Divine love: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but might have everlasting life.” Personal faith in Christ is here, as in other places, clearly affirmed to be the only bond of unity between Christ and Christians. This liv. ing faith finds its condition in Christ himself, and not in an “idea or theory” of what is called sacramental grace.

True Protestantism, like Apostolic Christianity, goes directly to Christ himself. A blind and superstitious reverence for human notions, ideas, or theories, forms no part of the Christian system. Christ is more to Christians than all the world beside. It is Jesus himself who



A. S. V.

Art. V.The Jesus of the Evangeliste : His Historical

Character Vindicated; or, an Examination of the Internal Evidence for Our Lord's' Divine Mission, with reference to Modern Controversy. By the Rev. C. A. Row, M. A., of Pembroke College, Oxford, late Head Master of the Royal Free Grammar School, Mansfield ; anthor of " The Nature and Extent of Divine Inspiration, etc. London :

Williams & Norgate, 1868. It is more than two years since this work was published, but it is little known as yet in this country. In England it has received the highest praise from a number of the most competent judges. Dr. R. Payne Smith, in his Bampton Lectures for 1869, which have only been printed a few months, says of it, “For fulness of thought, and terseness and accuracy of reasoniny, I do not know its equal. No man can read it without being convinced, I should imagine, not merely of our Lord's historical existence, which is what Mr. Row undertakes to prove against Strauss, etc., but also of his unapproachable perfectness.” And yet, even in England, it does not seem

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thus far to have gained the attention of a very wide circle of readers. It is just what its title imports. It does far more than refute the mythical hypothesis as to the divine origin of Christianity. It furnishes an unanswerable proof that the Jesus of the Gospels was a real person, and that his mission was divine. It cannot be denied that every thing of importance is gained if this point is established. We can afford, as the author truly says, to await the solution of all other difficulties connected with the Scriptures, if we can retain a firm conviction that the Gospels are historical in all their great features, and that we have a Christ whom we can worship, and love, and trust. Let this be believed, and then no error which the soul may entertain can be inconsistent with its exercising a saving faith.

This book, owing to its philosophical character, and the severity of its reasoning, may never have place in many libraries, but, by those who possess it, it will be highly prized. As a refutation of the destructive errors which it combats, it is unrivalled. Its lines of thought are not altogether new, and yet it is fresh and original. In one respect it differs from preceding works on the same subject. Mr. Row (more particularly is this true of the latter part of his book) grapples, far more than other antagonists of the school of Strauss do, with the details of the theory he opposes. The keenness and closeness with which he follows up his opponents, allow them not a moment's rest. He drives them out of every hiding-place. He gives them the benefit first of one of their assumptions, and then of another, until they have no standing ground left, and are completely driven from the field. This especially applies, as already intimated, to certain parts of the volume. As a whole, it has the merits of an able work, planned and written not merely with reference to opponents, whose arguments are to be pulled to pieces, but in order to exhibit clearly the truth on the subject of which it treats. It has been pronounced to be, what in our opinion it really is, a complete hand-book of Messianic argument, so that it is fitted to be very serviceable to the champions of the divine character of Christ and Christianity, by saving them immense labor in the collection of facts, while it will suggest many valuable



uses and inferences. It contains no rhetorical paragraphs, but it is pervaded by a calm, yet intense earnestness, and some of

passages are truly eloqnent. Some of its views and assumptions are, as we think, utterly erroneons, and we expect to notice them hereafter, but they do not materially impair the force of the reasoning, which is thoroughly scientific.

Those who sweetly believe and know that Jesus now lives, do not need to have it proved to them that he was once in this world, with all those glories and excellencies which the Gospels ascribe to him, and yet even such persons find that their souls are refreshed and strengthened by reading well written disquisitions, in which the divine origin of Christianity is proved from the character of Jesus. For they are compelled while reading to contemplate, more or less steadily, his perfections. Now a large part of Mr. Row's book is similar in its nature to such disquisitions, for he spends much time in examining the portraiture of our Lord, in order to show the impossibility of its being a mere invention. If we may learn more concerning morals by studying the character of Christ than in any other way, and if it is true, as many think, that Christianity is as much indebted to the superhuman loveliness of that character, as to any of its doctrines, no book can be without value in which the divine liueaments of the Saviour are dwelt upon and clearly exhibited.

It is, however, the good of the unbelieving which is more directly songht by such treatises as the one before us. If it should be alleged that there is no need of such treatises, because the mythic hypothesis is by this time exploded, it is sufficient to reply that, even admitting it to be so, Mr. Row's book is a refutation not merely of what is strictly called the mythic theory, but of all that has been urged to prove that the Gospels are unhistorical: and that, supposing that such writers as Strauss and Renan should after a while be forgotten, still there will ever be secret doubts in many minds as to the historical reality of the person of our Lord. In regard to the influence for evil still exerted by Strauss's Lives of Jesus, a writer, well qualified to speak on the subject, says: “They who speak of him as dead, are themselves dead, it is to be feared, to modern theological thought and issues. The influence of

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his Lives of Jesus is to this day undermining the entire Christian system throughout the Continent, and very widely throughout this country. Had there been no Strauss to prepare the way, there would most likely have been no Rénan. And Schenkel says of his own work (“Character of Jesus," Preface, pp. xxiii, xxiv): ‘Perhaps even now this work would not have been published, had not the sensation caused by the “ Life of Jesus," by E. Rénan, forcibly reminded me of the necessity of meeting the deep want of our time, which demands a genuinely human, truly historical representation of Jesus. Yet Schenkel is a disciple of neither the mythic school of Strauss, nor of the legendary school of Rénan, but of the Tübingen theory of the Gospels, originated by Dr. Baur. Thus it would be an easy task to follow outward, as from a centre and by ever-widening circles, the impulses and influences of Strauss, in all the more intellectual and scholarly attacks upon the Christian faith peculiar to modern times.”

The great blemish of this book is, that it is not easy to see its plan. The arguments are sometimes misplaced, and are not kept sufficiently distinct. Even the chapters do not always follow each other in the right order. We could give a number of instances of faults of this kind, but we will proceed to furnish some account of the subject-inatter of the volume, premising that the limits of an article will require us to leave much which we would like to present to onr readers entirely unnoticed. We shall occupy but a short space in giving Mr. Row's definition of the mythic hypothesis as to the origin of the portraiture of the Evangelical Jesus.

The advocates of the mythic hypothesis admit the historical existence of Jesus, and moreover they concede, and even maintain, that he was a great man. They also grant that it was an historical fact that he was put to death. When this event took place, the disappointment of his deluded followers was great, but their wonderful enthusiasm prevented them from giving up in despair. They still believed in him as the Messiah. Such a belief, however, could not consist with that of his being conquered by death, and they therefore assumed that he must have risen from the dead. • Some of them saw him with their mental eye, and mistook what existed only in their imagination for an external reality, and communicated their enthusiasm to the rest."* The resurrection, which was the first of the Gospel myths, having been invented, their imagination had full scope. They began, from this time, to imagine that they had seen him perform the wonders which the Messiah ought to have performed. And while some mythologists created miracles, others put parables into his mouth, and others invented discourses. One devoted follower added this trait to his character and another that, until they imagined that he was both divine and human—a divine man.

It was further necessary, inasmuch as the real historical Jesus died, that the mythologists should conceive of their Jesus as having suffered in a manner becoming a divine man. They did this, and they produced the portraiture of a sufferer such as never before uor since has been conceived of. They imparted a divine aspect to the crucified Jesus. Thus they went on creating detached portions of a character, the full conception of which existed nowhere. At last it entered the heads of some who mistook these fictions for facts, to attempt to weave them into a whole, and four persons succeeded in creating out of them four distinct portraits of one divine man. For the divine and human consciousness united in the person of Jesus, which we discover in the Gospels, was not a conception of the Evangelists, neither were the attributes in which they array him. Nor did they invent the miracles, parables, and discourses which they relate. These iniracles, parables, etc., with the separate portions of Christ's character had previously been created by the imagination of an immense number of Christ's deluded followers. The religion in which he lived, and which he taught, was the conception of this multitude of enthusiastic men. What the four Evangelists did was to set forth out of these fictions a life of Jesus in an historical form. We are not to charge either the mythologists or the Evangelists with fraud. They supposed they were relating facts, and that the portraiture of Jesus which they dramatized

* Mr. Row, in his statement of the mythic theory, recognizes the concession as made by its advocates, that even the immediate disciples of Jesus testified to his supposed resurrection.

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