106. M. Dupuis.
Among the extravagancies of faith, which have characterised many infidel writers, who would swallow a whale to avoid believing that a whale swallowed Jonas; a high rank should be given to Dupuis, who at the commencement of the French Revolution, published a work in twelve volumes octavo, in order to prove that Jesus Christ was the Sun, and all Christians, worshippers of Mithra. His arguments, if arguments they can be called, consist chiefly of metaphors quoted from the Fathers. What irresistable conviction would not the following passage from Souths' Sermons (Vol. v. p. 165) have flashed on his fancy, had it occurred in the writings of Origen or Tertullian! and how compleat a confutation of all his grounds does not the passage afford to those humble souls who, gifted with common sense alone, can boast of no additional light received through a crack in their upper apartments!
"Christ, the great Sun of Righteousness and Saviour of the World, having by a glorious Rising, after a red and bloody Setting, proclaimed his Deity to men and angels; and by a compleat Triumph over the two grand Enemies of Mankind, Sin and Death, set up the everlasting Gospel in the room of all false Religions, has now changed the Persian Superstition into the Christian Doctrine; and without the least approach to the idolatry of the former, made it henceforward the duty of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, to worship the rising Sun."
This one passage outblazes the whole host of Dupuis' Evidences and Extracts. In the same sermon, the reader will meet with Hume's argument against miracles anticipated, and put in Thomas's mouth.