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Supernatural Religion, Vol. I. (of III) An Inquiry into the Reality of Divine Revelation   By: (1826-1907)

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By Walter Richard Cassels

In Three Volumes: Vol. I.

Complete Edition.

Carefully Revised.


Longmans, Green, And Co.,


PG EDITOR'S NOTE: This file has been provided with an image of the original scan for each page which is linked to the page number in the html file. Nearly every page in the text has many Greek passages which have been indicated where they occur by [———] as have many complex tables; these passages may be viewed in the page images. Some of the pages have only a few lines of text and then the rest of the page is taken up with complex footnotes in English, Greek and Hebrew. The reader may click on the page numbers in the html file to see the entire page with the footnotes. —DW


In preparing a complete edition of this work, I have revised it throughout. I have not hesitated to make any alterations, omissions or additions which seemed to me likely to improve it. I have endeavoured as much as possible to avoid presenting openings for side issues, and, with this object, I have softened statements which, however sustainable in themselves, might give rise to discussions apart from the direct purpose of the Inquiry. Wherever my argument has appeared to me either involved or insufficiently expressed I have as freely recast it as my limits permitted, and I have in several parts introduced new data discovered or elaborated since the work was first written, or which I may then have overlooked.

In one instance only has any alteration been requisite which demands special mention here. Since the sixth edition was published, I have been convinced that Marcion's Gospel was based upon our third Synoptic, and I have accordingly so far modified my results. It may not be unnecessary, however, plainly to repeat that, with this exception, which is not of material consequence, my convictions not only remain fundamentally unchanged, but have been confirmed and strengthened both by thorough reconsideration of my own argument, and by careful attention to the replies made by able official apologists. As regards the philosophical and other objections to miracles, their cogency is so fully recognized that Bampton Lecturers and eminent Churchmen practically abandon miracles as evidence, and press upon their brethren the necessity of reconstructing the Christian argument The necessity of reconstruction is indeed apparent, but the materials have not yet been made manifest. Meanwhile, such apologists have been forced virtually to repudiate the great Christian representatives who have hitherto defended the Faith. The case may fairly be considered desperate when the crew throw their officers overboard by way of lightening the ship. The historical argument is not in a better position. The learned professors and critics who have undertaken to deal with it do not even pretend, except perhaps in the case of Papias, to do more than assert the anonymous use of the Gospels by some of the Fathers, and their consequent existence; but, if this were established, what support could that give to the record of miracles? As for Papias, with his Hebrew Matthew and fragmentary indirect Mark, even if secured as a solitary witness to the composition of two Gospels, he would prove but a fatal friend to the apologetic cause.

The "Conclusions" have been almost entirely rewritten. This was essential to the finished work; but it was further necessary in order more adequately to convey my own views, and to withdraw expressions regarding the Unknowable, hitherto used from consideration for prevalent ideas and feelings, which I now recognize to have been too definite and calculated to mislead.


This work has scarcely yet been twelve months before the public, but both in this country, and in America and elsewhere, it has been subjected to such wide and searching criticism by writers of all shades of opinion, that I may perhaps be permitted to make a few remarks, and to review some of my Reviewers... Continue reading book >>

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