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Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion and Historical Developement.
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§ 5. Genuineness of John’s Gospel.

John’s Gospel, which contains the only consecutive account of the labours of Christ, arose in a very different way. It could have emanated from none other than that “beloved disciple” upon whose soul the image of the Saviour had left its deepest impress. So far from this Gospel’s having been written by a man of the second century (as some assert), we can. not even imagine a man existing in that century so little affected by the contrarieties of his times and so far exalted above them. Could an age involved in perpetual contradictions, an age of religious materialism, anthropomorphism, and one-sided intellectualism, have given birth to a production like this, which bears the stamp of none of these deformities? How mighty must the man have been who, in that age, could produce from his own mind such an image of Christ as this? And this man, too, in a period almost destitute of eminent minds, remained in total obscurity! Was it necessary for the master-spirit, who felt in himself the capacity and the calling to accomplish the greatest achievement of his day, to resort to a pitiful trick to smuggle his ideas into circulation?

And then, too, while it is thought sufficient to say of the three other Gospels that they were compiled from undesigned fables, we are told that such a Gospel as this of John was the work of sheer invention, as lately Dr. Baur has confessed, with praiseworthy candour. Strange that a man, anxious for the credit of his inventions, should, in the chronology and topography of his Life of Christ, give the lie to the Church traditions of his time, instead of chiming in with them; stranger still, that, in spite of his bold contradiction of the opinions of his age in regard to the history, his fraud should be successful! In short, the more openly this criticism declares itself against the Gospel of John, the more palpably does it manifest its own wilful disregard of history.

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