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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/80

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

pleasant; and all I have maintained is that the least unpleasant alternative necessarily involved is, that Jesus Christ was under an illusion in his most vital convictions.

I content myself with thus rectifying the state of the case, without making the comments which I think would be justified on such a crude misrepresentation of my argument. But Prof. Huxley goes on to observe that "the value of the evidence as to what Jesus may have said and done, and as to the exact nature and scope of his authority, is just that which the agnostic finds it most difficult to determine." Undoubtedly, that is a primary question; but who would suppose from Prof. Huxley's statement of the case that the argument of the paper he is attacking proceeded to deal with this very point, and that he has totally ignored the chief consideration it alleged? Almost immediately after the words Prof. Huxley has quoted, the following passage occurs, which I must needs transfer to these pages, as containing the central point of the argument: "It may be asked how far we can rely on the accounts we possess of our Lord's teaching on these subjects. Now it is unnecessary for the general argument before us to enter on those questions respecting the authenticity of the gospel narratives, which ought to be regarded as settled by M. Kenan's practical surrender of the adverse case. Apart from all disputed points of criticism, no one practically doubts that our Lord lived, and that he died on the cross, in the most intense sense of filial relation to his Father in heaven, and that he bore testimony to that Father's providence, love, and grace toward mankind. The Lord's Prayer affords sufficient evidence upon these points. If the Sermon on the Mount alone be added, the whole unseen world, of which the agnostic refuses to know anything, stands unveiled before us. There you see revealed the divine Father and Creator of all things, in personal relation to his creatures, hearing their prayers, witnessing their actions, caring for them and rewarding them. There you hear of a future judgment administered by Christ himself, and of a heaven to be hereafter revealed, in which those who live as the children of that Father, and who suffer in the cause and for the sake of Christ himself, will be abundantly rewarded. If Jesus Christ preached that sermon, made those promises, and taught that prayer, then any one who says that we know nothing of God, or of a future life, or of an unseen world, says that he does not believe Jesus Christ."

Prof. Huxley has not one word to say upon this argument, though the whole case is involved in it. Let us take as an example the illustration he proceeds to give. "If," he says, "I venture to doubt that the Duke of Wellington gave the command, 'Up, Guards, and at 'em!' at Waterloo, I do not think that even Dr. Wace would accuse me of disbelieving the duke." Certainly