A View of the Evidences of Christianity, Volume 1: In Three by William Paley

By William Paley

This two-volume e-book via the thinker and theologian William Paley, released in 1794, was once thought of so vital that it was once required studying for Cambridge scholars (including Charles Darwin) good into the 19th century. This vintage paintings of apologetics is split into 3 components within which Paley discusses the historic proof for Christianity and the miracles of Jesus Christ. He starts off quantity 1 with the proposition that the unique witnesses to Christ's miracles will be believed, simply because they spent their complete lives in consistent risk for what they witnessed. Paley takes on Hume's argument that no miracle might be proved whatever the quantity of facts with the statement that if one believes in God, then miracles might be anticipated. Paley's highbrow defence of Christianity was once the most renowned of the day, and his paintings is taken into account an instantaneous forerunner of the modern concept of clever layout.

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How new! how alien from all their former habits and ideas, and from those of every body about them! What a revolution there must have been of opinions and prejudices to bring the matter to this! D 2 36 EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY. We know what the precepts of the religion are; how pure, how benevolent, how disinterested a conduct they enjoin; and that this purity and benevolence are extended to the very thoughts and affections. We are not, perhaps, at liberty to take for granted that the lives of the preachers of Christianity were as perfect as their lessons : but we are entitled to contend, that the observable part of their behaviour must have agreed in a great measure with the duties which they taught.

U Let this preparation of the mind (to die) arise from its own judgement, and not from obstinacy like the Christians^\" * Epict. 1. iv. c. 7. t Marc, Aur. Med. xi. 3. EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY. 51 CHAPTER III. There z> satisfactory evidence that many, professing to be original witnesses of the Christian miracles, passed their lives in labours, dangers, and sufferings, voluntarily undergone in attestation of the accounts which they delivered, and solely in consequence of their belief of those accounts; and that they also submitted, from the same motives, to new rules of conduct.

Thirl EVIDENCES OP CHRISTIANITY. 25 And it was undoubtedly a natural source of calumny and misconstruction. The preachers of Christianity had therefore to contend with prejudice backed by power. They had to come forward to a disappointed people, to a priesthood possessing a considerable share of municipal authority, and actuated by strong motives of opposition and resentment; and they had to do this under a foreign government, to whose favour they made no pretensions, and which was constantly surrounded by their enemies, The well-known, because the experienced fate of reformers, whenever the reformation subverts some reigning opinion, and does not proceed upon a change that has already taken place in the sentiments of a country, will not allow, much less lead us to suppose, that the first propagators of Christianity at Jerusalem and in Judea, under the difficulties and the enemies they had to contend with, and entirely destitute as they were of force, authority, or protection, could execute their mission with personal ease and safety.

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