THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF CHRIST. 339
formulated by any known methods of finite reasoning, that spiritual truth must be approached from the spiritual side, and that it must be perceived by the eye of faith. Nevertheless, there are many who have never been able to attain that faith in the spiritual nature of Christ, for the reason that they persist in approaching him by and through the finite processes of reasoning. Their conceptions of him come through the history of his physical life, and their doubts arise through their unbelief in the verity of the history of his physical manifestations. The history of critical warfare upon Christianity will bear out the statement that this is, and has ever been, the great stumbling-block. The assaults of scepticism have always been upon the man Christ; and, being unable to reconcile the accounts of his physical history and manifestations with the laws of nature, as understood by his critics, sceptics have ignored the spiritual side of his character, and ended in total unbelief in his divine attributes.
If, therefore, the discoveries of modern science can be made to throw any light upon the history of the man Jesus; if they confirm all that has been said of the physical phenomena which characterized his career, the first great obstacle which stands in the way of the acceptance of the essential spiritual doctrines which he promulgated will be removed.
If, in addition to that, it can be shown that the discoveries of modern science not only confirm the story of his physical manifestations, but demonstrate the essential truth of the central idea which he promulgated concerning man's immortality, show the philosophy of his mission on earth, and prove that he was, and is, as a matter of scientific truth, the Saviour of the souls of men, there will be little left upon which scepticism can hang a reasonable doubt.
I undertake to say that modern science can do all this, and more.
It has often been said that the New Testament bears internal evidence of its own truth. This is true. But. it is not true in the sense in which it has been stated. It has