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operation, the more freely does the soul move under its influence.

Thus far the author has been engaged in investigating the portraiture of the Jesus of the Gospels, and has pointed out the unsurmountable difficulties arising from its very nature, which must have attended all attempts to create it. He has examined the elements which compose it, and has shown that its creation would have required the solution of problems which no set of mortals (not to speak of the men who are said to have invented the myths) would have been competent to solve.

He now pursues another line of argument. As the supporters of the hypothesis of a mythic origin of the Gospels maintain that the Evangelical conception of the Christ must have originated in the state of Jewish feeling and ideas prev alent at the commencement of our era, and must have been produced from them by a succession of growths, he proceeds to discuss this state of feeling, with the view of ascertaining its precise nature, and shows the iinpossibility of the idea of the divine man Jesus, as he lives to view in the Gospel narrative, being evolved from it within the limits of time which could be allowed for its production.

It must be remembered that the maintainers of the unhistorical character of the Gospels do not postulate more than about sixty years for the production of the portraiture of the Christ of the Synoptics, nor more than 120 for the production of the Johannean Jesus. They are fully aware that this interval of time is, to say the very least, as much as authentic history will assign them, and that it is not generally supposed to allow even as long a period. They would have been glad to have demanded a still greater interval, but they were well convinced that history would have protested too strongly against any additional demand. They are, therefore, compelled to be satisfied if those who oppose their theory will admit that the Synoptics were published, in their existing form, some time during the ten years preceding the termination of the first century, or about sixty years after the crucifixion, and that St. John's Gospel was published at about the termination of the first sixty years of the second century, 26 120 years after

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the crucifixion. These intervals of time which they demand, the author, for the sake of the argument, concedes to them. In a subsequent chapter, indeed, he argues that the question of the actual date of the Gospels is one of very little importance, inasmuch as they were in existence, in their leading details, at a much earlier period. In that chapter, which is entitled, “The evidence afforded by the Epistles for the early existence of the portraiture of the Christ,” he shows that the great features of the conception of Christ appear in St. Paul's Epistles in a developed state. He thus proves that the churches were, within twenty-five years after the crucifixion, acquainted with those features, as we read them in the four Gospels. More than this, the great features of the Christ of the Evangelists were not only existent, and current in the church at the time when the Pauline Epistles were written, but had been so for several years previously. This assumption is necessary, to account for the manner in which the Apostle so constantly alludes to Jesus as both divine and human, and as having taught, and lived, and suffered, and risen again, precisely as he is represented to bave done in the Synoptics and St. John. The manner in which he writes to the churches with reference to these things, supposes that they believed in their truth previously to the time of his writing. The chapter which contains this discussion is full of interest and instruction. At first, however, as remarked, he concedes the entire interval of time which his opponents demand, and he devotes a considerable portion of his book to show how ridiculously insufficient that interval was for the production and development of the Evangelical Jesus. We have endeavored to give some idea of his argument by which he shows that the mythic theory, even with the advantage of unbounded time at its command, would fail to account for the existence of the portraiture of the Christ. What he now undertakes to estabJish, and what he does establish triumphantly, is that its failure is rendered more evident when we conceive of it as having created and dramatized the conception, within the limits of time which those who have propounded it have demanded for its evolution.

The maintainers of the unhistorical character of the Gospels

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are compelled to admit that the time which they insist upon being conceded to them is very short. And yet they contend that even during this limited time, Christianity grew and was fully developed—that we see in the Christ and the Christianity which he founded, merely a natural and unbroken evolution of thought out of Judaism. This, in fact, they must contend for as long as they deny the existence of the supernatural. The state of thought and feeling in the midst of which the mythologists lived, could have been the only starting point from which the Evangelical conception of the Christ originated. The forms of Jewish feeling and ideas on moral and religious subjects, constituted the materials which the disciples had ready to their hands on the morning following the crucifixion, and out of which they created the conception of their Jesus. It could only have been from the already existing ideas that the myths had their rise. Indeed this must have been the case had the stories been forgeries, and had their authors consciously invented them. They must have been embodiments of the ideas and conceptions of their authors, and of the conceptions of their times on moral and religions subjects. The writer of fiction in all cases has his materials, which he is to work with, ready when he begins. He adopts the religion, the morality, and the manners of the times in which he lives. So it was with the mythologists. In inventing the myths which compose the Gospels, they worked with materials already existing, just as truly as Homer when he invented his heroes started with the heroic character, the theology, and the morals of his times. His different heroes are idealizations of the already recognized heroic type of character. It is certain then that the materials with which the mythologists worked could not possibly have been any thing different from the then prevailing forms of thought—the moral and religious ideas and conceptions already existing, and the models already furnished for their contemplation in their religious literature, and in the living characters of their own day. And therefore out of these, the impugners of the historical character of the Gospels who deny the reality of the supernatural, insist that Christianity was developed by the mere action of the laws which regulate the progress of the human

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mind, and that, be it remembered, in a very brief period of time.

Now, the author contends that this position is utterly untenable, and his argument is reducible to these two propositions: first, that the interval which separates true Christianity and the portraiture of the Christ from the Jewish state of thonght and feeling, ont of which it is maintained that Christianity was evolved in the manner described, was immense, almost infinite; and secondly, that the laws which regulate developments in the spiritual and moral world are exceedingly slow in their operation. These are the two points of his argument. The reasoning by which he establishes both of these propositions is most convincing.

In order to demonstrate the truth of the first one, he carefully investigates the nature of the state of Jewish thought out of which Christianity is said to have emerged by the mere laws of natural development, devoting several chapters to the task. They treat of the following subjects : The preparations made in the Gentile world for the advent of Christianity; The preparations made by Providence for the introduction of Christianity through the developments of Judaism ; Messianic conceptions in the Old Testament; The developments of the Messianic conception between the prophetic period and the advent; The developments of Judaism between the termination of the prophetic period and the advent; The limits of the influence which can be assigned to the historical Jesus in the creation of Christianity on the supposition of bis purely human character.

The line of thought indicated by some of these titles has been traversed by Pressensé and various other writers, but not with any thing like the same completeness. On the subject of the Messianic conceptions in the Old Testament, the author sensibly remarks: “Certain Messianic delineations are contained in the Old Testament as matters of fact quite apart from the question as to what was the intention of the writer. The question for us to consider is, to what extent could such pasbages have suggested to the authors of the Gospels the por

P tr ure of Jesus? It is evident that a prophecy may be one sufficiently clear after its fulfilment, which was previously ob

scure.

Such prophecies can only in a very limited sense be said to be developments in the direction of Christianity. If they required the advent of Christianity to make their meaning plain, they can have had little influence in creating it.” Again : “We do not want to know what the prophets may mean with the light of Christianity reflected on them, but what they actually did mean to the Jew. .. The larger proportion of the Messianic Psalms contains delineations of the greatness and the holiness of the idealized David. There are also Psalms which idealize David, or the author who composed them, as a sufferer. Both these species of Psalms are directly referred to in the New Testament as prophetic. Their idealization is fulfilled in the character of the Jesus therein portrayed. When the reality is presented to ns, we can see that in all its great outlines the type and the ante-type correspond. But this is no measure of the conception which the twofold delineation would produce in the mind of the Jew."

These remarks are obvious enough, but we by no means agree with him in all that he says in regard to the degree in which the Messianic predictions contain a delineation of the Jesus of the Gospels, for in the chapter in which the above remarks occur, he seeks to ascertain the degree in which they do this by examining—and the discussion is elaborate and most interesting.- the most important of the Messianic passages contained in the Psalms and in the Prophets. It may be admitted that it is difficult for us to read the pages of the Old Testament with the eyes with which their authors, and those to whom the Old Testament Scriptures were addressed, must have viewed them. We cannot, it is true, avoid reflecting back on them the light which exists on the pages of the New Testament. Still, we are convinced that there is a mnch nearer resemblance to be found in the pages of the Old Testament to the New Testament delineations of our Lord than our author supposes to be the case ; in other words that there is a larger amount of Messianic conception in the writings of the Old Testament than Mr. Row professes to be able to discover. But, however this may be, it is sufficiently apparent that these predictions would have afforded but little assistance to persons who set themselves to the work of portraying, from

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