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exception of certain ancient heretics) has propounded doubts as to the reality of the crucifixion;
and certainly I have no inclination to argue about the precise accuracy of evt ry detail of that
par.heiic story of suffering and wrong, but if Dr. Wce means, as I suppose he does, that that
whk-h, according to the orthodox view, happened after the crucifixion, and which is, in a dog-
matic sense, the most important, part of the story, is founded on solid historical proofs, I must
beg leave to express a diametrically opposite conviction.

Prof. Huxley is not quite sure what I mean by the story of the
Passion, but supposes I mean the story of the resurrection! It is
barely credible that he can have supposed anything of the kind , but
by this gratuitous supposition he has again evaded the issue I
proposed to him, and has shifted the argument to another topic,
which, however important in itself, is entirely irrelevant to the partic-
ular point in question. If he really supposed that when I said the
Passion I meant the resurrection, it is only another proof of his
incapacity for strict argument, at least on these subjects. I not only
used the expression "the story of the Passion," but I explicitly stated
in my reply to him for what purpose I appealed to it I said that
" that story involves the most solemn attestation, again and again, of
truths of which an agnostic coolly says he knows nothing"; and I
mentioned particularly our Lord's final utterance, "Father, into thy
hands I commend my spirit," as conveying our Lord's attestation in
his death agony to his relation to God as his Father. That exclama-
tion is recorded by St. Luke; but let me remind the reader of what is
recorded by St. Mark, upon whom Prof. Huxley mainly relies. There
we have the account of the agony in Gethsemane and of our Lord's
prayer to his Father; we have the solemn challenge of the high
priest, " Art thou the Christ, the son of the Blessed? " and our Lord's
reply, " I am ; and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right
hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven," with his imme-
diate condemnation, on the ground tnat in this statement he had
spoken blasphemy. On the cross, moreover, St. Mark records his
affecting appeal to his Father, "My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me?" All this solemn evidence Prof. Huxley puts aside
with the mere passing observation that he has "no inclination to
argue about the precise accuracy of every detail of that pathetic story of
suifering and wrong." But these prayers and declarations of our Lord
are not mere details; they are of the very essence of the story of the
Passion; and whether Prof. Huxley is inclined to argue about them
or not, he will find that all serious people will be influenced by them
to the end of time, unless they be shown to be unhistorical.

At all events, by refusing to consider their import, Prof Huxley ha*
again, in the most flagrant manner, evaded my challenge. I not only
mentioned specifically "the story of the Passion," but I explained

73



4 o8 BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

what I meant by it; and Prof. Huxley asks us to believe that he does
not understand what I referred to; he refuses to face that story; and
he raises an irrelevant issue about the resurrection. It is irrelevant,
because the point specifically at issue between us is not the truth of
the Christian creed, but the meaning of agnosticism, and the respon-
sibilities which agnosticism involves. I say that whether agnosticism
be justifiable or not, it involves a denial of the beliefs in which Jesus
lived and died. It wonld equally involve a denial of them had he
never risen; and if Prof. Huxley really thinks, therefore, that a denial
of the resurrection affects the evidence afforded by the Passion, he
must be incapable of distinguishing between two successive and
entirely distinct occurrences.

But the manner in which Prof. Huxley has treated this irrelevant
issue deserves perhaps a few words, for it is another characteristic
specimen of his mode of argument. I note, by the way, that, after refer-
ring to " the facts of the case as stated by the oldest extant narrative of
them " he means the story in St. Mark, though this is not a part of
that common tradition of the three Gospels on which he relies ; for, as
he observes, the accounts in St. Matthew and St. Luke present marked
variations from it he adds:

I do not see why any one should have a word to say against the inherent probability of that
narrative ; and, for ruy part, I am quite ready to accept it as an historical fact, that so much and
no more is positively known of the end of Jesus of Nazareth.

We have, then, the important admission that Prof. Huxley has not
a word to say against the historic credibility of the narrative in the
fifteenth chapter of St. Mark, and accordingly he proceeds to quote its
statements for the purpose of his argument. That argument, in brief,
is that our Lord might very well have survived his crucifixion, have
been removed still living to the tomb, have been taken out of it on
the Friday or Saturday night by Joseph of Arimathea, and have
recovered and found his way to Galilee. So much Prof. Huxley is
prepared to believe, and he asks ''on what grounds can a reasonable
man be asked to believe any more?" But a prior question is on what
grounds can a reasonable man be asked to believe as much as this ?
In the first place, if St. Mark's narrative is to be the basis of discus-
sion, why does Prof. Huxley leave out of account the scourging, with
the indication of weakness in our Lord's inability to bear his cross,
and treat him as exposed to crucifixion in the condition simply of
" temperate, strong men, such as the ordinary Galilean peasants
were " ? In the next place, I am informed by good medical authority
that he is quite mistaken in saying that "no serious physical symp-
toms need at once arise from the wounds made by the nails in the
hands and feet," and that, on the contrary, very grave symptoms
would ordinarily arise in the course of no long time from such severe
wounds, left to fester, with the nails in them, for six hours. In the
third place, Prof. Huxley takes no account of the piercing of out
Lord's side, and of the appearance of blood and water from the wound,
which is solemnly attested by one witness. It is true that incident is
not recorded by St. Mark ; but Prof. Huxley must disprove the wit-
ness before he can leave it out of account. But, lastly, if Prof. Huxley's
account of the matter be true, the first preaching of the church must
have been founded on a deliberate fraud, of which some at least of our
Lord's most intimate friends were guilty, or to which they were ac-
cessory; and I thought that supposition was practically out of

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CHRISTIANITY AND AGNOSTICISM. 409

account among reasonable men. Prof. Huxley argues as if he had
only to deal with the further evidence of St. Paul. That, indeed, is
evidence of a far more momentous nature than he recognizes ; but it
is by no means the most important. It is beyond question that the
Christian society, from the earliest moment of its existence, believed
in our Lord's resurrection. Baur frankly says that there is no doubt
about the church having been founded on this belief, though he can
not explain how the belief arose. If the resurrection be a fact, the
belief ia explained ; but it is certainly not explained by the supposition
of a fraud on the part of Joseph of Arimathea. As to Prof. Huxley's
assertion that the accounts in the three Gospels are " hopelessly dis-
crepant," it is easily made and as easily denied ; but it is out of all
reason that Prof. Huxley's bare assertion on such a point should out-
weigh the opinions of some of the most learned judges of evidence,
who have thought no such thing. It would be absurd to attempt to
discuss that momentous story as a side issue in a review. It is
enough to have pointed out that Prof. Huxley discusses it without
even taking into account the statements of the very narrative, on which
he relies. The manner in which he sets aside St. Paul is equally reck-
less :

According to his own showing, Paul, in the vigor of his manhood, with every means of becom-
ing acquainted, at fir*t hand, with evidence of eye-witnesses, not merely refused to credit them,
but " pert>ecutt'd the Church of God and made havoc of it." . . . Yet this strange man, because
he has a vision one day, at once, and with equally headlong zeal, flies to the opposite pole of
opinion.

' A vision ! " The whole question is, what vision ? How can Prof.
Huxley be sure that no vision could be of such a nature as to justify
a man in acting on it? If, as we are told, our Lord personally
appeared to St. Paul, spoke to him, and gave him specific commands,
was he to disbelieve his own eyes and ears, as well as his own con-
science, and go up to Jerusalem to cross-examine Peter and John and
James ? If the vision was a real one he was at once under orders, and
had to obey our Lord's injunctions. It is, to say the least, rash, if not
presumptuous, for Prof. Huxley to declare that such a vision as St.
Paul had would not have convinced him ; and, at all events, the ques-
tion is not disposed of by calling the manifestation "a vision." Two
things are certain about St. Panl. One is that he was in the confi-
dence of the Pharisees, and was their trusted agent in persecuting the
Christiana; and the other is that he was afterward in the confidence
of the apostles, and knew all their side of the case. He holds, there-
fore, the unique position of having had equal access to all that would
be alleged on both sides ; and the result is that, being fully acquainted
with all that the Pharisees could urge against the resurrection, he
nevertheless gave up his whole life to attesting its truth, and threw in
his lot, at the cost of martyrdom, with those whom he had formerly
persecuted. Prof. Huxley reminds us that he did all this in the full
vigor of manhood, and in spite of strong and even violent prejudices.
This is not a witness to be put aside in Prof. Huxley's off-hand man-
ner.

But the strangest part of Prof. Huxley's article remains to be
noticed ; and, so far as the main point at issue between us is con-
cerned, I need hardly have noticed anything else. He proceeds to a
long and intricate discussion, quite needless, as I think, for his main
object, respecting the relations between the Nazarenes, Ebionites,
Jewish and Gentile Christians, first in the time of Justin Martyr and

75



4 io BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

then of St. Paul. Into this discussion, in the course of which he
makes assumptions which, as Holtzmann will tell him, are as much
questioned by the German criticism on which he relies as by English
theologians, it is unnecessary for me to follow him. The object of it
is to establish a conclusion, which is all with which I am concerned.
That conclusion is that " if the primitive Nazarenes of whom the Acts
speak were orthodox Jews, what sort of probability can there be that
Jesus was anything else ?" * But what more is necessary for the pur-
pose of my argument? To say, indeed, that this a priori probability
places us "in a position to form a safe judgment of the limits within
which the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth must have been confined,"
is to beg a great question, for it assumes that our Lord could not have
transcended those limits unless his disciples transcended them simulta-
neously with him. But if our Lord's beliefs were those of an orthodox
Jew, we certainly know enough of them to be quite sure that they
involved a denial of Prof. Huxley's agnosticism. An orthodox Jew
certainly believed in God, and in his responsibility to God, and in a
divine revelation and a divine law. It is, says Prof. Huxley, " extremely
probable" that he appealed "to those noble conceptions of religon
which constituted the pith and kernel of the teaching of the great
prophets of his nation seven hundred years earlier." But, if so, his
first principles involved the assertion of religious realities which an
agnostic refuses to acknowledge. Prof. Huxley has, in fact, dragged
his readers through this thorny question of Jewish and Gentile Chris-
tianity in order to establish, at the end of it, and, as it seems, quite
unconsciously, an essential part of the very allegation which I origin-
ally made. I said that a person who " knows nothing " of God asserts
the belief of Jesus of Nazareth to have been unfounded, repudiates his
example, and denies his authority. Prof. Huxley, in order to answer
this contention, offers to prove, with great elaboration, that Jesus was
an orthordox Jew, and consequently that his belief did involve what
an agnostic rejects. How much beyond these elementary truths Jesus
taught is a further and a distinct question. What I was concerned
to maintain is that a man can not be an agnostic with respect to even
the elementary truths of religion without rejecting the example and
authority of Jesus Christ; and Prof. Huxley, though he still endeav-
ors to avoid facing the fact, has established it by a roundabout
method of his own.

I suppose I must also reply to Prof. Huxley's further challenge
respecting my belief in the story of the Gadarene swine, though the
difficulty of which he makes so much seems to me too trivial to deserve
serious notice. He says " there are two stories, one in * Mark ' and
' Luke/ and the other in 'Matthew.' In the former there is one pos-
sessed man, in the latter there are two," and he asks me which I
believe? My answer is that I believe both, and that the supposition
of there being any inconsistency between them can only arise on that
mechanical view of inspiration from which Prof. Huxley seems unable
to shake himself free. Certainly " the most unabashed of reconcilers
can not well say that one man is the same as two, or two as one";
but no one need be abashed to say that the greater number includes
the less, and that if two men met our Lord, one certainly did. If I
go into the operating theatre of King's College Hospital, and see an

* Page 63.
76



CHRISTIANITY AND AGNOSTICISM. 411

eminent surgeon perform a new or rare operation on one or two
patients, and if I tell a friend afterward that I saw the surgeon per-
form such and such an operation on a patient, will he feel in any per-
plexity if he meets another spectator half an hour afterward who says
he saw the operation performed on two patients? All that I should
have been thinking of was the nature of the operation, which is as well
described by reference to one patient as to half a dozen ; and similarly
St. Mark and St. Luke may have thought that the only imporant
point was the nature of the miracle itself, and not the number of pos-
sessed men who were the subjects of it. It is quite unnecessary,
therefore, for me to consider all the elaborate dilemmas in which Prof.
Huxley would entangle me respecting the relative authority of the
first three Gospels. As two includes one, and as both witnesses are in
my judgment equally to be trusted, I adopt the supposition which
includes the statements of both. It is a pure assumption that inspi-
ration requires verbal accuracy in the reporting of every detail, and an
assumption quite inconsistent with our usual tests of truth. Just as
no miracle has saved the texts of the Scriptures from corruption in
secondary points, so no miracle has been wrought to exclude the ordi-
nary variations of truthful reporters in the Gospel narratives. But
a miracle, in my belief, has been wrought in inspiring four men to
give, within the compass of their brief narratives, such a picture of
the life and work and teaching, of the death and resurrection, of the
Son of man as to illuminate all human existence for the future, and
to enable men " to believe that Jesus is the Christ, and believing to
have life through his name."

It is with different feelings from those which Prof. Huxley provokes
that I turn for a while to Mrs. Humphrey Ward's article on " The
New Reformation." Since he adopts that article as a sufficient con-
futation of mine, I feel obliged to notice it, though I am sorry to
appear in any position of antagonism to its author. Apart from other
considerations, I am under much obligation to Mrs. Ward for the
valuable series of articles which she contributed to the " Dictionary
of Christian Biography " under my editorship, upon the obscure but
interesting history of the Goths in Spain. I trust that, in her
account of the effect upon Robert Elsmere and Merriman of absorp-
tion in that barbarian scene, she is not describing her own experience
and the source of her own aberrations. But I feel especially bound to
treat her argument with consideration, and to waive any opposition
which can be avoided. I am sorry that she, too, questions the possi-
bility in thia country of " a scientific, that is to say, an unprejudiced,
an unbiased study of theology, under present conditions, and I should
have hoped that she would have had too much confidence in her col-
leagues in the important work to which I refer than to cast this slur
upon them. Their labors have, in fact, been received with sufficient
appreciation by German scholars of all schools to render their vindica-
tion unnecessary ; and if Prof. Huxley can extend his study of Ger-
man theological literature much beyond Zeller's "Vortrage" of "a
quarter of a century ago," or Ritschl's writings of " nearly forty years
ago," he will not find himself countenanced by church historians in
Germany in his contempt for the recent contributions of English schol-
ars to early church history. However, it is the more easy for me to
waive all differences of this nature with Mrs. Ward, because it is
unnecessary for me to look beyond her article for its own refutation.

77



4 i2 BEACON LIGHTS OF SCIENCE.

Her main contention, or that at least for which Prof. Huxley appeals
to her, seems to be that it is a mistake to suppose that the rational-
istic movement of Germany has been defeated in the sphere of New
Testament criticism, and she selects more particularly for her protest
a recent statement in the " Quarterly Review " that this criticism,
and particularly the movement led by Baur, is "an attack which has
failed." The Quarterly Reviewer may be left to take care of himself;
but I would only ask what is the evidence which Mrs. Ward adduces
to the contrary? It may be summed up in two words a prophecy
and a romance. She does not adduce any evidence that the Tubingen
school, which is the one we are chiefly concerned with, did not fail to
establish its specific contentions; on the contrary, she says that "his-
tory protested," and she goes on to prophesy the success of other spec-
ulations which arose from that protest, concluding with an imaginary
sketch, like that with which "Robert Elsmere" ends, of a "new
Reformation preparing, struggling into utterance and being, all
around us. ... It is close upon us it is prepared by all the forces of
history and mind its rise sooner or later is inevitable." This is
prophesy, but it is not argument; and a little attention to Mrs.
Ward's own statements will exhibit a very different picture. The
Christian representative in her dialogue exclaims:

What is the whole history of German criticism bat a series of brilliant failures, from Strauss
downward t One theorist follows another now Mark is uppermost as the Ur-Eyaugelist, now
Matthew now the synoptics are sacrificed to St. John, now St. John to the synoptics. Baur rele-
gates one after another of the Epiatles to the second century because his theory can not do with
them in the first. Harnack tells you that Banr's theory is all wrong, and that 'f hessalonians and
Philippians must go back again. Volkmar sweeps together Gospels and Epistles in a heap
toward the middle of the second century as the earliest date for almost all of them ; add Dr.
Abbott, who, ts we are told, has absorbed all the learning of the Germans, puts Mark before 70 A.
D,, Matthew just about 70 A. D., and Luke about 80 A. i>. ; Stranss's mythical theory is dead and
buried by common consent : Banr's tendency theory is much the same ; Kenan will have none of
the Tubingen school ; Volkmar is already antiquated ; and Pfleiderer's fancies aer now in the
order of the day.

A better statement could hardly be wanted of what is meant by an
attack having failed, and now let the reader observe how Merriman
in the dialogue meets it. Does he deny any of those allegations ? Not
one. " Very well," he says, " let us leave the matter there for the
present. Suppose we go to the Old Testament "; and then he proceeds
to dwell on the concessions made to the newest critical school of
Germany by a few distinguished English divines at the last Church
Congress. I must, indeed, dispute her representation of that rather
one-sided debate as amounting to " a collapse of English orthodoxy,"
or as justifying her statement that " the Church of England practi-
cally gives its verdict" in favor, for instance, of the school which
regards the Pentateuch or the Hexateuch as "the peculiar product of
that Jewish religious movement which, beginning with Josiah, . . .
yields its final fruits long after the exile." Not only has the Church
of England given no such verdict, but German criticism has as yet
given no such verdict. For example, in the introduction to the Old
Testament by one of the first Hebrew scholars of Germany, Prof.
Hermann Strack, contained in the valuable " Hand-book of the Theo-
logical Sciences," edited, with the assistance of several distinguished
tcholars, by Prof. Zochler, I find, at page 215 of the third edition, pub-
lished this year, the following brief summary of what, in Dr. Strack's
opinion, is the result of the controversy so far :

The future results of further labors in the field of Pentateuch criticism can not, of course, be
predicted in particulars. But, in epite of the great assent which the view of Graff and Wellhaut en
at present enjoys, we are nevertheless convinced that it will not permanently lead to any essential
ilteration in the conception which has hitherto prevailed of the history of I-rael. and in pnrticu-



AND AGNOSTICISM. 413

kr of the work of Moses. On the other hand, one remit will certainly remain, that the Penta-
teuch was not composed by Moses himself, but was compiled by later editors from various original

ources But the very variety of these source* may be applied in favor of the credibility of the

Pentateuch.

In other words, it maybe said that Dr. Strack regards it as established
that "The Law of Moses" is a title of the same character as "The
Psalms of David," the whole collection being denominated from its
principal author. But he is convinced that the general conclusions
of the prevalent school of Old Testament criticism, which involve an
entire subversion of our present conceptions of Old Testament his-
tory, will not be maintained. In the face of this opinion, it does not
seem presumptuous to express an apprehension that the younger
school of Hebrew scholars in England, of whose concessions Mrs.
Ward makes so much, have gone too far and too last; and, at all
events, it is clear from what Dr. Strack says and I might quote also
Delitzsch and Dillmann that it is much too soon to assume that the
school of whose conquests Mrs. Ward boasts is supreme. But, even
supposing it were, what has this to do with the admitted and
undoubted failures on the other side, in the field of New Testament
criticism ? If it be the fact, as Mrs. Ward does not deny, that not
only Strauss's but Baur's theories and conclusions are now rejected; if
it has been proved that Baur was entirely wrong in supposing the
greater part of the New Testament books were late productions, writ-
ten with a controversial purpose, what is the use of appealing to the
alleged success of the German critics in another field ? If Baur is
confuted, he is confuted, and there is an end of his theories ; though
he may have been useful, as rash theorizers have often been, in stimu-
lating investigation. In the same valuable hand-book of Dr. Zochler's,
already quoted, I find, under the " History of the Science of Introduc-
tion to the New Testament," the heading (page 15, vol. i, part 2),
"Result of the controversy and end of the Tubingen school."

The Tubingen school (the writer concludes, p. 20) could not but fall as soon as its assumptions
were recognized and given up. As Hilgenfeld confesses, "it went to an unjustifiable length, and
inflicted too deep wounds ou the Christian faith. . . . No enduring results in matters of substance
have been produced by it."



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