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The True Messiah; or, The Old and New Testaments, Examined According to the Principles of the Language of Nature

Boston: E.P. Peabody, 1842


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INTRODUCTION.

Testaments, and the immense system evidently above the power of all - created intelligences. But it is not thus with those merely nominal Christians, who, in reality, know not what they believe, and who; as they cannot disentangle the truth from the absurd pretensions, with which it has been mixed, envelope, in equal scorn, religious abuses and the most indispensable principles of morals and religion. It is not thus, above all, with those numerous miscreants of the day, who often have such terrible prejudices to surmount, who often have not the first idea, the first notion of an immortal life, disengaged from the clogs of mat-ter. To all such, the most simple bridge becomes the most precious thing; and the idea of the language of Nature, found in the holy books, has appeared to us most proper to represent this bridge; and the eagerness with which we have seized on it, is proportioned to the number of those who are to pass over it.

We have divided our work into two parts; the first treats of the true nature of Jesus Christ; the second on the true sense of his doctrine.

body, and return to it, at will; he was, evidently, nothing else than a somnambulist. Socrates himself, as all know, entered, from time to time, into magnetic exaltation; this must be the origin of the demon, or familiar spirit, attributed to him. "These demons of the Pythagoreans, said Diogenes Laertius, (demons, who, as we have already said, were no other than the substantial men of their ancestors,) influence mortals by the presentiments and dreams which they give them; they send them health and sickness, and reveal to them hidden things and future events." Every one knows the cabalistic science of the Rabbins, which has been defended by more than one strong head, in past times, and which the progress of science has forced some modern philosophers to view with a little less disdain. Finally, all the passages of Saint Paul's epistles, in which he traces rules touching the order to be preserved among those who speak unknown tongues, those who have visions, revelations, and those who interpret dreams, prove that the laying on of hands, observed by him, resembled, entirely, our modern experiments on provoked extasy. It was necessary then, as now, to try the spirits if they be of God, and to set apart imaginary or simulated exaltation, imposture, and folly. And what the apostles themselves have taught us, on this subject, enables us to enter into details on what the Holy Fathers, and the first ecclesiastical writers, who, without a single exception, all admitted extasies, cures, and possessions, and spoke of them as phenomena known to all the world, the pagan as well as the Christian. Tertullian alone wrote seven books upon extasy ; and he became a montanist only because he suffered himself to be deceived by the extatic Monism and his two companions, prophetesses or somnambulists, as they may be called. Really, he must be very ignorant of ancient authors, who can believe that the peculiar state of organization, which Dr. Bertrand calls the extatic crisis, has not been known to all ages ; that it has not frequently constituted the principal object of the re-searches of nations, in relation to worship, as well as to the healing science, and that most of the religions in the world did not have those astonishing phenomena for a first principle.



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