They tell me that there never would have been any civilization if it had not been for this Bible. The Jews had a Bible; the Romans had not. Which had the greater and the grander government? Let us be honest. Which of those nations produced the greatest poets, the greatest soldiers, the greatest orators, the greatest statesmen, the greatest sculptors? Rome had no Bible. God cared nothing for the Roman Empire. He let the men come up by chance. His time was taken up with the Jewish people. And yet Rome conquered the world, including the chosen people of God. The people who had the Bible were defeated by the people who had not. How was it possible for Lucretius to get along without the Bible?--how did the great and glorious of that empire? And what shall we say of Greece? No Bible. Compare Athens with Jerusalem. From Athens come the beauty and intellectual grace of the world. Compare the mythology of Greece with the mythology of Judea; one covering the earth with beauty, and the other filling heaven with hatred and injustice. The Hindoos had no Bible; they had been forsaken by the Creator, and yet they became the greatest metaphysicians of the world. Egypt had no Bible. Compare Egypt with Judea. What are we to do without the Bible? What became of the Jews who had a Bible? Their temple was destroyed and their city was taken; and they never found real prosperity until their God deserted them. The Turks attributed all their victories to the Koran. The Koran gave them their victories over the believers in the Bible. The priests of each nation have accounted for the prosperity of that nation by its religion.
The Christians mistake an incident for a cause, and honestly imagine that the Bible is the foundation of modern liberty and law. They forget physical conditions, make no account of commerce, care nothing for inventions and discoveries, and ignorantly give the credit to their inspired book.
The foundations of our civilization were laid centuries before Christianity was known. The intelligence of courage, of self- government, of energy, of industry, that uniting made the civilization of this century, did not come alone from Judea, but from every nation of the ancient world.