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

By William Paley

This two-volume ebook through the thinker and theologian William Paley, released in 1794, was once thought of so vital that it was once required analyzing 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 old 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 could be believed, simply because they spent their whole lives in consistent threat for what they witnessed. Paley takes on Hume's argument that no miracle will be proved whatever the volume of facts with the remark that if one believes in God, then miracles might be anticipated. Paley's highbrow defence of Christianity used to be essentially the most well known of the day, and his paintings is taken into account an instantaneous forerunner of the modern concept of clever layout.

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Lio^ EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY* 49 Martial wrote a few years before the younger Pliny: and, as his manner was, made the suiFerings of the Christians the subject of his ridicule*. Nothing, however, could show the notoriety of the fact with more certainty than this does. Mar« tiar6 testimony, as well indeed as Pliny's, goes also to another point, viz. that the deaths of these men were martyrdoms in the strictest sense, that is to say, were so voluntary, that it was in their power, at the time of pronouncing the sentence, to have averted the execution, by consenting to join in heathen sacrifices.

To endanger the present state of things, by suffering a religion of which they believe 30 EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY. nothing, to be disturbed by another of which they believe as little. They are ready themselves to conform to any thing; and are, oftentimes, amongst the foremost to procure conformity from others, by any method which they think likely to be efficacious. When was ever a change of religion patronized by infidels ? How little, notwithstanding the reigning scepticism, and the magnified liberality of that age, the true principles of toleration wrere understood by the wisest men amongst them, may be gathered from two eminent and uncontested examples* The younger Pliny, polished as he was by all the literature of that soft and elegant period, could gravely pronounce this monstrous judgement:-— " Those who persisted in declaring themselves Christians, I ordered to be led away to punishment (i.

EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY, 45 If this passage were considered by itself, the subject of allusion might be doubtful; but, when connected with the testimony of Suetonius, as to the actual punishment of the Christians by Nero, and with the account given by Tacitus of the species of punishment which they were made to undergo, I think it sufficiently probable, that these were the executions to which the poet refers. These things, as has already been observed, took place within thirty-one years after Christ's death, that is, according to the course of nature, in the life-time, probably, of some of the apostles, and certainly in the life-time of those who were converted by the apostles, or who were con* verted in their time.

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