[Review of Remarks on Volney's 'Ruins', by William A Hails]
Infidelity, Astronomy, Astrology, Biblical Authority
The reviewer observes that the modern champions of infidelity have 'for some years past' sought 'to attack the history of Christianity, and to persuade the unlettered and ignorant, that the whole is a fiction, even to the very existence of its Founder' (35). Constantin F Chassebœf, comte de Volney's Ruins 'resolves Christ into an astronomical character, and has been long the textbook of this flippant class of infidels' (36). If this astronomical theory is to be adopted, infidels must show 'that a popular passion for the scientific study of astronomy prevailed at the time of the formation of Christianity; or, that there was a confederacy among the astronomers of the day, to invest the old astronomy with new symbols; and that the Galileos, and Keplers, and Newtons, and Laplaces, of Greece and Rome, united to fetch their scientific symbols from the books of the Jews, and the writings of the evangelists' (37). A lengthy extract from William A Hails's book is used to demonstrate the failure of Volney's argument.
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