But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3: 14-16
I know not a more rash or unphilosophical conduct of the understanding, than to reject the substance of a story, by reason of some diversity in the circumstances with which it is related. The usual character of human testimony is substantial truth under circumstantial variety. This is what the daily experiences of courts of justice teaches. When
The principle of credulity is as regular in its operation, as any other principle of the mind; and is so dependant on circumstances, and so restrained and checked by other parts of human nature, that sometimes the most obstinate incredulity is found in that very class of people, whose easy belief on other occasions moves our contempt. . . . [I]n
About the end of the second century, the Gospels were reverenced as sacred books by a community dispersed over the world, composed of men of different nations and languages. There were, to say the least, sixty thousand copies of them in existence; they were read in the churches of Christians; they were continually quoted, and appealed to, as of
A motive, however stronger in itself than another, may yet make a weaker impression, when employed, after that the motive of less, tho’ sufficient, strength hath already been resisted. For the mind doth, by every degree of affected unbelief, contract more and more of a general indisposition towards believing: So that such a proof, as would
Christianity is an apologetic religion. Not only now, in the second period of the Reformation epoch, from the close of the seventeenth century to this day, apology has been, by force of circumstances, a prominent action of the religion toward the world. In the primitive Church history, too, there was a “period of apologetics,” which in
We may, then, without prejudice, take the evidence of Paul of Tarsus on the historicity of Jesus, and examine it. If we are challenged as to the genuineness of Paul’s epistles, let us tell our questioner to read them. Novels have been written in the form of correspondence; but Paul’s letters do not tell us all that a novelist or a
Besides that the importance of the subject would oblige all men to inquire more narrowly into the one than the other. For what consequence is it to me, or to the world, whether there was such a man as Caesar; whether he beat, or was beaten at Pharsalia; whether Homer or Virgil wrote such books; and whether what is related in the Iliads or Aeneids
[T]he evidence of our Lord’s life, and death, and resurrection, is of the same sort as that which we rest on in human matters. Whoever has heard the summing up of a judge on any great trial, will be able to understand what I mean; the jury have heard a great many witnesses; some of them have perhaps contradicted others, some have stated
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