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PROPHET OF NAZARETH,
A CRITICAL INQUIRY INTO THE PROPHETICAL,
INTELLECTUAL, AND MORAL CHARACTER
AS EXEMPLIFIED IN IS PREDICTIONS, HIS PRECEPTS, HIS
ACTIONS, HIS DISCOURSES, AND HIS SOCIAL INTERCOURSE.
FOURTA PRIZE ESSAY. INFIDELITY AGAINST CHRISTIANITY,
CHRISTIANITY AGAINST INFIDELITY.
Tue Premium for the best Essay on the above Subjects--now in the Press for early Publication-having been paid to Miss Sara Sophiả HENNELL, of Ivy Cottage, Radford Road, near Coventry, after an able and ardent Competition, which, however, exacted an extent of study and research, very onerous and inconvenient to some respectable Competitors, both lay and clerical; and as it therefore now becomes desirable to concentrate the Discussion to one or two points, which, if demonstrated, seem to solve the momentous question of Christ's Divinity whereon Christianity wholly rests, the Subscriber will pay TEN SOVEREIGNS; or, in the option of the successful Competitor, will deliver to him an appropriate Medal, of equal value, for what the Subscriber shall deem the most complete yet concise-truthful yet temperate-logical, and convincing, EXPOSITION, responsive to the following two-fold question :
Did Christ predict the Last Day of Judgment, and Destruction of the World, as events inevitable during the then existent Generation of Men :* and if so, what inferences, theistical or the reverse, are fairly deducible from the nonfulfilment of that Prophecy, so dreaded by them, t it having been, as alleged, extensively and impressively inculcated by His apostlest as promotive of Christianity in its earliest ages: 8
But First-Each Competitor shall prefix to his Exposition, as his accepted Rule therein, a copy of this Advertisement, with its relative Note and References. SECOND -Each and every view of the above two-fold Question, on both sides, must be taken up and discussed fully, fairly, and freely, in all its aspects, positive and negative, so as to
Matthew, Chap. X., verse 23; Ch. xvi., 27, 28; also Ch. xxiv., verses 3, 29, 30, 31,
but especially 33 and 34, and from 35 to 42 inclusive. Mark, Ch. ix., verse 1; Ch. xiii., verses 20 and 24, and onwards to the end, but especially
verses 29, 30; also Ch. xiv., verse 62. Luke, Chap. ix., verses 26 and 27 ; also Chap. xxi., verses 27 and 28, and from 30 to 36 inclusive, but especially verse 32.
+ Thessalonians 2nd, Chap. ii., verses 1, 2, and 3.
| Thessalonians 1st, Chapter iv., verses 15, 16, 17, and 18. Timothy, 2nd, Ch. ii.. verses 16, 17, and 18. James, Ch. v., verses 7 and 8.
Peter 2nd, Ch. iii., verses 2, 3, 4, and 7, and from 10 to 14, inclusive. Gibbon's Decline and Fall, Vol. 1st. Chap. xv., pages 560 to 568, inclusive.
Third Edition, Quarto, London, 1777. Thessalonians 2nd, Chap. ii., verse 3, as to á hastening of the dreaded day by any
“falling away" in the faith,
present a complete and impartial Exposition of the whole subject, whereon SOUND convictions may repose. THIRD—All facts, arguments, and averments, must be stated with the utmost possible regard to brevity, relevancy, and perspicuity, in the form of separate and distinct Propositions, or Affirmations, positire or negative, as the case may be -giving to each a running number, and specifying distinctly in foot notes each authority founded on-particularly those hereto subjoined which seem to merit special attention. LASTLY-Each Competitor will annex his Subscription and Address to his Exposition, which must be lodged on or before the 1st day of June next (1857), with the Subscriber, who shall, within four months thereafter, notify to the successful Competitor his readiness to pay or deliver to him the said Premium ; and for the further encouragement of Competitors, the Subscriber, if requested, will surrender on the most liberal terms, his hereby reserved Copyright to the Prize Essay, and the other Essays shall be returned to the respective Essayists, if applied for forthwith.
GEORGE BAILLIE. 37, Dalhousie Street, Garnethill, Glasgow,
1st January, 1857.
This Competition may naturally induce some serious and inquiring minds to ascertain clearly how far the Texts and Facts stated are, or are not, in fair, legitimate, and grammatical, construction of language, reconcileable with an opinion, that the Prophecy in question applied to the then existent generation, solely and wholly, with reference to the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus, and not in any way to the Last Day of Judgment, and Destruction of the World. Akin to that Enquiry another of Christ's Prophecies might be adduced respecting His resurrection on the third day, as to which the Evangelists are, by some persons, appealed to, in proof that it took place-if at all-on a different and earlier day. Competitors, however, are left to discuss that Prophecy or not, as they incline; but if taken up-and it seems worthy of being so -- it will fall to be treated in the manner prescribed as to the other and more prominent prophecy alluded to.
The occasion which moved the author to write the following work was the appearance in the Newspapers of the advertisement now prefixed to it, at the date which it bears. Although the prize offered was not very tempting, yet the subject proposed for discussion suited the taste of the writer, who, however, at the onset, did not intend his work to be of the size into which it has grown. But having been silent on theological matters from the time—about thirteen years previously-he had quietly withdrawn from Christianity, whose doctrine, after considerable examination and research, he had ceased to believe, and therefore could no longer conscientiously preach; and having, ever since his secedure, almost daily pursued his researches after the real origin of the Christian religion, he thought that thus to write on a given subject was an inoffensive and a favourable manner of making some of his theological views known to Christians generally, and particularly to those who had studied in the same college with him, and had taken so much pains to brand him as an infidel. With this intention, he closely applied to his task : the result has been the following work, to which the prize was awarded, and which, with some little additions, is now, after a considerable delay, about to be published.
The prefixed advertisement will show the conditions under which the work was to be written, and will explain the cause that considerable portions of it are written on the Christian side of the argument. These portions, which are strictly orthodox, are enforced with every