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not but defer to such a decision, and I might be driven to consider
those possibilities of interpolation in the narrative, which Prof.
Huxley is good enough to suggest to all who feel the improbability of
the story too much for them. But Prof. Huxley expressly says:

I admit I have no a prim objection to offer. . . . For anything I can absolutely prove to the
contrary, there may be spiritual things capable of the same transmigration, with like effects. .. .
So I d clare, as plainly as I can, that I am unable to show cause why these transferable devil*
should not exist. ,,

OJ



374 i.4CO.Y 'JCHTS OF SCIENCE.

Very well, then, as the highest science of the day is unable to show
cause against the possibility of the narrative, and as I regard the Gospels
as containing the evidence of trustworthy persons who were contem-
porary with the events narrated, and as their general veracity carries
to my mind the greatest possible weight, I accept their statement in
this as in other instances. Prof. Huxley ventures " to doubt whether
at this present moment any Protestant theologian, who has a reputa-
tion to lose, will say that he believes the Gadarene story." He will
judge whether I fall under his description; but I repeat that I believe
it, and that he has removed the only objection to my believing it.

However, to turn finally to the important fact of external evidence.
Prof. Huxley reiterates, again and again, that the verdict of scientific
criticism is decisive against the supposition that we possess in the four
Gospels the authentic and contemporary evidence of known writers.
He repeats, "without the slightest fear of refutation, that the four
Gospels, as they have come to us, are the work of unknown writers."
In particular, he challenges my allegation of " M. Kenan's practical
surrender of the adverse case"; and he adds the following observa-
tions, to which I beg the reader's particular attention:

I thought (he says) I knew M. Benan's works pretty well, but I have contrived to miss this
"practical" (I wish Dr. Wace had defined the scope of that ucelul adjective) surrender.
However, as Dr. Wace can find no difficulty in pointing ont the passage of M. Kenan's writings,
hy which he feels justified in making his statement, I shall wait for further enlightenment, con-
tenting myself, for the present, with remarking that if M. Kenan were to retract and do penance
in Notre Dame to-morrow for any contributions to biblical criticism that may be specially his
property, the main results of that criticism, as they aje set forth in the works of Strauss, Baur,
Keuss, and Volkmar, lor example, would not be sensibly afl'ected.

Let me begin then, by enlightening Prof. Huxley about M. Benan's
surrender. I have the less difficulty in doing so as the passages he
has contrived to miss have been collected by me already in a little
tract on the " Authenticity of the Gospels," * and in some lectures on
the " Gospel and its Witnesses " ; f and I shall take the liberty, for
convenience' sake, of repeating some of the observations there made."

I beg first to refer to the preface to M. Renan's "Vie de Jesus." J
There M. Renan says :

As to Luke, doubt is scarcely possible. The Gospel of St. Luke is a regular composition,
founded upon earlier documents. It is the work of an author who chooses, curtails, combines.
The anchor of this Gospel is certainly the same as the author of the Acts of the Apostles. Now,
the author of the Acts seems to be a companion of St. Paul a character which accords completely
with St. Luke. I know that more than one objection may be opposed to this reasoning; but one
thing at all events is beyond doubt, namely, that the author of the third Gospel and of the Acts is
a man who belonged to the second apostolic generation ; and this suffices for our purpose. The
date of this Gospel, moreover, may be determined with sufficient precision by considerations
drawn from the book itself. The twenty-first chapter of St. Luke, which is inseparable fro n the
rest of the work, was certainly written after the siege of Jerusalem, but not long after. We are,
therefore, here on solid ground, for we are dealing with a work proceeding entirely from the same
hand, and possessing the most complete unity.

It may be important to observe that this admission has been sup-
ported by M. Renan's further investigations, as expressed in his subse-
quent volume on " The Apostles." In the preface to that volume he
discusses fully the nature and value of the narrative contained in the
Acts of the Apostles, and he pronounces the following decided opin-
ions as to the authorship of that book, and its connection with the
Gospel of St. Luke (page x. sq. ) :

One point which Is beyond question is that the Acts are by the same author as the third Gospel,
and are a continuation of that Gospel. One need not stop to prove this proposition, which hat
never been seriously contested The prefaces at the commencement of each work, the dedication
of each to Theophtlus, the perfect resemblance of style and of ideas, furnish on this point
abundant demonstrations.

A second proposition, which has not the same certainty, but which may, however, be regarded
as extremely probible, is that the author of the Act is a disciple of Paul, who accompanied him
for a considerable part of his travels.

* Religious Tract Society. t John Murray, 1883. J Fifteenth edition, p. 49.

40



'CHRISTIANITY AND AGNOSTICISM. 375

At a first glance, M. Renan observes, this proposition appears indu-
bitable, from the fact that the author, on so many occasions, uses the
pronoun "we," indicating that on those occasions he was one of the
apostolic band by whom St. Paul was accompanied. "One may even
be astonished that a proposition apparently so evident should have
found persons to contest it." He notices, however, the difficulties
which have been raised on the point, and then proceeds as follows
(page 14):

Must we be checked by these objections? I think not; and I persist in believing that the
person who finally prepared the Acts is really the disciple of Paul, who says -'we" in the last
chapters. All difficulties, however insoluble they may appear, ought to be, if not dismissed, at
least held in suspense, by au argument so decisive as that which results from the use of this word
"we."

He then observes that MSS. and tradition combine in assigning the
third Gospel to a certain Luke, and that it is scarcely conceivable that
a name in other respects obscure should have been attributed to so
important a work for any other reason than that it was the name of
the real author. Luke, he says, had no place in tradition, in legend,
or in history, when these two treatises were ascribed to him. M.
Kenan concludes in the following words: "We think, therefore, that
the author of the third Gospel and of the Acts is in all reality Luke,
the disciple of Paul."

Now let the import of these expressions of opinion be duly weighed.
Of course, M. Kenan's judgments are not to be regarded as affording
in themselves any adequate basis for our acceptance of the authen-
ticity of the chief books of the New Testament The Acts of the
Apostles and the four Gospels bear on their face certain positive
claims, on the faith of which they have been accepted in all ages of
the Church; and they do not rest, in the first instance, on the
authority of any modern critic. But though M. Renan would be a
very unsatisfactory witness to rely upon for the purpose of positive
testimony to the Gospels, his estimates of the value of modern critical
objections to those sacred books have all the weight of the admissions
of a hostile witness. No one doubts his familiarity with the whole
range of the criticism represented by such names as Strauss and Baur,
and no one questions his disposition to give full weight to every
objection which that criticism can urge. Even without assuming
that he is prejudiced on either one side or the other, it will be
admitted on all hands that he is more favorably disposed than other-
wise to such criticism as Prof. Huxley relies on. When, therefore,
with this full knowledge of the literature of the subjects, such a writer
comes to the conclusion that the criticism in question has entirely
failed to make good its case on a point like that of the. autnorship of
St. Luke's Gospel, we are at least -ustified in concluding that critical
objections do not possess the weight which unbelievers or skeptics are
wont to assign to them. M. Renan, in a word, is no adequate witness
to the Gospels ; but he is a very significant witness as to the value of
modern critical objections to them.

Let us pass to the two other so-called " synoptical " Gospels. With
respect to St. Matthew, M. Renan says in the same preface (" Vie de
Jesus," p. Ixxxi) :

To sum np, I admit the fonr canonical Gospels as serious documents. All go back to the age
which followed the death of Jesus ; but their historical value is very diverse. St. Matthew evi-
dently deserves peculiar confidence for the discourses. IU-re are ' the oracles, the very note
taken while the memory of the instruction of Jesus was living and definite. A kind or Hashing
brightness at once sweet and terrible, a divine force, if I may so say, underlies these wordi,
detaches them from the context, and renders them easily recognizable by the critic.

41



376 BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

In respect again to St. Mark, he says (p. Ixxxii) :

The Gospel of St. Mark is the one of the three syrwptics which has remained the most ancient,
the most original, and to which the leaf t of later additions have been made The details of fact
possess in St. Mark a deflniteness which we seek in vain in the other evangelist*. He is fond of
reporting certain sayings of our Lord in Syro-Chaldaic. He is full of minute observations, pro-
ceeding, beyond doubt, from an eye witness. There is nothing to conflict with the supposition
that this eye-witness, who had evidently followed Jesus, who had loved him and watched him in
close intimacy, and who had preserved a vivid image of him, was the apostle Peter himself, as
Papias has it.

I call these admissions a " practical surrender " of the adverse case,
as stated by critics like Strauss and Baur, who denied that we had in
the Gospels contemporary evidence, and I do not think it necessary to
define the adjective, in order to please Prof. Huxley's appetite for defi-
nitions. At the very least it is a direct contradiction of Prof. Hux-
ley's statement * that we know "absolutely nothing" of " the origina-
tor or originators" of the narratives in the first three Gospels; and it
is an equally direct contradiction of the case, on which his main reply
to my paper is based, that we have no trustworthy evidence of what
our Lord taught and believed.

But Prof. Huxley seems to have been apprehensive that M. Kenan
would fail him, for he proceeds, in the passage I have quoted, to
throw him over and to take refuge behind "the main results of bibli-
cal criticism, as they are set forth in the works of Strauss, Baur,
Keuss, and Volkmar, for example." It is scarcely comprehensible
how a writer, who has acquaintance enough with this subject to ven-
ture on Prof. Huxley's sweeping assertions, can have ventured to
couple together those four names for such a purpose. " Strauss, Baur,
Keuss, and Volkmar"! Why, they are absolutely destructive of one
another! Baur rejected Strauss's theory and set up one of his own;
while Keuss and Volkmar in their turn have each dealt fatal blows at
Baur's. As to Strauss, I need not spend more time on him than to
quote the sentence in which Baur himself puts him out of court on
this particular controversy. He says,f " The chief peculiarity of
Strauss's work is, that it is a criticism of the Gospel history without
a criticism of the Gospels." Strauss, in fact, explained the miraculous
stories in the Gospels by resolving them into myths, and it was of no
importance to his theory how the documents originated. But Baur
endeavored, by a minute criticism of the Gospels themselves, to inves-
tigate the historical circumstances of their origin; and he maintained
that they were Tendenz-Schriften, compiled in the second century,
with polemical purposes. Volkmar, however, is in direct conflict with
Baur on this point, and in the very work to which Prof. Huxley
refers.J he enumerates (p. 18) among "the written testimonies of the
first century" besides St. Paul's , epistles to the Galatians, Corinth-
ians, and Romans, and the apocalypse of St. John " the Gospel of
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, according to John Mark of Jerusalem,
written a few years after the destruction of Jerusalem, between the
years 70 and 80 of our reckoning about 75 probably; to be precise,
about 73," and he proceeds to give a detailed account of it, "according
to the oldest text, and particularly the Vatican text," as indispensable
to his account of Jesus of Nazareth. He treats it as written (p. 172)
either by John Mark of Jerusalem himself, or by a younger friend of
his. Baur, therefore, having upset Strauss, Volkmar proceeds to

* Page 24.

t " Kritische Untersuchnngen fiber die kanontschen Bvangelien," 1847, p. 41.

J " Jeens Nazarenus nnd die erste christliche Zeit," 1882.

42



CHRIST iAi\il\- AND AG\US'l'iLlSM. 37;

upset Baur; and what does Reuss do? I quote again from that
splendid French edition of the Bible, on which Prof. Huxley so much
relies. On page 88 of Reuss's introduction to the synoptic Gospels, he
sums up "the results he believes to have been obtained by critical
analysis," under thirteen heads; and the following are some of them:

2. Of the three synoptic Gospels one only, that which ecclesiastical tradition agrees in attribut-
ing to Lake, has reached us in its primitive form.

3. Luke could draw his knowledge of the Gospel history partly from oral information ; he was
able, in Palestine itself, to receive direct communications from immediate witnesses. . . . We
may think especially here of the history of the passion and the resurrection, and perhaps also of
some other passages of which he is the sole narrator.

4. A bo<>k, which an ancient and respectable testimony attributes to Mark, the disciple of Peter,
was certainly used by St. Lake as the principal source of the portion of his Gospel between chap.
ter iv, 31, and ix, 50; and between xviii, 15, and xxi. 38.

5. According to all probibility, the book of Mark, consulted by Lake, comprised in its primitive
form what we read in the present day from Mark i, 21, to xiii, 37.

It seems un accessary, for the purpose of estimating the value of
Prof. Huxley's appeal to these critics, to quote any more. It appears
from these statements of Reuss that if " the results of biblical criti-
cism," as represented by him, are to be trusted, we have the whole
third Gospel in its primitive form, as it was writteii by St. Luke; and
in this, as we have seen, Reuss is in entire agreement with Renan.
But besides this, a previous book written by Mark, St. Peter's disciple,
was certainly in existence before Luke's Gospel, and was used by
Luke; and in all probability this book was, in its primitive form, the
greater part of our present Gospel of St. Mark.

Such are those "results of biblical criticism" to which Prof. Hux-
Iry has appealed; and we may fairly judge by these not only of the
value of his special contention in reply to my paper, but of the worth
of the sweeping assertions he, and writers like him, are given to mak-
ing about modern critical science. Prof. Huxley says that we know
"absolutely nothing" about the originators of the Gospel narratives,
and he appeals to criticism in the persons of Volkmar and Reuss.
Volkmar says that the second Gospel is really either by St. Mark or
by one of his friends, and was written about the year 75. Reuss says
that the third Gospel, as we now have it, was really by St. Luke.
Now Prof. Huxley is, of course, entitled to his own opinion ; but he is
not entitled to quote authorities in support of his opinion when they
are in direct opposition to it. He asserts, without the slightest fear
of refutation, that " the four Gospels, as they have come to us, are the
work of unknown writers." His arguments in defense of such a posi-
tion will be listened to with great respect ; but let it be borne in mind
that the opposite arguments he has got to meet are not only those of
othodox critics like myself, but those of Renan, of Volkmar, and of
Reuss I may add of Pfleiderer, well known in this country by his
Hibbert Lectures, who, in his recent work on original Christianity,
attributes most positively the second Gospel in its present form to St.
Mark, and declares that there is no ground whatever for that suppo-
sition of an Ur-Marcus that is an original groundwork from which
Prof. Huxley alleges that " at the present time there is no visible
escape." If I were such an authority on morality as Prof. Huxley, I
might perhaps use some unpleasant language respecting this vague
assumption of criticism being all on one side, when it, in fact, directly
contradicts him; and his case is not the only one to which such strict-
ures might be applied. In "Robert Elsmere," for example, there is
some vaporing about the " great critical operation of the present cent-
ury " having destroyed the historical basis of the Gospel narrative.

43



3 ;8 BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

As a matter of fact, as we have seen, the great critical operation has
resulted, according to the testimony of the critics whom Prof. Huxley
himself selects, in establishing the fact that we possess contemporary
records oi our Lord's life from persons who were either eye-wituesses,
or who were in direct communication with eye-witnesses, on the very
scene in which it was passed. Either Prof. Huxley's own witnesses
are not to be trusted, or Prof. Huxley's allegations are rash and
unfounded. Conclusions which are denied by Volkmar, denied by
Renan, denied by Reuss, are not to be thrown at our heads with a supe-
rior air, as if they could not be reasonably doubted. The great result
of the critical operation of this century has, in fact, been to prove that
the contention with which it started in the persons of Straus and
Baur, that we have no contemporary records of Christ's life, is wholly
untenable. It has not convinced any of the living critics to whom
Prof. Huxley appeals; and if he, or any similar writer, still maintains
such an assertion let it be understood that he stands aloue against the
leading critics of Europe in the present day.

Perhaps I need say no more for the present in reply to Prof. Hux-
ley. I have, I think, shown that he has evaded my paint; he has
evaded his own points; he has misquoted my words; he has misrep-
resented the results of the very criticism to which he appeals ; and he
rests his case on assumptions which his own authorities repudiate.
The questions he touches are very grave ones, not to be adequately
treated in a review article. But I should have supposed it a point of
scientific morality to treat them, if they are to be treated, with accu-
racy of reference and strictness of argument.



IV.
AGNOSTICISM.

A REPLY TO PROFESSOR HUXLEY.

BY W. C. MA.GEE.

BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH.

I SHOULD be wanting in the respect which I sincerely entertain for
Prof. Huxley if I were not to answer his "appeal" to me in the last
number of this review for my opinion on a point in controversy
between him and Dr. Wace. Prof. Huxley asks me, " in the name of
all that is Hibernian, why a man should be expected to call himself a
miscreant or an infidel "? I might reply to this after the alleged
fashion of my countrymen by asking him another question, namely
When or where did I ever say that I expected him to call himself
by either of these names? I can not remember having said anything
that even remotely implied this, and I do not therefore exactly see why
he should appeal to my confused "Hibernian " judgment to decide
such a question.

As he has done so, however, I reply that I think it unreasonable to
expect a man to call himself anything unless and until good and suffi-
cient reason has been given him why he should do so. We are all of
us bad judges as to what we are and as to what we should therefore b

44



CHRISTIANITY AND AGNOSTICISM. 379

called. Other persons classify us according to what they know, or
think they know, of our characters or opinions, sometimes correctly,
sometimes incorrectly. And were I to find myself apparently incor-
rectly classified, as I very often do, I should be quite content with
asking the person who had so classified me, first to define his terms,
and next to show that these, as defined, were correctly applied to me.
If he succeeded in doing this, I should accept his designation of me
without hesitation, inasmuch as I should be sorry to call myself by a
false name.

In this case, accordingly, if I might venture a suggestion to Prof.
Huxley, it would be that the term " infidel " is capable of definition,
and that when Dr. Wace has defined it, if the professor accept his defi-
nition, it would remain for them to decide between them whether
Prof. Huxley's utterances do or do not bring him under the category
of infidels, as so defined. Then, if it could be clearly proved that they
do, from what I know of Prof. Huxley's love of scientific accuracy and
his courage and candor, I certainly should expect that he would call
himself an infidel and a miscreant too, in the original and etymolog-
ical sense of that unfortunate term, and that he would even glory in
those titles. If they should not be so proved to be applicable, then I
should hold it to be as unreasonable to expect him to call himself by
such names as he, I suppose, would hold it to be to expect us Chris-
tians to admit, without better reason than he has yet given us, that
Christianity is "the sorry stuff" which, with his " profoundly" moral
readiness to say " unpleasant " things, he is pleased to say that it is.

There is another reference to myself, however, in the professor's
article as to which I feel that he has a better right to appeal to me
or, rather, against me, to the readers of this review and that is, as to
my use, in my speech at the Manchester Congress, of the expression
" cowardly agnosticism." I have not the report of my speech before
me, and am writing, therefore, from memory; but my memory or the
report must have played me sadly false if I am made to describe all
agnostics as cowardly. A much slighter knowledge than I possess of
Prof. Huxley's writings would have certainly prevented my applying
to all agnosticism or agnostics such an epithet.

What I intended to express, and what I think I did express by this
phrase was, that there is an agnosticism which is cowardly. And this
I am convinced that there is, and that there is a great deal of it too,
just now. There is an agnosticism which is simply the cowardly
escaping from the pain and difficulty of contemplating and trying to
solve the terrible problems of life by the help of the convenient
phrase, " I don't know," which very often means " I don't care."
" We don't know anything, don't you know, about these things.
Prof. Huxley, don't you know, says that we do not, and I agree with
him. Let us split a B. and S."

There is, I fear, a very large amount of this kind of agnosticism
among the more youthful professors of that philosophy, and indeed
among a large number of easy-going, comfortable men of the world, as
they call themselves, who find agnosticism a pleasant shelter from the
trouble of thought and the pain of effort and self-denial. And if I
remember rightly it was of such agnostics I was speaking when I
described them as " chatterers in our clubs and drawing-rooms," and
as " freethinkers who had yet to learn to think."

45



l8a BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

There is therefore in my opinion a cowardly agnosticism just as
there is also a cowardly Christianity. A Christian who spends his
whole life in the 'selfish aim of saving his own soul, and never troubles
himself with trying to help to save other men, either from destruction
in the next world or from pain and suffering here, is a cowardly
Christian. The eremites of the early days of Christianity, who fled
away from their place in the world where God had put them, to spend
solitary and, as they thought, safer lives in the wilderness, were typi-
cal examples of such cowardice. But in saying that there is such a
thing as a cowardly Christianity, I do not thereby allege that there is
no Christianity which is not cowardly. Similarly, when I speak of a
cowardly agnosticism, I do not thereby allege that there is no agnosti-



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