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persons and dispositions. His cajoling and shuffing with the Corinthians about money matters shews, that he was a per. fect adept in the art of deceit. At one moment, he wills them to give freely, at another, reproaches them for not having given any thing; though he does not want any thing from them, not he! he can work with bis hands and bas“ robbed other churches,” because he would not be beholding to them who were unwilling to give. This unwillingness in the Corinthians seems to have been the cause of the bitter reproaches which he has cast upon them, and which he seems to sbufle out of at 2 Corinthians chap. 7. ver. 11, wben they resented the imputatious made. To the Philippiaus who gave freely he writes a most flattering Epistle!
Such was the character of the little crooked-thighed, holloweyed, crooked-nosed Saint Paul, the evident founder of every thing that has appeared in Europe and America under the the name of Christianity. In different parts of bis Epistles, he is very free in calling bimself a fool. “I speak as a fool,” he says at one place; but he was more rogue than fool, and his true character is that of a cunning little impostor-the little crooked dog has done more mischief, by the crookedness of his mind, than any other man who has lived The little lame and crooked Timour the Tartar or Tamerlane did not a bundredth part of the mischief to mankind that this wicked and crooked little Apostle of the Gospel of Uncircumcision has done! It is a singular circumstance; but observation will «justify the assertion, that these little deformed characters are generally forward in mischief, and some of them have exercised great and malignant influence among mankind. There are honourable exceptions, one of which was Alexander Pope; but you will generally find them inspired; clever at something, either mischief or well doing: particularly when they are shoe-makers, or tent-makers, or tailors, or employed with the needle in sedentary occupations! They will generally desert their regular occupations, if they can by any trick find an easier living.
By his first Epistle to the Corinthians, it appears, that Paul got himself trusted with some money to carry to the distressed saints in Asia, notwithstanding he was forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word there! and from the doleful nature of the second Epistle, the evident reproaches made upon him by the Corinthians, and his retorts upon money matters, I am inclined to think, that be applied “their liberality towards the saints” to his own private purposes, as all things were lawful to him if the spirit was the mover.
The whole of bis Second Epistle is an evasive answer to some reproaches that had been cast upon him, and a recounting of wbat he had suffered since he left them. Hisconfession about the “thorn in the flesh”.at chap. xii. ver. 7 is a corollery to my conjecture about the money matters. He evidently bere put in practice bis doctrine of committing sin that grace might the more abound in him! The answers of the Coripthians to his accusations would be very useful in the way elucidating his vices.
Ab! Thomas Paine! thou wert not such an immoral wretch as this man Paul, whose followers have burnt thee in effigy, insulted thy grave, and belied thy whole character ! Hadst thou been so, hadst thou been less honest, hadst thou sought to practice some impositions among mankind, instead of working to their improvement and increased happiness, the wretches would have sung thy praises, and honoured, if honour could come from them, thy menory! But honour shall yet be done to thy honourable exertions! The profligacy of the Christians of the Gospel of Uncircumcision shall be duly exposed from the first to the last of them! Thy name shall be lisped with admiration, when the name of Saint Paul is forgotten, or if not forgotten, execrated! Thou wert the first Euglisbman, that manfully assailed the Christian Idolatry! the first that did it opeply! the first that did it with candour! It brougbt thee the insults of the ignorant and wretched Christians: but it could not bring pain to tby mind! Imitating thee, I wrap myself in thy mantle, and bid -them defiance! And I swear by tby virtues, throughout life, I will strive to imitate them, and to do justice to thy character and worth!
Having shewn up the little crooked-thigbed, crookednosed, and angelic-faced Saint Paul in every position, we have now got him in Europe with his Gospel of uncircumcision ; so let us see what sort of European Christians were those which he first made; what sort of lights they were, Bailey!
The first portrait that we have of them begins at Romans, cbap. i. ver. 26, where after saying, that some held the truth in unrighteousness, and after they had had God made manifest to them, they neither glorified him nor were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened, he says:
« For this cause God gave them up uuto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against pature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the
woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with med working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error wbich was meet *"
This is a horrid picture and ought not to be in print in this day: much less ought it to be thrust into all hands as - a sacred book! even into those of boys and girls! but with me there is an excuse : it is my duty and particular task to expose and condemn it. I have suffered five years imprisonment with other great injuries for calling this an obscene book; and at the end of those five years, I see Roman Ca. tbolics, Priests, and Laymen, avowing with me the obscenities of the Bible; and giving it as a reason to the Protestants why they wish to withhold such a book from their focks ! Surely Mother Churcb is brought to a pretty pass; though she still keeps me ber prisoner! I may hereafter leave it to Catholic Priests and Barristers to expose the obscenities of the Bible and proceed to shew the bad foundation of its whole history. But all ought to know, that I keep a printed list of references to those beautiful obscenities. I see that I shall be driven to make a fortune, by illustraing a new edition of the Bible with becoming prints, if the Bible men will not see its beauties in the letter press. What I want to get is, a literal translation, with suitable notes and graphic illustrations. And to publish these in such numbers as to have a splendid coloured print with each. It will be a fortune for all who will engage in it: and if I cannot get it done otberwise, I will master the Hebrew Language, but that I will get it done by myself.
It has been denied that the shocking propensities mentioned in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans were attributed to early Christians; but nothing can be more clear. St. Paul would not allow the Heathen or Gentiles as they were called, to hold the truth, to know God, and to become vain in their imaginations. It is a sort of relapsed Christians of whom he is speaking. In the last verse of the chapter, he says of them: “ Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.' This cannot be mistaken: the Heathen knew nothing of St. Paul's God or St. Paul's God's system of morals. It is clear that he speaks of avowed Christians. His fellow Apostle,
* This must allude to some disease, some kind of venereal disease; for there have been many kinds of it. The leprosy was
St. Barnabas, also stiles the first Christians as the “ the most wicked of all the wicked.” But we have further corroborations in this book, the New Testament. Åt chap. vi. ver. 19 of this Epistle, after thanking God that they were the servants of sin, he says: “ for as ye bave yielded your members to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity.” This is a complete corroboration of what is above quoted from the first chapter.
This Epistle to the Romans, as it is called, is dated at Coripth, and this we must consider the first European town in which the Apostle of the Gospel of Uncircumcision figured. At chap. xvi. ver. 23, we are told, that Gaius was Paul's host and the host of the whole church, that is, that the Church of Corinth counted no more members than could conveni. ently assemble in the house of Gaius; but whether they consisted of half a dozen or a dozen we are not informed. But before Paul left Corinth, it seems, by bis first Epistle to the Corintbians, chap. i. ver. 11, that he had forined two churcbes or two houses full of Christians; and as soon as there were two, they began to quarrel and to accuse one another of misconduct. " For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them wbich are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.” Then he says most emphatically at ver. 14: “ I thank God that I baptized none of you, but to Crispus and Gaius.". Here he even thinks it would have been a disgrace to have baptised such Christians! And to set forth the worthlessness and inconsistency of this Apospostle as an Epistle writer, we have only to go back to verses 4 to 7 where he says: “ I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enricbed by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” An honest man could not bave written in this contradictory stile. And bere it may be seen too, that Paul's first preaching of Jesus Christ was, that he was cominy, not that he had been.
The Epistle of the Church of the House of Chloe to Paul in accusation of the Church of the House of Gaius would be a delicious treat of scandal to us Anti-Christians, and so would the retort of the Church in the House of Gaius upon Paul and upon those of the House of Chloe. At lst Corinthians, chap. v. ver. 1, we read: “It is reported commonly that there is foruication among you, and such fornication as
is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife." And further on, he challenges them with glorying in this matter! Pretty primitive Christians!
I am_of opinion, that the Epistles which now stand as single Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, aud others, were not originally written in the same manner; but that they are extracts from different Epistles compounded as one. On any other ground I cannot account for the incongruity and want of connection in the matter. At 1st Corinthians chap. v. ver. 9, we read: “ I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with forvicators.” This then as a whole cannot be, the first to the Corinthians. Subsequent chapters of this epistle correspond with that which he is previously said to have written.
Speaking of the Apostles, Paul says, at chap. iv. ver. 10 and following of this Epistle: “ We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even un. to this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we intreat; we are made as the filth of the earth, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day." Here is a very pretty picture of the Apostlesbip at its first starting! How unlike to our modern Apostles! Yet these were the men of whom it is said, that the gift of tongues was imparted to them by the Holy Ghost, and that they were under the special protection of an omnipotent God! When fairly looked into, how truly human do all these things appear!
By the contents of the seventh chapter, it seems, that the Corinthians, having been accused of improper fornication, wrote to Paul, to know what was a proper rule of cooduct in this matter. This question seems to have puzzled little crooked Saint Paul; for he shuffles confoundedly in his answer. He says it is good for a man not to touch a woman-it is well to marry, but better not to marry; and if they cannot contain themselves, that is, if, like the Vicar of Cerne, they burn, it is better to marry than not to marry. There is a loop-hole all through the precepts, to suit all dispositions; and one there is quite amiable: “ Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I