claiming the miracles of Christianity to be illusions | obviously this: how any mortal can pretend to exof imagination or mythical legends-the inspira- tract anything certain, much more divine, from tion of its records no other or greater than that of records, the great bulk of which he has reduced Homer's "Iliad," or even Æsop's Fables ;"- to pure frauds, illusions, or legends--and the great rejecting the whole of that supernatural element bulk of the remainder to an absolute uncertainty with which the only records which can tell us any-of how little is true and how much false? Surely thing about the matter are full ; declaring its whole it would need nothing less than a new revelation history so uncertain that the ratio of truth to error to reveal this sweeping restriction of the old; and must be a vanishing fraction;-the advocates of we should then be left in an ecstasy of astonishthese systems yet proceed to rant and rave-they ment-first, that the whole significance of it should are really the only words we know which can ex- have been veiled in frauds, illusions, or fictions; press our sense of their absurdity-in a most edi- secondly, that its true meaning should have been fying vein about the divinity of Christianity, and hidden from the world for eighteen hundred years to reveal to us its true glories. "Christ," says after its divine promulgation; thirdly, that it should Strauss, "is not an individual, but an idea; that be revealed at last, either in results which needed is to say, humanity. In the human race behold no revelation to reveal them, or in the Egyptian the God-made-man! behold the child of the visible darkness of the allegorico-metaphysico-mysticovirgin and the invisible Father!—that is, of matter logico-transcendental "formula" of the most oband of mind; behold the Saviour, the Redeemer, scure and contentious philosophy ever devised by the Sinless One; behold him who dies, who is man; and lastly, that all this superfluous trouble raised again, who mounts into the heavens! Be- is to give us, after all, only the mysteries of a lieve in this Christ! In his death, his resurrec- most enigmatical philosophy. For of Hegel, in tion, man is justified before God !''* particular, we think it may with truth be said that the reader is seldom fortunate enough to know that he knows his meaning, or even to know that Hegel knew his own.

Whether it be the Rationalism of Panlus, or the Rationalism of Strauss-whether that which declares all that is supernatural in Christianity (forming the bulk of its history) to be illusion, or that which declares it myth-the conclusions can be made out only by a system of interpretation which can be compared to nothing but the wildest dreams and allegorical systems of some of the early Fathers; while the results themselves are either those elementary principles of ethics for which there was no need to invoke a revelation at all, or some mystico-metaphysical philosophy, expressed in language as unintelligible as the veriest gibberish of the Alexandrian Platonists. In fact, by such exegesis and by such philosophy, anything may be made out of anything; and the most fantastical data be compelled to yield equally fantastical conclusions.

But the first and most natural question to ask is * Such is Quinet's brief statement of Strauss' mysticomythical Christianity, founded on the Hegelian philosophy. For a fuller, we dare not say a more intelligible, account of it in Strauss' own words, and the metaphysical mysteries on which it depends, the reader may consult Dr. Beard's translation;pp. 44, 45, of his Essay eutitled "Strauss, Hegel, and their Opinions."

+ Of the mode of accounting for the supernatural occurrences in the Scriptures by the illusion produced by mistaken natural phenomena, (perhaps the most stupidly Jejune of all the theories ever projected by man,) Quinet eloquently says, "The pen which wrote the Provincial Letters would be necessary to lay hare the strange consequences of this theology. According to its conclusion, the tree of good and evil was nothing but a venomous plant, probably a manchineal tree, under which our first parents fell asleep. The shining face of Moses on the heights of Mount Sinai was the natural result of electricity; the vision of Zachariah was effected by the smoke of the chandeliers in the temple; the Magian kings, with their offerings of myrrh, of gold, and of incense, were three wandering merchants, who brought some glittering tinsel to the Child of Bethlehem; the star which went before them, a servant bearing a flambeau; the angels in the scene of the temptation, a caravan traversing the desert, laden with provisions; the two angels in the tomb, clothed in white linen, an illusion caused by a linen garment; the Transfiguration, a storm." Who would not sooner be an old-fashioned infidel than such a doting and maundering rationalist ?

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Whether, then, we regard the original compilers of the evangelic records as inventing all that Panlus or Strauss rejects, or sincerely believing their own delusions, or that their statements have been artfully corrupted or unconsciously disguised, till Christ and his Apostles are as effectually transformed and travestied as these dreamers are pleased to imagine, with what consistency can we believe any thing certain amidst so many acknowledged fictions inseparably incorporated with them? If A has told B truth once and falsehood fifty times, (wittingly or unwittingly,) what can induce B to believe that he has any reason to believe A in that only time in which he does believe him, unless he knows the same truth by evidence quite independent of A, and for which he is not indebted to him at all? Should we not, then, at once acknowledge the futility of attempting to educe any certain historic fact, however meagre, or any doctrine, whether intelligible or obscure, from documents nine tenths of which are to be rejected as a tissue of absurd fictions? Or why should we not fairly confess that, for aught we can tell, the whole is a fiction! For certainly, as to the amount of historic fact which these men affect to leave, it is obviously a matter of the most trivial importance whether we regard the whole Bible as absolute fiction or not. Whether an obscure Galilæan teacher, who taught a moral systein which may have been as good (we can never know from such corrupt documents that it was as good) as that of Confucius, or Zoroaster, ever lived or not; and whether we are to add another name to those who have enunciated the

* Daub naively enough declares that "if you except all that relates to angels, demons, and miracles, there is scarcely any mythology in the Gospel." An exception which reminds one of the Irish prelate who, on reading "Gulliver's Travels," remarked that there were some things in that book which he could not think true.

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elementary truths of ethics, is really of very little endeavored to account for the intractable phenommoment. Upon their principles we can clearly enon from natural causes alone-assigned, as one know nothing about him, except that he is the cause, the reputation of working miracles, the centre of a vast mass of fictions, the invisible reality of which he denied; but he was far too nucleus of a huge conglomerate of myths. A cautious to decide whether the original founders thousand times more, therefore, do we respect of Christianity had pretended to work miracles, those, as both more honest and more logical, who, and had been enabled to cheat the world into the on similar grounds, openly reject Christianity belief of them, or whether the world had been altogether; and regard the New Testament, and pleased universally to cheat itself into that belief. speak of it, exactly as they would of Homer's He was far too wise to tie himself to the proof Iliad," or Virgil's "Æneid." Such men, con- that in the most enlightened period of the world's sistently enough, trouble themselves not at all in history-amidst the strongest contrarieties of naascertaining what residuum of truth, historical or tional and religious feeling—amidst the bitterest ethical, may remain in a book which certainly gives bigotry of millions in behalf of what was old, and ten falsehoods for one truth, and welds both together the bitterest contempt of millions for all that was in inextricable confusion. The German infidels, new-amidst the opposing forces of ignorance and on the other hand, with infinite labor, and amidst prejudice on the one hand, and philosophy and infinite uncertainties, extract either truth" as old scepticism on the other-amidst all the persecuas the creation," and as universal as human reason, tions which attested and proved those hostile feelor truth which, after being hidden from the world ings on the part of the bulk of mankind—and, for eighteen hundred years in mythical obscurity, above all, in the short space of thirty years, is unhappily lost again the moment it is discovered, (which is all that Dr. Strauss allows himself,) in the infinitely deeper darkness of the philosophy Christianity could be thus deposited, like the myof Hegel and Strauss; who in vain endeavor to thology of Greece or Rome! These, he knew, gasp out, in articulate language, the still latent were very gradual and silent formations; originatmystery of the Gospel! Hegel, in his last hours, ing in the midst of a remote antiquity and an unis said to have said—and if he did not say, he historic age, during the very infancy and barbaought to have said,—“ Alas! there is but one man rism of the races which adopted them, confined, be in all Germany who understands my doctrine-it remembered, to those races alone; and displayand he does not understand it !" And yet, by his account, Hegelianism and Christianity," in their highest results," [language, as usual, felicitously obscure,]" are one. Both, therefore, are, alas! now forever lost.

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ing, instead of the exquisite and symmetrical beauty of Christianity, those manifest signs of gradual accretion which were fairly to be expected; in the varieties of the deposited or irrupted substances-in the diffracted appearance of various parts-in the very weather stains, so to speak, which mark the whole mass.

That great problem-to account for the origin and establishment of Christianity in the world, with a denial at the same time of its miraculous That the prodigious aggregate of miracles which pretensions-a problem, the fair solution of which the New Testament asserts, would, if fabulous, is obviously incumbent on infidelity-has necessi- pass unchallenged, elude all detection, and baffle tated the most gratuitous and even contradictory all scepticism-collect in the course of a few years hypotheses, and may safely be said still to present energetic and zealous assertors of their reality, in as hard a knot as ever. The favorite hypothesis, the heart of every civilized and almost every barrecently, has been that of Strauss-frequently re- barous community, and, in the course of three modified and reädjusted indeed by himself-that centuries, change the face of the world, and deChristianity is a myth, or collection of myths-stroy every other myth which fairly came in conthat is, a conglomerate (as geologists would say) tact with it-who but Dr. Strauss can believe? of a very slender portion of facts and truth, with an enormous accretion of undesigned fiction, fable, and superstitions; gradually framed and insensibly received, like the mythologies of Greece and Rome, or the ancient systems of Hindoo theology. It is true, indeed, that the particular critical arguments, the alleged historic discrepancies and so forth, on which this author founds his conclusion, are, for the most part, not original; most of them having been insisted on before, both in Germany, and especially in our own country during the deistical controversies of the preceding century. His idea of myths, however, may be supposed original; and he is very welcome to it. For, of all the attempted solutions of the great problem, this will be hereafter regarded as, perhaps, the most untenable. Gibbon, in solving the same problem, and starting in fact from the same axioms-for he, too,

Was there no Dr. Strauss in those days? None to question and detect, as the process went on, the utter baselessness of these legends? Was all the world doting-was even the persecuting world asleep? Were all mankind resolved on befooling themselves? Are men wont thus quietly to admit miraculous pretensions, whether they be prejudiced votaries of another system, or sceptics as to all? No: whether we consider the age, the country, the men assigned for the origin of these myths, we see the futility of the theory. It does not account even for their invention, much less for their success. We see that if any mythology could, in such an age, have germinated at all, it must have been one very different from Christianity; whether we consider the sort of Messiah the Jews expected, or the hatred of all Jewish Messiahs, which the Gentiles could not but have felt. The

Christ offered them, so far from being welcome, criticism on the subject. A miracle he declares was to the one a "stumbling-block," and to the other, "foolishness ;" and yet he conquered the prejudices of both.

to be an absurdity, a contradiction, an impossibility. If we believed this, we should deem a very concise enthymeme (after having proved that postulatum though) all that it was necessary to construct on the subject. A miracle cannot be true; ergo, Christianity, which in the only records by which we know anything about it, avows its absolute dependence upon miracles, must be false.

It is a modification of one or other of these monstrous forms of unbelieving belief and Christian infidelity, that Mr. Foxton, late of Oxford, has adopted in his " Popular Christianity;" as perhaps also Mr. Froude in his "Nemesis." It is not very easy, indeed, to say what Mr. Foxton positively believes; having, like his German prototypes, a greater facility of telling us what he does not believe, and of wrapping up what he does believe in a most impregnable mysticism. He certainly rejects, however, all that which, when rejected a century ago, left, in the estimate of every one, an infidel in puris naturalibus. Like his German acquaintances, he accepts the infidel paradoxes-only, like them, he will still be a Christian. He believes, with Strauss, that a miracle is an impossibility and contradiction" incredible per se." As to the inspiration of Christ, he regards it as, in its nature, the same as that of Zoroaster, Confucius, Mahomet, Plato, Luther, and Wickliffe-a curious assortment of "heroic souls."* With a happy art of confusing the

Let us suppose a parallel myth—if so we may abuse the name. Let us suppose the son of some Canadian carpenter aspiring to be a moral teacher, but neither working nor pretending to work miracles; as much hated by his countrymen as Jesus Christ was hated by his, and both he and his countrymen as much hated by all the civilized world beside, as were Jesus Christ and the Jews; let us further suppose him forbidding his followers the use of all force in propagating his doctrines, and then let us calculate the probability of an unnoticed and accidental deposit, in thirty short years, of a prodigious accumulation about these simple facts, of supernatural but universally accredited fables; these legends escaping detection or suspicion as they accumulated, and suddenly laying hold in a few years of myriads of votaries in all parts of both worlds, and in three centuries uprooting and destroying Christianity and all opposing systems! How long will it be before the Swedenborgian, or the Mormonite, or any such pretenders, will have similar success? Have there not been a thousand such, and has any one of them had the slightest chance against systems in possession-against the strongly-rooted prejudices of ignorance, and the Argus-eyed investigations of scepticism? But all these were opposed to the pretensions of Christianity; nor can any one example of at all sim-"gifts of genius," no matter whether displayed in ilar sudden success be alleged, except in the case of Mahomet; and to that the answer is brief. The history of Mahomet is the history of a conqueror and his logic was the logic of the sword.

intellectual or moral power, and of forgetting that other men are not likely to overlook the difference, he complacently declares "the wisdom of Solomon and the poetry of Isaiah the fruit of the In spite of the theory of Strauss, therefore, not same inspiration which is popularly attributed to less than that of Gibbon, the old and ever recur- Milton or Shakspeare, or even to the homely ring difficulty of giving a rational account of the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin ;" in the same origin and establishment of Christianity still pre-pleasant confusion of mind, he thinks that the sents itself for solution to the infidel, as it always has done, and, we venture to say, always will do. It is an insoluble phenomenon, except by the admission of the facts of the New Testament. "The miracles," says Butler, are a satisfactory account of the events, of which no other satisfactory account can be given; nor any account at all, but what is imaginary merely and invented."


In the mean time, the different theories of unbelief mutually refute one another; and we may plead the authority of one against the authority of another. Those who believe Strauss believe both the theory of imposture and the theory of illusion improbable; and those who believe in the theory of imposture believe the theory of myths improbable. And both parties, we are glad to think, are quite right in the judgment they form of one another.


pens of Plato, of Paul and of Dante, the pencils of Raphael and of Claude, the chisels of Canova and of Chantrey, no less than the voices of Knox, of Wickliffe, and of Luther, are ministering instruments, in different degrees, of the same spirit."‡ He thinks that "we find, both in the writers and the records of Scripture, every evidence of human infirmity that can possibly be conceived; and yet we are to believe that God himself specially inspired them with false philosophy, vicious logic, and bad grammar." He denies the originality both of the Christian ethics (which he says are a gross plagiarism from Plato) as also in great part of the system of Christian doctrine. Nevertheless, it would be quite a mistake, it seems, to sup* Pp. 62, 63. + P. 77. (Pp. 51-60.) We are hardly likely to yield to Mr. Foxton in our love for Plato, for whom we have expressed, and that very recently, (April, 1848,) no stinted admiration; and what we have there affirmed, we are by no means disposed to retract-that no ancient author has approached, in the expression of ethical proof, so near to the maxims, and sometimes the very expressions, of the Gossion) the faltering and often sceptical tone of Plato on contrasts (whatever the occasional sublimity of expresreligious subjects, with the uniformity and decision of the

+ P. 72.

§ P. 74.

But what must strike every one who reflects, as the most surprising thing in Dr. Strauss, is, that with the postulatum with which he sets out, and which he modestly takes for granted, as too evi-pel. Nevertheless, we as strongly affirm, that he who dent to need proof, he should have thought it worth while to write two bulky volumes of minute

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pose that Mr. Foxton is no Christian ! He is, on through stony places by the light of his own soul, and stumbles not. No human motive is present to such a mind in its highest exultation-no love of praise-no desire of fame-no affection, no passion mingles with the divine afflatus, which passes over without ruffling the soul." And a great many fine phrases of the same kind, equally innocent of all meaning.

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the contrary, of the very few who can tell us what
Christianity really is; and who can separate the
falsehoods and the myths which have so long dis-
guised it.
He even talks most spiritually and with
an edifying unction. He tells us "God was'
indeed, in Christ, reconciling the world unto
himself.' And but little deduction need be made
from the rapturous language of Paul, who tells
us that in him dwelt all the fulness of the God-
head bodily;* I concede to Christ" (generous ad-
mission!)" the highest inspiration hitherto granted
to the prophets of God,"t-Mahomet, it appears,
and Zoroaster and Confucius, having also statues in
his truly Catholic Pantheon. "The position of
Christ," he tells us in another place, is "simply
that of the foremost man in all the world," though
he "soars far above all principalities and powers'
-above all philosophies hitherto known-above
all creeds hitherto propagated in his name"-the
true Christian doctrine, after having been hid from
ages and generations, being reserved to be dis-
closed, we presume, by Mr. Foxton. His spirit
ualism, as usual with the whole school of our new
Christian infidels, is, of course, exquisitely re-
fined—but, unhappily, very vague. He is full of
talk of "a deep insight"—of a "faith not in
dead histories, but in living realities—a revelation
to our innermost nature." "The true seer," he
says, "looking deep into causes, carries in his
heart the simple wisdom of God. The secret
harmonies of nature vibrate on his ear, and her
fair proportions reveal themselves to his eye. He
has a deep faith in the truth of God.”‡ "The in-
spired man is one whose outward life derives all
its radiance from the light within him. He walks

It is amazing and amusing to see with what ease Mr. Foxton decides points which have filled folios of controversy. "In the teaching of Christ himself, there is not the slightest allusion to the modern evangelical notion of an atonement.' "The diversities of 'gifts' to which Paul alludes, Cor. i. 12, are nothing more than those different 'gifts' which in common parlance, we attribute to the various tempers and talents of men." "It is, however, after all, absurd to suppose that the miracles of the Scriptures are subjects of actual belief, either to the vulgar or the learned."‡ What an easy time of it must such an all-sufficient controvertist have!

He thinks it possible, too, that Christ, though nothing more than an ordinary man, may really have "thought himself Divine," without being liable to the charge of a visionary self-idolatry or of blasphemy-as supposed by everybody, Trinitarian or Unitarian, except Mr. Foxton. He accounts for it by the "wild sublimity of human emotion, when the rapt spirit first feels the throbbings of the divine afflatus." &c. &c. A singular afflatus which teaches a man to usurp the name and prerogatives of Deity, and a strange "inspiration" which inspires him with so profound an ignorance of his own nature! This interpretation we believe, is peculiarly Mr. Foxton's own.

And there have been as many false religions. Is there, therefore, none true? The proper business in every such case is to examine fairly the evidence, and not to generalize after this absurd fashion. Otherwise we shall never believe anything; for there is hardly one truth that has not its half score of audacious counterfeits.

The way in which he disposes of the miracles, Evangelical system-his dark notions in relation to God (candidly confessed) with the glorious recognition of Him is essentially that of a vulgar, undiscriminating, in the Gospel as "our Father"-his utterly absurd appli- unphilosophic mind. There have been, he tells cation of his general principles of morals, in his most Utopian of all republics, with the broad, plain, social us in effect, so many false miracles, superstitious ethics of Christianity-the tone of mournful familiarity stories of witches. conjurors, ghosts, hobgoblins, (whatever his personal immunity) in which he too often of cures by royal touch, and the like-and therespeaks of the saddest pollutions that ever degraded humanity, with the spotless purity of the Christian rule of fore the Scripture miracles are false! Why, who life-the hesitating, speculative tone of the master of the denies that there have been plenty of false miraacademy with the decision and majesty of Him who cles? "spake with authority, and not as the Scribes," whether Greek or Jewish-the metaphysical and abstract character of Plato's reasonings with the severely practical character of Christ's-the feebleness of the motives supplied by the abstractions of the one, and of the intensity of those supplied by the other-the adaptation of the one to the intelligent only, and the adaptation of the other to universal humanity-the very manner of Plato, his gorgeous style, with the still more impressive simplicity of the Great Teacher-must surely see in the contrast every indication, to say nothing of the utter gratuitousness (historically) of the contrary hypothesis, that the sublime ethics of the Gospel, whether we regard substance, or manner, or tone, or style, are no plagiarism from Plato. As for the man who can hold such a notion, he must certainly be very ignorant either of Plato or of Christ. As the best apology for Mr. Foxton's offensive folly we may perhaps, charitably hope that he is nearly ignorant of both. Equally absurd is the attempt to identify the inetaphysical dreams of Plato with the doctrinal system of the Gospel, though it is quite true, that long subsequent to Christ the Platonizing Christians tried to accommodate the speculations of the sage they loved, to the doc trines of a still greater master. But Plato never extorted from his friends stronger eulogies than Christ has often extorted from his enemies. + P. 146.

* P. 65.

† P. 143.

Still he is amusingly perplexed, like all the rest of the infidel world, how to get rid of the miracles-whether on the principle of fraud, or fiction, or illusion. He thinks there would be "a great accession to the ranks of reason and common sense by disproving the reality of the miracles, without damaging the veracity or honesty of the simple, earnest, and enthusiastic writers by whom they are recorded;" and complains of the coarse and undiscriminating criticism of most of the French and English Deists, who explain the miracies" on the supposition of the grossest fraud * P. 44. P. 104.

† 67.

shall thy proud waves be staid." We cannot wish better to any such agitated mind than that it may listen to those potent and majestic words: 'Peace-be still!" uttered by the voice of Him who so suddenly hushed the billows of the Galilæan lake.


acting on the grossest credulity." But he soon finds that the materials for such a compromise are utterly intractable. He thinks that the German Rationalists have depended too much on some "single hypothesis, which often proves to be insufficient to meet the great variety of conditions and circumstances with which the miracles have been handed down to us." Very true; but what remedy? "We find one German writer endeavoring to explain away the miracles on the mystical (mythical) theory; and another riding into the arena of controversy on the miserable hobby-horse of 'clairvoyance' or 'mesmerism;' each of these, and a host of others of the same class, rejecting whatever light is thrown on the question by all the theories together." He therefore proposes, with great and gratuitous liberality, to heap all these theories together, and to take them as they are wanted; not withholding any of the wonders of modern science-even, as would seem, the possible knowledge of "chloroform"*—from the prop-ature, and whose parrot-like repetition of their agators of Christianity!

But we are at the same time fully convinced that in our day there are thousands of youths who are falling into the same errors and perils from sheer vanity and affectation; who admire most what they least understand, and adopt all the obscurities and paradoxes they stumble upon, as a cheap path to a reputation for profundity; who awkwardly imitate the manner and retail the phrases of the writers they study; and, as usual, exaggerate to caricature their least agreeable eccentricities. We should think that some of these more powerful minds must be by this time ashamed of that ragged regiment of most shallow thinkers, and obscure writers and talkers who at present infest our liter

threatens to form as odious a cant as ever polluted the stream of thought or disfigured the purity of language. Happily it is not likely to be more than a passing fashion; but still it is a very unpleasant fashion while it lasts. As in Johnson's day, every young writer imitated as well as he could the ponderous diction and everlasting antitheses of the great dictator; as in Byron's day, there were thousands to whom the world was a blank" at twenty or thereabouts, and of whose

own stereotyped phraseology, mingled with some But, alas! the phenomena are still intractable. barbarous infusion of half-Anglicized German, The stubborn "Book" will still baffle all such efforts to explain it away; it is willing to be rejected, if it so pleases men, but it guards itself from being thus made a fool of. For who can fail to see that neither all nor any considerable part of the multifarious miracles of the New Testament can be explained by any such gratuitous extension of ingenious fancies; and that if they could be so explained, it would be still impossible to exculpate the men who need such explanations from the charge of perpetrating the grossest frauds? Yet this logical ostrich, who can digest all these stones, presumptuously declares a miracle an impossibility and the very notion of it a contradiction. enough of Mr. Foxton.



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dark imaginings," as Macaulay says, the waste was prodigious; so now there are hundreds of dilettanti pantheists, mystics and sceptics, to whom everything is a sham," an "unreality;" who tell us that the world stands in need of a great There are no doubt some minds amongst us," prophet," a seer," a true priest," a "large whose power we admit, and whose perversion of soul," a "god-like soul,"*—who shall dive into power we lament, who have bewildered themselves "the depths of the human consciousness," and by really deep meditation on inexplicable myste- whose "utterances" shall rouse the human mind ries; who demand certainty where certainty is not from the "cheats and frauds" which have hitherto given to man, or demand, for truths which are everywhere practised on its simplicity. They tell established by sufficient evidence, other evidence us, in relation to philosophy, religion, and especthan these truths will admit. We can even pain- ially in relation to Christianity, that all that has fully sympathize in that ordeal of doubt to which been believed by mankind has been believed only such powerful minds are peculiarly exposed-with on "empirical" grounds, and that the old answers their Titanic struggles against the still mightier to difficulties will do no longer. They shake their power of Him who has said to the turbulent intel-sage heads at such men as Clarke, Paley, Butler, lect of man, as well as to the stormy ocean, "Hith- and declare that such arguments as theirs will not erto shalt thou come, but no farther and here satisfy them.

* Pp. 86, 87.

often in it an arrogance as real, though not in so

We are glad to admit that all this vague pretension is now but rarely displayed with the scur+ Mr. Foxton denies that men, in Paley's "single case rilous spirit of that elder unbelief against which in which he tries the general theorem," would believe the miracle; but he finds it convenient to leave out the most the long series of British apologists for Christiansignificant circumstances on which Paley makes the validity arose between 1700 and 1750; but there is ity of the testimony to depend, instead of stating them fairly in Paley's own words. Yet that the sceptics (if such there could be) must be the merest fraction of the species, Mr. Foxton himself immediately proceeds to prove, by showing (what is undeniably the case) that almost all mankind readily receive miraculons occurrences on far lower evidence than Paley's common sense would require them to demand. Surely he must be reLited to the Irishman who placed his ladder against the bough he was cuting oift

* See Foxton's last chapter, passim. From some expressions one would almost imagine that our author himself aspired to be, if not the Messiah, at least the Elias, of this new dispensation. We fear, however, that this "vox clamantis" would reverse the Baptist's proclamation, and would cry, "The straight shall be made crooked and the plain places rough."

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