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When M. Renan comes to detail he is as strangely insensible to what seem at first sight the simplest demands of probability. As it were by a sort of reaction to the minute realising of particulars which has been in vogue among some Roman Catholic writers, M. Renan realises too realises with no less force and vividness, and, according to his point of view, with no less affectionate and tender interest. He popularises the Gospels; but not for a religious set of readers nor, we must add, for readers of thought and sense, whether interested for or against Christianity, but for a public who study life in the subtle and highly wrought novels of modern times. He appeals from what is probable to those representations of human nature which aspire to pass beyond the conventional and commonplace, and especially he dwells on neglected and unnoticed examples of what is sweet and soft and winning. But it is hard to recognise the picture he has drawn in the materials out of which he has composed it. The world is tolerably familiar with them. If there is a characteristic, consciously or unconsciously acknowledged in the Gospel records, it is that of the gravity, the plain downright seriousness, the laborious earnestness, impressed from first to last on the story. When we turn from these to his pages it is difficult to exaggerate the astounding impression which his epithets and descriptions have on the mind. We are told that there is a broad distinction between the early Galilean days of hope in our Lord's ministry, and the later days of disappointment and conflict; and that if we look, we shall find in Galilee the "fin et joyeux moraliste," full of a "conversation pleine de gaieté et de charme," of "douce gaieté et aimables plaisanteries," with a "prédication suave et douce, toute pleine de la nature et du parfum des champs," creating out of his originality of mind his "innocents aphorismes," and the "genre d'élicieux" of parabolic teaching; "le charmant docteur qui pardonnait