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Chapter 2


It has been well established by Paley, and indeed has seldom been denied, that within a very few years of Christ's crucifixion a large number of people believed that he had risen from the dead. They believed that after having suffered actual death he rose to actual life, as a man who could eat and drink and talk, who could be seen and handled. Some who held this were near relations of Christ, some had known him intimately for a considerable time before his crucifixion, many must have known him well by sight, but all were unanimous in their assertion that they had seen him alive after he had been dead, and in consequence of this belief they adopted a new mode of life, abandoning in many cases every other earthly consideration save that of bearing witness to what they had known and seen. I have not thought it worth while to waste time and space by introducing actual proof of the above. This will be found in Paley's opening chapters, to which the reader is referred.

How then did this intensity of conviction come about? Differ as they might and did upon many of the questions arising out of the main fact which they taught, as to the fact itself they differed not in the least degree. In their own life-time and in that of those who could confute them their story gained the adherence of a very large and ever increasing number. If it could be shewn that the belief in Christ's reappearance did not arise until after the death of those who were said to have seen him, when actions and teachings might have been imputed to them which were not theirs, the case would then be different; but this cannot be done; there is nothing in history better established than that the men who said that they had seen Christ alive after he had been dead, were themselves the first to lay aside all else in order to maintain their assertion. If it could be maintained that they taught what they did in order to sanction laxity of morals, the case would again be changed. But this too is impossible. They taught what they did because of the intensity of their own conviction and from no other motive whatsoever.

What then can that thing have been which made these men so beyond all measure and one-mindedly certain? Were they thus before the Crucifixion? Far otherwise. Yet the men who fled in the hour of their master's peril betrayed no signs of flinching when their own was no less imminent. How came it that the cowardice and fretfulness of the Gospels should be transformed into the lion-hearted steadfastness of the Acts?

The Crucifixion had intervened. Yes, but surely something more than the Crucifixion. Can we believe that if their experience of Christ had ended with the Cross, the Apostles would have been in that state of mind which should compel them to leave all else for the sake of preaching what he had taught them? It is a hard thing for a man to change the scheme of his life; yet this is not a case of one man but of many, who became changed as if struck with an enchanter's wand, and who, though many, were as one in the vehemence with which they protested that their master had reappeared to them alive. Their converse with Christ did not probably last above a year or two, and was interrupted by frequent absence. If Christ had died once and for all upon the Cross, Christianity must have died with him; but it did not die; nay, it did not begin to live with full energy until after its founder had been crucified. We must ask again, what could that thing have been which turned these querulous and faint-hearted followers into the most earnest and successful body of propagandists which the world has ever seen, if it was not that which they said it was--namely, that Christ had reappeared to them alive after they had themselves known him to be dead? This would account for the change in them, but is there anything else that will?

They had such ample opportunities of knowing the truth that the supposition of mistake is fraught with the greatest difficulties; they gave such guarantees of sincerity as that none have given greater; their unanimity is perfect; there is not the faintest trace of any difference of opinion amongst them as to the main fact of the Resurrection. These are things which never have been and never can be denied, but if they do not form strong prima facie ground for believing in the truth and actuality of Christ's Resurrection, what is there which will amount to a prima facie case for anything whatever?

Nevertheless the matter does not rest here. While there exists the faintest possibility of mistake we may be sure that we shall deal most wisely by examining its character and value. Let us inquire therefore whether there are any circumstances which seem to indicate that the early Christians might have been mistaken, and been firmly persuaded that they had seen Christ alive, although in point of fact they had not really seen him? Men have been very positive and very sincere about things wherein we should have conceived mistake impossible, and yet they have been utterly mistaken. A strong predisposition, a rare coincidence, an unwonted natural phenomenon, a hundred other causes, may turn sound judgments awry, and we dare not assume forthwith that the first disciples of Christ were superior to influences which have misled many who have had better chances of withstanding them. Visions and hallucinations are not uncommon even now. How easily belief in a supernatural occurrence obtains among the peasantry of Italy, Ireland, Belgium, France, and Spain; and how much more easily would it do so among Jews in the days of Christ, when belief in supernatural interferences with this world's economy was, so to speak, omnipresent. Means of communication, that is to say of verification, were few, and the tone of men's minds as regards accuracy of all kinds was utterly different from that of our own; science existed not even in name as the thing we now mean by it; few could read and fewer write, so that a story could seldom be confined to its original limits; error, therefore, had much chance and truth little as compared with our own times. What more is needed to make us feel how possible it was for the purest and most honest of men to become parents of all fallacy?

Strauss believes this to have been the case. He supposes that the earliest Christians were under hallucination when they thought that they had seen Christ alive after his Crucifixion; in other words, that they never saw him at all, but only thought that they had done so. He does not imagine that they conceived this idea at once, but that it grew up gradually in the course of a few years, and that those who came under its influence antedated it unconsciously afterwards. He appears to believe that within a few months of the Crucifixion, and in consequence of some unexplained combination of internal and external causes, some one of the Apostles came to be impressed with the notion that he had seen Christ alive; the impression, however made, was exceedingly strong, and was communicated as soon as might be to some other or others of the Apostles: the idea was welcome--as giving life to a hope which had been fondly cherished; each inflamed the imagination of the other, until the original basis of the conception slipped unconsciously from recollection, while the intensity of the conviction itself became stronger and stronger the more often the story was repeated. Strauss supposes that on seeing the firm conviction of two or three who had hitherto been leaders among them, the other Apostles took heart, and that thus the body grew together again perhaps within a twelve-month of the Crucifixion. According to him, the idea of the Resurrection having been once started, and having once taken root, the soil was so congenial that it grew apace; the rest of the Apostles, perhaps assembled together in a high state of mental enthusiasm and excitement, conceived that they saw Christ enter the room in which they were sitting and afford some manifest proof of life and identity; or some one else may have enlarged a less extraordinary story to these dimensions, so that in a short time it passed current everywhere (there have been instances of delusions quite as extraordinary gaining a foothold among men whose sincerity is not to be disputed), and finally they conceived that these appearances of their master had commenced a few months--and what is a few months?-- earlier than they actually had, so that the first appearance was soon looked upon as having been vouchsafed within three days of the Crucifixion.

The above is not in Strauss's words, but it is a careful resume of what I gather to be his conception of the origin of the belief in the Resurrection of Christ. The belief, and the intensity of the belief, need explanation; the supernatural explanation, as we should ourselves readily admit, cannot be accepted unless all others are found wanting; he therefore, if I understand him rightly, puts forward the above as being a reasonable and natural solution of the difficulty--the only solution which does not fail upon examination, and therefore the one which should be accepted. It is founded upon the affection which the Apostles had borne towards their master, and their unwillingness to give up their hope that they had been chosen, as the favoured lieutenants of the promised Messiah.

No man would be willing to give up such hope easily; all men would readily welcome its renewal; it was easy in the then intellectual condition of Palestine for hallucination to originate, and still easier for it to spread; the story touched the hearts of men too nearly to render its propagation difficult. Men and women like believing in the marvellous, for it brings the chance of good fortune nearer to their own doors; but how much more so when they are themselves closely connected with the central figure of the marvel, and when it appears to give a clue to the solution of that mystery which all would pry into if they could--our future after death? There can be no great cause for wonder that an hallucination which arose under such conditions as these should have gained ground and conquered all opposition, even though its origin may be traced to the brain of but a single person.

He would be a bold man who should say that this was impossible; nevertheless it cannot be accepted. For, in the first place, we collect most certainly from the Gospel records that the Apostles were NOT a compact and devoted body of adherents at the time of the Crucifixion; yet it is hard to see how Strauss's hallucination theory can be accepted, unless this was the case. If Strauss believed the earliest followers of Christ to have been already immovably fixed in their belief that he was the Son of God--the promised Messiah, of whom they were themselves the especially chosen ministers--if he considered that they believed in their master as the worker of innumerable miracles which they had themselves witnessed; as one whom they had seen raise others from death to life, and whom, therefore, death could not be expected to control--if he held the followers of Christ to have been in this frame of mind at the time of the Crucifixion, it might be intelligible that he should suppose the strength of their faith to have engendered an imaginary reappearance in order to save them from the conclusion that their hopes had been without foundation; that, in point of fact, they should have accepted a new delusion in order to prop up an old one; but we know very well that Strauss does not accept this position. He denies that the Apostles had seen any miracles; independently therefore of the many and unmistakable traces of their having been but partial and wavering adherents, which have made it a matter of common belief among those who have studied the New Testament that the faith of the Apostles was unsteadfast before the Crucifixion, he must have other and stronger reasons for thinking that this was so, inasmuch as he does not look upon them as men who had seen our Lord raise any one from the dead, nor restore the eyes of the blind.

According to him, they may have seen Christ exercise unusual power over the insane, and temporary alleviations of sickness, due perhaps to mental excitement, may have taken place in their presence and passed for miracles; he would doubt how far they had even seen this much, for he would insist on many passages in the Gospels which would point in the direction of our Lord's never having professed to work a single miracle; but even though he granted that they had seen certain extraordinary cases of healing, there is no amount of testimony which would for a moment satisfy him of their having seen more. WE see the Apostles as men who before the Crucifixion had seen Lazarus raised from death to life after the corruption of the grave had begun its work, and who had seen sight given to one that had been born sightless; as men who had seen miracle after miracle, with every loophole for escape from a belief in the miraculous carefully excluded; who had seen their master walking upon the sea, and bidding the winds be still; our difficulty therefore is to understand the incredulity of the Apostles as displayed abundantly in the Gospels; but Strauss can have none such; for he must see them as men over whom the influence of their master had been purely personal, and due to nothing more than to a strength and beauty of character which his followers very imperfectly understood. HE does not believe that Lazarus was raised at all, or that the man who had been born blind ever existed; he considers the fourth gospel, which alone records these events, to be the work of a later age, and not to be depended on for facts, save here and there; certainly not where the facts recorded are miraculous. He must therefore be even more ready than we are to admit that the faith of the Apostles was weak before the Crucifixion; but whether he is or not, we have it on the highest authority that their faith was not strong enough to maintain them at the very first approach of danger, nor to have given them any hope whatever that our Lord should rise again; whereas for Strauss's theory to hold good, it must already have been in a white heat of enthusiasm.

But even granting that this was so--in the face of all the evidence we can reach--men so honest and sincere as the Apostles proved themselves to be, would have taken other ground than the assertion that their master had reappeared to them alive, unless some very extraordinary occurrences had led them to believe that they had indeed seen him. If their faith was glowing and intense at the time of the Crucifixion--so intense that they believed in Christ as much, or nearly as much, after the Crucifixion as before it (and unless this were so the hallucinations could never have arisen at all, or at any rate could never have been so unanimously accepted)--it would have been so intense as to stand in no need of a reappearance. In this case, if they had found that their master did not return to them, the Apostles would probably have accepted the position that he had, contrary to their expectation, been put to a violent death; they would, perhaps, have come sooner or later to the conclusion that he was immediately on death received into Heaven, and was sitting on the right hand of God; while some extraordinary dream might have been construed into a revelation of the fact with the manner of its occurrence, and been soon generally believed; but the idea of our Lord's return to earth in a gross material body whereon the wounds were still unhealed, was perhaps the last thing that would have suggested itself to them by way of hallucination. If their faith had been great enough, and their spirits high enough to have allowed hallucination to originate at all, their imagination would have presented them at once with a glorious throne, and the splendours of the highest Heaven as appearing through the opened firmament; it would not surely have rested satisfied with a man whose hands and side were wounded, and who could eat of a piece of broiled fish and of an honeycomb. A fabric so utterly baseless as the reappearances of our Lord (on the supposition of their being unhistoric) would have been built of gaudier materials. To repeat, it seems impossible that the Apostles should have attempted to connect their hallucinations circumstantially and historically with the events which had immediately preceded them. Hallucination would have been conscious of a hiatus and not have tried to bridge it over. It would not have developed the idea of our Lord's return to this grovelling and unworthy earth prior to his assumption into glory, unless those who were under its influence had either seen other resurrections from the dead--in which case there is no difficulty attaching to the Resurrection of our Lord himself--or been forced into believing it by the evidence of their own senses; this, on the supposition that the devotion of the first disciples was intense before the Crucifixion; but if, on the other hand, they were at that time anything but steadfast, as both a priori and a posteriori evidence would seem to indicate, if they were few and wavering, and if what little faith they had was shaken to its foundations and apparently at an end for ever with the death of Christ, it becomes indeed difficult to see how the idea of his return to earth alive could have ever struck even a single one of them, much less that hallucinations which could have had no origin but in the disordered brain of some one member of the Apostolic body, should in a short time have been accepted by all as by one man without a shadow of dissension, and been strong enough to convert them, as was said above, into the most earnest and successful body of propagandists that the world has ever seen.

Truly this is not too much to say of them; and yet we are asked to believe that this faith, so intensely energetic, grew out of one which can hardly be called a faith at all, in consequence of day- dreams whose existence presupposes a faith hardly if any less intense than that which it is supposed to have engendered. Are we not warranted in asserting that a movement which is confined to a few wavering followers, and which receives any very decisive check, which scatters and demoralises the few who have already joined it, will be absolutely sure to die a speedy natural death unless something utterly strange and new occurs to give it a fresh impetus? Such a resuscitating influence would have been given to the Christian religion by the reappearance of Christ alive. This would meet the requirements of the case, for we can all feel that if we had already half believed in some gifted friend as a messenger from God, and if we had seen that friend put to death before our eyes, and yet found that the grave had no power over him, but that he could burst its bonds and show himself to us again unmistakably alive, we should from that moment yield ourselves absolutely his; but our faith would die with him unless it had been utter before his death.

The devotion of the Apostles is explained by their belief in the Resurrection, but their belief in the Resurrection is not explained by a supposed hallucination; for their minds were not in that state in which alone such a delusion could establish itself firmly, and unless it were established firmly by the most apparently irrefragable evidence of many persons, it would have had no living energy. How an hallucination could occur in the requisite strength to the requisite number of people is neither explained nor explicable, except upon the supposition that the Apostles were in a very different frame of mind at the time of Christ's Crucifixion from that which all the evidence we can get would seem to indicate. If Strauss had first made this point clear we could follow him. But he has not done so.

Strauss says, the conception that Christ's body had been reawakened and changed, "a double miracle, exceeding far what had occurred in the case of Enoch and Elijah, could only be credible to one who saw in him a prophet far superior to them"--i.e., to one who notwithstanding his death was persuaded that he was the Messiah: "this conviction" (that a double miracle had been performed) "was the first to which the Apostles had to attain in the days of their humiliation after the Crucifixion." Yes--but how were they to attain to it, being now utterly broken down and disillusioned? Strauss admits that before they could have come to hold what he supposes them to have held, they must have seen in Christ even after his Crucifixion a prophet far greater than either Moses or Elias; whereas in point of fact it is very doubtful whether they ever believed this much of their master even before the Crucifixion, and hardly questionable that after it they disbelieved in him almost entirely, until he shewed himself to them alive. Is it possible that from the dead embers of so weak a faith, so vast a conflagration should have been kindled?

I submit, therefore, that independently of any direct evidence as to the when and where of Christ's reappearances, the fact that the Apostles before the Crucifixion were irresolute, and after it unspeakably resolute, affords strong ground for believing that they must have seen something, or come to know something, which to their minds was utterly overwhelming in its convincing power: when we find the earliest and most trustworthy records unanimously asserting that that something was the reappearance of Christ alive, we feel that such a reappearance was an adequate cause for the result actually produced; and when we think over the condition of mind which both probability and evidence assign to the Apostles, we also feel that no other circumstance would have been adequate, nor even this unless the proof had been such as none could reasonably escape from.

Again, Strauss's supposition that the Apostles antedated their hallucinations suggests no less difficulty. Suppose that, after all, Strauss is right, and that there was no actual reappearance; whatever it was that led the Apostles to believe in such reappearance must have been, judging by its effect, intense and memorable: it must have been as a shock obliterating everything save the memory of itself and the things connected with it: the time and manner of such a shock could never have been forgotten, nor misplaced without deliberate intention to deceive, and no one will impute any such intention to the Apostles.

It may be said that if they were capable of believing in the reality of their visions they would be also capable of antedating them; this is true; but the double supposition of self-delusion, first in seeing the visions at all, and then in unconsciously antedating them, reduces the Apostles to such an exceedingly low level of intelligence and trustworthiness, that no good and permanent work could come from such persons; the men who could be weak enough, and crazed enough, if the reader will pardon the expression, to do as Strauss suggests, could never have carried their work through in the way they did. Such men would have wrecked their undertaking a hundred times over in the perils which awaited it upon every side; they would have become victims of their own fancies and desires, with little or no other grounds than these for any opinions they might hold or teach: from such a condition of mind they must have gone on to one still worse; and their tenets would have perished with them, if not sooner.

Again, as regards this antedating; unless the visions happened at once, it is inconceivable that they should have happened at all. Strauss believes that the disciples fled in their first terror to their homes: that when there, "outside the range to which the power of the enemies and murderers of their master extended, the spell of terror and consternation which had been laid upon their minds gave way," and that under the circumstances a reaction up to the point at which they might have visions of Christ is capable of explanation. The answer to this is that it is indeed likely that the spell of terror would give way when they found themselves safe at home, but that it is not at all likely that any reaction would take place in favour of one to whom their allegiance had never been thorough, and whom they supposed to have met with a violent and accursed end. It might be easy to imagine such a reaction if we did not also attempt to imagine the circumstances that must have preceded it; the moment we try to do this, we find it to be an impossibility. If once the Apostles had been dispersed, and had returned home to their former avocations without having seen or heard anything of their master's return to earth, all their expectations would have been ended; they would have remained peaceable fishermen for the rest of their lives, and been cured once and for ever of their enthusiasm.

Can we believe that the disciples, returning to Galilee in fear, and bereaved of that master mind which had kept them from falling out with one another, would have remained a united and enthusiastic body? Strauss admits that their enthusiasm was for the time ended. Is it then likely that they would have remained in any sense united, or is it not much more likely that they would have shunned each other and disliked allusions to the past? What but Christ's actual reappearance could rekindle this dead enthusiasm, and fan it to such a burning heat? Suppose that one or two disciples recovered faith and courage, the majority would never do so. If Christ himself with the magic of his presence could not weld them into a devoted and harmonious company, would the rumour arising at a later time that some one had seen him after death, be acceptable enough to make the others believe that they too had actually seen and handled him? Perhaps--if the rumour was believed. But WOULD it have been believed? Or at any rate have been believed so utterly?

We cannot think it. For the belief and assertion are absolutely without trace of dissent within the Christian body, and that body was in the first instance composed entirely of the very persons who had known and followed Christ before the Crucifixion. If some of the original twelve had remained aloof and disputed the reappearances of Christ, is it possible that no trace of such dissension should appear in the Epistles of St. Paul? Paul differed widely enough from those who were Apostles before him, and his language concerning them is occasionally that of ill-concealed contempt and hatred rather than of affection; but is there a word or hint which would seem to indicate that a single one of those who had the best means of knowing doubted the Resurrection? There is nothing of the kind; on the contrary, whatever we find is such as to make us feel perfectly sure that none of them DID doubt it. Is it then possible that this unanimity should have sprung from the original hallucinations of a small minority? True--it is plain from the Epistle to the Corinthians that there were some of Paul's contemporaries who denied the Resurrection. But who were they? We should expect that many among the more educated Gentile converts would throw doubt upon so stupendous a miracle, but is there anything which would point in the direction of these doubts having been held within the original body of those who said that they had seen Christ alive? By the eleven, or by the five hundred who saw him at once? There is not one single syllable. Those who heard the story second-hand would doubtless some of them attempt to explain away its miraculous character, but if it had been founded on hallucination it is not from these alone that the doubts would have come.

Something is imperatively demanded in order to account for the intensity of conviction manifested by the earliest Christians shortly after the Crucifixion; for until that time they were far from being firmly convinced, and the Crucifixion was the very last thing to have convinced them. Given (to speak of our Lord as he must probably appear to Strauss) an unusually gifted teacher of a noble and beautiful character: given also, a small body of adherents who were inclined to adopt him as their master and to regard him as the coming liberator, but who were nevertheless far from settled in their conviction: given such a man and such followers: the teacher is put to a shameful death about two years after they had first known him, and the followers forsake him instantly: surely without his reappearing in some way upon the scene they would have concluded that their doubts had been right and their hopes without foundation: but if he reappeared, their faith would, for the first time, become intense, all-absorbing. Surely also they might be trusted to know whether they had really seen their master return to them or not, and not to sacrifice themselves in every way, and spend their whole lives in bearing testimony to pure hallucination?

There is one other point on which a few words will be necessary, before we proceed to the arguments in favour of the objective character of Christ's Resurrection as derivable from the conversion and testimony of St. Paul. It is this. Strauss and those who agree with him will perhaps maintain that the Apostles were in truth wholly devoted to Christ before the Crucifixion, but that the Evangelists have represented them as being only half-hearted, in order to heighten the effect of their subsequent intense devotion. But this looks like falling into the very error which Rationalists condemn most loudly when it comes from so-called orthodox writers. They complain, and with too much justice, that our apologists have made "anything out of anything." Yet if the Apostles were not unsteadfast, and did not desert their master in his hour of peril, and if all the accounts of Christ's reappearances are the creations of disordered fancy, we may as well at once declare the Evangelists to be worthless as historians, and had better give up all attempt at the construction of history with their assistance. We cannot take whatever we wish, and leave whatever we wish, and alter whatever we wish. If we admit that upon the whole the Gospel writings or at any rate the first three Gospels, contain a considerable amount of historic matter, we should also arrive at some general principles by which we will consistently abide in separating the historic from the unhistoric. We cannot deal with them arbitrarily, accepting whatever fits in with our fancies, and rejecting whatever is at variance with them.

Now can it be maintained that the Evangelists would be so likely to overrate the half-heartedness of the Apostles, that we should look with suspicion upon the many and very plain indications of their having been only half-hearted? Certainly not. If there was any likelihood of a tendency one way or the other it would be in the direction of overrating their faith. Would not the unbelief of the Apostles in the face of all the recorded miracles be a most damaging thing in the eyes of the unconverted? Would not the Apostles themselves, after they were once firmly convinced, be inclined to think that they had from the first believed more firmly than they really had done? This at least would be in accordance with the natural promptings of human instinct: we are all of us apt to be wise after the event, and are far more prone to dwell upon things which seem to give some colour to a pretence of prescience, than upon those which force from us a confession of our own stupidity. It might seem a damaging thing that the Apostles should have doubted as much as long as they clearly did; would then the Evangelists go out of their way to introduce more signs of hesitation? Would any one suggest that the signs of doubt and wavering had been overrated, unless there were some theory or other to be supported, in order to account for which this overrating was necessary? Would the opinion that the want of faith had been exaggerated arise prior to the formation of a theory, or subsequently? This is the fairest test; let the reader apply it for himself.

On the other hand, there are many reasons which should incline us to believe that, before the Resurrection, the Apostles were less convinced than is generally supposed, but it would be dangerous to depart either to the right hand or to the left of that which we find actually recorded, namely, that in the main the Apostles were prepared to accept Christ before the Crucifixion, but that they were by no means resolute and devoted followers. I submit that this is a fair rendering of the spirit of what we find in the Gospels. It is just because Strauss has chosen to depart from it that he has found himself involved in the maze of self-contradiction through which we have been trying to follow him. There is no position so absurd that it cannot be easily made to look plausible, if the strictly scientific method of investigation is once departed from.

But if I had been in Strauss's place, and had wished to make out a case against Christianity without much heed of facts, I should not have done it by a theory of hallucinations. A much prettier, more novel and more sensational opening for such an attempt is afforded by an attack upon the Crucifixion itself. A very neat theory might be made, that there may have been some disturbance at one of the Jewish passovers, during which some persons were crucified as an example by the Romans: that during this time Christ happened to be missing; that he reappeared, and finally departed, whither, no man can say: that the Apostles, after his last disappearance, remembering that he had been absent during the tumult, little by little worked themselves up into the belief that on his reappearance they had seen wounds upon him, and that the details of the Crucifixion were afterwards revealed in a vision to some favoured believer, until in the course of a few years the narrative assumed its present shape: that then the reappearance of Christ was denied among the Jews, while the Crucifixion as attaching disgrace to him was not disputed, and that it thus became so generally accepted as to find its way into Pliny and Josephus. This tissue of absurdity may serve as an example of what the unlicensed indulgence of theory might lead to; but truly it would be found quite as easy of belief as that the early Christian faith in the Resurrection was due to hallucination only.

Considering, then, that Christianity was not crushed but overran the most civilised portions of the world; that St. Paul was undoubtedly early told, in such a manner as for him to be thoroughly convinced of the fact, that on some few but sufficient occasions Christ was seen alive after he had been crucified; that the general belief in the reappearance of our Lord was so strong that those who had the best means of judging gave up all else to preach it, with a unanimity and singleness of purpose which is irreconcilable with hallucination; that all our records most definitely insist upon this belief and that there is no trace of its ever having been disputed among the Jewish Christians, it seems hard to see how we can escape from admitting that Jesus Christ was crucified, dead, and buried, and yet that he was verily and indeed seen alive again by those who expected nothing less, but who, being once convinced, turned the whole world after them.

It is now incumbent upon us to examine the testimony of St. Paul, to which I would propose to devote a separate chapter.

Samuel Butler

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