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TO

JOHN CROSSLEY, ESQ.,

OF HALIFAX,

AS A HUMBLE TOKEN


OF ESTEEM AND ADMIRATION FOR


HIS OWN AND HIS FAMILY'S


NOBLE PHILANTHROPY,


THIS VOLUME


IS MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED


BY

THE AUTHOR.

_____________________


PREFACE.


WITHIN these fourteen years I have spoken the contents of this book—(sometimes in the form of a summary, as one long lecture; at other times, more completely, as several lectures)—in all the large towns, and in many of the other towns and villages of England, Scotland, and Wales; but they are now written, for the first time. I have written them at the urgent request of hundreds of my hearers, who assure me they wish to see in print what they have listened to with gratification.

    In putting my spoken words into writing, I have thought it better to preserve the tone of familiarity—the iteration—the colloquialism—the lively interrogative—in brief, all that marks the manner and method of the popular lecturer, who, if he would be successful, must practise every art of address in order to lead his hearers to think. And I trust that the light thoughts here printed may lead light readers to take up my book and read—until they feel so much attracted by the important evidence it treats, that they determine to enter, without delay, on a full and complete study of it in Paley, and Horne, and Lardner; as well as in the valuable contributions to the "evidences" by Brooke Foss Westcott, and other excellent writers of our times.

    I may be allowed to add that the "Historical evidence" has only formed a part of my work, as a lecturer, during these last fourteen years. The Miracles, the Resurrection, the perfect Moral Teaching, and the unique excellence of the character of Christ, have also been repeatedly taken up and treated in my lectures. And being deeply aware of the tendency to atheistic questioning in our day, I have also dealt with the arguments for Natural, as well as Revealed Religion. Thus, I have treated familiarly and in popular terms, not only the "Design argument," so finely expounded by Paley, but also the "Argument à-priori"—now, at length, after all the partial successes of Clarke, and Howe, and Locke, and a host of lesser names, so perfectly and irrefutably established by my highly intelligent friend, Mr. Gillespie. The argument for God's existence from the fact of our own Moral Nature, the arguments against Materialism and for a Future State of Rewards and Punishments, have had also to be taken up and treated, with such poor ability as I possess, in order to complete the full course of Evidence. If the sample of my lecturing which I now publish meets with acceptance, I may try to put the rest—all as yet only spoken—into writing for publication.

THOMAS COOPER.

July, 1871.



(ED.—Cooper's book as originally published contained neither INDEX nor chapter headings.  They have been inserted here to ease referencing.  Readers might wish to compare Cooper's reasoning with that of Gerald Massey; see THE HISTORICAL JESUS AND THE MYTHICAL CHRIST and others of Massey's lectures.  )



INDEX.

INTRODUCTION

I. THE ARCH OF SCIENCE

II. THE ARCH OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

III. THE ARCH OF OLIVER CROMWELL.

IV. THE ARCH OF MARTIN LUTHER.

V. THE ARCH OF THE INVENTION OF PRINTING.

VI. THE ARCH OF JOHN WYCKLIFFE.

VII. THE ARCH OF MAGNA CHARTA.

VIII. THE ARCH OF THE CRUSADES.

IX. ARCH OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

X. THE ARCH OF DARKNESS.

XI. THE ARCH OF KING ALFRED.

XIII. THE ARCH OF MOHAMMED.

XIV. THE ARCH OF AUGUSTINE.

XV. THE ARCH OF EARTHQUAKE.

XVI. THE ARCH OF CONSTANTINE THE GREAT.

XVII. THE ARCH OF PERSECUTION.

XVIII. and XIX. THE ARCH OF THE FATHERS; THE ARCH OF THE APOSTLES.

"LEBEN JESU": DR. DAVID FRIEDRICH STRAUSS.

MATTHEW'S GOSPEL.

MARK'S GOSPEL.

LUKE'S GOSPEL.

JOHN'S GOSPEL.

THE CONCLUDING EVIDENCES.

 



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