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The Life of Jesus   By: (1823-1892)

Book cover

First Page:

THE

LIFE

OF

JESUS

BY

ERNEST RENAN

INTRODUCTION BY

JOHN HAYNES HOLMES

[Transcriber's note: Introduction by John Haynes Holmes not included in this etext due to copyright restrictions.]

MODERN LIBRARY NEW YORK

INTRODUCTION COPYRIGHT, 1927, BY THE MODERN LIBRARY, INC.

Random House IS THE PUBLISHER OF

THE MODERN LIBRARY

BENNETT A. CERF DONALD S. KLOPPER ROBERT K. HAAS

Manufactured in the United States of America

Printed by Parkway Printing Company Bound by H. Wolff

TO THE PURE SOUL OF

MY SISTER HENRIETTE

Who Died at Byblus on the 24th of September, 1861

Dost thou recall, from the bosom of God where thou reposest, those long days at Ghazir, in which, alone with thee, I wrote these pages, inspired by the places we had visited together? Silent at my side, thou didst read and copy each sheet as soon as I had written it, whilst the sea, the villages, the ravines, and the mountains, were spread at our feet. When the overwhelming light had given place to the innumerable army of stars, thy shrewd and subtle questions, thy discreet doubts, led me back to the sublime object of our common thoughts. One day thou didst tell me that thou wouldst love this book first, because it had been composed with thee, and also because it pleased thee. Though at times thou didst fear for it the narrow judgments of the frivolous, yet wert thou ever persuaded that all truly religious souls would ultimately take pleasure in it. In the midst of these sweet meditations, the Angel of Death struck us both with his wing: the sleep of fever seized us at the same time I awoke alone!... Thou sleepest now in the land of Adonis, near the holy Byblus and the sacred stream where the women of the ancient mysteries came to mingle their tears. Reveal to me, O good genius, to me whom thou lovedst, those truths which conquer death, deprive it of terror, and make it almost beloved.

PREFACE

In presenting an English version of the celebrated work of M. Renan, the translator is aware of the difficulty of adequately rendering a work so admirable for its style and beauty of composition. It is not an easy task to reproduce the terseness and eloquence which characterize the original. Whatever its success in these respects may be, no pains have been spared to give the author's meaning. The translation has been revised by highly competent persons; but although great care has been taken in this respect, it is possible that a few errors may still have escaped notice.

The great problem of the present age is to preserve the religious spirit, whilst getting rid of the superstitions and absurdities that deform it, and which are alike opposed to science and common sense. The works of Mr. F.W. Newman and of Bishop Colenso, and the "Essays and Reviews," are rendering great service in this direction. The work of M. Renan will contribute to this object; and, if its utility may be measured by the storm which it has created amongst the obscurantists in France, and the heartiness with which they have condemned it, its merits in this respect must be very great. It needs only to be added, that whilst warmly sympathizing with the earnest spirit which pervades the book, the translator by no means wishes to be identified with all the opinions therein expressed.

December 8, 1863.

CONTENTS

PAGE

Introduction, by John Haynes Holmes 15

Introduction, in Which the Sources of This History Are Principally Treated 25

CHAPTER I

Place of Jesus in the History of the World 67

CHAPTER II

Infancy and Youth of Jesus His First Impressions 81

CHAPTER III

Education of Jesus 89

CHAPTER IV

The Order of Thought Which Surrounded the Development of Jesus 99

CHAPTER... Continue reading book >>




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