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Ron Drawing

The Gospel According to Ronald


A Matriarchal, Libertarian Gospel


Jesus was a man who never claimed to be the ‘son of god’ according to the best available scholarship (the scholarship of ‘The Jesus Seminar’)

That he was an extraordinary man is without dispute, insofar as the majority view of those who actually believe he existed. My own belief in the ‘historical Jesus’ (as opposed to the ‘the Christ’ invented by St Paul and adopted by the church) is based entirely on circumstantial evidence. What had convinced myself is precisely what had convinced Thomas Jefferson, when Jefferson had stated:

“The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.” -Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson went on to compile his ‘Jeffersonian Bible” in an attempt to separate the ‘diamonds from dunghills’ in the New Testament, so as to give the reader some idea of what Jesus might have actually taught. But I have gone much farther; considering Jesus had to deal with the prejudices of his era, my thesis is, were he alive today he would moreover be overwhelmed by the prejudices of this era’s make-believe ‘Christian’ religion created around his name, if certainly not his life and teachings in fact. So I put words on Jesus’ lips that he might or might not have said, perhaps what he sometimes would not dare say; on account of the prejudices of his era, because what eventually became the modern church (of all sects) had adopted a ‘scripture’ rife with words put on Jesus lips to create a necrotic fear-mongering institution. This has enslaved the minds of a large part of the world we live in. My attitude is: ‘let’s puncture the fear and let the rotten aroma out’ of what has been heaped on the name of a man history knew as Jesus.

When creating ‘The Gospel According to Ronald’, I had used Jesus teaching in the ‘Gospel of Thomas’ as the underlying foundation. The reason for this is, ‘The Gospel of Thomas’ appears to have escaped much of the church editing, revisionism and censorship which accompanied the suppression of the Gnostics. Also (I’m laughing as I type this sentence) there can be no claim I have tampered with Christian scripture, because the Gospel of Thomas never made into the Bible.

The original inspiration for this work dates back to my thirty years life with Native Americans of the Northern Plains, as elder teachers from that culture had told myself on more than one occasion, ‘Before the Christians, we lived the teachings of Jesus. It was after the Christians arrived, our people became greedy and violent.’ This makes perfect sense, because the Christians give little attention to what Jesus had actually taught; rather preferring the rules-bound St Paul who invented a murdered ‘Christ’ who supposedly died for sins in a fantasy the historical Jesus has nothing to do with. The result has been nearly two thousand years of ‘evangelical violence’ following the early church suppression of the Gnostics; exterminating the Pagans, murdering the Cathar culture, several Crusades, the so-called ‘age of discovery’ murdering entire cultures around the world, ultimately leading to what amounts to a war on Islam by the religious right in the present day.

In the end, Christian ‘blood salvation’ with ‘giving yourself to the [fantasy murdered] Lord’ is abdicating responsibility for one’s personal life. This widespread, necrotic social phenomena, is undoubtedly something the historical Jesus would have both; been aghast at and have condemned.

These following are secret sayings the historical Jesus spoke, as dreamt up by Ronald. Oh, but Jesus actually DID say something very close to most of what follows… I’ve merely revised and amplified it from an old, matriarchal Native American point of view.  And going to native humor, it was a fun thought to entertain possibility of claiming this following had been found engraved in an ancient mound I’d looted like Indiana Jones, and start a new religion. Hey! It worked for the Mormons…

This is a tribute to a wise man from long ago, a gifted teacher and healer who is almost certainly the most lied about man ever to have walked our planet. We can do better. I’m trying here.


The Matriarchal, Libertarian Gospel of Jesus (According to Ronald)

Jesus said “Whoever solves these riddles will not taste death.”

“Don’t stop looking just because you discovered something. Search until what you discover disturbs you. With the disturbing discovery, comes a marvelous understanding and ability to deflect those who would rule you”

“If the hypocrites who rule say to you, ‘Man should go to the sky’, the birds will speak something differently to you. If they say to you ‘Man belongs under the sea,’ the fish will revile you. What is important is within you and only after grasping this, will you grasp your surroundings.”

“When you know the inside, then you can know the outside, and you will understand that you depend on a living clock. But if you do not first know what is inside, you cannot know what is outside.”

“The wise old people understand a little child is more cognizant to the truth; whereas you became fooled with the image you project. How did this come to be? You must ask yourself. For there will be many losers who know only one fate.”

“When you cannot know what is in front of your face, what is hidden from you will be doubly concealed. Yet there is nothing hidden that cannot be revealed”

“Don’t be stupid and do those things that will make you look and feel bad, because the wise will see through you. To be truly blind is to fool yourself, imagining only you will know something.”

“When you eat, what you have eaten becomes yourself. And what would eat you, will become you as well.  What will you take from and give to life? You should be careful of what you eat.”

“The greedy take all of the fish,  the wise return many fish to the sea. When the peoples’ numbers are as the fish were of the sea, will you wish you had not been greedy? Pay attention to this!

“One person who understands the one half, is worth more than sixty who do not, and one who understands the whole of it, is worth more than any village of people who live in ignorance.”

“For when one should set the world on fire, should not one wait and be certain all is ashes?”

“Be certain your world will one day be ashes because the dead do not authentically walk and the truly living have no cares. Here is a riddle; the four in the two must become but one. Are you not each female and male? So what must happen when you marry?”

“Associate with those who reject self-importance.”

“I cannot be your teacher if you make me your god.”

And Jesus took Ronald and withdrew, giving him secrets. When asked [after] what had been said by Jesus, Ronald replied “You will hate me,  but you must know these things or perish. Jesus told me ‘What curses Man is men. What curses woman is Man. What curses oneself is oneself. Reject the misunderstanding of Adam, for the serpent spoke the truth and the woman brought no harm upon us.’ Then we shared an apple.”

Jesus said “If you practice humility for the sake of appearance, you can only harm your spirit. To give as a hypocrite is worse than to give nothing. To pray as a hypocrite is worse than no prayers at all. Accept yourself and be grateful. Hypocrisy is the defiler of all, for a good spirit cannot abide the company of a hypocrite.”

“When you have understood these things, become humble.”

“When an inferior understanding claims the unseen, real wisdom will be misconstrued, hated, even greatly reviled, and much conflict will arise, for is not ignorance its own progenitor?”

“And so I give to you things you have not seen to now, what had become the unknown to the human heart. Beware of him who will revile it.”

The disciples said to Jesus, “How will our end come?”

Jesus answered “There was never any beginning and there will be no end; old things will pass and new things will be known. What this will mean to you is for yourselves to determine.”

“Blessed are those who remember this understanding from their time in the womb, for the living stones will reveal their knowledge to them. What is inside yourself will be inside your child. Do not fail a child, for the penalty is severe. Who wills a child to become a vapor? But if you only will look, there are many vapors, the careless creating the careless. Woe unto the careless.”

The disciples said to Jesus, “What is Heaven like?”

He said to them, “It is a place where there is no illusion of self.”

Magdalene said to Jesus, “What do your disciples know?”

Jesus answered, “A day will come when masses of men will die of thirst for want of a cup. The weakest of mine will know a stream where one can kneel to drink with cupped hands. The greatest will know a mountain spring and prostrate oneself with gratitude.”

Magdalene was nursing his child and Jesus said to his disciples, “Because this woman has blessed me with love, this child knows from birth what none of you can you can know except with great labor.”

They said to him, “Then must we become children?”

Jesus said to them, “When the four in the two have become one, when the outside is indistinguishable from the inside, when the left knows the right intimately, and when male and female are become androgyny, only then will you enter the now. And you must to survive, for you are a part of all that you can know, and all that you can know is a part of you.”

His disciples demanded, “Show us this place!”

Jesus answered “There must be light within a light. Dispel that which is dark in yourself and find yourself there.”

“Love those who are truly worthy and in this way love yourself.”

“You see yourself in the eye of another. What kind of person would you be? For what you are is what you must discover in another. Nurture love in yourself so that you may find love nurtured in those you discover to be your friends. If you do not starve to death what is inferior in your surrounding, you will not find the blessed reality. If you do not know beauty in your associations, you cannot know love.”

“Consider the difficulty of a good spirit to walk among the drunk and the dead.  This cannot go on indefinitely,  therefore act on correcting oneself, before it is too late.”

“I marvel at how Man’s mind has come into poverty.”

“Where there are three people living correctly, there you will find divinity. Whether there are two or one, I look for myself there.”

“No prophet is recognized in his hometown, because people have a past memory of this person but this memory is not the person today; it is the same when people cannot be healed by those they have known, for they are caught in the past and cannot overcome and believe. When a known one has not shared the other’s journey, one has not grown with and no longer knows that person. The prejudice of memory is great and detrimental to perception.”

“So when building your mind, make it like a home on a hill, where there is no flood to sweep it away. Do not be caught in the canyons, but bring your sight to where you may see what is on the horizon. What you will see can be shared, this way anyone who cares to, can know. How can it do any good to put a lamp in the closet, behind closed door? Avoid the trap of the blind leading the blind, is it not assured both must come into peril? How many are the blind who believe they see!”

“With sight you will be a strong person, do not believe a crippled elder, slow of gait, is worthless. What might they see that you cannot? For the mind may become the greatest of eyes.”

“When you have found yourselves, do not worry for tomorrow, for is not that which rules our nature greater than any plan we can make? When did reality care for anything necessitated by your vanity? I assure you, this was never the case.”

His disciples said, “How do we find you?”

Jesus answered, “When you can be naked like little children who hate clothes, and are without shame, you will have found what you need. You must throw out your insecurities like clothes that are too constricting,  to find yourself. If I let you become dependent on me, you will have learned nothing.”

“Hypocrite religions serving ignorance and wealth [and their clerics promoting blood sacrifice] had taken the keys of knowledge and long since lost them. They know not the way themselves and they will not want you to know the way. You must fly above these venomous snakes, as would a dove. Tithe nothing of yourself to this evil.”

“A windstorm blew down a grove of trees. But that tree which had stood alone, was unharmed. For when one comes to depend on deeply rooted principles, challenges may be met bravely. And whoever has surrendered vanity to a greater reality, will know a superior reward.”

“Be observers. ”

His disciples said to him, “Who are you, to know these things?”

Jesus answered “I am the one who listens to the water, the trees, the stones and the moving air. If the birds bless me with a message, who will deny it? Are you not listening of your own accord?”

“Some might damn their father justifiably. But those who give no allegiance to their mother,  cannot prosper. Did she not nurse you? Else how would you be here? Only ingrates despise women with crass behaviors, and ingrates cannot know the Mystery.”

“Honor her that suckles you, even to the present day, for did she not make it possible that you might draw every breath? What she had given remains with you to this moment. With this good, you are able to discover good and if you are able to discover good, you bring greater good into this world.”

“From Adam, through the prophets, to the greatest of men in any moment, none is so great as those among you able to become worthy as a small child. The little children do not know hypocrisy and a small child knows how to be genuinely grateful.”

“Do not be two-faced.”

“If two will work in peace, they will say to a mountain, ‘Move’ and it will move.”

“Those who have come from the knowledge will find a return to the knowledge.”

“We have come from the light, let us return there.”

“We are movement and stasis.”

His disciples said to him, “When will there be rest for the dead?”

Jesus said, “There is no rest for the dead, they walk among you.”

His disciples said to him, “The prophets spoke of you.”

Jesus said, “The prophets also walk among the dead.”

His disciples said to him, “is circumcision useful?”

Jesus said, “No.”

“Are not the poor blessed with humility? Theirs’ will be a greater satisfaction. For the rich burn with anxiety that is unnatural.”

“Whoever has loved a dead body in the person of vanity, has their necrotic reward. The Mystery tolerates these inferior people only for a moment. This moment is as a moment one does another task.”

“Happy is that person who has worked to accomplish learning the Mystery, for this is authentic life.”

“If you cannot live in the now, you cannot live in the future.”

“Don’t be like a carcass that is eaten. Do not jealousies eat you?”

“Be at home within.”

Salome said, “Who do you think you are? You behave as though this were your own house!”

Jesus said to her, “My house is my presence. Should I not be comfortable?”

Salome answered, “Now, I believe you.”

Jesus said to Salome, “The Mystery will find you worthy.”

“A rich man’s plans were meticulously laid, but he died the night before he could bring them off.”

“Feed the street people.”

“A rich banker will not respect your money.”

“A humble man rebuilds from the rubble of the devastated rich.”

“Associating with vanity will yield you nothing.”

“It is a blessing if you are persecuted for the good, because you will have remembered you can live with your conscience.”

“If you have known hunger, you can know gratitude.”

“What is inside you, can save you or kill you.”

“To discover the Mystery is to have a shoddy house destroyed. After, you will know how to build intelligently.”

Someone said “Tell my brothers to divide my father’s possessions with me.”

Jesus said “Why should I do this?”

Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them “Remember to mind your own business.”

“Do not grow more than you need to harvest, for that day might come you seek water to irrigate and there will be none.”

“There are many suitors for a beautiful woman, but only one shall prevail. So it is to know the Mystery, many will seek but few will find, because the many only know convention.”

“To know the Mystery is to conserve what is valuable. Will you eat your money, when there is no food?”

“Be light over all other things, to know what is inside a hollow tree, to see your way in a cave.”

“Why be like a reed knocked down in the wind? Do not behave as your rulers.”

A woman in the crowd said to him, “Blessed are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you.”

Jesus said to her, “It is true, blessed are those who have known the Mystery from the beginning, for there will be others who will wish a womb had not conceived and breasts had not suckled them.”

“Whoever has come to know our world has discovered illusion, and whoever has penetrated illusion, is immortal.”

“A wise man who refuses to give council, will have saved no one.”

“A man who renounces power can save himself.”

“To be safe within yourself is to be truly warm. To be truly warm, one must love.”

“A light within, is in the eye.”

“If you can only look happy in the mirror, all is fear!”

“Adam came from great power but he died, as must all who embrace the illusion”

“You are model of the universe, how important that you set the example! Let the fox have its den, do not disturb the bird’s nest.”

“If you care only for your body, the soul cannot prosper.”

“Take only what is yours and surrender what is not”

“The cup you drink from is no different to yourself.”

“Master your infirmities and you will know peace.”

They said to him, “Who are you? Why should we believe?”

Jesus said to them, “Do you know your own hand, what it conceals? I did not bring you here, so why would you listen, except that you would wish to know something? Seek and you will find, but to seek, you cannot conceal what is in your hand. If I give what is sacred to pigs, do you believe they will appreciate it? Do not be like the clerics.”

“If you slap a melon just so, you will know if it is good.”

“Be generous.”

“To know the Mystery requires a woman. Her knowledge is such, she can grow and give life. What man among you can do this? But if you will learn her intelligence, I swear to you anything is possible, and this is how a man enters into real knowledge.”

“The Mystery is like a woman who was carrying a child. While walking along her labor began, and she stopped to give birth in the shelter of an Aspen grove. She didn’t know it; but she had been blessed. When she put the child to her nipple there was a great peace in the quaking leaves. Blessed is any such child!”

“The mystery is like a person who must kill someone powerful. While at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the mirror to destroy self-image. Thus he killed the powerful one.”

The disciples said to him, “Your brothers and your mother are standing outside.”

Jesus said “Those here who destroy self-image are my brothers and my mother.”

They showed Jesus a gold coin with the Emperor’s inscription and said to him, “The Emperor demands taxes from us.”

He said to them, “Give to the Emperor his vanity and give to me only what is mine”

“Damn the Evangelists! They are like a dog guarding a long dead body. Do not seek people out with your knowledge, rather let them seek you”

“Be happy when you know from which direction the attack will come, you can be certain the arrow will miss.”

They said to Jesus, “Come, let us pray, let us fast.”

Jesus said, “What have I done? Rather, when the lie has been banished from your hearts and minds, let us feast. For whoever knows the sacred androgyny will be called the child of a whore by the liar. But when you make the two into one, you will be blessed of Eve, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move’ it will move.”

“The mystery is kind to the those who slept on the mountain, for the dream came and the angel loved them.”

“Whoever drinks from a sacred woman’s mouth will become like her; I became that person, and hidden things are revealed.”

“The mystery is a hidden treasure in each of you but you cannot know it until you have searched.”

“Let one who has found the success and become wealthy, renounce success.”

“The heavens are ordered after those who have found what is truly beautiful, and their presence is immortal.”

“Damn those who depend only on the soul. Damn those that depend only on the body. You must be titans upon this Earth.”

His disciples said to him “When will the Mystery be revealed?”

Jesus replied “It will not come by waiting for it. Rather, the Mystery is spread out upon the earth, and you don’t see it.”

Peter said to Jesus “Make Mary leave us, for females don’t deserve immortality.”

Pointing at Peter, Jesus turned to the other disciples and said “Watch out for the dumb one, because that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!”


The Satires



The (No) ‘Establishment’ Clause

There is little question the American founders were, without exception, ‘believers’ in a supreme deity or that is to say “God.” Their commonality of belief ends with that statement. The (no) ‘Establishment’ clause of the anti-federalist founders (as opposed the ‘Federalist’ founders) enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, derived from a consensus there could never be any one religion in supremacy in these United States.

This consensus derived from historical experience showing a ‘state religion’ is inimical to freedom. The one man responsible for a widespread support from the general populace supporting this consensus was Thomas Paine.

John Adams had stated: “Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been in vain”

The purpose of the (no) ‘Establishment’ clause derived from our several founders unshakeable notion that any church in supremacy results in persecution of freedom. In their time, this notion was based on very real history, pointing particularly to the Church of England and the Church at Rome. Both had initiated policies in collusion with government(s) resulting in exodus of minority religions and political free thinkers, to what eventually became our American republic. The (no) ‘Establishment’ clause was intended to guard against these persecutions repeating history at future time in the USA.

That John Adams recognized this would be a necessary safeguard, despite his conservative Christian faith, is to be demonstrated in his statement on Paine. Furthermore, Adams had endorsed the language: “The government of the United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian religion” when he signed the ‘Treaty of Tripoli’

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State” – President Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Danbury Baptist Association.

Jefferson even took the idea further. His endorsement of a (no) ‘Establishment’ clause invited non-Christian faiths to stand on a par with any Christian faith in the newly founded United States: “a singular proposition proved that it’s protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion,’ the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination” -commenting on proceedings in the Virgina Assembly.

Benjamin Franklin concurred with Jefferson: “If the Mufti of Constantinople were to send an emmissary to preach to us Mohammedism, he would be provided a pulpit”

James Madison goes even farther: “Experience witnesses that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost 15 centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution”

The last word inspiring the (no) ‘Establishment’ clause is given to Thomas Paine, the man Adams had implied motivated the troops to serve under General Washington:

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit

The USA Constitution’s (no) ‘Establishment’ clause: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” ..

.. is routinely violated by the crusaders at our Pentagon:


Sane people support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Paine’s essay from ‘The Age of Reason’

“IT has been my intention, for several years past, to publish my thoughts upon religion. I am well aware of the difficulties that attend the subject, and from that consideration, had reserved it to a more advanced period of life. I intended it to be the last offering I should make to my fellow-citizens of all nations, and that at a time when the purity of the motive that induced me to it, could not admit of a question, even by those who might disapprove the work.

“The circumstance that has now taken place in France of the total abolition of the whole national order of priesthood, and of everything appertaining to compulsive systems of religion, and compulsive articles of faith, has not only precipitated my intention, but rendered a work of this kind exceedingly necessary, lest in the general wreck of superstition, of false systems of government, and false theology, we lose sight of morality, of humanity, and of the theology that is true.

“As several of my colleagues and others of my fellow-citizens of France have given me the example of making their voluntary and individual profession of faith, I also will make mine; and I do this with all that sincerity and frankness with which the mind of man communicates with itself.

“I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

“I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

“But, lest it should be supposed that I believe in many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

“I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

“It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this?

“Soon after I had published the pamphlet Common Sense, in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion. The adulterous connection of church and state, wherever it had taken place, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, had so effectually prohibited by pains and penalties, every discussion upon established creeds, and upon first principles of religion, that until the system of government should be changed, those subjects could not be brought fairly and openly before the world; but that whenever this should be done, a revolution in the system of religion would follow. Human inventions and priestcraft would be detected; and man would return to the pure, unmixed and unadulterated belief of one God, and no more.

“Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints; and the Turks their Mahomet, as if the way to God was not open to every man alike.

“Each of those churches show certain books, which they call revelation, or the word of God. The Jews say, that their word of God was given by God to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of God came by divine inspiration: and the Turks say, that their word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from Heaven. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.

“As it is necessary to affix right ideas to words, I will, before I proceed further into the subject, offer some other observations on the word revelation. Revelation, when applied to religion, means something communicated immediately from God to man.

“No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it.

“It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication — after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.

“When Moses told the children of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hands of God, they were not obliged to believe him, because they had no other authority for it than his telling them so; and I have no other authority for it than some historian telling me so. The commandments carry no internal evidence of divinity with them; they contain some good moral precepts, such as any man qualified to be a lawgiver, or a legislator, could produce himself, without having recourse to supernatural intervention.”


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