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If the authors of the Gospels had been men of delicate literary skill, of acute philosophical or poetical insight, like Plato or Shakespeare, then I should be far less convinced of the integral truth of the record.

One out of many expressions of Clement, alluding to this distribution, is the following: "There is a consent and harmony between the Law and the Prophets, the Apostles and the Gospel." VI. The same division, "Prophets, Gospels, and Apostles," appears in Tertullian, the contemporary of Clement.

John's note of time seems somewhat earlier than that of the other Gospels, but is not so much so as to require the supposition that Mary preceded the other women. She appears alone here, because the reason for mentioning her at all is to explain how Peter and John knew of the empty tomb, and she alone had been the informant.

It was an epoch in the history of the world when Christ first claimed and accepted a man's faith. Of course the second part of this verse, 'Thou shalt see greater things than these, has its proper fulfilment in the gradual manifestation of His person and character, which followed through the events recorded in the Gospels.

I have traversed, in all directions, the country of the Gospels; I have visited Jerusalem, Hebron, and Samaria; scarcely any important locality of the history of Jesus has escaped me. All this history, which at a distance seems to float in the clouds of an unreal world, thus took a form, a solidity, which astonished me.

When we deal with anything religious, a subjective element enters and determines the conclusion, exactly as the artistic spirit alone can appreciate that which has to do with art. The gospels as appreciations appeal only to the similarly appreciative.

This explains the love which Heine, that Paladin of the modern spirit, has for France; it explains the preference which he gives to France over Germany: "The French," he says, "are the chosen people of the new religion, its first gospels and dogmas have been drawn up in their language; Paris is the new Jerusalem, and the Rhine is the Jordan which divides the consecrated land of freedom from the land of the Philistines."

These shepherds go to the stable and take the place of the kings in Matthew's chronicle. So completely has this story conquered and fascinated our imagination that most of us suppose all the gospels to contain it; but it is Luke's story and his alone: none of the others have the smallest hint of it. Luke gives the charm of sentimental romance to every incident.

Keir Hardie to assert that our "industrial system is foreign to the spirit of Christianity." What is the spirit of Christianity? Twenty different things in as many different minds. Some industrial system is a necessity, and whatever it is you will never find its real principles in the Gospels. Christ's one social panacea was "giving to the poor," and this is the worst of all "reformations."

The religion of every Christian if it is real is a poem. He pictures a background of Holy Land scenery, and he creates a Jesus who continually converses with him and reveals to him much more than is found in the fragmentary details of the Gospels. When Milton goes beyond his documents he does not imagine for the purpose of filling up: the additions are expression.

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