4. Can we preserve the character of the apostles? That, too, has hitherto been considered worthy of our respect and regard. Never did men leave such a record of moral teaching, and such an impress of a holy life behind them, a life so pure, wise, loving, so suited, in every respect, to bless mankind, and to make a heaven below in proportion as it is received. In these men we can detect no trace of avarice, ambition, or selfish aims of any kind. They lived, laboured, and died, that the world should become better and happier, and they have so far succeeded that civilisation can never more be separated from their names. But what was the substance of their teaching, and the one grand object of their existence? I again reply, without fear of contradiction, it was to persuade mankind to trust and love Jesus Christ as God! The first Christian teacher who died a martyr’s death resigned his spirit into the hands of this Jesus, as his Lord in glory; and the last and oldest apostle who first knew Him as his friend, represented Him as the Alpha and the Omega, the King of kings and Lord of lords. But if He was not this, how can the character of those teachers be defended? As Jews they could not be ignorant of the being and attributes of God, nor as men of the earthly life and history of Jesus; yet they professed to preach Jesus as divine, and to work miracles in His name! They could not possibly have been themselves deceived, and must therefore, if their faith was vain, have attempted to deceive others. Common sense rejects every other explanation. Anyhow, they were the successful heralds of an idolatry which, we may boldly affirm, will never leave the world, and of a blasphemy whose praises will never be silent on earth. Their character must perish with that of their Master!