WELL, what of the man named Mat Thew? Why so much of him, sirs, and no less than affects the merits of the most important question in which man is interested, as is the pivot on which turns the alternative of thine everlasting destiny!
If the profession of the Christian faith were not a system of the grossest hypocrisy, a fashionable villany, a licensed swindle, cheat, and trick, in the keeping of which each religious scoundrel thinks himself authorised in enforcing a seeming and appearance of consent from others which he could never sincerely yield himself, would it be possible that we should see every Christian nose in an instant, as it were, tying itself into a knot of contempt and scorn at the annunciation of any kind of argument that could hang to the tale of a man named Matthew, and shove off all inquiry with its disdainful —
What of the man named Mat Thew? What of him, sirs! What of him? Is it come to it, then, that a Christian should thus betray to us his own consciousness of connivance with priestly imposture, and that foul hypocrisy of a false and wicked heart, that will, after lending its countenance to the distraining of the sum of £10,359,560 a year out of the means of a country that starves its own inhabitants to keep up the credit of a story that was told by a man named Matthew; and, after frightening reason from her seat by threatening us with everlasting torment in the red hot blazes of hell fire and brimstone, if we don't, believe the gospel according to the man named Matthew.
And after we exclaim in anxious terror: We will — we will believe it — a thousand times believe it —
Only tell us something about the man who wrote it —
Who was the man named Matthew?
After having thus robbed us, thus terrified, or ar least thus insulted us — do they shirk us off at last with a
What of the man named Matthew? What consequence can it be to you to know who the man named Matthew was?
And so their doctrine, after all, is, go to church and chapel, you fools, — listen to the parson, and shut your eyes, and open your mouths, and see what God will send you. What matters it to you who the man Matthew was, or whether he was a man or a horse?
Never was the day, never, in all the tide of time, in which such mighty efforts were made to keep mankind in ignorance; never were any clergy on earth, Pagan or Papistical, so opposed to the diffusion of knowledge, so desperately afraid of it, and so bitterly hostile to it, as the Protestant clergy, both of the established church, and the dissenters of the present day, in this metropolis.
But ask of any one of them, in his public function, the solution of any difficulty, on which your mind's peace may be at stake, in the most respectful manner that you possibly can, the whole congregation will rise in instant alarm to have you forcibly ejected, as if they looked on you as a mad dog broken in among them.
Ask of any one of them in private to relieve your doubt, or satisfy your curiosity, you would instantly be disdained as an insolent and offensive intruder, or remanded to such satisfaction as you might derive from listening to their public officiation.
But one institution exists in the whole country, where any respectful question, which any well-meaning man might wish to put, would instantly be answered, with critical and scientific truth, freed from all embargo, and that one institution is in danger of being shut up for want of means to pay its rent; and the critical and scientific lecturer there, the only honest and faithful expounder of the mysteries of theology in the kingdom, is in danger of being shut up, for his honesty and his faithfulness, within the dreadful walls of Horsemonger-lane gaol.
And so, sirs, will this tax-burthened and priest-ridden country, from age to age, continue to pay its millions upon millions a-year.
So will the millions of our fellow men in Ireland continue, from year to year, in contented wretchedness, to whine to us like hogs that cannot help themselves; for potatoes; to pines, starve, and die like dogs in ditches; to keep up the pompous sanctity ot a set of reverend knaves in preaching to us their Matthew's gospel, not one of whom could ever tell us who the man Matthew was, or would give us any more satisfactory relief of our curiosity than such as amounted to a virtual "damn your impudence for wanting to know." And that's quite as much knowledge as was ever promoted by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.
But we'll know something about the man named Mat Thew; or, what will do as well, we'll know the reason why we know nothing about the man named Mat Thew.
So let the slaves of priestcraft, the gudgeons, flatfish, and blind eels, that they catch in the gospel net, swim down the ditch of faith into the cesspool of insanity. But here we shall blaspheme and be rational. We must know something about the man named Matthew. We must know all about him.
And for this reason, sirs (and if you cannot bear the reason you must go to the other shop), that we hold that when a man has got the credit of having written a gospel, which we are bound to take for gospel, under peril of eternal damnation, the man who would leave any stone unturned in the way of picking all possible acquaintance with him, would be a fool.
Now the first place or passage in any writing, book, or part of any book, or record, profane or sacred, history or romance in which the name of the man named Matthew occurs, is in our text, this same ninth verse of the ninth chapter of what is called "The Gospel according to St. Matthew."
And here it occurs in the accusative case, Mat θαιον, governed by the verb είδεν1, he saw, and in conjunction with the noun under the same grammatical government, ανθρωπον, which is translated, a man, that word, so translated, attracting its participial adjectives, καθημενον, sitting, — that is, a man sitting, and λεγομενον, named, or, more literally, called, — thus throwing up so much information as a man sitting Mat Thew, with the further predication of what he was sitting on, or at — that is, his chair or table — επι το τελωνιον, which the best Latin versions render sedentem in Telonio, which in English should be "sitting in a Telonium; and which, for all that can be shown to the contrary, might mean sitting in a wheelbarrow; but which our English translators, taking an audacious liberty with the sacred text, instead of confining themselves to the business of translation merely, have presumed to interpret for us, which they had no right to do; they have added to the text the gloss of their own impudence, and rendered what should have been sitting in a tolonium, in the long periphrasis, sitting at the receipt of customs.
The variation may seem but trifling to uncritical and uncurious baalams of the gospel that can swallow any thing, but to us, who would not handle the word of God deceitfully and I sincerely hold this to be the word of God, it makes no less difference than that of turning it into the word of the Devil.
As the text stands in our English Testaments, "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of customs, and he saith unto him, 'follow me;' and he arose and followed him."
It's a downright falsehood. There is not a word in the original to signify that Matthew was in the receipt of anything, when he obeyed the command of Jesus and arose and followed him; and supposing Matthew to have been a Jew, as they tell us that he was, it is an attempt to palm on us a greater miracle than the resurrection of Christ himself; for who ever heard of a Jew who would leave his business at the call of either God or man, when there was any thing to be received!
If a Jew had ever obeyed the call of Jesus, we may be sure it must have been because he was not at the receipt of custom, and because no better customer than Jesus was likely to call at his shop.
Sooner might they persuade us that the moon was made of a green cheese, than that there was ever a disciple of Moshesh, who would leave an opportunity of fingering a sixpence, for a sackful of Christian Salvation.
Besides, the derivative meaning given by Christian interpreters, to the name Matthew, signifies given, or a Reward, which, if it signifies anything, should signify that the man named Matthew would do nothing but what he would take care to be rewarded for.
And if the Telonium meant the place, as they tell us, in which Matthew sat as a custom-house officer, appointed under government to receive the customs and charges of freightage of the cockboats that sailed on the Galilean puddle, his leaving his masters' employment and betraying his trust, at the bidding of the first thief that bid him do so, only shows what an unprincipled scoundrel the man called Mat Thew must have been, and should make us rather wish that such a villain might be found to be no relation to the gentleman who wrote the gospel according to Saint Matthew, than that we should guess them into one and the same person.
And sure, sirs, there is no instance in any rational construction of language among men, in which any author of a treatise so annihilated his own memory of his own person, and was so utterly beside himself, as to introduce his own name and character into his treatise, in such a way as this man named Matthew has done, if this Matthew was the same as the Matthew to whom the Gospel according to Saint Matthew was ascribed.
With as much reason might they fix on any other name introduced in the course of the gospel, as the name of its author, as that of the man named Matthew; as I might fix on the name of Belzebub, which occurs in this gospel, and call it the Gospel according to Saint Belzebub, which "they upon the adverse faction" would find as much labour to disprove as ever they could impose on us to prove that it was not the composition of their runaway customhouse officer.
Neither is the term which our English renders a man, in the phrase, a man named Mat Thew, ανδρα, which would have been literally a man, and which is the term invariably used, when nothing more than an ordinary and proper man is intended, but it is αμθρωπον, which is the figurative and complimentary term for a man, literally signifying something whose face is upward, a looker up.
Do I mean, then, to question whether a man named Mat Thew was really a man? I answer, yes! that's exactly what I do mean to question: and for this reason, because there is nothing in evidence to show but that he might have been a horse. And none but a fool would ever go before his horse to market.
To all-gulphing and never-chewing Christians, who, while they treat the holy scriptures with the utmost contempt and indifference themselves call us blasphemers for showing them a higher respect than they know how to show, this might appear as mere badinage, and the starting a difficulty and doubt as to whether so simple a phrase as a man named Mat Thew really means 'a man named Mat Thew," might look like chicaning rather than reasoning. But not so fast! the grounds and reasons for that doubt are the very strongest on which ever doubt was founded.
For who could have a right to be absolutely sure that a man means a man in the language of that mysterious book in which he is obliged to admit that the Son of Man does not mean the Son of a Man, Christ being always called υιος ανθρωπου2, never υιος ανδρος — that is, always the Son of Man in the figurative term for man, never the Son of Man in the literal one, as most certainly in that sense he was never the Son of a Man.
But not only was the Son of Man not the Son of Man, but the Son of Man was not a Man at all; the holy scriptures most emphatically admonishing us, that he was only "found in fashion as a man," Philip ii. 8; that only being one of his fashions which very soon went out of fashion, as in Mat. xvi. 13. You will find that "when he was come into the coast of Cæarea (that is to say, seize him here) Philippi, (of Philip, the lover of a horse) — it was a question, that flesh and blood could not settle, whether he was a man or horse. And so at Cæsarea Philippi, no where else; and at no other time, but when he was come to Cæsarea Philippi. Why at Cæsarea Philippi? Eternal God! we'll meet him at Philippi! There he proposes the avowed problem, "Whom say they that I the Son of Man am?" And one guesses that the Son of Man is Elias — that is Helios, the Sun itself; another guesses that he is John the Baptist — that is the constellation of Aquarius, the Water Bearer; another guesses that he is one of the planets; at last another guesses that the Son of Man is the Son of God, and that's the solution of the conundrum.
It is evident, upon this solution, that the word man is synonymous with God. The man named Mat Thew may therefore mean the God named Mat Thew. And this is the only proof that the clergy themselves could ever adduce, for calling the word of Mat Thew the word of God. For Matthew is not one word, as it is deceitfully represented to be, but two:3 and two of entirely distinct significancy, — Mat being the individual name, and Thew the family name.
So that whatever the Mat means, we may wipe our feet upon the mat. But the Thew betrays to us, that "The man named Mat Thew," most certainly was no man at all. Theuth being the name of the Chief or Supreme God of the Egyptian.
From the Egyptian word Theuth, dropping the cacophony produced by a repetition of the θ, or th, at the end, which is paragogic merely, as the word was variously spelt, the Greeks formed their name for the Supreme God θ Theos, which is the basis of our English words theology, and theological. In the Doric dialect of the Greek, this Theos would be spelt and written Thaios, which is precisely the word added to the word Mat, in the Mat Thaios of the Greek Testament.
In the Æolic dialect of the Greek, which was the basis of the Latin tongue, Theos became Deus: as in our English coinage, Deus is the sum of all we have to say about the Deity.
Plato, in his treatise, named Philibus, mentions Theuth, the Supreme God of Egypt. He was looked upon as a great benefactor, and the first cultivator of the vine, as is expressed in that pretty hexameter:
Πρτως θοθ εδαη δρεπανην επι ζοτρυν αγειρεν
Thoth first taught how to apply the pruning knife to the vine branch.
He was supposed to have invented letters: if so, he certainly invented the two best inventions that ever were invented, that is to say, good learning, of which I have enough, and good drinking, of which I have not enough. (Drinks.)
Suidas calls him Theus; and says that he was the same as Arez, which was the name of the God Mars, from whom our English word for the rough and blustering month of March, and the Latin name Aries, the Ram.
So that there's no knowing whether the man, named Mat Thew, may not turn out to be a beast at last.
But it may be asked, how could a brute beast write a gospel? That's soon answered :—
A brute beast could quite as easily write a gospel as a rational man could believe one.
And sure, sirs, 'tis monstrous that any man who believes that Baalam's ass could preach a sermon, should doubt that any ass in the world might write the text for it. Nothing is impossible to God.
And that there really was something of the beast in the character of the man named Matthew, or something very beastly about him, I appeal to the highest authority in this metropolis, even as high as the top of Saint Paul's Cathedral, on the western pediment of which, you will see the man, named Matthew, in company with one of the savagest looking wild beasts of all that you ever saw in Pidcock's Menagerie.
They say, Pares cum paribus facilime congregantur. Birds of a feather flock together, and it may be so with beasts.
But this is certain, however cruel you may take Mat Thew's lion to be, Matthew himself has a heart of stone.
God Almighty, they say, says, "Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above; or in the Earth beneath, nor in the water under the Earth" (Like a School boy.)
But the contempt of the Christian clergy for any commandment of God, is as huge as Saint Paul's Cathedral.
So there stand the graven images, in as naked impudence as the Venuses, and Tam-o'-Shanters, and Souter Johnnies, on the Italians' head-boards, as they cry, "Combien pour cela, Monsieur?"
But is there no authority for this apparent idolatry? Yes, the authority of every cathedral or decorated church in Christendom, the authority of a thousand altar-pieces of God, in immediate juxtaposition with this violated commandment. The authority of all the ornamented title-pages of the Bible itself, every representation you ever saw, or that ever existed, in which the man, named Matthew, was represented, never failed to represent a lion, as a coessential and inseparable part of that representation.
The man named Matthew has something to do with the beast. But whether it was the man or the beast that wrote the gospel can only be guessed at on the strong presumption that it was the beast that wrote it, implied in its not being called the gospel of Matthew, or by Matthew, as it would have been, had the man named Mat Thew wrote it: but According to Mat Thew: that word according being composed of the Latin word Cor, cordis, the heart — that is, agreeably or answering to the heart.
Now if the gospel had been agreeably to the man's heart, and not answered exactly to the lion's heart, — the lion, as being the king of the beasts, like all other kings that beasts are subject to, would have torn the man to pieces.
Nor would Mat Thew's gospel be of any authority whatever among rational men, if it were not supported by the authority of the royal beasts. And that's the reason why, if a man speak his mind too freely against the gospel according to Saint Mat Thew, the Devil-a-bit does Mat care about it. But the lion begins to roar, and the jackalls of the gospel, that are always the lion's providers, will swear that you said it against the peace of their Sovereign Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity: and you may reckon it as a bit of the Devil's own luck if you don't get cast into the lion's den.
Never would mankind have believed in Matthew's gospel, if they had not been frightened out of their wits by Matthew's lion.
But there are three other gospel-mongers, or evangelists, as well as the Anthrope Mat Thew, to whose loving kindness we are equally indebted.
There is Saint Mark, with his little Devil, to remind us of the characteristic genius of his gospel, "He that believeth not shall be damned."
There is Luke, with his mad bull, ready to gore us into salvation: and
There is John, with his eagle, to pluck out the eyes of our reason.
And each of these monsters, or holy evangelists, as you observe, has a royal nature in it — that is, something indescribably mischievous, savage, and destructive: the lion, being the king among wild beasts; the bull, the king over tame animals; the eagle, the king of things "in Heaven above;" and the Devil, or Man-devil, the king of things "in the Earth beneath."
Well, then, may we pray to these royal beasts, or beastly kings,
and especially I, who, with the eye of faith, do see them, as it
were, on the spring, to lock me in their infernal embraces.
|"Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,|
|Spare the bed which I lie on."|
The royal savages are all but ready to murder us in our sleep.
Their myrmidons are breathing vengeance upon me, for only having made a joke or two against the Holy Scriptures. Because my jokes set my fellow-creatures a laughing: whereas, their jokes have never been laughing matters. And they are for coming the old joke, which they played off upon me, when they clapt me into Oakham Gaol, and then sent the chaplain of the prison to tell me to "stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made me free."
And then, having seen the action entered against me, and seen me entered for the endurance of the most cruel persecution their power can inflict; they'll come their other joke of entering their protest against all sorts of persecution, and assuring me that Christianity allows of no persecution, while not a drop of water to cool the martyr's tongue, not a drop of oil on the tip of a feather to ease the cracking of the hinges, and the impetuous recoil and jarring sound of their iron bars upon his wounded ears, will the whole body of the clergy be able to afford him out of their tiny annuity of 10,359,560l. a year.
When I lay in Oakham Gaol, the Bishop of Norwich, the most liberal of the whole Bench of Bishops, sent me word, that he was sorry for me; but that was all he sent.
There was a joke for ye, sirs, or rather, joke for me; that was a bishop's joke.
And all, ye see, to keep in their own hands the exclusive privilege of communicating what they call Christian knowledge, and teaching the meaning of the holy scriptures.
And you are to give your preachers of the gospel credit for being able to teach you the meaning of the reading of the book, when you see that those preachers don't themselves know the meaning of the pictures. The best part of every book in the world is the pictures. Even a sensible child might put your folly to the blush, if he saw you so inveterate a fool as to fancy that you could understand the meaning of the book, when you did not understand the meaning of the pictures. The pictures, sirs, the pictures!
Not till the days of the interference of our Protestant and Dissenterian preachers in the publication and circulation of Bibles and Testaments, was an authorised edition of the four gospels ever put forth; without presenting an equally authorised representation of the four evangelists with the four royal beasts by which they are respectively distinguished, — the lion, for Matthew; the angel for Mark; the bull, for Luke; and the eagle, for John.4 But the Protestant priests, the most deceitful of all deceivers of the people beginning to fear that the people might acquire wit enough to ask for the meaning of those four royal beasts, have swindled away the old title-page, and substituted one with only two royal beasts in it.
"The lion and the unicorn, a fighting for the crown."
And God grant that they may fight for it, till they kill each other, and so not a single royal beast be left to worry our lives out for the sake of keeping up his crown and dignity.
But now for what your Protestant priests never dared to trust you with, or never knew themselves, the meaning of all this.
Refuse to think that what I offer you is sooth and truth, as long as ye can refuse to think so. Withhold your assent as long as ye can withhold it. Only lend me your attention, and you shall lend me nothing else: I will not borrow your conviction, nor pay it ye back again. I will steal it, and keep it for ever. Thus, sirs.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, whoever or whatever they were, were divinely inspired. Very well, I suppose they were so. And if they were, they must have had something in them not common to the nature of man. The divine light shone in them in a very peculiar manner.
But if the divine light shone in them, the divine light must have been less light than the light of the kitchen grease in the paper lanthorn that illuminates the edge of a Billinsgate sprat-basket, if it hadn't shone in the wild-beasts as well as the wild evangelists.
But if it was the understandings only of the evangelists that were illuminated, the Devil's in it if the four-footed beast has not twice the understanding of a two-legged beast to be illuminated.
And if it be urged that light is only of use to those who have eyes to see with: why, then, the more eyes any thing has, the more light it must want. Now, the four evangelists laboured under the misfortune of having but one single pair of eyes a-piece, and those little better than buried alive in their foreheads; but the four beasts with whom they are invariably attended, are described in the 4th of Revelations, as being full of eyes, before and behind, so that they could see with their tails: and not only were they full of eyes before and behind, but it is added, they were full of eyes within."
A most wonderful provision that against their catching the cholera morbus: for the moment they felt they didn't know how, they had only to look at their own tripes to see what was the matter with them.
That they are the very same beasts as those which ever accompany the four evangelists, is defined in the sacred text, with the accuracy of natural history. "The first beast," says the holy apostle, "was like a lion; and the second beast like a calf; and the third beast had a face as a man; and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle." — Rev. iv. 7. And these four beasts were not merely before the throne of God, or round about the throne of God; but they were in the midst of the throne, where none could be but God — that is, they were none other than God himself — that is, the All-seeing God, who having to see all things, must of course have employment enough for all his eyes; and, indeed, for a few more, in order to let some of them get a wink of sleep, while the others are on duty. But as it is, the holy apostle says, "they rest not day nor night."
Come, then, bright science, from thy starry throne, and enable us to rescue the spell-bound reason of men from the accursed bondage of those priestly thieves who preach a gospel to their choused hearers, which they never believe themselves, which not one of them dared trust himself to defend by argument before rational men, and which is only kept up in a mockery of respect by the terror of their prisons, the pomp of their priests, and the bayonets of their soldiers.
Here, sirs, are Mat Thew, Mark, Luke, and John, answering to every one of the predications of the four evangelists, not excepting one, or leaving a defect of demonstration for chicane to hang a doubt on.
Here are the four royal stars, as they were through eternal ages of by-gone time, located in the visible heavens, to mark the place which the Sun nears or approaches, as he annually divides to us the four seasons of the year.
Saints they were called, and Saints really they are, that name signifying, as its derivation betrays, Suns, as each of the fixed Stars is a Sun; and which the circular halo of rays, with which the heads of their effigies were surrounded, expressly acknowledged; evangelists they were, because their office was "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord," and to mark the predicament of evan — that is, of Bacchus, the Sun, through the four seasons.
Four they are, because there are but four seasons of the year, over which these four royal Stars preside.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, they are names never found in the language of any Jewish nation upon earth: but betraying in their derivation the most accurate description of the four royal Stars.
Regulus, which is Saint Matthew, or Cor Leonis, the heart of the lion, which the Sun enters about the 2d of July, and leaves about the 23d of August, when the earth begins to give her fruits; and thence this Star gets the name of Saint Mat Thew, which is, most literally, the Sun, the gift, the God, the most expressive designation of the Sun's bounty, and of the heat at that season. And here is Matthew, not only with his lion, but in his lion, the very heart of the lion. And here is the beast in the throne of God, and see if he is not full of eyes, before and behind. He has got an eye in his tail, Daneb, and the eye within him, which is his heart itself; and these eyes never sleep, they rest not day nor night.
Formalhaut, in the Fishes' mouth, Jonah in the whale's belly, swallowing the water which is effused from the urn of the Aquarius of January, is the Saint Mark.
That word Marcus literally signifying the polite or shining one, the most beautiful definition you could invent for the shining Formalhaut, who is the only one of the four whose accompanying genius is a human being, Marcus being believed to have composed his gospel under the dictation of Saint Peter: and here, sirs, is Peter, pouring it forth, and Mark swallowing it, as fast as he can swallow; and I need not tell you that there's a good deal for him to swallow.
Aldebaran is the bull's eye, the unequivocal elymon, both of the name and symbol of St. Luke, with his bull.
The word Luke, literally signifying the luminous, the very term than which you could find no other to express the magnificent red-looking Star, which you see a little above, and westward of Orion, and which you have never looked at the Stars in your lives, nor, I guess, at any thing else, if you have not seen, and which the Sun is directly upon, about the 28th of May.
Antares, in the Scorpion, which the Sun is directly upon, on the 29th of November, is Saint John: that I, the One; Own, the Being; es, the Fire: this being the brightest of them all, the disciple which Jesus loved, — que les Romains appellaient Paricilienne.
The colour, the apparent sizes, the geometrical figures which these four stars of the first magnitude presented to the eyes of the first observers of nature, and would present to us still, had not our Christian priests, in a moral sense, put out the eyes of the people; but, above all, their neighbourhood to the Equinoctial and Solsticial points, caused them to be marked as fixed points from which to measure and determine the progressive march of the Sun, of the Moon, and the five other moveable Stars, or Planets; and, consequently, of the time of the year, of the seasons, and in necessary association, of the progress of vegetation, of heat and cold, of winds and tempest, and thus entirely of all the phœnomena of Nature, to be developed in the revolution of "the acceptable year of the Lord."
These four royal Stars, therefore, could not have failed of
attracting observance, in every age, in every country, where man
had been capable of observance, whereever "seed time and harvest,
summer and winter, day and night, had been observed." They
could not have failed of being observed as the authors of divine
knowledge to man. They could not have failed of being worshipped
by all the worshippers of the hosts of Heaven, as they are, at
this day in the Church of Rome, with a worship only secondary to
that of evan — that is, Christ, Bacchus himself. They could not
have been honoured with any honour heterogene to that of the
four holy evangelists. They could not have been named with
names more expressive of their appearance and relations than
|Mat Thew, the giving God.|
|Marc, the polished.|
|Luke, the resplendent.|
|John, the Fiery|
|Regulus, the Little King.|
|For-mal-haut, the Arabic for the Fishes' Mouth.|
|Aldebaran, the Arabic for the Bull's Eye: and|
|Antares, the Scorpion's Heart:|
Which are their names upon the celestial globe, are absolutely less expressive than the names Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Two of them — i.e., the Stars Luke and John, are red: and the other two, Matthew and Mark, are white or pale-looking Stars.
And they are placed in such opposition to each other, that when one of the red ones is at the meridian, the other is its direct antipode in the middle of its course under the earth. So with the white ones.
The two, Luke and John, are placed near the colure of the Equinoxes, and were considered as the sentinels who kept guards separating the long days from the long nights.
The two; Matthew and Mark — i.e. Regulus and Formalhaut, guarded the limits of the Sun's highest and lowest parallel of declination, Summer and Winter.
As Matthew's is the longest, and Mark's the shortest gospel, Luke's and John's, like Spring and Autumn, are about of an equal length. Saints they are, that name literally signifying what the rays round their heads pictorially signify: they are Suns.
Now, sirs, with our most certain historical knowledge, seconding these astronomical demonstrations. 1st. That the Bishops of the Egyptian Idol Serapis, in the time of the Emperor Adrian, were called Bishops of Christ. 2d. That the sign or sacred symbol of that idol was the sign of the Cross — that is, in the processions or religious marches of these astronomical priests, there were carried certain sacred spells, or holy books, which detailed the history of the Sun in his annual revolution, under the allegory of a crucified man, whose name was Jesus: and that the number of those books was four: and that the name of those books was none other than the equivalent of the four gospels: and that the authority to which they were ascribed, was none other than that of the four evangelists.
And that for making these magnificent discoveries to an insulted people, your Christian gospel preachers, unable to find a man among them that can answer me, like Moses in the Exodus, are looking this way and that way for their opportunity to "smite me in the back, and bury me in the sand," to huddle me off the stage of public observance into the dark cells of their Horsemonger-lane Gaol.
I have but one argument with ye: if there dwells a noble
nature in ye, let 'em not do it!
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