one side of him and the Olympus of Athens
on the other, ever produced a religion with these four elements, he towers so far above Shakspeare
that the difference between Shakspeare
and their times, in the comparison, becomes an imperceptible wrinkle on the surface of the earth.
I think it a greater credulity to believe that there ever was a man so much superior to Athens
and to England
as this Jewish
youth was, if he was a mere man, than it is to believe that in the fulness of time a higher wisdom than was ever vouchsafed to a human being undertook to tell the human race the secret by which it could lift itself to a higher plane of moral and intellectual existence.
I have weighed Christianity as the great and vital and elemental force which underlies Europe
,--to which we are indebted for European
I have endeavored to measure its strength, to estimate its permanence, to analyze its elements; and if they ever came from the unassisted brain of one uneducated Jew, while Shakspeare
is admirable, and Plato
is admirable, and Goethe
is admirable, this Jewish
boy takes a higher level; he is marvellous, wonderful; he is in himself a miracle.
The miracles he wrought are nothing to the miracle he was, if at that era and that condition of the world he invented Christianity.
says, “To disbelieve is to believe.”
I cannot be so credulous as to believe that any mere man invented Christianity.
Until you show me some loving heart that has felt more profoundly, some strong brain that, even with the aid of his example, has thought further and added something to religion, I must still use my common-sense and say, No man did all this.
I know Buddha's protest, and what he is said to have tried to do. To all that my answer is, India
past and present.
In testing ideas and elemental forces, if you give them centuries to work in, success is the only