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the facts and truths of Christianity. This want not only continues to exist, as it has existed in all ages of the Church, but it is now in some respects peculiarly strong and self-conscious. Those who sneer at the so-called “Evidences" of Christianity do not always stop to think that the reproduction and improvement of such evidences is a necessary factor in the growth of the human mind under the influences of that system of rational and historical truths which we call Christian. As long as Christianity is vital, there will be defences, if there are attacks; in case those who do not like such defences wish to have them cease, they should first of all try the method of suppressing the defences by suppressing the attacks. It is at least as worthy work for men of the best gifts and the highest attainments to defend the belief in God and in the verities of historical Christianity as to attack it. Nothing can be more updignified, or more suggestive of weakness, than to cultivate attacks on facts and truths esteemed Christian, and then to raise a hue and cry about “ Apologists” and “ Apologetics," when such attacks begin to call out the appropriate defences. As much of broad and fair research, as much of freedom from prejudice, may belong to the defence as to the attack of historical Christianity. It is enough that both opponent and apologist should stand upon the same level of obligation to be thorough, prudent, candid, and conclusive.

In truth, we do not believe that the aversion to apologetical writings, as such, is serious, or that it extends to any considerable class of authors or readers. It is true, as Professor Fisher says in his Preface (p. vii.), that "it has become the fashion of a class of writers to decry all works having for their aim to vindicate the truth of Christianity.” But of this class, which as a whole is by no means numerous, only a portion object to apologetics as such ; or, if their objection goes so far, it is to be regarded as not well considered, and scarcely serious. Another portion of the same class are inclined to decry all apologetic works on account of the character which many such works have hitherto borne; they have too often been lacking in breadth, in cordial sympathy with all truth, and in a fair and judicial temper. But this very fact increases the real need of apologetic works which shall be the opposite of all this, -of works which shall be comprehensive, candid, and sympathetic with all sound thought and generous scholarship. Such a comprehensive, candid, sympathetic work is this one of Professor Fisher. For, although its cast is throughout apologetic, it is never open to any just suspicion, even from those who do not accept its conclusions, of concealing or perverting facts and considerations which properly belong to the other side. The objections, then, which are usually urged against books on the evidences of Christianity, make the work of Professor Fisher all the more welcome, because the more needed and the more timely.

There has been for some years a comparative dearth of books which aim to go over the entire ground, in a summary way, of the evidences for our theistic and Christian beliefs. The fact has been inevitable; it has been due to the very nature of the progress made in modern times with respect to philosophical, critical, and historical researches. It has been felt that the field opened to view is too vast and varied for any one survey. In the last analysis, of course, Christianity is, itself, its own comprehensive and satisfactory evidence. In other words, that system of facts and truths which we call Christian proves itself by its ability to fit itself into, and satisfactorily to fill, all the right demands of human reason, of human history, and of the practical human life in respect to moral and religious conduct. To give, then, a complete survey of the evidences of Christianity involves no less a task than that of showing how its system of facts and truths stands related to reason, to history, and to the so-called practical life. But even among the adherents of Christianity, there has arisen, in consequence of these extended and varied researches, considerable difference of view as to the precise nature of this relation. And, of course, beyond the limits of the avowed adherents, a still greater difference of view exists; this latter difference reacbes outwards and downwards as far as those who declare that so-called Christianity is irrational, unhistorical, and unfit to control and satisfy the demands of the practical life. The “Apologist” in these days, therefore, needs as never before a large equipment of resources, and a rare delicacy and good judgment. He must be a philosopher, a critic, a historian, and also a man acquainted with what is in other men. The statement just made is no exaggeration : let it only be put to the test of experience. How, indeed, shall one who knows nothing of philosophy defend Christianity before those who attack it intelligently on philosophical grounds? How shall one who has no notion even of what a " higher criticism ” is, and does, make answer to the trained critVOL. VII.


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ics, when, for example, they display their evidences that the Fourth Gospel is neither genuine nor authentic ?

But the greatness of the difficulties, to which allusion has just been made, only enhances, the value of any work which can, partially or wholly, overcome them. It is for this reason that we are inclined to give to the last work of Professor Fisher a peculiarly cordial welcome. It would be difficult to find any one else in this country who so well as he combines the gifts of philosopher, critic, historian, and practical man, with a rare skill in making the fruits of such gifts intelligible and palatable for educated people generally.

Our answer to the question, whether this book meets the want of a compendious and trustworthy survey of the evidences of Christianity, in a worthy and interesting way, has already been indicated. It meets this particular want as no other book has yet done. We specify a few instances in confirmation of this general conclusion.

All the so-called evidences of Christianity may be--not very precisely to be sure--divided into those three classes, the nature of which was indicated above. Is Christianity rational, in the highest sense of the word “rational ?” Is it historical, --comprehensively and validly historical in respect to its beginnings, as the biblical writings and the faith of the Church represent it to be? And, finally, does it satisfy the conscience and heart; and does it serve to build up a good and true life in respect to morals and religion? The apologist must answer these three questions affirmatively

There are, then, three classes of evidence which we may venture to call the philosophical, the historical, and the practical. Professor Fisher treats each one of these three classes, although without suggesting the division, and treats them in substantially the same order in which they have just been named. The first four chapters of the book deal with the first of these classes. Of course, and from the very nature of the design formed by the author, the grounds of theism, as distinguished from the grounds of historical Christianity, are gone over in a more summary way. But in the first four chapters, the personality of God and of man, the arguments for the being of God, with a criticism of certain materialistic and agnostic theories, and the nature and function of miracles in a scheme of divine self-revelation, are all discussed. The number of points touched, and very briefly but forcefully presented, is surprisingly large, considering the limitations of space to which the author subjects himself. This excellence is especially notable in the short chapter of only seventeen pages (pp. 103–120) on miracles. Here the most important elements of a correct view of the subject, whether as against the extremes of supernaturalism or the denial of naturalism, are at least suggested for the further consideration of the reader.

The chapters (V.-XII. and XVII.) which treat of more specifically historical and critical defences of Christianity are even better examples of how much on the subject can be indicated in the briefest possible space. Chapter VI., which considers the “Proof of the miracles of Christ independently of special inquiry into the authorship of the Gospels,” is masterly in this regard. About everything which can be suggested or said in the line of such proof, is here, at least for a brief mention, brought to our consideration; the order and proportion are also admirable. Chapter X., on the “Miracles of the Gospel in contrast with heathen and ecclesias. tical miracles” is also a much needed piece of work admirably done. It is indefinitely more considerate and trustworthy in its picture of the real state of the case than is the pretentious but unsatisfactory discussion of the subject in “Supernatural Religion.” And yet, Professor Fisher's work is avowedly apologetic, while that of the author of “Supernatural Religion” is,-to say the best, not apologetic.

The evidences of Christianity, so far as they consist in its abil. ity to satisfy and guide the demands of the practical, moral, and religious life, are considered in the chapters from the thirteenth onward, -with the partial exception of the eighteenth, which treats of the “Canon of the New Testament in its relation to the Christian Faith."

In this connection we wish to call attention to a conspicuous example of the rather unusual candor wbich fitly leads the author of this book, even in an apologetic work, to bring forward considerations which are not thought by some to have an apologetic value. We refer to his treatment of the disputed books of the New Testament (the so-called Antilegomena), and of the undoubted fact that other books than the canonical were considered as inspired by the early Church,—some such being in certain places, at times, read in the public services of the early Christians. A goodly number of the facts bearing upon this subject will be found by the reader as they are stated and discussed on pages


428-444. It is both suggestive and amusing to notice that a few of Professor Fisher's critics are at a loss to know what he can mean by alluding to so many facts, disagreeable to these critics, which they are pleased to speak of as “ unnecessary concessions," or as “going further than they should themselves be inclined to do.” Plainly-and most fortunately—the mind of the author does not work after the pattern of certain editors of religious newspapers who have their own orthodoxy to vindicate in every review of a theological book which they set themselves to write. With Professor Fisher, apologetics is not now, and never has been, in any sense a synonym for concealment, twisting of facts, or slipping through the gaps in the argument of an opponent. And we are heartily glad that this is so. For this book could not be the admirable compend of apologetic considerations which it really is, if the mind of its author were accustomed to consider plain historical truths in the light of “admissions ” and “concessions."

In brief: this book deserves, and will receive, a warm welcome, high commendation, and a large sale. It is quite the thing for the intelligent layman to read, and to place in the hands of his family for their reading. It is also much better than anything else obtainable for use as a text-book in the Evidences of Christianity. It is, furthermore, an admirable volume for the Sunday School and parish library. And in commending it thus highly for a wide sale, and for popular reading, we do not intend to detract in the least from our bigh estimate of the breadth and depth of its thinking, the fullness and accuracy of its scholarship.

PhilosoPHY AND CHRISTIANITY. *—This volume contains eight lectures on the following subjects: Religion and Intelligence: The Philosophie Theory of Knowledge; The Absolute Object of Intelligence, or the Philosophic Theory of Reality; The Biblical Theory of knowledge; Biblical Ontology-The Absolute; Biblical Ontology-The World; Biblical Ontology-Man; ComparaLive Philosophie ('ontent of Christianity.

Philosophy and Christianity. A Series of Lectures delivered in New York in 1883, on the Ely Foundation of the l’nion Theological Seminary. By GEORGE S. Morris Ph. D., Professor of Fthies, History of Philosophy and Logic in the University of Michigan, and Lecturer on Ethies and the History of Philosophy in the Johns Hopkins U'niversity, Baltimore. Now York: Robert (arter & Brothers, 330 Brusu wa), 1883. XIV, and 313 pages Price $1.73.

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