Excerpt From

Old Testament Comically Illustrated

Chapter 1: Adventures of Adam

Man of the dust of the ground

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis ii, 17).

That is the way, the Christians tell us, that the human race happens to exist. The Bible says it, and, say they, it must be so.

But it is needless to observe that it is not so at all. The idea is borrowed from preceding religions, and is no more original than true.

According to Grecian mythology, the God Prometheus created man, in the image of gods, out of clay; and the God Hephaistos was commanded by Zeus to mold of clay the figure of a maiden, into which Athene, the dawn-goddess, "breathed the breath of life." The Peruvians, Collas, Caribees, and North American Indians believed that the human race originated from the soil.

In fact, the North American Indian’s theology is very similar to Christianity, but the Indians could never have heard of Jesus Christ.

The same belief was prevalent in Egypt, China, India, and Mexico. The Chaldeaus asserted that man was made by mixing of the blood of Belus with the dust of the ground. This belief was current with these people long before Genesis is known to have been written, and could not have been inspired by a knowledge of the Bible legend.

But strange as is the origin of man, in this tale, the first woman was formed still more strangely. When God made the beasts he made two sexes, but when he manufactured Adam he seems to have forgotten the most important part of the family. He had used up his material, and with the finishing of the universe his power to make something from nothing ceased. So he “caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he woman, and brought her unto the man.”

Made he a woman

The meeting of this uniquely made pair is thus described by an inspired writer: “It is Sunday. January 8, 4004 B.C. Morn has just rolled up the curtain of the night and opened the front door. A man walks in a garden admiring the beauties of nature. It is Adam.

He does not know that since he went to sleep last night he has been deribbed and provided with a helpmeet. He has not as yet counted his ribs this morning and is insensible of his loss. He is about to be enlightened.

At a short distance he perceives a creature who is his exact counterpart except in a few unimportant items. He approaches and it recedes. Adam murmurs, ‘This is one too many for me, but I suspect it is my intended.’ Counting his ribs, he discovers that one is missing, and is convinced.

‘If so,’ he continues, ‘she will approach. Ah! she comes!’ He is quite right, she comes, holding in her hand the large fifty-cent bouquet shown in the engraving which accompanies this sketch. ‘I presume,’ he says, turning toward her, and lifting his hat with one hand, while speaking with the other, ‘I presume that I have the pleasure of addressing Eve, the mother of our race. I trust that you will pardon my unshaved face. It is the Sabbath, and all barber-shops are closed out of respect for the sacred character of the day. Madam, I’m Adam. May I trouble you to marry me?’

Eve, for it was she, jumped at this her first offer, landing lightly on both feet. It was in the gloaming that the wedding took place; and as Adam approached the bride to place upon her willing hand the marriage-ring, he said, ‘My dear, can you tell me why I resemble the departing day?’ ‘I can,’ she replied; ‘it is because you are drawing near Eve.’”

Thus was committed the original sin.

The voice of the Lord.

The superstitious ignorance of the early Christians is noway better shown than by the fact that they believed that man has one rib less than a woman. The first heretic was the gentleman who counted his wife’s ribs.

The world is greatly indebted to this rib, however. Had Adam not succumbed to its winning charms, the world would still be peopled with naked idiots. Without this rib, as has been well said, we should have had no knowledge, no reason, no experience, no choice, no progression; but instead, a childlike simplicity, a trusting confidence, an unquestioning credulity, would have pervaded the whole human family.

It was this way: “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This was before Eve was born, and Adam, like a Sunday-school boy who dies young, obeyed the command and was content to be a fool.

However, he must have had a streak of good material in him, for when Eve appeared the submission to authority and respect for vested rights ceased. The same inspired writer before quoted describes the beginning of tho rebellion.

“One day when apples were ripe Eve came to her husband with the following interesting story: During her innocent rambles within the confines of the garden she had fallen in with a gentleman of polite address, who entered into discourse with her. He called her attention to the superior quality of the fruit on the tree of knowledge, and assured her that the city ordinance forbidding her to eat of it had some years since fallen into a desuetude that was quite innocuous. He gave her further instructions as to family life in the suburbs. The gentleman called himself a parson, and did business as a serpent under the name of Satan.

And clothed them.

“Adam grew quite interested, and the account says that ‘she gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat.’ Thenceforward the tree of knowledge was always full of clubs. It became, in the course of time, Adam’s favorite fruit, and he made up his mind as soon as the spring opened to set scions from it in every tree in the orchard. How certain other events interfered with his plan we shall soon see.”

The certain other events were as follows: “Adam let nature take its course, and had nearly ceased to think of his disobedience of orders, when one evening as lie and his amiable consort wore promenading the garden in the cool of the day, and had just hooked another hatful of apples, they saw what they afterward found out was a voice, walking down the path toward them. Adam remarked that a fellow always sees queer game when he has forgotten to take his gun along. He also deemed it prudent to conceal himself and await developments.

Presently the voice cleared itself and inquired, grammatically, ‘Adam, where art thou?’ Adam said, ‘Present.’ ‘Come out of that,’ continued the voice. ‘Excuse me,’ replied our heroic but dignified first parent, ‘I am not appareled for dress parade. Neither was Eve expecting company. Call some other time; this is my busy day.’ The voice receded, with the observation that it was about time to turn the dog loose.”

At this time Adam and Eve were appareled only in aprons of fig-leaves, and the voice, being of gentlemanly instincts, did not iutrude, but instead retired and started a tailor shop, making them coats of skins of the fashion ns shown herewith. The monkey, it will be observed, was even at that time of an imitative disposition, and seems to have kept pace with the times. The origin of the “Grecian bend,” a style of ladies’ dress which became old some time in the seventies of the nineteenth century, is hero clearly traced to our first mother.

Adam, however, did not wear trousers; they were introduced at a much later period by Dr. Mary Walker, a subscriber to The Truth Seeker.

To till the ground.

The further adventures of Adam are thus graphically described by our inspired writer: “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from whence lie was taken.” In these words does the writer of Genesis describe the primitive agricultural operations of our early ancestors. With the picture on page 17 in mind, we can better understand that “no man who putteth his hand to the plow and turneth back is fit for the kingdom of God.” A man capable of such a feat with the appurtenances before us would do better in conjunction with a circus.

Exactly how the eviction of onr first parents was effected, it is not permitted us to know, but it is supposed that Adam heard a voice speaking in the night, saying unto him, “Git,” and he got. This might also have been supplemented by a large dog with a disagreeable disposition roaming loose among the parterres.

The long steps which Adam and Eve appear to be taking (see page 19) indicate that they are in haste. The gentleman with wings standing at the corner of the wall is a cherubim. The object which he holds in his hand is not a windmill, nor yet a steamboat propeller. It is a sword which looketh four ways for Sunday, as described in Genesis third chapter and twenty-fourth verse.

But Adam did not always remain a farmer.

At the age of nine hundred years he wrote a book on “How to Live a Million Years and Grow Old Gracefully.” This work he sold about the country until in the year 3074 b.c. a law was passed making a book agent punishable by death. Then one day as he rang the door-bell of a fashionable up-town residence and asked to show the lady of the house his little work on “How to Live a Million Years and Grow Old Gracefully,” somebody threw a brick. The account simply says, “And all the days of Adam were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.”

The next day’s papers turned their column rules, and chronicled the death of the oldest inhabitant, but there is sufficient reason to believe that little or no inquiry was instituted into the mysterious circumstances attending his demise.

The funeral of Adam, which was largely attended took place under the auspices of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the officiating clergyman dwelling touchingly and at length upon the virtues of the deceased; his long residence in the community; his great labors in natural history, particularly in the nomenclature of species; his public spirit as a citizen; his work as author of a remarkable treatise on “How to Live a Million Years and Grow Old Gracefully,” and above all his exemplary piety as a Christian.

The clergyman likewise bespoke the sympathy of all for the bereaved relict, promising to call upon her often himself and administer to her the consolations of religion—a promise which he fulfilled in such good earnest that his attentions to Eve did not fail to become the subject of scandal. He hath many imitators at this day.

So he drove out the man.

In closing these adventures of Adam, we will discuss the story seriously just enough to remark that it is now recognized by all intelligent people to be only a legend and of no importance except as the babyish ideas of a people having no scientific knowledge. It is one of the nursery tales of the race.

“Man has existed on this planet, ruder in form and character the farther we go back, for hundreds of thousands of years. Long before events alleged to have occurred in the garden of Eden, there were millions of civilized men in Egypt and India and probably in Assyria and China; and long before that in the obscurity of prehistoric ages, the earth was peopled by barbarians. These, also, were preceded by savages who, in their turn, had succeeded the ape-like progenitors of mankind.

“But the rejection of the Bible account of the peopling of the world involves also the rejection of the entire scheme of Christianity. According to the orthodox rendering of both New and Old Testament teaching, all men are involved in His curse which followed Adam’s sin. But if the account of the fall be mythical, not historical; if Adam and Eve—supposing them to have ever existed—were preceded on the earth by many nations and empires, what becomes of the doctrine that Jesus came to redeem mankind from a sin committed by one who was not the common father of all humanity?

“Reject Adam, and you cannot accept Jesus. Refuse to believe Genesis, and you cannot give credence to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul. The Old and New Testaments are so connected together that to dissolve the union is to destroy the system. The account of the creation and fall of man is the foundation-stone of the Christian church. If this stone be rotten, the superstructure cannot be stable. It is therefore most important that those who profess a faith in Christianity should consider facts which so vitally and materially affect the creed they hold.”

Full Table of Contents

  • CHAPTER I: Adventures of Adam
  • CHAPTER II: The Origin of the Young Men's Christian Association
  • CHAPTER III: Sustaining a Theory
  • CHAPTER IV: Some Giants
  • CHAPTER V: The Adventures and Work of Noah
  • CHAPTER VI: A Hunting Anecdote
  • CHAPTER VII: Abraham, Christ's Great Ancestor
  • CHAPTER VIII: A Queer Family
  • CHAPTER IX: Isaac and His "Sister"
  • CHAPTER X: One of Twins
  • CHAPTER XI: Jaoob and Esau
  • CHAPTER XII: Joseph the Man of Dreams
  • CHAPTER XIII: Holy Moses
  • CHAPTER XIV: Balaam the Diviner
  • CHAPTER XV: Bloody Joshua
  • CHAPTER XVI: The Campaign of Deborah and Barak Against Jabin and Sisera
  • CHAPTER XVII: General Gideon
  • CHAPTER XVIII: Jephthah and His Human Sacrifice
  • CHAPTER XIX: Samson the Strong
  • CHAPTER XX: Rath and Boaz
  • CHAPTER XXI: Unstable as Water, God Shall Not Excel
  • CHAPTER XXII: David. God's Favorite
  • CHAPTER XXIII: Some Stories from the Book of Kings
  • CHAPTER XXIV: Adventures of the Prophets
  • CHAPTER XXV: Jonah the Truthful Sailor