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worship of God, in the general sense of the word ; but, by, the Christian Religion, a worship of three persons in one God: and to be more minute.
J.-No pray stay ; not to involve ourselves with too much of your definition at a time, I would observe, that I have a very clear idea, from my experience of the manners of mankind, what the word worship means; but I must now crave your definition of the word God, before I can understand your idea of religion.
R.-Definition of the word God! Was auy thing ever before spoken one half so blasphemous? Did ever Carlile, that priuce of blasphemers, did his master, Satan himself, ever equal this? Pray, your worship, (turning to the Chairman, does not this man deserve commitment from the court? (a doubtful nod.) ·
J.--This tirade might be something towards a definition of your idea of religion, as the assault upon my infant son was a definition, on his sabbath day, of the religion of Mr. Heath, on whom I ask the execution of justice; but, that you and I may not misunderstand each other and draw wrong inferences from ill defined premises, I must press a definition of your meaning of the word God.
R.-Abominable! I cannot outrage the feelings of the court by such an unprecedented attempt.
J. Now, Sir, you perceive, that I have changed positions with you, and have shewn you the impropriety of putting improper questions to a person in my situation. I know well, that you cannot give me a definition of your idea of the word God; but until you can do so, there is an obstacle to my giving you a definition of your idea of the word religion. My answer can only follow your explanation. I shrink not from any answer required of me, if you will but put your question in intelligible words.
R.-Pray, your worship, (turning to the Chairman) will it not do, if I assert the doctrine of the god head to be a mystery? (A nod of disapprobation.)
J.-No, no, that will not do; because, then, your religion is mysterious and cannot have a clear definition to have a clear answer, suited to the evidence required in a court of law.
R.-(scratching his head and adjusting his wig with both hands, in a solus observes: What times are come upon us now! Is this occupation also gone?) We will take another point, Mr. Justice, are you a Christian?
J.-Perceiving men of the most oppositely asserted sentiments to call themselves Christians, I must also ask your definition of the terms which constitute a Christian.
R.-In a thought:-“ God damn this fellow for a bore.") As all Christians must rest upon the Gospels, as they are found in the New Testament, I demand, if you believe in those Gospels?
J.-Not in both points of a contradiction.
R.-(Muttering to himself:-—" Curse this fellow") But do you believe in the general outline of the history of those Gospels?
J.-Does your question apply to the allegorical or to the literal sense of that history?
R.-Confound your evasions.
J.-Nay, Sir, mine are not evasions. I wish to to understand you so clearly, as not to evade a particle of any question which you can put to me.
R.-Will you condescend to change positions and take upon yourself to define what you distinguish by the allegorical and the literal sense of the history of the Gospels ?
J.-Well, as we can get no definitions from you, and as we cannot proceed without them, I will assist you through the dilemma. If you ask
me, whether I believe that the statements of the Gospels, as to things said and doce at a time and place; are literally founded in truth, my answer is, that I have no corroborating evidence of the facts in any other books; but, as I have the most convincing negative evidence, in other books, that such things were not so said and done at such a time and place, and as I know that fables and allegories can be and have been written, I demur to the question of being a Christian on that ground. Still, as I believe, that the Gospels of the New Testament are correct allegorical pieces of history, relating to tbe character of mankind at all times, in the persecution of the Logos or Reason, and the continued Resurrection and Ascension of that Logos or Reason over that persecution, I am a Christian in the very best sense of the word, in the only well founded sense of the word.
R.- Well, wbat do you say to a future state of rewards and punishments ?
J.-Here, again, I must have a definition; for, taking your question as it now stands, I can only answer, that, I believe,
from experience, that rewards and pupisbments will be the same hereafter as they now are and always have been.
R.--Well, but do you believe that there is an immortal principle in mankind subject to a future state of rewards and punishments ?
J.-Again, there is an obscurity in your question. Do you mean one individual man or the successive aggregate of mankind?
R.-Take one, take yourself for an instance. conscious of a future state of rewards and punishments ?
J.-Not as an identity, not in the character in which I now stand before tbis court, not in any character which I have exhibited from my birth to my present age as an identity, nor in any age or character to come during my life; but I am conscious of continued existence as a part of the aggregate of matter.
R.-Then, you do not believe that you have an immortal soul or spirit, which is to be nursed in heaven or punished in hell, according to your actions in this life?
J.-Here we must come to definitions again about soul, spirit, heaven and hell, as my experience has not yet taught me to understand the defiņition or meaning or application of those words.
R.-No, no, no, for God's sake, let us have no more definitions. You may go down. I will ask you no more questions.
If I can reach the author, or even an admirer of the dialogue of “ Tremaine or the Man of Refinement; I would have it observed how easy it is in framing such a dialogue, to make all the conclusions meet the writer's wishes. These fictitious dialogues do not constitute free discussion; though they may be very instructive, as I think mine above is, and as I think that between Tremaine and Evelyn to be; but that instruction is no proof that they are conclusive of their subject.
W. W. R. to R. C.
In reply to your question about the Triple Tau, I will begin by translating for you a passage of Court de Gebelin (Monde Primitif. Tom. 4. p 496). “ The Dove was therefore, throughout all antiquity, the symbol of the fecundaled Principle, which constitutes so considerable a portion of Nature; while the Cross or the Thau Pallisé, denoted the fecundating Principle. One was the Moon, the other the Sun, Isis and Osiris. These Symbols became marks, of honour, of dignity, of belief. The Egyptian Priests carried the Cross; the Assyrians adorned their standards with a Dove. Similar Symbols existed in the West; they still exist there, and in splendour: the women append them to their necklaces, and many orders are honoured with them.” (This was one of the principal passages that induced me to put down Court de Gebelin among the Anti-Superstitionists; but I have since scratched him out, as not having spoken clearly enough.) Again, in Tom. 8. p. 370, C. de G., in explaining the cards used in the Jeu de Tarots, which he affirms to be an Egyptian game, says, with regard to the personage called the Father, [he is holding the Sceptre in his hand ;] As to the Sceptre surmounted by a triple cross, it is a perfectly Egyptian monument. It is seen on the Table of Isis*. It refers to the Triple Phallus which was carried about at the famous festival of the Pamylia, when the people rejoiced at the discovery of Osiris, and where it was the symbol of the regeneration of Plants and of the whole of Nature.” We know that the Phallus entered into many of the religious ceremonies of the ancients. The Egyptian Women carried in procession images with enormous privities, which were moved by strings (vid. Herodot. B. 2. ch. 48. et conf. Lucian. de Syr. D. ch. 16.) Thus also St. Augustin, (quoted by C. de G. Tom. 4. p. 376.) says, that, at Lavinium (in Italy) the symbols of fecundation were publicly crowned by the most respectable and 'virtuous of the women. But perhaps you will think, that C. de G. is one of those writers, who will unfortunately now and then distort a fact in order to suit a theory; I will therefore support his authority by that of Jablonski, who, after quoting Plutarch (de Isid. ch. 36) about the Triple Phallus carried about at the Pamylia, also refers to the Isiac Table, and particularly to the triple Crux Ansata which is represented at the top of the spear which the new born child Harpocrates holds in both his hands.
* But I think I have read somewhere that the Isiac table is a forgery, No. 12. Vol. XII.
“I have already* remarked” says Jablonski “that, according to the observation of the learned La Croze, this Crux Ansata, so often observed on Egyptian Monuments, is nothing but the Phallus, or a somewhat obscure image of the Penis.” As to the Phallus being Triple, Plutarch himself says, in the passage above referred to, that it is merely a certain number put for an uncertain, as the Poets say “thrice happy”; or that perhaps it may allude to the three first bodies, earth, air, and fire, which were created by the humid principle. And then for the Tau, I look to the plates at the end of the 3d. Vol.of C. de G., who considers that the primitive form of this letter was a cross ; for, in Chinese, denotes “perfection” or “ten”.
In the Hebrew Medals, and in the Phenician Alphabet used in Spain, it is thus,
while in the Etruscan, Ethiopic, and Coptic, it remained thus
Montfaucon, in his-Palæographia Græca, gives specimens of the crucial form of the Tau. (vid. the Plates at pages 122 and 312). At pp. 133, 134, he quotes Origen, who says, that a certain Jewish Christian declared, that in the Old Alphabet, the Tau bore the form of the cross.
" This, says Montfaucon, I have explained in my edition of the Hexapla." Jerome says the same thing, when commenting on the same passage as occasioned the above mentioned remark of Origin. It is the 9th eh. Ezekiel, and the 4th verse, a passage which Tertullian (adv. Marcion. B. 3 ch. 22. p. 173, and conf. adv. Judæos eh. 11. p. 322.) quotes thus : “ Put the mark Thau upon the foreheads of
“For, (Tertullian immediately subjoins) the Greek letter Tau, our T, has the very form of the cross, which he (the prophet) foretold would be upon our foreheads, in that true and Catholic Jerusalem, in which, &c. &c." Sir W. Drummond, in his “ Origenes" lately published, has, I believe, noticed this passàge of Tertullian, and also the famous one of Barnabas, cap. 9. (ch. 8. v. 13. Hone's Edit.) on which Cotelerius has written a very useful and instructive notet. (Patr. Apost. not. p. 20). I think then, that the identity, or at any rate the close similarity, between the Tau, the Cross, and the Phallus, is pretty tolerably proved. I might indeed add, that as the Tau indicated the active Principle, so the cognate letter Teth might indicate the Passive Prin. ciple. If C. de Gébelin be right in his quotations (Tom. 1. p. 106, 120.) the letter of Toth was triangular, and so to a certain degree was the Teth of the Samaritans; and Eustathius says, that the Greek Comic Writers used the word Delta (a triangle) to express the pudendum muliebre (vid. Scapul. Lex.), perhaps as being the
* B. 2. ch 7. sect 8. where he considers the Phallus as much the same as the Lingam, or the Indian representation of the privities of the two
+ Beside a host of Christian writers he quotes Lucian, in whose “ Judgment of the Vowels" the letter Sigma pleads, that the letter Tau be crucified, as having, by its form, instructed Tyrants how to form crosseș.