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Introduction
LORD BEACONSFIELD, treating Hellenic things with the scornful negligence natural to a Hebrew, said in a well-known book that our aristocratic class, the polite flower of the nation, were truly Hellenic in this respect among others,—that they cared nothing for letters and never read.
Religion Given
And so, when we are asked, what is the object of religion? —let us reply : Conduct. And when we are asked further, what is conduct ?—let us answer : Three fourths of life.
Religion Given - Part 2
And certainly we need not go far about to prove that conduct, or `righteousness,' which is the object of religion, is in a special manner the object of Bible-religion. The word `righteousness' is the master-word of the Old Testament.
Religion Given - Part 3
Their holy city, Jerusalem, is the foundation, or vision, or inheritance, of that which righteousness achieves, peace.
Religion Given - Part 4
The religion of the Bible, therefore, is well said to be revealed, because the great natural truth, that righteousness tendeth to life, is seized and exhibited there with such in-comparable force and efficacy.
Religion Given - Part 5
The real germ of religious consciousness, therefore, out of which sprang Israel's name for God, to which the records of his history adapted themselves, and which came to be clothed upon, in time, with a mighty growth of poetry and tradition, was a consciousness of the not ourselves which makes for righteousness.
Aberglaube Invading
WHEN people ask for our attention because of what has passed, they say, ' in the Council of the Trinity,' and been promulgated, for our direction, by ' a Personal First Cause, the moral and intelligent Governor of the universe,' it is certainly open to any man to refuse to hear them, on the plea that the very thing they start with they have no means of proving.
Aberglaube Invading - Part 2
Through some four hundred years the mind of Israel revolved those wonderful utterances, which, even now, on the ear of even those who only half understand them and who do not at all believe them, strike with such strange, incomparable power,—the promises of prophecy.
Religion New-Given
JESUS CHRIST was undoubtedly the very last sort of Messiah that the Jews expected. Christian theologians say confidently that the characters of humility, obscureness, and depression, were commonly attributed to the Jewish Messiah ; and even Bishop Butler, in general the most severely exact of writers, gives countenance to this error.
Religion New-Given - Part 2
What was wanted, then, was a fuller description of righteousness. Now, it is clear that righteousness, the central object of Israel's concern, was the central object of Jesus Christ's concern also.
Religion New-Given - Part 3
To rivet the attention on the indications of personal religion furnished by the Old Testament ; to take the humble, inward, and suffering ' servant of God' of the prophets, and to elevate this as the Messiah, the seed of Abraham and of David, in whom all nations should be blessed, whose throne should be as the days of heaven, who should redeem his people and restore the kingdom to Israel,—was a work of the highest originality.
Religion New-Given - Part 4
For we have already remarked how it is the great achievement of the Israel of the Old Testament, happiness being mankind's confessed end and aim, to have more than anyone else felt, and more than anyone else succeeded in making others feel, that to righteousness belongs happiness.
Religion New-Given - Part 5
And thus was the great doctrine of the Old Testament : To righteousness belongs happiness ! made a true and potent word again. Jesus Christ was the Messiah to restore the all things of Israel,—righteousness, and happiness with righteousness ; to bring light and recovery after long days of darkness and ruin, and to make good the belief written on Israel's heart : The righteous is an everlasting foundation .
The Proof From Prophecy
And to take prophecy first. `The conditions,' it is said, which form the true conclusive standard of a prophetic inspiration are these : That the prediction be known to have been promulgated before the event ; that the event be such as could not have been foreseen, when it was predicted, by an effort of human reason; and that the event and the prediction correspond together in a clear accomplishment.
The Proof From Prophecy - Part 2
Now, it may be said, indeed, that a prediction fulfilled, an exhibition of supernatural prescience, proves nothing for or against the truth and necessity of conduct and righteousness. But it must be allowed, notwithstanding, that while human nature is what it is, the mass of men are likely to listen more to a teacher of righteousness, if he accompanies his teaching by an exhibition of supernatural prescience.
The Proof From Prophecy - Part 3
Leslie, in his once famous Short and Easy Methods with the Deists, speaks of the impugners of the current evidences of Christianity as men who consider the Scripture histories and the Christian religion ' cheats and impositions of cunning and designing men upon the credulity of simple people.' Collins, and the whole array of writers at whom Leslie aims this, greatly need to be resurveyed from the point of view of our own age.
The Proof From Miracles
WE have seen that some new treatment or other the religion of the Bible certainly seems to require, for it is attacked on all sides, and the theologians are not so successful as one might wish in defending it.
The Proof From Miracles - Part 2
Now we come to miracles, more specially so called. And we have to see whether the constraining force of this proof, too, must not be admitted to be far less than it used to be, and whether some other source of authority for the Bible is not much to be desired.
The Proof From Miracles - Part 3
That miracles, when fully believed, are felt by men in general to be a source of authority, it is absurd to deny. One may say, indeed : Suppose I could change the pen with which I write this into a penwiper, I should not thus make what I write any the truer or more convincing.
The Proof From Miracles - Part 4
This being so, there is nothing one would more desire for a person or document one greatly values, than to make them independent of miracles. And with regard to the Old Testament we have done this ; for we have shown that the essential matter in the Old Testament is the revelation to Israel of the immeasurable grandeur, the eternal necessity, the priceless blessing of that with which not less than three.
The New Testament Record
Jesus himself is not a New Testament writer. He is the object of description and comment to the New Testament writers. As the Old Testament speaks about the Eternal and bears an invaluable witness to him, without yet ever adequately in words defining and expressing him ; so, and even yet more, do the New Testament writers speak about Jesus and give a priceless record of him, without adequately and accurately comprehending him.
The New Testament Record - Part 2
Finally, for the reporters of Jesus the rule was, undoubtedly, that men believed on Jesus when they saw the miracles which he did. Miracles were in these reporters' eyes, beyond question, the evidence of the Christian religion.
The New Testament Record - Part 3
Happily, the faith that saves is attached to the saving doctrines in the Bible, which are very simple ; not to its literary and scientific criticism, which is very hard. And no man is to be called infidel for his bad literary and scientific criticism of the Bible ; but if he were, how dreadful would the state of our orthodox theologians be.
The Testimony Of Jesus To Himself
In our third chapter we passed in brief review the teaching of Jesus. But there the objection met us, that what attested Jesus Christ was miracles, and the preternatural fulfilment in him of certain detailed predictions made about him long before.
The Testimony Of Jesus To Himself - Part 2
So the exhibition of the truth He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal in its Order and place as a truth of psycho-physiology, concerns one-eighth of our life and no more.
The Testimony Of Jesus To Himself - Part 3
A method of inwardness, a secret of self-renouncement. But can any statement of what Jesus brought be complete, which does not include that temper of mildness and sweetness in which both of these worked.
Faith In Christ
So the revelation of Jesus Christ in the New Testament is like the revelation of the God of Israel in the Old, in being the revelation of the Eternal not ourselves which makes for righteousness. It is like it, and has the same power of religion in it.
Faith In Christ - Part 2
With the promise of the Spirit of truth which should, after his departure, work in his disciples first, then in the world, and which should convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, and finally transform it, we are all familiar. But we do not enough remark the impressive words, uttered to the crowd around him only a little while before, and of far wider application than the reporter imagined.
Aberglaube Reinvading
Miracles, and, above all, the crowning miracles of the Resurrection and Ascension to be followed by the second Advent, were from the first firmly fixed as parts of the disciples' belief. As time went on, and Christianity spread wider and wider among the multitudes, and with less and less of control from the personal influence of Jesus, Christianity developed more and more its side of miracle and legend.
Aberglaube Reinvading - Part 2
We may leave all questions about the Church, its rise, and its organisation, out of sight altogether. Much as is made of them, they are comparatively unimportant. Jesus never troubled himself with what are called Church matters at all ; his attention was fixed solely upon the individual.
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