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ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY.
CHARLES C. HENNELL.
SMALLFIELD AND SON, 69, NEWGATE STREET.
To those whose interest is already so much awakened upon the subject of the divine origin of Christianity, that they feel the necessity of arriving at some certain conclusion, more than they fear any possible results to which such inquiries may lead, this attempt to contribute to the solution of this difficult question is offered.
The hypothesis, that there is a mixture of truth and fable in the four Gospels, has been admitted, in different degrees, by many critics bearing the Christian name. The same method of free investigation which led Priestley and Belsham to throw doubt upon the truth of the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke, may allow other inquirers to make further excisions from the Gospel history. The reasons given by those eminent critics for proceeding so far may appear more valid than any which can be urged for stopping where they did. The right of private judgment in the separation of truth from fiction being once accorded, the precise limits which ought to be assigned to the credible portion of the miraculous narratives are far from being obvious; and the ascertaining of these limits becomes a matter of interesting research to all who wish to know what they are to believe or disbelieve on the subject of the Christian religion.
The following pages are the result of an investigation undertaken with this view, and pursued for some time with the expectation that, at least, the principal miraculous facts supposed to lie at the foundation of Christianity would be found to be impregnable; but it was continued