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By William Paley

This two-volume booklet via the thinker and theologian William Paley, released in 1794, used to be thought of so vital that it was once required interpreting for Cambridge scholars (including Charles Darwin) good into the 19th century. This vintage paintings of apologetics is split into 3 elements within which Paley discusses the old facts for Christianity and the miracles of Jesus Christ. He starts off quantity 1 with the proposition that the unique witnesses to Christ's miracles can be believed, simply because they spent their whole lives in consistent hazard for what they witnessed. Paley takes on Hume's argument that no miracle will be proved whatever the quantity of facts with the remark that if one believes in God, then miracles may 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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There was, therefore (which is all that we assert), a course of life pursued by them, different from that which thej' before led. And this is of great importance. Men are brought to any thing almost sooner than to change their habit of life, especially when the change is either inconvenient, or made against the force of natural inclination, or with the loss of accustomed indulgences. " * Hartley's Essays on Man, p. 190. EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY. It is almost like making again. men 37 over Left then to myself, and without any more information than a knowledge of the existence of the religion, of the general story upon which it is founded, and that no act of power, force, and authority, was concerned in its first success, I should conclude, from the very nature and exigency of the case, that the Author of the religion during his life, and his immediate disciples after his death, exerted themselves in spreading and publishing the institution throughout the country in which it began, and into which it was first carried ; that, in the prosecution of this purpose, they underwent the labours and troubles which we observe the propagators of new sects to undergo ; that the attempt must necessarily have also been in a high degree dangerous; that, from the subject of the mission, compared with the fixed opinions and prejudices of those to whom the missionaries were to address themselves, they could hardly fail of encountering strong and frequent opposition; that, by the hand 38 EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.

Rel. p. 180, ed. _Except Socrates, they all thought it wiser to comply with the laws than to contend. EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY. 29 neral persecution being denounced against them by imperial authority. Some length of time, I should suppose, might pass, before the vast machine of the Roman empire would be put in motion, or its attention be obtained to religious controversy: but, during that time, a great deal of ill usage might be endured, by a set of friendless, unprotected travellers, telling men, wherever they came, that the religion of their ancestors, the religion in which they had been brought up, the religion of the state, and of the magistrate, the rites which they frequented, the pomp which they admired, was throughout a system of folly and delusion.

Great exertions must have been used by the preachers of Christianity to produce this state of things within this time. Secondly, to a point which has been already noticed, and which I think of importance to be observed, namely, the sufferings to which Christians were exposed, without any public persecution being denounced against them by sovereign authority. For, from Pliny's doubt how he was to act, his silence concerning any subsisting law on the subject, his requesting the emperor's rescript, and the emperor, agreeably to his request, propounding a rule for his direction, without reference to any prior rule, it may be inferred, that there was, at that time, no public edict in force against the Christians.

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