irreconcilable with the manifest sobriety and holiness of their lives and teachings. If Jesus did not work miracles, he was an impostor.
On Ernest Renan, His Life and the Life of Jesus, see A.H. Strong, Christ in Creation, 332363, especially 356 ? ?Renan attributes the origin of Christianity to the predominance in Palestine of a constitutional susceptibility to mystic excitements. Christ is to him the incarnation of sympathy and tears, a being of tender impulses and passionate ardor, whose native genius it was to play upon the hearts of men. Truth or falsehood made little difference to him; anything that would comfort the poor, or touch the finer feelings of humanity, he availed himself of; ecstasies, visions, melting moods, these were the secrets of his power. Religion was a beneficent superstition, a sweet delusion ? excellent as a balm and solace for the ignorant crowd, who never could be philosophers if they tried. And so the gospel river, as one has said, is traced back to a fountain of weeping men and women whose brains had oozed out at their eyes, and the perfection of spirituality is made to be a sort of maudlin monasticism? How different from the strong and holy love of Christ, which would save men only by bringing them to the truth, and which claims men?s imitation only because, without hove for God and for the soul, a man is without truth. How inexplicable from this view the fact that a pure Christianity has everywhere quickened the intellect of the nations, and that every revival of it, as at the Reformation, has been followed by mighty forward leaps of civilization. Was Paul a man carried away by mystic dreams and irrational enthusiasms? Let the keen dialectic skill of his epistles and his profound grasp of the great matters of revelation answer. Has the Christian church been a company of puling sentimentalists? Let the heroic deaths for the truth suffered by the martyr?s witness. Nay, he must have a low idea of his kind, and a yet lower idea of the God who made them, who can believe that the noblest spirits of the race have risen to greatness by abnegating will and reason, and have gained influence over all ages by resigning themselves to semi- idiocy.?
(c) It fails to account for the power and progress of the gospel, as a system directly opposed to men?s natural tastes and prepossessions ? a system which substitutes truth for romance and law for impulse.
A.H. Strong, Christ in Creation, 353 ? ?And if the later triumphs of Christianity are inexplicable upon the theory of Renan, how can we explain its founding? The sweet swain of Galilee, beloved by women for his beauty, fascinating the unlettered crowd by his gentle speech and his poetic ideals, giving comfort to the sorrowing and hope to the poor,
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