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The Lost Gospel and Its Contents Or, The Author of "Supernatural Religion" Refuted by Himself   By: (1819-1895)

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[Transcriber's Note: Footnotes have been relocated to the end of the text. Footnote anchors have been labeled with the original page and footnote numbers.]

THE LOST GOSPEL AND ITS CONTENTS;

OR,

THE AUTHOR OF "SUPERNATURAL RELIGION" REFUTED BY HIMSELF.

BY THE REV. M.F. SADLER, M.A., RECTOR OF HONITON.

LONDON: GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN. 1876.

PREFACE.

This book is entitled "The Lost Gospel" because the book to which it is an answer is an attempt to discredit the Supernatural element of Christianity by undermining the authority of our present Gospels in favour of an earlier form of the narrative which has perished.

It seemed to me that, if the author of "Supernatural Religion" proved his point, and demonstrated that the Fathers of the Second Century quoted Gospels earlier than those which we now possess, then the evidence for the Supernatural itself, considered as apart from the particular books in which the records of it are contained, would be strengthened; if, that is, it could be shown that this earlier form of the narrative contained the same Supernatural Story.

The author of "Supernatural Religion," whilst he has utterly failed to show that the Fathers in question have used earlier Gospels, has, to my mind, proved to demonstration that, if they have quoted earlier narratives, those accounts contain, not only substantially, but in detail, the same Gospel which we now possess, and in a form rather more suggestive of the Supernatural. So that, if he has been successful, the author has only succeeded in proving that the Gospel narrative itself, in a written form, is at least fifty or sixty years older than the books which he attempts to discredit.

With respect to Justin Martyr, to the bearing of whose writings on this subject I have devoted the greater part of my book, I can only say that, in my examination of his works, my bias was with the author of "Supernatural Religion." I had hitherto believed that this Father, being a native of Palestine, and living so near to the time of the Apostles, was acquainted with views of certain great truths which he had derived from traditions of the oral teaching of the Apostles, and the possession of which made him in some measure an independent witness for the views in question; but I confess that, on a closer examination of his writings, I was somewhat disappointed, for I found that he had no knowledge of our Lord and of His teaching worth speaking of, except what he might be fairly assumed to have derived from our present New Testament.

I have to acknowledge my obligations to Messrs. Clark, of Edinburgh, for allowing me to make somewhat copious extracts from the writings of Justin in their ante Nicene Library. This has saved a Parish Priest like myself much time and trouble. I believe that in all cases of importance in which I have altered the translation, or felt that there was a doubt, I have given the original from Otto's edition (Jena, 1842).

CONTENTS.

PAGE SECTION I. Introductory 1 SECTION II. The Way Cleared 5 SECTION III. The Principal Witness His Religious Views 9 SECTION IV. The Principal Witness The Sources of his Knowledge respecting the Birth of Christ 19 SECTION V. The Principal Witness His Testimony respecting the Baptism of Christ 29 SECTION VI. The Principal Witness His Testimony respecting the Death of Christ 33 SECTION VII. The Principal Witness His Testimony respecting the Moral Teaching of our Lord 40 SECTION VIII. The Principal Witness His Testimony to St. John 45 SECTION IX. The Principal Witness His Further Testimony to St. John 53 SECTION X. The Principal Witness His Testimony summed up 60 SECTION XI... Continue reading book >>




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