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Literature and Dogma

Literature and Dogma

This book was published in 1873. It was suggested reading to Allen by a reader in the October 1902 edition of The Light of Reason.

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Preface

An inevitable revolution, of which we all recognize the beginnings and signs, but which has already spread, perhaps, farther than most of us think, is befalling the religion in which we have been brought up. In those countries where religion has been most loved, this revolution will be felt the most keenly; felt through all…
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Introduction

Lord Beaconsfield, treating Hellenic things with the scornful negligence natural to a Hebrew, said in a well-known book that our aristocratic class, the polite flower of the nation, were truly Hellenic in this respect among others,—that they cared nothing for letters and never read. Now, there seems to be here some inaccuracy, if we take…
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Religion Given

I have said elsewhere how much it has contributed to the misunderstanding of St. Paul, that terms like grace, new birth, justification,—which he used in a fluid and passing way, as men use terms in common discourse or in eloquence and poetry, to describe approximately, but only approximately, what they have present before their mind,…
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Aberglaube Invading

When people ask for our attention because of what has passed, they say, 'in the Council of the Trinity,' and been promulgated, for our direction, by 'a Personal First Cause, the moral and intelligent Governor of the universe,' it is certainly open to any man to refuse to hear them, on the plea that the…
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Religion New-Given

Jesus Christ was undoubtedly the very last sort of Messiah that the Jews expected. Christian theologians say confidently that the characters of humility, obscureness, and depression, were commonly attributed to the Jewish Messiah; and even Bishop Butler, in general the most severely exact of writers, gives countenance to this error. What is true is, that…
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The Proof From Prophecy

'Aberglaube is the poetry of life.' That men should, by help of their imagination, take short cuts to what they ardently desire, whether the triumph of Israel or the triumph of Christianity, should tell themselves fairy-tales about it, should make these fairy-tales the basis for what is far more sure and solid than the fairy-tales,…
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The Proof From Miracles

We have seen that some new treatment or other the religion of the Bible certainly seems to require, for it is attacked on all sides, and the theologians are not so successful as one might wish in defending it. One critic says, that if these islands had no religion at all it would not enter…
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The New Testament Record

Now, then, will be perceived the bearing and gravity of what I some little way back said, that the more we convince ourselves of the liability of the New Testament writers to mistake, the more we really bring out the greatness and worth of the New Testament. For the more the reporters were fallible and…
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The Testimony of Jesus to Himself

In our third chapter we passed in brief review the teaching of Jesus, But there the objection met us, that what attested Jesus Christ was miracles, and the preternatural fulfilment in him of certain detailed predictions made about him long before. We had to pause and deal with this objection. And now, as it disperses,…
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Faith in Christ

As the Jews were always talking about the Messiah, so they were always talking, we know, about God. And they believed in God's Messiah after their notion of him, because they believed in God after their notion of him;—but both notions were wrong. All their aspirations were now turned towards the Messiah; whoever would do…
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Aberglaube Re-Invading

Miracles, and, above all, the crowning miracles of the Resurrection and Ascension to be followed by the second Advent, were from the first firmly fixed as parts of the disciples' belief. 'Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall…
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Our 'Masses' and the Bible

Many, however, and of a much stronger and more important sort, there now are, who will not thus take on trust the story which is made the reason for putting ourselves in connection with the Bible and learning to use its religion; be it the story of the divine authority of the Church, as in…
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The True Greatness of the Old Testament

Win assent in the end the new construction will, but not at once; and there will be a passage-time of confusion first. It is not for nothing, as we have said, that people take short cuts and tell themselves fairy-tales, because the immense scale of the history of 'bringing in everlasting righteousness' is too much…
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The True Greatness of Christianity

No; the mystery hidden from ages and generations, which none of the rulers of this world knew, the mystery revealed finally by Jesus Christ and rejected by the Jews, was not the doctrine of the Trinity, nor anything speculative. It was the method and the secret of Jesus. Jesus did not change the object for…
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Conclusion

But now, after all we have been saying of the pre-eminency of righteousness, we remember what we have said formerly in praise of culture and of Hellenism, and against too much Hebraism, too exclusive a pursuit of the 'one thing needful,' as people call it. And we cannot help wondering whether we shall not be…
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