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lieving them to be true, and ought not to believe them. It is therefore a duty which every man owes to himself, and reverentially to his Maker, to ascertain, by every possible inquiry, whether there be sufficient evidence to believe them or not.
My own opinion is decidedly, that the evidence does not warrant the belief, and that we sin in forcing that belief upon ourselves and upon others. In saying this, I have no other object in view than truth. But that I may not be accused of resting upon bare assertion with respect to the equivocal state of the Bible, I will produce an example, and I will not pick and cull the Bible for the purpose. I will go fairly to the case : I will take the two first chapters of Genesis as they stand, and show from thence the truth of what I say. that is, that the evidence does not warrant the belief that the Bible is the word of God.
CHAPTER I. 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good : and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night: and the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament heaven; and the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear : and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he seas, and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb, yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind : and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night: and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth : and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness : and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind : and God saw that it was good.
27 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth after his kind :, and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind : and God saw that it was good.
26 ( And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness : and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed : to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat : and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
CHAPTER II. 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made.
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were created; in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field, before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field, before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upou the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 T And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden : and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food ; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12 And the gold of that land is good : there is bdellium and the onyx-stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon : the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel : that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Eupbrates.
î5 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat :
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it ; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.
18' And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone : I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 [ And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, becuuse she was taken out of man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and sball cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
These two chapters are called the Mosaic account of the creation; and we are told, nobody knows by whom, that Moses was instructed by God to write that account.
It has happened that every nation of people have been worldmakers ; and each makes the world to begin his own way, as if they had all been brought up, as Hudibras says, to the trade. There are hundreds of different opinions and traditions how the world began. My business, however, in this place, is only with these two chapters.
I begin then by saying, that these two chapters, instead of containing, as has been believed, one continued account of the creation, written by Moses, contain two different and contradictory stories of a creation, made by two different persons, and written in two different styles of expression. The evidence that shows this is so clear when attended to without prejudice, that, did we meet with the same evidence in any Arabic or Chinese account of a creation, we should not hesitate in pronouncing it a forgery.
I proceed to distinguish the two stories from each other.
The first story begins at the first verse of the first chapter, and ends at the end of the third verse of the second chapter ; for the adverbial conjunction, THUS, with which the second chapter begins, (as the reader will see), connects itself to the last verse of the first chapter, and those three verses belong to and make the conclusion of the first story.
The second story begins at the fourth verse of the second chapter, and ends with that chapter. These two stories have been confused into one, by cutting off the three last verses of the first story, and throwing them to the second chapter.
I go now to show that these stories have been written by two different persons.
From the first verse of the first chapter to the end of the thrra verse of the second chapter, which makes the whole of the first story, the word GOD is used without any epithet or additional word conjoined with it, as the reader will see : and this style of expression is invariably used throughout the whole of this story, and is repeated no less than thirty-five times, viz: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the spirit of God moved on the face of the waters, and God said let there be light, and God saw the light,” &c. &c.
But immediately from the beginning of the fourth verse of the second chapter, where the second story begins, the style of expression is always the Lord God, and this style of expression is invariably used to the end of the chapter, and is repeated eleven times ; in the one it is always God, and never the Lord God ; in the other it is always the Lord God, and never God. The first story contains thirty-four verses, and repeats the single word Gon thirty-five times; the second story contains twenty-two verses, and repeats the compound word 'Lord-God eleven times. This difference of style, so often repeated, and so uniformly continued, shows, that these two chapters, containing two different stories, are written by different persons : it is the same in all the different editions of the Bible, in all the languages I have seen.
Having thus shewn, from the difference of style, that these two chapters, divided as they properly divide themselves, at the end of the third verse of the second chapter, are the work of two different persons, I come to shew, from the contradictory matters they contain, that they cannot be the work of one person, and are two different stories.
It is impossible, unless the writer was a lunatic, without memory, that one and the same person could say, as is said in tho 27th and 28th verses of the first chapter—"So God created man in his own iinage, in the image of God created he him ; male and female creuted he them : and God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over every living thing that moveth on the face of the earth”—it is, I say, impossible that the same person who said this, could afterwards say, as is said in the second chapter, ver. 5, and there was not a man to till the ground ; and then proceed in the 7th verse to give another account of the making a man for the first time, and afterwards of the making a woman out of his rib.
Again, one and the same person could not write, as is written in the 29th verse of the first chapter ; “ Behold I (God) have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed : to you it shall be for meat,” and afterwards say, as is said in the second chapter, that the Lord God planted a tree in the midst of a garden, and forbad man to eat thereof.
Again, one and the same person could not say, “ Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them, and on