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any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house; and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”
Here is the injunction both plain and positive; and if there were either bonesty or consistency in any other Christian sect than yours, they would all submit to circumcision. Here is your complete justification. Read this paragraph to Judge Bailey, ask him if he respects the precepts of the Old Testament, and he must be a vile hypocrite, if he does not without hesitation direct your acquittal. Press upon his attention the conclusion of the paragraph, wbich to a serious Christian is matter of so great an import, that he cannot evade its force: “ And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised that soul shall be cut off from his people ; he hath broken my covenant."
If I were a Christian, I should not be at ease a moment until I were circumcised. You will bear in mind, that this injunction was not confined to Jews. Abraham was not a Jew nor an Israelite. The Arabians, who trace their descent from Ishmael, all submit to circumcision at the age puberty; because we are told at verses 23 to 27 of the same chapter, that “ Abraham took Ishmael bis son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin the self same day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninetyyears old and vine, when he was was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin: And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskip. In the self same day was Abraham circumcised, and Isbmael bis
And all the men of his bouse, born in the house, and bought with the money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.”
Here we see, that the injunction extended even to the slaves that were bought of a foreign people. We are told, that Jehovah did not only covenant with Abraham and his posterity, but with all the males that should be associated with them, evidently meaning all that should embrace the same system of religion or the worship of Jehovah. The Christian has no loop-hole whatever to evade the injunction,
bur in the renunciation of his religion; but in disavowing all worship of Jehovah.
At Genesis chap. xxi. ver. 4, we are told, tbat Isaac was circumcised at eight days old, as God had commanded. But nothing is said about the circumcision of the children of Isaac, or of Jacob, until we come to the treacherous affair with the Shechemites, as narrated at cbap. xxxiv. There we are told, that Jacob and his sons refused to dwell with Hamor, his son Shechem, and people, before they were circumcised. The Shechemites submitted to circumcision, and whilst they were sore (circumcision is no joke, as you are experiencing!) two of Jacob's sons slew them all, believe it who can, because their sister Dinab had been defiled with the uncircumcised foreskin of the King's son! It appears, that the rape, if it was a rape, would not ha een held crimiual, if Shechem had been circumcised!
We find nothing more said about circumcision, until we come to Exodus chap. iv.-nothing said about any
circumcision of the Israelites in Egypt. Moses himself, at chap. vi. ver. 30, says to Johovah: “ Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how sball Pharaoh bearken unto me?" But at chap. iv. ver. 24, there is a most singular incident introduced, wbich, as far as it is intelligible, says, tbat the Lord sought to kill Moses, because he had not circumcised his son. The story is very imperfect, but stands thus: “ And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him (Moses) and sought to kill bim. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of hier son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art'thou to
So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.” The inference of this story, if any can be drawn, is, that Zipporah was shocked atthe idea of wounding her infant, but that God was so inexorable on that head, that nothing would atone for the foreskin, but the life of Moses! And in the 6th chap. it is said, that Moses himself was not circumcised! We can only account for such contradictions by saying, that the story is both divine and Jewish.
The next notice of the rite of circumcision is in the Levical Law, Leviticus chap. xii. ver. 3 : 'where after saying, that a woman shall be considered unclean seven days on bringing forth a man child, it is added: “ And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” Many of the laws of the book of Leviticus are repeated in the book of Deuteronomy, but this is not repeated.
We must now step on to that scene of all scenes, the Hill of Foreskins, as drawn at Joshua chap. v. It is thus described: “ At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time. And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the childrer of Israel at the bill of the foreskins. And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise : All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way after they came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. *** And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they bad not circumcised them by the way. And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. And the Lord said unto Joshua; This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of this place is called Gilgal upto this day.”
We are told in the book of Numbers, that the number of the children of Israel, of the males above twenty years old, who were able to go forth to war, were above six bundred thousand: so that Joshua must have bad a smart task to perform, and there must have been a hill of foreskins indeed ! In addition to the six hundred thousand, we may fairly calculate, that there was a male child to each under twenty. years old, so that, at least, there were a million foreskins to be circumcised. Now if Joshua dispatched one a minute and worked twelve hours a day, it would occupy him four years in the circumcision of the whole! or five years for the gross number of Israelites stated!
We have not a word more in the Old Testament about circumcision, excepting a condemnation of the uncircumcised Philistines, and the Prophet Jeremiah recommending a circumcision of the heart. None of the other Old Testament Heroes are said to have been circumcised; though David had to circumcise a hundred Philistines to get a royal wife, which he gallantly accomplished by doubling the number! We are not told whether the men or the women were in the habit of eating these foreskins, or what were done with them, or why they were circumcised, other than its being a whim of Jehovah's. A foreskin-pie must be a delicious dish to set before a few old maids or young maids either: and I
shall not be surprised to hear of such a dish, if circumcision become general as it ought to be among the Christians! It would be a rare dish for some of the London epicures aud throw white bait and turtle into the shade! It will be necessary, that the Christians beware of eating the foreskin of a Jew: and experience assures us, that a Jew would as soon eat a piece of pork as the foreskin of a Christian! When all Christians become circumcised, there must be no sects among them, or they will not be able to distinguish between the foreskin of a Catholic and the foreskin of a Protestant, and thus may eat to each other's damnation!
An idea occurs about the Christian Society for the Conversion of the Jews. And here agaio circumcision becomes most important to the Christians, for the Jews will rather yield any thing than not to lose their foreskins. Now if they who so ardently seek to convert the Jews will practise upon themselves the rite of circumcision, a conversion from Judaism to that sort of Christianity will be comparatively trifling; the Jew will then be able to fulfil his whole law, and not have his conscience tortured by its neglect or disobedi
It is clear, that sich was the Christianity first offered to them by the first Christians, until the little wrangling Saint Paul stepped in with his Gospel of Uncircumcision: and further, it is not only madness, but it is infidelity itself, to ask the Jews to give up that rite which is so solemnly enjoined upon them by the covenant of Jebovah with Abraham, by the Levitical Law, and by the precedent of Joshua's five years' hard labour at the Hill of Foreskins.
Saint Luke is the only one of the four Gospel writers of the New Testament that says any thing of circumcision: he mentions the circumcision of Jobn Baptist and of Jesus. But the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus is more particular and says, that the Hebrew Midwife, who attended Mary the mother of Jesus, carefully preserved the foreskin is a box of precious ointment, and gave it to her son who was an apothecary, cautioning him not to take any price for it, as this little divine prepuce would perform all sorts of cures and miracles. This same Gospel says, that even the vapkins or swaddling cloths which the infant Jesus had piddled upon or otherwise soiled, would drive out devils from the possessed, perform all sorts of cures and miracles, and were incombustible to fire! and that the great treasure which the Wise Men of the East obtained in exchange for their journey and presents to Jesus was-a napkin which the infant Jesus had soiled! Oh! what a tit bit as a relic for the
saints would have been the little divine prepuce, and only a soiled thread of one of the napkins worn by Jesus to string it upon! They have preserved almost every thing that belonged to him, save the little divine prepuce! Confound that apothecary! what can he have done with it? It must be incorruptible and incombustible, wherever it is. Saints! go look for it! When your Shiloh comes, Henry Lees, I hope you will be more careful of this second divine prepuce!
But though Saint Matthew has said nothing about circuincision, he has said sometbing to the purpose about emasculation, and its prevalence among the early Christians. chap. xix. verses 11 and 12, we read, as the words of Jesus in answer to his disciples, who had observed to him that it would be better for a man not to marry than to risk an indissoluble marriage: “ All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb; and there are some eunuchs, wbich were made eunuchs of men; and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”-I have it, I will receive it!
This is an incontestible proof that emasculation as well as circumcision was common among the primitive Christians. There was no such thing among the Jews. Their law was most precise upon this head, as we read at Deuteronomy chap. xxiii. ver. 1, “ He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.” Here it seems that even an accident to those parts, any thing that rendered the male unsound, was sufficient to exclude him from an equality with his fellows. And the Jewish Law throughout most wisely encourages a chaste or well regulated venery, seeming to view it as the principal source of human bappiness and morality. Every encouragement was given to early marriage and favours bestowed upon the new married couple, as we may read at Deuteronomy chap. xxiv. ver 5, " When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.” This was something like encouragement to marry! A Jew was allowed twelve or thirteen honey-moons! Faulty as is the Old Testament, the New Testament is a most improper, most disgraceful appendage to it. If you, Henry Lees, have erred in any thing as a Christian, it has been, that you have not proceeded to emasculation as well as to circumcision : and he who shall restore a sect of both circumcised aud