« AnteriorContinua »
are to the confines of the west, we have more genius than they have, all favoured as they are by the rising Our tragedies and comedies are thought better; we have made more progress in astronomy, mathematics, paintings, sculpture, and music. And what is more, they have nothing which approaches to our Burgundy and Champagne.
But how is it that we have so long solicited permission to go among them, and that no Japanese has ever wished even to make a single voyage to us? We have ran to Meaco, to the land of Yesso, and to California; we would go to the moon with Astolpho if we had his hippogriff. Is this curiosity, restlessness of mind, or a real necessity?
As soon as the Europeans had cleared the Cape of Good Hope, the Propaganda flattered itself with subjugating and converting all the neighbouring people of the eastern seas. We traded with Asia, sword in hand, and every nation of the west, by turns, despatched merchants, soldiers, and priests.
Let us engrave on the turbulent brains of these adventurers the memorable words of the emperor Yonchin, when he drove all the jesuit missionaries and others from his empire, that they may be written on the gates of all the convents: "What would you say if we were to go into your country under the pretence of traffic, and tell your people that your religion is worthless, and that they must absolutely embrace ours?"
That is however what the Latin church has done throughout the earth. It cost Japan dear: it was on the point of being drowned in its own blood like Mexico and Peru.
There were in the islands of Japan twelve religions, which lived together very peaceably. Missionaries arrived from Portugal, and asked to make the thirteenth: they were answered, that they were very welcome, and that they could not have too many.
Thus monks were soon established at Japan with the title of bishops. Scarcely was their religion admitted for the thirteenth, than it would be the only one.
of these bishops having in his way met a counsellor of state, disputed the path with him. He maintained that he was of the first order of the state, and that the counsellor, being but the second, owed him much respect. The Japanese are much more haughty than humble. The monk-bishop and some christians were driven away in the year 1586. Soon after the christian religion was proscribed. The missionaries humbled themselves, asked pardon, obtained grace, and abused it.
Finally, in 1637, the Dutch having taken a vessel which sailed from Japan to Lisbon, they found in it letters from one named Moro, consul of Spain to Nangazaqui. These letters contained the plan of a conspiracy of the christians of Japan to possess themselves of the country, and specified the number of vessels which were to come from Europe and Asia to aid this enterprise.
The Dutch failed not to forward these letters to the government. Moro was seized: he was obliged to confess his crime, and was juridically condemned to be burnt.
All the converts of the jesuits and dominicans then took arms, to the number of thirty thousand; a dreadful civil war followed, and these christians were all exterminated.
The Dutch, for the reward of their service, obtained,* as is well known, the liberty of exclusively trading with Japan, on condition that they would never exhibit any sign of christianity; and from that time they have been faithful to their promise.
I wish it was permitted me to ask these missionaries, after having administered to the destruction of so many people in America, their reason for doing the same thing, for the greater glory of God, at the extremities of the east?
If it were possible for devils to be released from hell to visit and ravage the earth, would they act otherwise? Is this to illustrate the text, "compel them to come in?”
*This fact is avowed in all the accounts.
Is it thus that christian mildness manifests itself? Is this the road to eternal life?
Readers, combine the recollection of this adventure with that of so many more.-Reflect and judge!
JEHOVAH, the ancient name of God. No people ever pronounced it 'Geova,' as the French do; they pronounced it 'levo;' you find it so written in Sanchoniathon, cited by Eusebius, Prep. book x.; in Diodorus, book ii.; and in Macrobius, Sat. book i. &c. All nations have pronounced ie and not g.
This sacred name was formed out of the vowels i, e, o, u, in the east. Some pronounced ïe, oh, with an aspirate, i, e, o, va. The word was always to be constituted of four letters, although we have here used five, for want of power to express these four characters.
We have already observed that, according to Clement of Alexandria, by seizing on the correct pronunciation of this name a person had it in his power to produce the death of any man. Clement gives an instance of it.
Long before the time of Moses, Seth had pronounced the name of Jehovah,' as is related in the fourth chapter of Genesis; and, according to the Hebrew, Seth was even called Jehovah.' Abraham swore to the king of Sodom by Jehovah, chap. xiv. 22.
From the word Jehovah,' the Latins derived "Jove," Jovis, Jovispeter,' Jupiter.' In the bush, the Almighty says to Moses, My name is Jehovah. In the orders which he gave him for the court of Pharoah, he says to him: "I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as the mighty God, only by my name 'Adonai,' I was not known to them; and I made a covenant with them."*
The Jews did not for a long time pronounce this name. It was common to the Phenicians and Egyp
* Exodus vi. 3.
tians. It signified, that which is; and hence probably is derived the inscription of Isis, "I am all that is."
IT is evident from the text of the book of Judges, that Jephtha promised to sacrifice the first person that should come out of his house to congratulate him on his victory over the Ammonites. His only daughter presented herself before him for that purpose; he tore his garments and immolated her, after having promised her to go and deplore in the recesses of the mountains the calamity of her dying a virgin. The daughters of Israel long continued to celebrate this painful event, and devoted four days in the year to lamentation for the daughter of Jephtha.*
In whatever period this history was written, whether it was imitated from the Greek history of Agamemnon and Idomeneus, or was the model from which that history was taken; whether it might be anterior or posterior to similar narratives in Assyrian history, is not the point I am now examining. I keep strictly to the text. Jephtha vowed to make his daughter a burnt offering, and fulfilled his vow.
It was expressly commanded by the Jewish law to sacrifice men devoted to the Lord: "Every man that shall be devoted shall not be redeemed, but shall be put to death without remission." The Vulgate translates it" He shall not be redeemed, but shall die the death."+
It was in virtue of this law that Samuel hewed in pieces king Agag, whom, as we have already seen, Saul had pardoned. In fact, it was for sparing Agag that Saul was rebuked by the Lord, and lost his kingdom.
Thus then we perceive sacrifices of human blood clearly established; there is no point of history more incontestable: we can only judge of a nation by its own archives, and by what it relates concerning itself. + Leviticus, xxvii. 29.
* Judges, xi. VOL. IV.
There are then, it seems, persons to be found who hesitate at nothing, who falsify a passage of scripture as intrepidly as if they were quoting its very words, and who hope to deceive mankind by their falsehoods, knowing them perfectly to be such. If such daring impostors are to be found now, we cannot help supposing, that before the invention of printing, which affords such facility and almost certainty of detection, there existed a hundred times as many.
One of the most impudent falsifiers who have lately appeared is the author of an infamous libel entitled "The Anti-philosophic Dictionary," which truly deserves its title. But my readers will say, do not be so irritated; what is it to you that a contemptible book has been published? Gentlemen, it is to the subject of Jephtha, to the subject of human victims, of the blood of men sacrificed to God, that I am now desirous of drawing your attention!
The author, whoever he may be, translates the thirtyninth verse of the first chapter of the history of Jephtha* as follows: "She returned to the house of her father, who fulfilled the consecration which he had promised by his vow, and his daughter remained in the state of virginity."
Yes, falsifier of the bible, I am irritated at it, I acknowledge; but you have lied to the holy spirit; which you ought to know is a sin which is never par
The passage in the Vulgate is as follows:
"Et reversa est ad patrem suum, et fecit ei sicut voverat quæ ignorabat virum. Exindè mos increbruit in Israel et consuetudo servata est, ut post anni circulum conveniant in unum filiæ Israel, et plangant filiam Jephte Galaaditæ, diebus quatuor."
"And she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed, to her who had never known man; and hence came the usage, and the custom is still ob* Judges, xi.