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kind in their grasp; inasmuch as all the old nations were
§ 58. and people had but little connexion with each other.
60. and if so, shall meet with them in the spirit of conquest. 127 61. This is so much the more probable from the fact, that the religions of antiquity were rather prejudicial to extensive benevolence, than favorable
§ 62. Let us however carefully survey the benefactors of mankind to be met with in antiquity
FOUNDERS OF STATES, AND LEGISLATORS.
§ 62. Whatever the founders of states, and legislators had in view, it is evident, that, by virtue of their office, they were obliged to attend entirely to their own nations and exclude others from their plans
§ 63. Nor do the legislators of Rome constitute an exception in
§ 64. Hence, most of those who founded states, were so far removed from possessing universal benevolence, that they sought to fill their fellow citizens with a spirit of war and aversion towards strangers
HEROES AND DEFENDERS OF THEIR COUNTRY.
§ 65. Antiquity had humane heroes and patriots, who, for their services, undoubtedly deserved well of their fellow citizens. 140 § 66. Their services, however, could not be performed without injuring other nations.
WISE KINGS AND STATESMEN.
§ 67. Wise kings and statesmen are frequently to be met with in the old world who were destitute of the spirit of conquest; 143 § 68. but they were always confined to single nations 144
69. The plans which antiquity attributes to Hercules and Osiris, are mere fictions, and yet, they come far short of being worthy of a comparison with that formed by the founder of Christianity
PHILOSOPHERS AND LEARNED MEN.
§ 70. In searching among the philosophers and learned men of antiquity for their respective plans, we have reference in part to the influence which they actually exerted in the cultivation of the age, and in part, to the systems which they formed
§ 71. Among the Greeks, their influence before the time of Socrates, was very insignificant, and that of the Sophists was positively injurious
§ 72. The plan however which is ascribed to Pythagoras is neither so wise nor so great and benevolent as is ordinarily supposed
§ 73. Nor did Socrates extend his views beyond his own little
§74. His pupils, who separated into numerous parties, formed
§ 77. If we confine our attention to the systems of the philosophers merely, we must conclude, that those who made the chief good to consist in the perception of truth, in indolence, or voluptuousness, could not resolve upon laborious plans §78. For those who conceded to virtue, the rank of the chief good, a way stood open indeed to the formation of such plans, but none of them ever entered in it ; .
§ 79. and what proved particularly prejudicial to the Stoics, was, the extravagance of their systems of morality
. 173 174
FOUNDERS OF RELIGIONS.
80. Most of the founders of Religions are unknown to us . 177 81. Moses,
82. Zoroaster, 83. and Confucius, are the only persons who can be considered as belonging to this place, and none of these ever concerned himself with a plan of universal extent § 84. From the priests of antiquity, nothing was to be looked for in this respect;
§85. and as we search in vain among the poets for the idea of such a plan, we may truly say, that the plan of Jesus was entirely new and without example
§ 87. second, prove that in Jesus, were united the most exalted qualities a human mind can possess;
§ 88. and if we can show that these qualities could not have been developed in him according to the ordinary laws of the human mind, it necessarily follows, third, that he was under the especial influence of God.
FROM THE ALL COMPREHENSIVE AND BENEVOLENT PLAN, DEVISED BY JESUS FOR THE GOOD OF THE WORLD, IT FOLLOWS, THAT HE WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY MAN, AND A TEACHER SENT OF GOD.
§ 86. Before, from the plan of Jesus, we draw any inference in his favor, we must, first, show that this plan was not a chimerical one;
I. CHRIST'S PLAN NOT A CHIMERICAL ONE.
§ 89. Christ's plan looked upon by some as an impracticable
§ 90. That it is not, evident first from the fact that it is not generally speaking impossible for a man by means of a benevolent plan to operate for the good of all
§ 91. Second, because the idea of establishing a universal reli-
§ 92. and this religion is moral, intelligible, and spiritual.
95. and loses nothing by being divested of all secular power in
II. JESUS THE GREATEST, MOST EXALTED OF MEN.
§ 96. If, however, the plan of Jesus is a practicable one, shall we not thence be justified in concluding that he was the greatest and most exalted of men?
§ 97. The ingredients of genuine human greatness, undoubtedly are true wisdom, strength of soul, an invincible power of the will to bring it to the performance of duty, and finally, expansive benevolence
§ 98. Jesus possessed all these qualities in great and harmonious perfection, of the like of which we find no example in all history
§ 99. His plan affords proof that he possessed the highest human wisdom, whether we consider the outlines of it as sketched by Jesus in general,
§ 100. or each part of it in particular
§ 101. This plan places his strength of soul, his bold, and faultless love of duty, in a clear light;
§ 102. and presents us with an instance of boundless benevolence towards mankind, and a goodness of heart altogether superior and without example;
§ 103. and these qualities existed in him not only in the highest degree, but the greatest harmony
III. JESUS AN EXTRAORDINARY TEACHER SENT OF GOD.
§ 104. The question now as it were forces itself upon us, whether these qualities were or could have been developed in him, according to the ordinary laws of human nature
§ 105. This question has been answered in the affirmative, and an investigation instituted, to show, by what means in the ordinary course of things, Jesus could have been made what he became
§ 106. The meaning of this question more accurately defined
§ 107. With this definition before us, we shall find, that it is impossible for us to discover favorable circumstances enough to account for such a development;
§ 108. that a far greater influence has been attributed to these circumstances than they could have had;
§ 109. and finally, that the obstacles in the way of the natural
111. nor his strength of soul,
112. nor his feelings of benevolence, could have been developed without a high divine influence
§ 113. It is reasonable therefore to look upon him as the most exalted ambassador of God, and as our Saviour
I. (a) in Hermes Trismegistus,
(b) in Plato,.
(c) among the Stoics,
CONTENTS OF THE APPENDIX.
A. Respecting the manner in which Reinhard has apprehended
I. It was not originally in respect to its external character, a national theocracy
among the prophets of the Old Testament, III. in John the Baptist
II. The universality of Christ's plan was not added by the E-
D. Whether the idea of founding a kingdom of God upon earth is to be met with before the time of Christ;
E. Whether Jesus received his education and his principles from the school of the Essenes
F. A critical examination of the objections which have been
I. Critical examination, etc.
351 351 . 354
1. THE CHARACTER OF JESUS, the founder of the Christian religion, is so unique, so extraordinary, and venerable, that even the enemies of this religion, if they are capable of perceiving what true greatness is, must acknowledge that it has not its like in history. Of this circumstance those learned men* who have written in defence of Christianity, long since made such use as to render it superfluous now for me to repeat their observations.
Still oftener have the salutary effects produced by Christianity in the world, been spoken of, for the purpose of thence deducing the conclusion, that its author is ac
[Duchal, Vermuthungsgründe für die Wahrheit und Göttl. d. chr. Rel., 1ste (Rede, Güstrow, 1773; Vernet, Traité de la Vérité de la Rel. Chr., Tom. III. 77-fin., according to Turretin's Dilucidatt. L. B. 1748, II. 150 seqq.; Less, Religion, II. 732-759. The following are also particularly worthy of attention: Eberhard, Amyntor, S. 218-243; Carus, Psychologie der Hebräer, S. 293-322; J. G. Muller, Vom Glauben der Christen, I. 84-176; Schwarz, Evangelisch christl. Ethick, Anm. zu § 105; Dwight, System of Theology, Vol. II. Serm. 51-54; [Wilson, Evidences of Christianity, Lect. XVII. TR.] Anna Maria von Schurmann conceived the idea of giving a written representation of Christ, but as she could never satisfy herself, and the thought struck her, that it was like trying to portray the sun with a coal, she desisted from the attempt, acknowledging that she had found a Christian's life to be the best representation that can be given of the life of Christ. Vid. Deutsch. Merkur, J. 1777, Quart. 2. S. 178 ff.; Hess, Einige Characterzüge unsers Herrn; in der neuesten oder 3ten A. von: Lehre, Thaten, &c. u. H., II. 145-173, im 20 Bde. of his Scripture Biography. This perhaps was the reason why Niemeyer stopped short of the characteristics of Jesus; and why Reinhard, System d. Moral, II. 250. or 276. Anm. y, was unable to find a perfect description of Christ's life.]