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ment against miracles is futile : for not only mable state of the materials which it eno are resulis in our hands, which cannot be kindled, they may perhaps do so with no otherwise accounted for, but the “experi- more kindly intention than to suggest how ence” you appeal to begins by excluding little wonderful was the conflagration that the experience of Matthew, Mark, Luke, ensued; but they are nevertheless unconand Jolin, and then of course the desired sciously doing the Church's work. It is not conclusion follows of itself.'*

their affirmations, but their negations which It is quite clear, therefore, that if these she repudiates. And she can well afford to books of MM. Strauss and Renan are to receive, with full acknowledgments, all that receive that estimation which is, in some they bring ; for the convictions by which re-pects, justly due to them, they must be Christians lay hold of the Divine side of the taken apart from the ridiculous premise on question, and put themselves into personal which they are professedly based, and judged relationship with Christ, are of another orwith as little reference to it as possible. der altogether, and are but little affected by The childish simplicity must be forgiven of negative criticism. such passages as these : · By miracles like The fact is, that in disentangling profound that of feeding the multitudes, &c., natural and intricate problems, every thing depends science would be rased to its foundations' on the quarter from which they are ap(Strauss, p. 39) — (that it would be much proached. The solar system, so long as it put out by a súper-natural event we should was viewed from the earth as a centre, was quite expect); and if Jesus had not become an inextricable web of confusion; but ditransformed by legend, He would be an rectly a standing-point for the imagination unique phenomenom in history' (Renan, Vie was found in the sun, everything fell at once de J.

, p. xlvi.). — which is precisely, what into its right place. In so complex and Christians maintain Him to have been). subtle a question as that of the truth of The prerogative of the Almighty to address Christianity, this is still more surely the semen through the senses, if it should seem cret of success. The question is one which good to Him to do so, must be dogmatically addresses neither the reason alone, nor the re-affirmed (for one piece of dogmatism is imagination alone, nor the conscience alone. just as good as another); and these works It is, in its essence, an ethical question. must be studied, not for their arbitrary mar- But, making pretensions to stand upon the shalling of texts in parody of the simple and solid ground of historical fact, it is inevitanoble delineation of Christ's life in the Gos- bly mixed up with matters of a secondary pels, but for their valuable and towards real- interest - points of criticism, various readising the human side in His being, who was ings, and other documentary questions (under every hypothesis) . very man’; and and becomes subject to the demands of the especially for their meritorious contributions imagination, that its origin and history be towards setting it in an intelligible frame- presented in a readily conceivable form. work, and pointing out those nearer links of But it makes all the difference in the world connections with previous and subsequent whether a man begin by entangling himself history which alone were wanting to sub- amid petty critical details, or by determinstanıiate the Christology of the Church. For ing at all costs to satisfy the imagination, it must be remembered, the Catholic doctrine - or whether he begin by grasping the bas ever affirmed that Christ was a link in central object of the whole system by an history, not out of it: a link heated to white- ethical process, and then endeavour to arness, it may be, and imparting that heat, range, in the best way that circumstances but a link of pre isely the same materials, admit, the intellectual and pictorial details. an: occurring in the same historical order, as Christianity itself makes no pretensions to the rest perfet man,' and coming in be understood by either of the former meththe sulmess of times.' And therefore, when ods. It is no fault of the Gospel if men will write s, sucb as those in question, take much persist in approaching it from the wrong pains to display the preparation of the world quarter, and make confusion worse confor Christianily, and the strangely inflam- founded in the attempt. For it emphatically

claims to be, not a revelation to philoso* The subject of Miracles has recently been phers, but to babes; and no words can more handled vith extraordinary acuteness and force of distinctly point out the right clue than its reasoning by the Rev. Mr. Mozley, in his Bampton own:-If any man will do His will, he

We know of nothing more shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of able or more el quent in our theological literature, and we would expecially point out the Fourth Dis| God, or whether I speak of myself.'. course, in which the writer proves that a belief in

Now, it is precisely this clue which both and possibi ity of miracles is identical with, and in. separable from, a belief in a personal God. MM. Strauss and Renan have entirely

Lecmires for last year.

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missed, and which the author of Ecce Ho- | intercourse with learned people, especially with mo? has, with admirable judgment and sur- the disciples of the three leading schools (Pharprising success, taken up. Strauss's · New isees, Sadducees, Essenes) : while, on the other Life of Jesus' is not indeed so purely a dry band, his originality, freshness, and freedom intellectual feat as the original work, which from every trace of school-pedantry, (such as in 1835 startled the world by its audacious stamps so unmistakably even the spiritual Aposattempt to sift the Gospels into a heap of development was still more independent of ex

tle of the Gentiles,) render it probable that his barren rubbish. Fired by the rapid popu- trinsic aid even than that. And to this no cirlarity of M. Renan's Galilæan idyll, and cumstances could be more favorable than those stung by the persistent refusal of the edu- of his Galilæan home. The inhabitants of that cated classes to acknowledge themselves region, it is well known, were —especially in brought over to his views, he now appeals to the Northern parts - much mixed up with the

the German people,' works up his sifted heathen; as is plainly confessed in the epithet particles afresh into a concrete but lifeless

“ Galilee of the Gentiles ” (Matt. iv. 15, foilowfigure — that could never have converted ing Isaiah viii. 23). And since the province was, anybody, much less the world — and ends maria from the proudly orthodox Judæa, its na

yet farther, cut off by the whole breadth of Saby' arranging in little heaps of (so-called) tives were looked down upon as of little worth, legendary matter the large proportion of the and not regarded as Jews in the strict sense of Gospel narrative, which is rejected as ficti- the word. Yet these very untoward circum. tious because it is miraculous. Thus Strauss, stances might contribute all the better to the too, like Renan, finds himself compelled, in formation of a free religious character.' (P. the earnest prosecution of his studies, to draw 194.) sensibly nearer towards Christianity. The Christ of his later work is a far more real Indeed the circumstances in question and tangible personage than the faintly- were themselves as Strauss takes great sketched and misty figure that floated as a pains to make us understand — the fruits possible residuum of fact amid the hallucina- of a long preparation in antecedent histions, myths, and forgeries of which the for- tory. mer book was full. Here we have the whole of Part I., comprising no less than 'I know not whether any supernatural origin 150 closely-printed pages, devoted to the that men may ascribe to Christianity can really real and historical Jesus of Nazareth, as the do it more honour, than is done by history author conceives him to haye actually lived in proving how it is the ripe fruit of all the best, and died. And though an equal space, it is growths in every branch of the human family. true, is given to a critical introduction of Never would Christianity (we may safely say). very high interest, and a far larger number have become the religion of the West as well

as of the East - nay, have remained in the end of pages to an elaborate classification of no less than twelve groups of myths, arranged from the very first, breathed a Western as well

more peculiary a Western faith — if it had not, in their respective imaginary layers, yet the as an Eastern, a Græco-Roman as well as a concessions made in these 150 pages are so Jewish spirit. Israel must first be brayed important, and the reality of Christ's earthly in the mortar, the Jewish people must first. history as described by the Evangelists is, in by repeated captivities be scattered among the its main features, so candidly confessed, that heathen, that so the irrigating streams of forwe seem to have here restored to us almost eign thought might be conducted by many a all that was worth contending for.

chavnel upon the mother soil, ere it could be Jesus of Nazareth, then — according to

fecundated so far as to produce from its bosom Herr Strauss's latest and most advanced crit- such a harvest as Christianity. And above all,

a inarriage of the East and the West must také icism of his human bistory – was a Gali- place by the conquests of the great Macedonian læan peasant of the lower orders, himself a hero, and a bride-bed (as it were) be laid in carpenter and the son of a carpenter, and Alexandria, before any such appearance as quite devoid of any education except such that of Christianity could be thought of. Had as he would gather for himself from an assid- there been no Alexander for å forerunner, uous study of the Old Testament, and from Christ could not have come. This may sound observation of the curiously-mingled society a hard saying for theological ears. But directly around him.

we become convinced that even the Hero has a divine mission, it loses all its offensiveness.

Thus we see, as it were, two converging lines, Neither in the substance nor in the method each lengthening itself by inner forces of its of Jesus' teaching is there any thing which own, yet each destined at last to meet in that always bearing in mind his inward endowments one point which should become the birtlıplace – we cannot explain by supposing a careful of the new religion. And would we express in study of the Old Testament and a free social, one short formula the law of these two apparFOURTH SERIES.

32.

LIVING AGE.

VOL. III.

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ently opposing yet really co-operating forces, we temporaries, he was inspired with the idea · may put it thus : Judæa, in all the stages of its that the true preparation for him was, not

history, sought God; Greece bought man.? the purchasing of daggers or the broadening (P. 167.)

of phylacteries, but the conversion of the

heart; and that while he was thus foremost No one who remembers Mr Gladstone's among the files of the Jewish prophets, still eloquent expansion of this thought, in his he was less clear in his assurance that Jesus late farewell speech at Edinburgh, needs to was that Messiah, and more open to offence be reminded that all this is thoroughly at his new methods of procedure, than the Christian and even Churchman-like. Nay, least of those who had actually attached to deny it would be downright heresy. For themselves to bis person. Add to all this it is taught in every Catechism and Man- - what seems likewise allowed that he ual of Church History; it is stated in plain actually foretold what soon after came to terms by the deepest thinkers of antiquity; pass: viz. that those who rejected the Mesand it is itself the direct fulfilment of many siah would be utterly and fearfully destroya noble passage of Hebrew prophecy, which ed, while the remnant that accepted him shrinks not from giving a divine mission to would form the germ of a great future organa Cyrus, a Melchizedek, a Jethro, a Job, a ization, subject in some way to his soverHazael, a Nebuchadnezzar, and looks for- eignty; and we really do not know what ward gladly to the day when Israel shall Churchmen could ask for more from Mr. be the third with Egypt and with Assyria : Strauss. whom the Lord shall bless, saying, Blessed The next scene acknowledged to belong be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work to the genuine history of Jesus is his Galiof my hands, and Israel my inheritance.' læan ministry; the duration of which could (Isaiah xix. 24.)

not have been more than a few years, for With the exception of these few facts, how- even Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44) places his ever, in the early life of Jesus, Strauss finds crucifixion under Pontius Pilate, whose pro nothing very trustworthy until we arrive at curatorship ended A.D. 36. During these his baptism by John. At this point his real few years, and with the means at his comhistory begins. That he was baptised by mand which have been already described, John, and remained with him for a short it somehow or other came to pass that this time, there can be no reasonable doubt. Galilæan carpenter made such an impression But John, like the hermit Banus, at a later on his contemporaries, that they almost unanperiod, to judge from the descriptions of both imously hoped, or feared, he was the Mesgiven by Josephus, was a sort of indepen- siah; that they came to attribute to him the dent Essene, whose rigorous asceticism and most astonishing miracles : that, so far from rugged reproachful method of address soon being brought to their senses by his crucifixbecame distasteful to one of so cheerful and ion, they got it into their heads that he was social, of so courteous and merciful a temper risen from the dead, and had conversed, as Jesus. Still the aim of both was the same, walked, and eaten with several of those who though their methods were different. • Re- had known him best before; nay, that on pent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at subsequent reflection they felt nothing could hand;' was the voice which resounded in the possibly account for his greatness short of wilderness among the crowds of excited and some theory which made him positively diexpectant Jews. And it meant (says Strauss) vine, a theory for which they found no nothing more or less than this : that the precedent of authority whatever

in Judaism, Messiah was about to appear, but that his but were obliged to shape it by the help of appearing would bring good only to those Alexandrian Platonism, whose line of whose hearts were preparing for his coming; thought converged exactly at the right mowhile to the rest he would be like a win- ment upon that precise spot. Yet we are nowing fan, separating the chaff for the constantly reminded, it was with the most burning (p. 189).

consummate wisdom and genius (to say the Now all this, again, is precisely what the least) that

Jesus managed to produce these Church has always taught. And if she has results. The Messiah of the popular imagichosen to clothe her statement of it in words nation was no Man of Sorrows meekly culled from Isaiah and Malachi, we really do riding on an ass; but a warrior, a good hater not see how it makes any difference in the of the Romans, a zealot like Judas the facts. The facts remain – so far as we Gualonite. He was to be no · Son of Man,' can understand - uncontested: that John but a Son of God,' - a human hero, that the Baptist was, in plain words, a forerun- is, like David and Solomon of old; armed ner of the Messiah ; that, unlike all his con- with God's fury and God's arrows against

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the heathen, who had run up such a score | nation or from a strong sensuo-spiritual impresof vengeance in captivities, taxations and sion. And the cnre was then attributed to the oppressions of all sorts upon Jehovah's fa- wonder-working power of Jesus.' (P. 265.) vourites, that it was a perfect marvel — under which none but a cold blooded Sadducee For ourselves, we are content with such could sit still — that the crack of doom was admissions as these from the greatest living delayed so intolerably long. Amid' such an master of the modern destructive criticism. atmosphere as this it was that Jesus had to No one in his senses, who is not the victim of work; and out of this red-hot seething mass some preconceived idea, can possibly go so of Jewish fanaticism, by a — we must not say far as this, and not soon be compelled to go divine :' let us say skilful blow, to forge a good deal farther. He may not indeed the Christian Church. Let us see how he be able to embrace -- until, at least, he unwent to work.

derstands their real meaning — the barbar

isms that have been bequeathed to us by the “It is the life of a wandering teacher that the scholastic philosophy. He may disdair to Evangelists with or e consent attribute to Jesus. pronounce aright the Shibboleth of a mere Capernaum, the home of his favourite disciples, Latin orthodoxy, entangled in dry legalisms, was indeed his frequent resort : but for the most part he traversed the country attended by a

stupefied with forensic fictions, and catholic company of trusted disciples and of women

in nothing but the name. He

may not picwho provided for the wants of the society out ture heaven and earth to his imagination as of their own resources.' (P. 243.) **That they once were pictured, or conceive of Jesus as a teacher made an overpowering, and Christian miracles in the childish way which upon sympathising souls an ineffaceable, im- M. Renan supposes to be the only one the pression, is not only told us by the Evangelists, Church allows, viz. as special interventions, but is ratified by the historical results. He like that of a clock-maker putting his finger was no Rabbi. He taught not as the Scribes. in, to remedy the defects of his wheels.' With logical artifices he had nothing to do; but (Apôtres, p. xlvii.) He may have seen, in only with the word that smites conviction by its short, that the lessons of the Bible and of own intrinsic truth. Hence in his Gospels that rich collection of sentences or maxims, of terse

Theology are learnt, like all other really effecand pregnant sayings which, apart from their tive lessons, in an order which is educational religious worth, are for their clear spiritual in- rather than philosophical; and that the true sight and for their straight unerring aim so order of thought reverses the order of the lesbeyond all price. “Render unto Cæsar the son-book. But that very enfranchisement of things that be Cæsar's," &c., – these are im. his mind from the preconceptions of the nurperishable sayings : because in them truths, sery renders him less willing to be bound by the that experience is ever ratifying afresh, are clothed in a form which is at the same time he is content meekly to stop short just where

mere dogmas of the lecture-room. And unless precisely expressive and also universally intelligible." (P. 253.) . The consciousness of a Pro-Strauss has drawn the line, at a conception phetic mission arose in him before that of his of 'a mere individual genius, designed Messiahship. Or rather we may well conceive (when fuel enough has been collected) to that Jesus, while himself clear upon the point

, apply the enkindling spark' (p. 167); or chose in speaking to others an expression (Son immures his thought within some Hegelian of man) which was not yet in vogue as a title pantheism, that (like the witch of Endor) for the Messiah. Thus he avoided imposing conjures up gods out of the earth, instead of upon his disciples and the people a mere au: bringing down God from heaven; he will thoritative belief in his Messiahship, but allowed not be warned off from the yet farther and it to grow up spontaneously from within. The more so, as he found reason to fear that by deeper inquiry, “who then designed all giving himself out at once for the Messiah he these converging lines ? and whence came should wake up all those political hopes, which that clear unerring mind, that pure and bore a sense diametrically opposite to that in guileless spirit, which, in Christ the cornerwhich alone he would consent to be Messiah.' stone,' completed all, gave a meaning to all, (P. 227.) Meanwhile, however much Jesus and by the master-stroke of a few years' might decline any corporeal miracles, do them work in long-prepared Galilee created he must- according to the ideas of that time Christendom ? - whether he would or no. So soon as ever

These are the points which it really conhe was held to be a Prophet, at once he was

cerns us to know. And they are points credited with miraculous powers : and no sooner was he credited with them, than they were sure MM. Strauss and Renan has absolutely no

upon

which the bewildered philosophy of to appear in reality. It were strange if, among the crowds that approached to touch his gar- answer to give. For they cannot surely ments wherever he came, none found a cure or an

mean to tell us that Christ is only the ultialleviation of his disease from an excited imagi- mate development of forces latent in the mushroom and the sponge: that he is the pro-escape a-- to them — wholly undesired con“ duct of an unconscious series, pushing out-clusion? They have invented two devices, wards towards consciousness and rationality; two loopholes, the most extraordinary and a series calculated by no pre-existing Mind, a unscientific (as it appears to us), that ever · product brooded over by no life-giving were proclaimed in the name of science as spirit. Why, the very sponge and the breaches in the fortress of religion. And mushroom, the icthyosaurus and the plants these loopholes they labour, by every manof the coal-measures, the light of the nebu- auvre in their power, incessantly to enlarge. læ and the serial law itself, all reveal a Rea- Reason having tried her utmost against son human in quality, but ante-human in Christianity in vain, the assault is now to be time, and super-human in degree, and pre- attempted through the imagination. And senting not the slightest indications of de- while the ridicule is unsparing which, in his velopment or change of any sort. Now earlier work, Strauss heaped on the wornthis all-embracing and changeless Reason out methods of the rationalists, we may is what Theology means by God: and the safely predict that the time is not far disarrangements by which, at crossing places tant when the same measure will be as in their orbits, man's world is met and illu- deservedly meted out to himself, and to M. mined by phenomena belonging to acother Renan, who is mainly responsible for the zone, and moving in another plane, are second of the two remarkable arguments we what she terms Miracles. And knowing, as are about to describe. we do, nothing whatever about God, except Everyone is perfectly aware that by the what He pleases to reveal to us, — and im- laws of our imagination, every scene which potent as our imagination is (by the very is impressed upon the retina of our eye, laws of its nature) to project any sane con- every sound which is carried through the ception of God upon its nirror, except under nerves of the ear, receives a colour, shape a personal form, when we find a point in and meaning, from the living and personal history at which a Person stands, who qualities of the recipient. It is impossible • shines out as a thoroughly and intrinsi- that it should be otherwise. A living hucally lovely nature, who needed only to un- man brain is not like a dead sheet of paper, fold himself from himself

, to grow to greater which passively receives and helplessly reconsciousness of himself, greater confidence tains everything that may happen to be in himself

, with no need for change of aim, marked upon it. It is only by a process of no need of self-correction' (Strauss, p. 208); selection and grouping, in accordance with and when we know, from nineteen centuries' habits and qualities given by education and experience, how the spirit of this single nature, that coherent images are formed Person has poured through all the veins of and sane conceptions engenderedl

. If anyhuman society a fresh and vital force, given one doubt this, let him only watch the sponhope to publicans and sinners of all time, taneous effort of his mind, when some redeemed men's souls from the swine-troughs object presents itself in the dusk or in the of sense, and shown for once the highest ideal distance, to mould it into an intelligible of man clothed in actual flesh and blood, – shape, and he will catch himself (as it were) we challenge any one to produce a more ra- in the very act of conception. The colour, tional theory about this Person than that the outline, the motion, the top part, the which has tained currency in the an bottom part, will be spontaneously selected Church; or to point out any bar wbich a for attention ; and some person previously mature and philosophical conception of known, some hobgoblin previously believed God presents against regardirg this unique in, some animal thought likely to be there, Person as an incarnation of the Divine Rea- will be created out of the impressions given, son upon earth. For all that is required to and be projected without a moments delay be conceded, in order to stamp this coni-ep- upon the imagination. Now this, which in tion with perfect credibility, is that Panthe- its proper proportions is a scientific truth, is ism be false and Theism true: in other seized upon by Mr. Strauss, exaggerated into words, that the distinction between müral the most enormous and grotesque extravagood and moral evil be held a real one; and gance, and then employed as an engine to that the convergence of all the lines of overthrow the truth of Christianity. The history to produce a human conductor of Jewish mind (he says) in the first century heaven's light and life to earth has been the was full of Old Testament ideas. The Prophwork of a conscious Reason, and not of a ets and the Mosaic law had so far educaied mere blind force which explains nothing, the nation, that they had supplied them with rather begs humbly for explanation itself. a whole series of types and forms of thought.

How then do these writers manage to So that when Jesus of Nazareth appeared,

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