady's neck to a tower of ivory, her eyes to fish-pools, and her nose to the tower of Lebanon. But theologians who first looked through a few thousands a year, say the lady's nose is typical of the genius, sagacity and learning of the church's most famous theologians. Who ever would have thought it? Why there is not as much as the shadow of a hint in the whole chapter that can in any way apply to a theologian; n o, not if he had the sagacity of all the dogs in Constantinople.
Had some infidel given this signification to the lady's nose, all the clergy of Christendom would have taken it as a slur thrown at themselves.
In the seventh chapter of Solomon's song, and second verse we find these words, "Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor." This part of the lady which is compared to a round goblet, "signifies the cup in the Lord's supper," say these rev. gentlemen.
Now the power of scent which the theologians must be endowed with to have enabled them to sniff up the scent which led to the discovery of this sublime signification, must be far more acute than that possessed by all the hounds and dogs in the world.
In the same verse mentioned above we find these words,—"Thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies." Now theologians inform us upon their word and honour that the lady's belly signifies; "The rejection by Protestantism of purgatory, of masses for the dead, of the merit of works." Comment on this would be worse than useless!
In the seventh chapter of Solomon's Song and third verse we find these words: "Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins." The Church's most famous theologians say the lady's breasts "signify the two chief agencies for the promotion of holiness, the evangelical word, and the blessed sacrament." Why did they not tell us the lady's breasts were typical that some women would have twins?page 13
In the first chapter of Solomon's Song, and seventeenth verse, we find these words:—"The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir." Now we are told by some theologians that the beams and rafters spoken of "signify the magnificent architecture of the mansions on high." Talk about infidel works causing the people to disbelieve the Bible to be the word of God, for my part I do not believe a single person would be found in a whole country believing in a Word of God at all, if they knew what the clergy dish up for Gospel. It will be seen that theologians do not ask us to believe what the writers of the Bible state; we are only asked to believe what theologians think fit to say the writers of the Bible did state.
In the second chapter of Solomon's Song and twelfth verse we find these words: "And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." The expounders of the Bible tell us that the voice of the turtle "signifies the joyous shout of the nations at the arrival of the Messiah," though with all due respect to these expounders of the Bible, I believe the braying of an ass has just as much to do with the arrival of the Messiah as the voice of the turtle.
In the second chapter of Solomon's Song, fourth and fifth verses, we find these words: "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love." The above verses inform us that a female was taken to a banqueting house, and that she asked for something to eat and drink. This, theologians tell us, "signifies the Church clamouring for the sacramental wine." In the name of Solomon I would ask what next will these gentlemen say the Bible means. Why did they not tell us it was typical of some old maid's cat clamouring for milk?
In the seventh chapter of Solomon's Song and fourth verse, we find these words: "Thy neck is as a tower of ivory, thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim." Now we are told by theologians that the gate of Bathrabbim, "signifies the throat of the preacher, through which doctrine of the purest orthodoxy passes."
Now these few samples I have given of the way theologians read the Bible, show very clearly they do not believe what is page 14 stated in that book. Whether these rev. gentlemen believe in their own expoundings is more than I can say. But one thing is certain, that theologians do not believe in each others' expoundings, as no two are known to expound alike. But if any one sect of Christians had the power, they would make the rest of mankind swallow their expoundings, and no doubt by using the fagot and dungeon as a lubricator, they would succeed in forcing down the throats of their unfortunate victims some of their own madness.