The reader may ask, “How is it possible, against such a mode of argument, to prove the genuineness or authenticity of any book, sacred or profane?” And, of course, it is not. Such a way of conducting a controversy seems absurd, but on the author’s premises it is a necessity. He asserts the dogma that the Governor of the world cannot interfere by way of miracle. He has to meet the fact that the foremost religion of the world appeals to miracles, especially the miracle of the Resurrection of the Founder. For the truth of this miraculous Resurrection there is at least a thousand times more evidence than there is for any historical fact which is recorded to have occurred 1,800 years ago. Of course, if the supernatural in Christianity is impossible, and so incredible, all the witnesses to it must be discredited; and their number, their age, and their unanimity upon the principal points are such that the mere attempt must tax the powers of human labour and ingenuity to the uttermost.
How, then, is such a book to be met? It would take a work of twice the size to rebut all the assertions of the author, for, naturally, an answer to any assertion must take up more space than the assertion. Fortunately, in this case, we are not driven to any such course; for, as I shall show over and over again, the author has furnished us with the most ample means for his own refutation. No book that I have over read or heard of contains so much which can be met by implication from the pages of the author himself, nor can I imagine any book of such pretensions pervaded with so entire a misconception of the conditions of the problem on which he is writing.
These assertions I shall now, God helping, proceed to make good.
The way cleared.