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1. The account of its rise and progress is contained in
the historical books of the New Testament. p. 109.
2. Suppressing for the present the question of miracu-
lous interference, we may say, that to deny the
praise of general veracity to the narrative is to un-
hinge all historical evidence. p. 110.
3. Speculations of Mr. Volney as to the personal exist-
ence of Christ. p. 114.
4. Conclusion as to the character of the evangelical his-
tories. p. 116.
II. The infidel, on his principles, must maintain, that Christ
was either an impostor or an enthusiast. p. 117.
1. The difficulties attendant upon the hypothesis, that
Christ was an impostor. p. 118.
(1.) Statement and practical demonstration of the
necessary conduct of an impostor, as an im-
postor, in the times during which Christ ap-
peared. p. 120.
(2.) Statement of the actual directly opposite conduct
of Christ. p. 123.
2. The difficulties attendant upon the hypothesis, that
Christ was an enthusiast. p. 138.
(1.) The sobriety of Christ's conduct, as exemplified
in his words. p. 138.
(2.) The sobriety of Christ's conduct, as exemplified
in his actions. p. 143.
3. Numerous contingencies were associated with his
claim of the Messiahship, which were quite out of
the controul either of an impostor or of an enthu-
siast. p. 146.
III. The conduct of the apostles and first preachers of Chris-
tianity. p. 153.
1. The common notion entertained by infidels respecting
the apostles. p. 153.
2. The difficulties attendant upon this notion. p. 156.
(1.) The first stage of the proceedings of the apostles.
(2.) The second stage of the proceedings of the apos-
tles. p. 159.
3. The effects produced by the alleged resurrection of
Christ. Grounds for believing the truth of the
alleged fact. Difficulties attendant upon the denial
of it. p. 169.
4. Evidence specially afforded by the conduct of two of
the apostles. p. 178.
(1.) Conduct of Judas the traitor. p. 178.
(2.) Conduct of Paul, first a persecutor, then a con-
vert. p. 182..
The difficulties attendant upon deistical Infidelity in regard to the
rapid propagation of Christianity and the evidence by which
the performance of miracles is supported. p. 194.
The necessity of accounting for the fact of the rapid propa-
gation of Christianity is felt and acknowledged by all. p. 194.
I. A consideration of the five natural reasons or causes pro-
posed by Mr. Gibbon as sufficient to account for the
fact. p. 194.
1. The first reason: the inflexible and intolerant zeal of
the early Christians. p. 196.
2. The second reason: the doctrine of a future life.
3. The third reason: the miraculous powers ascribed to
the primitive Church. p. 200.
4. The fourth reason: the pure and austere morals of
the primitive Christians. p. 202.
5. The fifth reason: the union and discipline of the
Church. p. 204.
II. Concerning the aspect, which Christianity must have pre-
sented to the Gentiles at its first promulgation among
them: and whether Mr. Gibbon's five reasons are sufficient to account for its success. p. 205.
III. A consideration of the two supernatural reasons pro-
posed in Scripture. p. 215.
1. The first reason: the operation of the Holy Spirit to
incline the heart. p. 215.
2. The second reason: the performance of miracles to
convince the head. p. 218.
(1.) The testimony, by which the performance of
works purporting to be miraculous, is estab-
lished. p. 224.
(2.) The evidence, by which these works are proved
to have been real, not simulated, miracles.
internal evidence of Christianity. p. 246.
In discussing the internal evidence of Christianity, two par-
ticulars only shall be selected, as a specimen of the mode
of reasoning from it. p. 246.
I. The character of Christ. p. 246.
1. The favourite ideal character of a hero variously ex-
emplified. p. 247.
2. The opposite character of Christ. p. 251.
3. Conclusion drawn from the contrast. p. 253.
II. The spirit of Christianity. p. 255.
1. The spirit of confessedly false religions. p. 256.
(1.) The Scandinavian theology of Odin. p. 256.
(2.) The Arabic theology of Mohammed. p. 257.
(3.) The imposture of Alexander of Pontus. p. 260,
(4.) The theologico-political system of Hindostan.
2. The directly opposite spirit of Christianity. p. 264.
3. Conclusion drawn from the contrast. p. 267.
Recapitulation and Conclusion. p. 268.
Previous to the general conclusion, the several difficulties,
which encumber the march of Infidelity, shall be briefly
recapitulated. p. 268.
I. The difficulties in question are as follows. p. 268.
1. The insufficient grounds and reasons of Infidelity
itself. p. 268.
2. The impossibility, on infidel principles, of either
proving the unity of God or of developing his
moral attributes. p. 269.
3. The difficulties of Infidelity in regard to historical
matters of fact. p. 269.
4. The difficulties of Infidelity in regard to accomplished
prophecy. p. 270.
5. The difficulties of Infidelity in regard to the facts and
circumstances and character of the Christian Dis-
pensation. p. 270.
6. The difficulties of Infidelity in regard to the rapid
propagation of Christianity. p. 271.
7. The difficulties of Infidelity in regard to the internal
evidence of Christianity. p. 271.
II. General conclusion from the whole discussion, that the
rejection of Christianity involves a higher degree of
eredulity than the acceptance of it, and that we find it
more difficult to pronounce the Gospel an imposture
than to admit it as a revelation from heaven. p. 272.