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known talent and position, which insinuates that the leading events recorded in the Bible have been disproved by recent discoveries in science and history; which casts doubts upon the received interpretation of Scripture as irreconcilable with "scientific criticism ;” and which rejects as wholly incredible the testimony on which the Gospel revelation was made known to the world, and is now received by Christians. A work of this kind, issuing from those who might rather be expected to defend the Scriptures than to impugn their authority, can hardly fail to have an injurious effect; and may seem to justify the neglect, at least, of a revelation against which so much has been said by persons who might be supposed to be impartial and disinterested judges.
There can be no doubt that this, like other attacks upon Christianity, will result in producing fresh confirmation of its divine authority. There can be no doubt of this sceptical volume receiving such answers as shall reduce it to its
proper level. Many such have already appeared. The Author of our religion Himself appealed to proofs, when He required the Jewish nation to believe that He“ forth from God;" and Christianity has never shrunk from the "free handling” of the evidence on which
its claim to be believed depends. But believed it must be, that it may avail to any soul. Christianity is everything, or nothing. For any practical purpose, it must be rejected altogether, or embraced altogether. If Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, he is not the Redeemer of the world. But if he is really what the history represents him, “there is no other name under heaven given amongst men, whereby we may be saved.”
This it is the more necessary to bear in mind, because it is the system of neological or rationalistic writers to keep it out of sight. Without actually denying the truth of Christianity, they argue about it as if it were a fiction; and professedly remain within the building, whilst they are, in fact, undermining its foundations.
Now, the object of the following treatise is to show that the foundations stand sure; that the truth of the Gospel is established by the Gospel itself; by the internal evidence contained in its own nature, and by the acknowledged fact of its reception in the world. The idea of “ an external revelation"
may be repudiated; supernatural interference with the order of nature may be pronounced incredible. But still there remains a miracle which defies all doubt, and refutes all sophistry: The Christian religion exists. How came it to exist, unless the events took place which account for its origin and promulgation ?
This is the idea which I have endeavoured to carry out and expand. The argument has, at least, one advantage—it leads to the consideration of the religion itself. And much of the scepticism which prevails would be removed, if the Bible itself were studied, rather than discussions about the Bible.
Basis of the Christian Religion, the alienation of mankind from
Jews and Gentiles alike unprepared to receive this..
Redemption of mankind by Jesus, an original idea both to Jews
Peculiar obstacles, from the crucifixion of Jesus..
Divisions foretold .
Progress and reception of the religion described
Excellence of the Parables