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Five Pebbles from the Brook   By: (1787-1828)

Book cover

First Page:

FIVE PEBBLES

From

THE BROOK.

A Reply

TO

"A DEFENCE OF CHRISTIANITY"

WRITTEN BY

EDWARD EVERETT,

GREEK PROFESSOR OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY IN ANSWER TO "THE GROUNDS OF CHRISTIANITY EXAMINED BY COMPARING THE NEW TESTAMENT WITH THE OLD"

BY GEORGE BETHUNE ENGLISH.

"Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?" "Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good? Thou chooseth[fn1] the tongue of the crafty. Thy own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee." "Behold I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth."

PHILADELPHIA:

PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR.

1824.

[PG Editor's Note: Many printer's errors in this text have been retained as found in the original in particular the will be found a large number of mismatched and wrongspace quotation marks.]

ADVERTISEMENT.

WHEN I left America, I had no intention of giving Mr. Everett's book a formal answer: but having learned since my arrival in the Old World, that: the controversy in which I had engaged myself had attracted some attention, and had been reviewed by a distinguished member of a German university, my hopes of being serviceable to the cause of truth and philanthrophy are revived, and I have therefore determined to give a reply to Mr. Everett's publication.

In this Work, as in my prior writings, I have taken for granted the Divine Authority of the Old Testament, and I have argued upon the principle that every book, claiming to be considered as a Divine revelation and building itself upon the Old Testament as upon a foundation, must agree with it, otherwise the superstructure cannot stand. The New Testament, the Talmud, and the Koran are all placed by their authors upon the Law and the Prophets, as an edifice is upon its foundation; and if it be true that any or all of them be found to be irreconcileable with the primitive Revelation to which they all refer themselves, the question as to their Divine Authority is decided against them, most obviously and completely.

This work was written in Egypt and forwarded to the U. States, while I was preparing to accompany Ismael Pacha to the conquest of Ethiopia; an expedition in which I expected to perish, and therefore felt it to be my duty to leave behind me, something from which my countrymen might learn what were my real sentiments upon a most important and interesting subject; and as I hoped would learn too, how grossly they had been deluded into building their faith and hope upon a demonstrated error.

On my arrival from Egypt I found that the MS. had not been published, and I was advised by several, of my friends to abandon the struggle and to imitate their example; in submitting to the despotism of popular opinion, which, they said, it was imprudent to oppose. I was so far influenced by these representations extraordinary indeed in a country which boasts that here freedom of opinion and of speech is established by law that I intended to confine myself to sending the MS. to Mr. Everett; in the belief that when he should have the weakness of his arguments in behalf of what he defended and the injustice of his aspersions upon me, fairly and evidently laid before him, that he would make me at least a private apology. He chose to preserve a sullen silence, probably believing that he is so securely seated in the saddle which his brethren have girthed upon the back of "a strong ass" that; there is no danger that the animal will give him a fall.

Not a little moved at this, I determined to do my myself justice, and to publish the pages following.

This book is not the work of an Infidel. I am not an infidel; what I have learned and seen in Europe, Asia and Africa, while it has confirmed my reasons for rejecting the New Testament, has rooted in my mind the conviction that the ancient Bible does contain a revelation from the God of Nature, as firmly as my belief in the first proposition of Euclid.

The whole analogy of Nature, while it is in many respects opposed to the characteristics ascribed to the Divinity by the metaphysicians, yet bears witness in my opinion, that this world was made and is governed by just such a Being as the Jehovah of the Old Testament; while the palpable fulfillment of predictions contained in that book, and which is so strikingly manifest in the Old World, leaves in my mind no doubt whatever, of the ultimate fulfillment of all that it promises, and all that it threatens... Continue reading book >>




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