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A Legacy to the Friends of Free Discussion

Produced by David Widger.

*A LEGACY TO THE FRIENDS OF FREE DISCUSSION*

_By_

*Benjamin Offen*

_PRINCIPAL HISTORICAL FACTS AND PERSONAGES OF THE BOOKS KNOWN AS THE_ _OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT; WITH REMARKS ON THE MORALITY OF NATURE_

_1846_

CONTENTS

PREFACE GENERAL INTRODUCTION DETAILED CONTENTS A LEGACY TO THE FRIENDS OF FREE DISCUSSION GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE THE OLD TESTAMENT CHAPTER I. FROM THE CREATION TO THE DELUGE CHAPTER II. A REVIEW OF THE DELUGE AND THE CONFUSION OF TONGUES AT THE TOWER OF BABEL CHAPTER III. FROM THE CONFUSION OF TONGUES TO THE BIRTH OF MOSES CHAPTER IV. FROM THE BIRTH OF MOSES TO THE DEATH OF JOSHUA CHAPTER V. FROM THE DEATH OF JOSHUA TO THE REIGN OF SAUL CHAPTER VI. THE REIGNS OF SAUL, DAVID, AND SOLOMON CHAPTER VII. THE REIGN OF JEROBOAM, AND THE SEPARATION OF ISRAEL FROM JUDAH CHAPTER VIII. ON DIVINE INSPIRATION THE NEW TESTAMENT INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER on THE FACTS AND PERSONAGES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHAPTER I. CHAPTER. II. CHAPTER III. CHAPTER IV. CHAPTER V. CHAPTER VI. CHAPTER VII. CHAPTER VIII. CHAPTER IX. REMARKS ON THE MORALITY OF NATURE

PREFACE

IN the following pages the author has freely discussed the claims of the books called the Old and New Testaments, to be considered Divine revelations. He had a _right_ so to do; and in presenting the work to the public he gives the result of his exercise of such right.

The right of free discussion has been questioned. It would be well for humanity if this were all; but unhappily, the pages of history are replete with deeds of persecution and cruelty, committed by men, in the possession of power, on their less fortunate fellow-men, who have presumed to exercise the right of free investigation. Cupidity has drawn a line of demarcation; it has established boundaries for thought; and miserable has been the fate of the unhappy wretch who, rejoicing in the dignity of his nature, and anxious to discover the abode of Truth, has dared to pass the Rubicon.

What is Free Discussion? We answer, it is the exercise of the reasoning faculties. Without Free Discussion man cannot exist. His physical existence might indeed remain; but he could no longer be deemed a man; and would have to take a lower rank in the scale of creation.

Without investigation it is impossible to arrive at Truth; hence the utility of Free Discussion. This is never denied when science is the subject; and we have yet to learn why it should be restrained in any case; and also _how_ and _when_ any set of men became possessed of the right to restrain the exercise of the reasoning faculties of their fellow-men.


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