Ancient Faiths and Modern: A Dissertation Upon Worships, Legends and Divinities in Central and Western Asia, Europe, and Elsewhere, Before the Christian Era. Showing Their Relations to Religious Customs As They Now Exist
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Aug 13, 2017 - 566 pages
Modern divines tell us that war, tumult, hatred, malice, quarrels of all kinds, and murder come from the devil, and are the direct result of our fallen nature; nevertheless, we remember that Jesus is reported to have said--"I came not to send peace, but a sword; I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against the mother," &c. (Matt. x. 34, 35). When we institute comparisons like these, the balance is not uneven. I found, moreover, that the sharply defined line, commonly drawn between Paganism and Christianity, is worthless--the doctrines of the latter being, in many respects, identical with, or deduced from, the former.
It seemed necessary, therefore, to ascertain whether, in religion, any other line than the one in vogue in Europe, could be drawn with certainty.
The result of my observations showed a wonderful similarity to exist between the clerical and medical profession; and I feel that, if my views about the cure of souls and bodies were generally adopted, there would be no need either for parson or for doctor. Instead of discovering, as I had hoped to do, which of all the rival sects of Christendom is the best one, I found that all were unnecessary, that many are degraded in doctrine and bad in practice; and that, if any must exist, the one which effects the least mischief should be the one selected for general adoption. It required much courage to allow myself to believe that doctors have, taking everything into consideration, done more harm in the world than good, and still more to announce my conviction that Christianity was even more culpable than medicine. The physician, when professing to cure, has too often assisted disease to kill; and he who has had the cure of souls, has invented plans to make believers in his doctrine miserable. The first fills his coffers proportionally to the extent to which he can protract recovery; the second becomes rich in proportion to the success with which he multiplies mental terrors, and then sells repose. The one enfeebles the body, the other cripples the intellect, and aggravates envy, hatred, and malice. Both are equally influential in preventing man from being such as we believe that the Almighty designed him to be.
"The many attacks upon the Bible which have been made by scholars and others during the last century and a half, have had their due effect, spreading a sentiment of skepticism which is wholesome enough in its way, as tending to foster a spirit of independent judgment in the minds of men; but few of those who think (or strive to think) in these islands possess the opportunity of studying in the vernacular a great mass of facts and opinions, drawn together in accessible form, upon the subject of Biblical religion. Dr. Inman deserves the thanks of all who would learn something upon this subject, for the industry and zeal with which he has collected instances and grouped facts, derived from a vast number of the books and monuments of all creeds. The unlearned world thus obtains a true idea of the formidable batteries hat are playing upon the structure of three thousand years; that stronghold of which many of the defenses have already crumbled away, and others are fast perishing, but which still contains the Palladium of Christendom, and claims the allegiance of the best part of civilization. No one, to whatever class or religious denomination he may belong, can deny to this vigorous writer the title of an earnest and independent thinker." -Westminster Review