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behold! he falls down in apoplexy-he drops down dead!
I am sitting at table,“ prima mensis,” in the first of the month, myself and my soul, at the Sorbonne, with five or six doctors, “ socii sorbonnici,” fellows of the institution. We are served with bad and adulterated wine; at first our souls are elevated and maddened ; half an hour afterwards our souls are stupified, and as it were annihilated; and on the ensuing morning these same worthy doctors issue a grand decree, deciding that the soul, although occupying no place, let it be remembered, and absolutely immaterial,—is lodged in
corpus callosum” of the brain, in order to pay their court to surgeon La Peyronie.
A guest is sitting at table full of conversation and gaiety. 'A letter is brought him that overwhelms him with astonishment, grief, and apprehension. Instantly the muscles of his abdomen contract and relax with extraordinary violence, the peristaltic motion of the intestines is augmented, the sphincter of the rectum is opened by the convulsions which agitate his frame, and the unfortunate gentleman, instead of finishing his dinner in comfort, produces a copious evacuation. Tell me then what secret connection nature has established between an idea and a water-closet.
Of all those persons who have undergone the operation of trepanning, a great proportion always
ain imbecile. Of course therefore the thinking fibres of their brain have been injured; but where are these thinking fibres? Oh Sanchez! Oh masters de Grillandis, Tamponet, Riballier! Oh Cogé-Pecus, second regent and rector of the university, do give me a clear, decisive, and satisfactory explanation of all this, if you possibly can!
While I was writing this article at mount Krapak for my own private improvement, a book was brought to me called “The Medicine of the Mind," by doctor Camus, professor of medicine in the university of Paris. I was in hopes of finding in this book a solution of all my difficulties. But what was it that I found in fact? Just nothing at all. Ah! master Camus, you have not displayed much mind in preparing your Medicine of the Mind. This person strongly recommends the blood of an ass, drawn from behind the ear, as a specific against madness. " The virtue of the blood of an ass.” he says, “ re-establishes the soul in its functions.” He maintains also, that madmen are cured by giving them the itch. He asserts likewise, that in order to gain or strengthen a memory, the meat of capons, leverets, and larks, is of eminent service, and that onions and butter ought to be avoided above all things. This was printed in 1769 with the king's approbation and privilege; and there really were people who consigned their health to the keeping of master Camus, professor of medicine! Why was he not made first physician to the king ?
Poor puppets of the Eternal Artificer, who know neither why nor how an invisible hand moves all the springs of our machine, and at length packs us away in our wooden box! We constantly see more and more reason for repeating, with Aristotle, “ All is occult, all is secret,
Questions concerning Paul. Was Paul a Roman citizen, as he boasted ? If he was a native of Tarsus in Cilicia, Tarsus, was not a Roman colony until an hundred years after his death; upon this point all antiquaries are agreed. If he belonged to the little town or village of Gescala, as St. Jerome believed, this town was in Galilee, and certainly the Galileans were not Roman citizens.
Is it true, that St. Paul entered into the rising society of Christians, who at that time were demi-jews, only because Gamaliel, whose disciple he was, refused him his daughter in marriage? It appears that this accusation is to be found exclusively in the Acts of the Apostles, which are received by the Ebionites, and refuted by the bishop Epiphanius in his thirtieth chapter.
Is it true, that St. Thecla sought St. Paul in the disguise of a man, and are the acts of St. Thecla admissible? Tertullian, in the thirteenth chapter of his book on Baptism, maintains that this history was composed by a priest attached to Paul. Jerome and Cyprian, in refuting the story of the lion baptized by St. Thecla, affirm the genuineness of these acts, in which we find that singular portrait of St. Paul, which we have already recorded. “ He was fat, short, and broad shouldered ; his dark eyebrows united across his aquiline nose; his legs were crooked, his head bald, and he was full of the grace of the Lord.” This is pretty nearly his portrait in the Philopatris of Lucian, with the exception of the grace of God, with which Lucian unfortunately had no acquaintance.
Is Paul to be reprehended for his reproof of the judaising of St. Peter, who himself judaised for eight days together in the temple of Jerusalem ?
When Paul was traduced before the governor of Judea, for having introduced strangers into the temples, was it proper for him to say to the governor, that he was prosecuted on account of his teaching the resurrection of the dead, whilst of the resurrection of the dead nothing was said at all ?*
Did Paul do right in circumcising his disciple Timothy, after having written to the Galatians, that If they circumcised, Jesus would not avail them?"
Was it well to write to the Corinthians, chap. ix. “ Have we not power to eat and drink at your expence? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, &c.?" Was it proper to write in his second epistle to the Corinthians, that he will pardon none of them, neither those who have sinned nor others? What should we think at present of a man who pretended to live at our expense, himself and his wife; and to judge and to punish us, confounding the innocent with the guilty?
What are we to understand by the ascension of Paul into the third heaven ?- what is the third heaven?,
Which is the most probable (humanly speaking) did St. Paul become a christian in consequence of being thrown from a horse by the appearance of a great light at noon day, from which a celestial voice exclaimed—“ Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Or was it in consequence of being irritated against the pharisees, either by the refusal of Gamaliel to give him his daughter, or by some other cause?
In all other history, the refusal of Gamaliel would appear more probable than the celestial voice; especially if, moreover, we were not obliged to believe in this miracle.
I only ask these questions in order to be instructed; and I request all those who are willing to instruct me to speak reasonably.
The Epistles of St. Paul are so sublime, it is often difficult to understand them.
Many young bachelors demand the precise significa. tion of the following words :-“Every man praying or prophecying, having his covered head, dishonoureth his head.”
What does he mean by the words—“ I have learned from the Lord, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread ?”+
How could he learn anything from that Jesus Christ to whom he had never spoken, and to whom he had been a most cruel enemy, without ever having seen him? Was it by inspiration, or by the recital of the apostles; or did he learn it when the celestial light caused him to fall from his horse? He does not inform us on this point.
The foHowing again:-“ The woman shall be saved in childbearing."
This is certainly to encourage population ;-it ap. pears not that St. Paul founded convents.
He speaks of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; of those whose consciences are seared as with
# I Cor. xi, 4.
+ Ibid. v. 23.
# Timothy ii.
a red-hot iron, who forbid to marry, and command to abstain from meats.*.
This is very strong. It appears that he abjured monks, nuns, and fast-days. Explain this contradiction ; deliver me from this cruel embarrassment.
What is to be said of the passage in which he recommends the bishops to have one wife?—“ Unius uxoris virum." +
This is positive. He permits the bishops to have but one wife, whilst the Jewish pontiffs might have several.
He says unequivocally, that the last judgment will happen during his own time, that Jesus will descend from on high, as described by St. Luke, and that St. Paul and the righteous inhabitants of Thessalonica will be caught up to him in the air, &c. I
Has this occurred; or is it an allegory, a figure? Did he actually believe that he should make this journey, or that he had been caught up into the third heaven? Which is the third heaven? How will he ascend into the air? Has he been there?
" That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom.”S
Is this acknowledging Jesus to be the same God as the Father?
He has manifested his power over Jesus,“ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand."||
Does this constitute the divinity of Jesus?
“ Thou madest him (Jesus) a little lower than angels; thou crownedst him with glory.”T
If he is inferior to angels—is he God?
“ For if by one man's offence death reigned, much more they who receive of the abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ."**
Timothy, iv. + Ibid. iii. and Titus, i.
1 Thessal. iv. Ephes. i. 17.
|| Ephes. i. 20.