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DEDICATION.

TO THE

MASTER, FELLOWS, AND TUTORS OF

ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

REVEREND AND LEARNED SIRS,

In interesting remembrance of the high sense your learned body were pleased to express of my successful studies, when I received your general vote of thanks, delivered to me by the Master himself, the late Dr. Craven, for the honour you were pleased to consider that my poor talents and application, in statu pupillari, had conferred on our College, which holds such distinguished rank in the most distinguished University in the world ; I very respectfully dedicate the Diegesis, the employment of my many solitary hours in an unjust imprisonment, incurred in the most glorious cause that ever called virtue to act, or fortitude to suffer. You will appreciate (far beyond any wish of mine that you should seem to appreciate) the merits of this work. Your assistance for the perfecting of future editions, by animadversion on any errors which might have crept into

the first ; and the feeling with respect to it, which I cannot but anticipate, though it may never be expressed ; will amply gratify an ambition whose undivided aim was to set forth truth, and nothing else but truth.

ROBERT TAYLOR, A. B.

PRISONER.

Oakham Gaol, Feb. 19, 1829.

CONTENTS.

PROLEGOMENA.

Page
Importance of the subject....Criminality of indifference....Dr. Whitby's

last thoughts, &c.

1

CHAP. I.—Definitions... Time, Place, Circumstances, Identity of Jesus

Christ of Nazareth, necessary to be established....Geography of Palestine

CHAP. II.—The Christian and Pagan Creeds collated.... The Apostle's

Creed, a Forgery....Inference that it is a Pagan document applied to Christian

purposes....Necessity of examining the pretences of all writings that lay claim

to Canonical authority

CHAP. III.- State of the Heathen World....Heathenism to be judged as

Christians would wish their own religion to be judged.... The Pacific Age....

The genius of Paganism most tolerant and philosophical.... Vast difference

between the philosophers and the vulgar.... The philosophers were Deists.... The

vulgar infinitely credulous

11

CHAP. IV.—The state of the Jews.... The Jews the grand exception to

the prevalence of universal toleration.... They plagiarized Pagan fables into
their pretended divine theology...Were as gross idolaters as the Heathens....

Truth of Judaism not essential to the truth of Christianity.... The Pharisees....

The Sadducees.... The Cabbala.... The Jews had no notion of the immortality

of the soul ; while the Heathens had more practical faith therein, than any

Christians of the present day

20

CHAP. V.-State of Philosophy...A general prevailing debility of the

haman understanding.... Vitiation of morals.... Destruction of documents....Max-
ims of deceiving the vulgar, and perpetuating ignorance, approved by St.

Paul....King's College, London....Gnosticism....Systems of philosophy 30

CHAP. VI.-Admissions of Christian writers.... Deficiency of evidence....

Christians before the Christian era.... Christian frauds.... Christian scriptures not

in the hands of the laity... Christianity and Paganism hardly distinguishable....

Miraculous powers, dreams, visions, charms, spells....Name of Jesus a spell 38

CHAP. VII.Of the Essenes or Therapeuts.... Differences of opinion with

respect to them....Every thing of Christianity is of Egyptian origin....Apostolic

and Apotactic monks.... The Therapeuts were Christians before the Augustan

era....Eclectics.... The forgery of the gospel ascribed to mongrel Jews

58

CHAP. VIII.-The Christian scriptures, doctrines, discipline and ecclesi-

astical polity, long anterior to the period assigned as that of the birth of

Christ....Recapitulation....An original translation of the famous 16th chapter

of the 2nd book of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History

66

CHAP. IX.–Of Philo and his testimony.... Sum of his admissions

74

CHAP. X.-Corollaries....Eusebius...Sufficient guarantee for the text of

Philo....Conflicting opinions....Severe sarcasm of Gibbon.... The demonstration

absolute that the monks of Egypt were the authors of the gospels... Mr.

Evanson's perplexities relieved....Alexandria the_cradle of Christianity.... Its

alow progress.... Episcopal insolence of Dionysius...St. Mark, a monk 76

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CHAP. XI.-Corroborations of the evidence arising from the admissions

of Eusebius, in the New Testament itself

86

CHAP. XII.-References to the monkish or Therapeutan doctrines to be

traced in the New Testament....John the Baptist, a monk....Monkish rules in

the New Testament....Apollos, a Therapeut.... Vagabond Jews.... The New

Testament entirely allegorical.... The English translation of it, Protestantizes

in order to keep its monkish origin out of sight....St. Paul's account of the

resurrection wholly different from that of the Evangelists.... The conclusion 90

CHAP. XIII.—On the claims of the scriptures of the New Testament to

be considered as genuine and authentic....Preliminary.... The authenticity of

St. Paul's epistles, and of so much of his history (miracles excepted) as is

contained in the Acts of the Apostles, affords no presumption in favour of the

Canonical gospels.... The canon of the New Testament not settled even so late

as the iniddle of the sixth century.... Mode of argument to be observed in this

DIEGESIS

109

CHAP. XIV.-Canons of criticism.... Data of criticism to be applied in

judging the comparative claims of the apocryphal and canonical gospels....

Corollaries.... Dr. Lardner's table of times and places

113

CHAP. XV.-Of the four gospels in general....Confession of the forgery

of the gospels, by Faustus.... Twenty objections to be surmounted....Order for

a general alteration of the gospels by Anastasius....Alterations by Lanfranc 114

CHAP XVI.-Of the origin of our three first canonical gospels.... The

great plagiarism gradually discovered....Le Clerc....Dr. Semler....Lessing's

hypothesis, Niemeyer's, Halfeld's, Beausobre’s, Bishop Marsh's...The DIE-

GESIS.... The Gnomologue

119

CHAP. XVII.-Of St. John's gospel in particular....Dr. Semler's hypo-

thesis....Evanson.... Bretschneider....Falsehood of gospel geography, of gospel

dates, of gospel statistics, of gospel phraseology

130

CHAP. XVIII.—Ultimate result.... The monks of Egypt, the fabricators of

the whole Christian system

136

CHAP. XIX.-Resemblances of the Pagan and Christian theology....

Augury and bishops.... Æsculapius.... Hercales....Adonis.... Parallel passages in

Cicero and the New Testament....Royal priests.... Subordinate clergy....Priests

of Cybele....Parasites or domestic chaplains....Conversion from Paganism to

Christianity brought about entirely by a transfer of property

139

CHAP. XX.—Æsculapius and Jesus Christ, the same figment of imagina-

tion.... Miracles of Æsculapius better authenticated than those of Jesus....

Æsculapius distinguished by the very epithets afterwards ascribed to Jesus 148

CHAP. XXI.-Hercules and Jesus Christ, the same figment of imagina-

tion....Dr. Parkhurst's anger at those who doubt that Hercules was a divinely

intended type of Jesus Christ....Pagan form of swearing... Superior moral

virtue of Turks

154

CHAP. XXII.-Adonis.... Ridiculous literal renderings of the Psalms....

Jéhovah and Adonis used indifferently as common names of the same deity....

Words of our Easter hymn used at the festival of the Adonia

158

CHAP. XXIII.—The mystical sacrifice of the Phænicians....A draft of the

whole Christian system....Archbishop Magee, one of the Author's persecutors 168

CHAP. XXIV.-Chrishna, of the Brahmins, the original Jesus Christ....

The absolute identity of Chrishna and Christ, triumphant in the complete

overthrow of all the attempts of Drs. Bentley and Smith, Beard, and others

to disprove it.... Dishonest engagement of Christian Missionaries

168

CHAP. XXV.-Apollo, Jesus Christ the Egyptian version of the Indian

Christ

180

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