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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 68

The cosmopolite series [No. 2. January 1888, Biblical Criticisms - Something Wrong Somewhere]

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The Cosmopolite Series

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"Biblical Criticisms."

"Something Wrong Somewhere."

IN continuation of the "Cosmopolite" series, we propose to follow up the "Fallacies of Orthodoxy "—our last month's number—by endeavouring to prove that the said Orthodoxy rests upon a sandy foundation, and that the superstructure is simply a tottering fabric, lacking cohesion in the parts fitted together, and fast falling to decay. It was asked a long time ago—and we ask—"Can you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?" The reply would naturally be, We cannot!—the thing is absurd. Just so! Neither do we expect to get a pure stream from an impure fountain! Many streams are impure, polluted—not that the fountain, or source, was impure, but, that the stream had been polluted,—and if a sanitary reformer saw a stream which had been thus polluted, that he knew contained impurities, which if taken into the human organism would produce disease, and he saw a whole community of people in the act of drinking this impure water, and did not warn them against it, would he not be neglecting his duty towards his fellow-creatures?

The same rule applies in the moral as in the physical world. Give the people purity, pure air, pure water, and you are in a fair way to have a healthy community.

In this age of books and reading we regard it as the duty of the reformer in literature to see to it, that any book likely to prove injurious to humanity because of its uncleanness, be subjected to the severest criticism, and every page cleansed from the filth and pollution with which it may have been smeared.

Actuated by the desire to ameliorate the moral condition of humanity, by a fair and impartial criticism and examination of the "Book of Books"—which it is, if measured by the quantity manufactured and circulated, the Holy Bible, or as we have been taught to call it, "God's Word," knowing as we do that if it is really a revelation of the Mind of the "Universal Father," the "All in All," it will, like every part of the great and illimitable universe, be harmonious.

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We shall find it to be sublimely grand, harmoniously beautiful, breathing love and joy, peace and happiness everlastingly, and bearing on every page the stamp of Divinity.

If on the other hand we should find it contain anarchy, strife, war (which is wholesale murder), oppression (which means slavery), cruelty, "envy, haired, malice, and all uncharitableness," we shall know that it is not the voice of the "Great Creator" speaking to us.

If we find that the above-named and other crimes have been perpetrated by the command of a god, we shall conclude that there is "something wrong somewhere," that this is not what the Great All-Father bids His children do; and that the most brutal commands are recorded in this Bible as having been uttered by the God portrayed therein, we call the reader's attention to the following passages of Holy Writ, said to have been written by Moses, one of the "meekest of men, whose first appearance in public may be regarded as sensational: he, in cool blood, murdered an Egyptian (see Ex., chap, ii., v. 11-12):—

"And it came to pass in those days when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren and looked on their burdens, and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren, and he looked this way, and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand."

Comment would be superfluous.

This murderer is the reputed writer of the Pentateuch. Read what he says concerning the general conduct of his God. Ex. iv. 24-25. We will not quote on the score of decency, but Ex. I xi. 4, 5, C, says 44 Thus saith the Lord, about midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt, and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharoah that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid servant that is behind the mill, and all the first born of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it anymore," and chapter xii. 29 continues this horrible story by saying, "And it came to pass that at midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharoah that sat upon his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle. And Pharoah rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead," and as a finish to this wholesale massacre we find in Deut. 1.30, this promise: "The Lord your God which goeth before you shall fight for you according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes." Further, after this bloodthirsty promise, after the drowning of Pharoah's Host, after all, this merciful, Just, and Loving God actually turns round and thus addresses his "Chosen People," Numbers xiv. 82:"But as for your carcases they shall fall in this page 15 wilderness, and your children shall wander in the wilderness 40 years and bear your whoredoms until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness, in this wilderness they shall be consumed and there they shall die." What can we think of the following command from this God? Ex. xxxii. 27, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour," and there fell of the people that day 3,000 men. Again, Deut. xx. 10:"But of the cities of these people which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth." Once more the Lord says (1st Sam xv. 3), "Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel, and ass.

Passing over a period of 394 years, we find in Isaiah xxxiv. 2 to 8 that he has become even more ravenous, for he says, "Come near ye nations to hear and hearken ye people; let the earth hear and all that is therein; the world and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He has utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood, and all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their hosts shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the figtree. For my sword shall be bathed in Heaven. Behold, it shall come down upon Idumea and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of kidneys of rams; for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls, and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness, for it is the day of the Lord's vengeance."

This is pretty rough on the Idumeans. We were inclined to think that it was because they were not His own, His chosen people, but we read Jeremiah xiii. 13-14. "Thus saith the Lord, behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David's throne, and the priests and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with druken-ness. And I will dash them one against another, even the the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord. I will not pity nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them." We think the foregoing passages sufficient to advertise a God of cruel, bloodthirsty disposition, and we will conclude this view of his loving character by references and quotations taken from nine- page 16 teenth century men. Professor Denton says, "Hear the bellowing of the cattle, the bleating of the sheep, the death thuds of Jehovah's butchers! See the pools of blood, the Temple floor bespattered with gore, the red stream constantly flowing round the altar, and down into the brook Kedron! Watch the dying struggles of the animals, the varying emotions as they mirror themselves on the faces of the assembled multitude, where the sickening smell is almost overpowering, where the smoke is constantly ascending in a place that has no chimney, and is grimy as a smithy! What an idea of the worship of a God of love, compassion and mercy!" Mr. Penticost, a Boston Revivalist, says, "If you take a camel hair pencil as I have done, dip it in a bottle of carmine ink, and pass it lightly over those passages of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that make reference to blood in connection with all that refers to salvation, forgiveness, redemption, sanctification, glory, and everything of that kind, you would be astonished to see how red your bible would look," and he adds, "If you should cut out everything associated with blood, there would be no salvation left at all."'

Mr. D. L. Moody, another noted Revivalist, speaks in a similar strain. In his sermon on "Blood" he says, "If you read your bibles carefully you will see the scarlet thread running through every page of them, the blood commences to flow in Genesis, and runs on to Revelation, that is what God's book is written for! Take out the scarlet thread, and what is left would not be worth carrying home!" If any Deity, or any reputed sacred writings present a more bloody record, they have not been brought to notice. It would seem that no nation in the world could desire a more bloodthirsty divinity, or a more bloody religion.

On the score of obscenity we will say nothing, but refer our readers to the Sacred Book itself; for we know that with obscene passages alone we could reach the limit of this publication; but we should expect the refusal of the publishers, and so our labor would be useless; and in acknowledging the justice of this, we pass by the incest of Lot and his daughters, the cruel deceit of Jacob, the base conduct of Judah and Tamar, Onan, &c.

The parts of the Bible here alluded to are by no means all that might be classed with the indecent portions; but by the time the reader has looked up and read them, he will be prepared, we think, to acknowledge that no book of his acquaintance contains half so much that is indecent and unfit to be read by young and old. It cannot be truthfully denied that the Bible contains more coarse narratives and indecent language than any other book in circulation.

At a meeting in Holland of clergymen teachers and others for the suppression of obscene literature, the great German philosopher, poet, and writer, Goethe, was present, and on page 17 being asked whether he was in favour of the scheme proposed—"By all means," he said, "let us begin with the Bible." He had good grounds for that advice. In suppressing obscene works, the Bible should be the first placed on the list.

Moses, the great Jewish law-giver, as we have already shown, commenced his career with murder, and we are content to leave out all intermediate crimes he committed, and introduce the reader to the closing scene of his lite.

Almost his last command is, "Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites" (Numbers xxxi)—a peaceful-people, and the nation of his wife, Zipporah, and of his father-in-law, Jethro, ("a priest of Midian "), and that he should send 12,000 armed men against them, who slew the five Kings of Midian and all the males, without losing a man, and took all the females captive, and as a booty 075,000 sheep, 72,000 beef cattle, and 61,000 asses, each Israelite being required to kill four men in battle, carry off eight captive women and children, and drive home 67 head of cattle; and, further, when Moses learned that the women and children had not been slaughtered he became exceedingly angry, and said (Verse 15), "Have ye saved all the women alive?" (17-19) "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 hath not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves, and do ye abide without the camp seven days."

After reading the above, let us remember that in pursuance of this inhuman order, not less than 50,000 women and children were killed in cold blood; and 32,000 young virgins reserved to satisfy the lusts of the murderers of their fathers, and mothers, and little brothers; and then reflect for a little while—bring the picture to our own doors—imagine our colony to be conquered by an invading army, and in the deep sorrowing for our fighting dead, amid the mourning of the widows, and the tearful entreaties of the mothers, drowning the wail of the orphan, and the heart-broken cry of severed love, is heard the fiendish command which we have just quoted as having emanated from Moses, "the meekest" of men "and servant of" the Most High God.

Try to picture the sensation of loathing, disgust and the frenzy of despair that would seize upon the survivors of the lost battle field, and then with the rush of honest indignation at such inhuman slaughter, sum up the total in owning your detestation for the man who could perpetrate such atrocities, and express your contempt for a God from whom such commands were taken, and prove your disgust by refusing to recognise in such a Deity your Supreme, Eternal, All-Father.

Numbers xii. 3 says: "Moses was the meekest of men;" but Numbers xxxi. proves him undoubtedly to have been one of the most cruel.

Having thus satisfactorily demonstrated the low standard page 18 of morality that the Bible inculcates, having proved the cruelty and bloodthirstiness of its God, and the utter inhumanity of His chosen leader, we will proceed to show how unreliable are the statements contained in the so-called "Holy Scriptures," and endeavour to open the eyes of the truly honest to the glaring inaccuracies and inconsistencies of its statements.

According to Gen. i. 25-27, man was created after the animals; but Gen. ii. 18-19 says, man was created first.

Genesis vii. 1-5 says, God commanded Noah to take clean beasts into the Ark by sevens. Verse 8-9 of the same chapter says, Noah took in clean beasts by twos.

Gen. viii. 22:"While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest shall not cease." Whereas, Gen. xii. 54-56 says: "Seven years of dearth came, and the famine was all over the face of the earth."

Ex. iv. 21 and Ex. ix. 12 says: "God would harden, and did harden, the heart of Pharoah;" but Ex. viii. 15 declares "Pharoah hardened it himself."

Ex. ix. 3-6 states that all the cattle of Egypt died; but Ex. xiv. 9 says Pharoah pursued the Israelites with horses and chariots and overtook them.

1st Kings xvi. 6-8 says:"Bassha died in the 26th year of Asa." 2nd Chron. xvi. 1 says: "He was alive in the 36th year of Asa."

2nd Samuel vi. 23 says:"Michael had no child." 2nd Samuel xxi. 8 says:"Michael had live children."

2nd Samuel xxiv. says the Lord tempted David to number the people. 1st Chron. xxi. I says Satan did it.

2nd Sam. xxiv. 9 says: There were 800,000 warriors of Israrel and 500,000 warriors of Judah. Chron. xxi. 5 says: There were 1,100,000 of Israel and 470,000 of Judah—an error of 270,000, or an equivalent to the whole male population of this colony; and this discrepancy of numbers occurs respecting a country very much smaller than Otago, New Zealand.

In Deut. xii. 30-31, God forbid-human sacrifice, but accepts and even commands it in other places (see Gen. xxii. 2; Lev. xxvii. 28-29).

Gen. vi. 5-7 tells us that the wickedness of man caused God to destroy him; but in Lev, viii. 21, we read he will not destroy man though he is wicked.

According to Deut. xxv. 5, a man may marry his brother's widow; but according to Lev. xx. 21 he may not.

Lev. xx. 17 and Deut. xxviii. 22 denounce cohabitation with a sister, but Lev. xx. 11-12 and xvii. 15-16 approves and sanctions it.

Job iii. 11, 13, 17, 19, 22, Eccl. iii. 19-29 and ix. 5-10 says man is annihilated at death; but Daniel xii. 2 says part of the human race is to exist in endless misery.

Ex. xx. 5 says, with 2nd Sam. xii. 14, that children are punished for the sins of their parents, whereas Ezek. xviii. 20 page 19 and Deut. xxiv. 16 say children are not to be punished for the sins of their parents; and lastly, Job vii. 9, Eccl. ix. 5, Isaiah xxvi. 14 declare positively there is to be no Resurrection of the Dead. Yet in the New Testament there are frequent allusions to the fact of a resurrection. (See 1st Cor. xv. 16 and 52, Rev. xx. 12, 13, &c.)

These are not a tithe of the contradictions to be found in the Bible that might be quoted, but here are enough to convince those who can be convinced at all, that the book is far from being harmonious, consistent, and truthful, and that it abounds in cross-assertions, disagreements, and positive contradictions.

"It may not be amiss," says Bennett, "to take a very brief view of the leading characteristics of the most prominent holy men mentioned in the Bible as God's peculiar favourites, with whom He was on the most intimate terms, and who are most often held up to those of the present age as patterns of Godliness and good works, for their character and conduct helped materially in forming a just estimate of the book in which they figure conspicuously. If the book speaks too highly of its most important personages, and upon examination they are found to be men of bad character and reprehensible conduct, the book should materially decline in general estimation as a moral guide and record. Noah shall be the first in the catalogue. He was principally distinguished in five directions. First, as a ship carpenter; second, as a sea captain; third, as a successful conductor of the most extensive menagerie ever gathered together; fourth, as a man who drank too much wine and got so intoxicated as to he in a drunken stupor, with his person improperly exposed; fifth, in cursing the descendants of his own son to perpetual slavery, because his son laughed at him as he lay drunk on the ground." Of Abraham he says: "He was called the Father of the Faithful, and he is still so regarded. He is the reputed father of all the Jews, the great-grandfather of Judah, from whose tribe Jesus' step-father descended, consequently, in a particular sense, the progenitor of Jesus, and also the Father of Christianity and Christians. It seems Jehovah was on very intimate terms with Abraham, calling upon him frequently, holding conversations with him, making great promises to him, and sometimes even eating and sleeping with him. They partook of veal, grilled cakes, and parched corn together, and Abraham even washed Jehovah's feet. Abraham ouyht to have been a very good man,—was he? It does not appear that he was. He was, unfortunately, addicted to telling falsehoods. When he was 75 years of age and his wife Sarah 65, in consequence of provisions being scarce in his country, they went to Egypt, and Sarah was so attractive in her mature years that Pharoah, the King of Egypt, fancied her, and wished her for a wife, or to take the place of one. Abraham seems to have anticipated this, and instead of telling the King that Sarah was his wife, he used a subterfuge, and introduced her as a sister. If page 20 she was his sister, he had done worse than lying to live so long with her as his wife. He, however, said not a word against Pharoah taking her into the palace, and when she was restored to him again, he very willingly pocketed the price of his wife's honor,—or at least, went away much richer in sheep, oxen, asses, camels, and servants, He was also (after this little transaction) much richer in silver and gold, which probably induced him some 25 years later, when he was nearly 100 and Sarah nearly 90 years old, to tell King Abimelech the same story, and notwithstanding Sarah's great age, Abimelech took her into about the same relationship that Pharoah had done, without a word of remonstrance from Abraham, which fact, when we consider his conduct towards Hagar and Ishmael, does not excite our wonder.

Lot was Abraham's nephew. He was called righteous Lot, and was deemed too upright a man to be burned up in Sodom and Gomorrah, so God called him out. But the righteous man's first act was to get drunk and commit incest with his two virgin daughters. If the people of Sodom and Gomorrah did any worse than this righteous man did, they probably deserved the brimstone that God sent them.

Isaac was another of the faithful fathers. He did not greatly distinguish himself, except in practising the same kind of deception his father was noted for. When the men of the plain asked him about his wife, he lied and said, "She is my sister." But a game of deception nearly equal to it was played upon him when he was made to believe that Jacob was his first-born.

Jacob was a cunning knave, without manly feeling. He took a mean and unmanly advantage of his brother, when in a state of extreme hunger, and for a mess of pottage swindled him out of what was considered a treasure of very great value. His brother came in from the fields, wearied and famishing, saying:" Feed me, I pray thee, for I am exceedingly faintand had Jacob possessed the affection and generosity of an ordinary savage, he would have freely given the desired food without the slightest reward; but for a bowl of soup he must extract his brother's birth-right.

When practising further deceit he was asked by his father, "Art thou my very son Esau." The future father of God's chosen people most falsely said, "I am," making the third he at this interview; and when the strong man Esau came in from the field and found that he had been robbed for the second time, it is said that "He lifted up his voice and wept." During a period of 21 years he (Jacob) afterwards succeeded in robbing his uncle Laban of the best part of his flocks.

Moses we have already brought under the notice of the reader. Aaron was not a man of mark: he showed himself unfaithful to his God, whom he had seen "face to face," and whom he readily forsook and led the people into idolatry, and made them a golden calf to worship. He may have been less page 21 talented than his "meek" brother, and was undoubtedly far less tyrannical, merciless, and cruel.

Joshua was emphatically a man of blood and slaughter. It seemed to be his delight to attack nations and cities; to put men, women, and children to death by the edge of the sword, taking their homes and all their property. Few generals have left so bloody a record.

David is the next great general and King—the great Glory of the Jewish nation—the special favourite with his God, being emphatically denominated the "man after God's own heart." After killing the giant Goliath—9½ feet high—with a sling and stone, and Samuel anointing him King, he came promptly into notice. "The Spirit of the Lord came upon him," but his record is not by any means faultless. He did many things which a truly good man would scorn to be guilty of. The manner in which he obtained his first wife Michal was peculiar, if not extremely delicate. Saul named a hundred foreskins of the Philistines as the price of his daughter, but David was fond enough of the killing business to make the number two hundred. Saul became jealous of David, who to save his life fled to Naioth, gathered a band of desperadoes around him, lived a sort of brigandish life, levying black-mail on farmers and others. He robbed farmer Nabul of his wife Abigail. Nabul mysteriously died within 10 days, and she became one of David's numerous wives. After plundering the Amalekites, his services having been refused by the Philistines, and in consequence of the death of Saul, whose son Ishbosheth was assassinated, David became King of Israel and Judah. His lustful passions were aroused when from the top of his house he saw Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, a valiant man, that he brought about an adulterous connection with her; and when she shewed signs of becoming a mother, he sent for her husband Uriah (who was fighting in David's army) to come home for a few days that he might be the putative father of Bathsheba's child. But the soldier was too loyal to his King to sleep at home, and he laid every night at the King's door. David was thus foiled, and he sent him back to the army with a letter to his general, Joab, to place him in front of the battle, where he would be sure to be killed, thus virtually adding premeditated murder to seduction, for Uriah was killed as per his orders.

To licentiousness and murder he added gross cruelty to his captured prisoners of war.

He killed without mercy or necessity; he placed them under saws and harrows of iron, and roasted them in brick-kilns. He robbed Mephiboseth, a poor cripple, the son of his friend Jonathan, an act which speaks for itself. His murder of five stepsons and two brothers-in-law, to gratify a malignant grudge toward the house of Saul, was characteristic of the man. His injunction on his death-bed to his son Solomon to effect the death of his faithful old general, Joab, whom he dared not en- page 22 counter himself, proved the meanness of his character; and the crowning act of his life seems to have been reached when he commanded his son Solomon to murder Shemei, in the words, "But his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood."

Solomon was one of the greatest libertines the world has produced; he kept more females in his seraglio than any man on record; his special gift of divine wisdom did not suffice to keep him true to his religion and his God. He erected altars to the pagan gods of the neighbouring nations, and encouraged their worship; he lived in sensual extravagance and luxury, and died an exhausted, disgusted, disappointed, and unhappy debauchee and roué.

Elijah took pleasure in causing the death of his competitors in the service of Baal, killing 450 at one time, and calling fire from heaven and burning over 100 at another time.—Query! Was it the same kind of fire in which he mounted to heaven?

Elisha called two she-bears out of the wood, and they ate up 42 children simply for calling him a bald-head.

Isaiah was wild and erratic, dealing in language and figures hard to understand.

Jeremiah was accused of being false to his own people, and selling himself to Nebuchadnezzar.

Hosea admitted he took a wife of whoredoms. So we see that principally Bible patriarchs and prophets were not remarkably good men, and if the Bible is to stand on the merits and excellency of its heroes and saints, its character cannot be very exalted.

Having thus shown the falsity of numerous Bible statements, also that many of the leading characters of the Jewish Bible are anything but cleanly, good, and moral men, we conclude that we have satisfactorily demonstrated that the Book abounds in vague absurdities and impure thoughts, and clothes its narratives in language calculated to lower the moral standard of mankind, and we therefore claim that there is sufficient ground to advocate our cause, which is, to endeavour to lead men to look to a loftier ideal: to leave the filthy and improbable stories to fade from the memory of man; for whilst they remain and are perused by young and old, their tendency—which appeals only to the animal side of human nature, and the brutal lust of passionate ignorance—will be baleful and dangerous, and in antagonism to a life of conscientious rectitude.

Its history is faulty, and its science defective; its fables are worn out, and its legends are beyond belief, and have the curse of being told in anything but a proper manner; its astronomy is incorrect, and the best part of the whole Book has been borrowed from earlier conceptions, and culled from ancient records pertaining to peoples of a high moral tone, whose first command in their Decalogue reads—" Thou shalt not kill any living thing" (a subject on which we shall enlarge in a future issue).

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We commend to the serious consideration of the reader the following propositions:—
1.The Bible is a human production, and was written by men of ordinary capacity, who did not excel in beauty of style, depth of knowledge, and purity of purpose, the average writers of the present day.
2.It is wholly unknown who the great majority of writers were, or when they wrote.
3.Very few of them ever claim to be inspired, and their writings possess no intrinsic proofs of inspiration.
4.Very few of the books were written by those to whom they are credited, or at the time it is claimed they were written.
5.The writers were ignorant of the most common truths of nature and science. They thought the earth was a flat, stationery body, having ends, corners, foundations, pillars, &c.; that the sun passed around it, or over it, every day; that it was the centre of the universe, and the principal portion of it. They knew little or nothing of geography, geology, astronomy, chemistry, and many other sciences now pretty well under stood, even by the youth of our land.
6.It abounds in errors, improbabilities, absurdities, impossibilities, contradictions, indecencies, and falsehoods; it imparts very little information of a useful or practical character, but is largely made up of crude accounts of wars, bloodshed, marrying, begetting children, concubinage, rapes, adulteries, sacrifices, ceremonies, and rude superstitions.
7.If it possessed a value at any former age of the world, and to the people among whom it was written, it has greatly ceased to be of marked value in this age of the world, and to the people of this country.
8.That the original copies have been lost many hundreds of years, and all that have existed for 1500 years and more are copies of copies, and transcripts of transcripts, into which many modifications have carelessly, or purposely, entered.
9.The councils and convocations of bishops and priests which assumed to decide which of the books were of Divine origin, and which not, were not men of remarkable ability, information, or morality, and were no more able to form a correct conclusion as to which books should compose the Canon than ordinary men of our own time. On the other hand, they were contentious, and disorderly, sometimes resorting to blows; and we maintain that no man is under any obligation to accept the dictum of any council that has taken action concerning the Book.
10.Thousands of errors of copyists, errors of translators, &c., are known to exist. King James' translation was published in 1611; 100 years afterwards it was corrected by Bishops Tenison and Lloyd; thousands of errors have thus been discovered and expurgated.

In 1669 Dr Blaney corrected a multitude of errors, reformed the text in many places, and rectified several material errors in