Deus Ex Machina

"This is the generation of the great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently of that mortal god, to which we own under the immortal God, our peace and defense." -Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan

Samuel Johnson on Christian Truth and Evidence

“Why, Sir, the great difficulty of proving miracles should make us very cautious in believing them. But let us consider; although God has made Nature to operate by certain fixed laws, yet it is not unreasonable to think that he may suspend those laws in order to establish a system highly advantageous to mankind. Now the Christian Religion is a most beneficial system, as it gives us light and certainty where we were before in darkness and doubt. The miracles which prove it are attested by men who had no interest in deceiving us; but who, on the contrary, were told that they should suffer persecution, and did actually lay down their lives in confirmation of the truth of the facts which they asserted. Indeed, for some centuries the heathens did not pretend to deny the miracles; but said they were performed by the aid of evil spirits. This is a circumstance of great weight. Then, Sir, when we take the proofs derived from prophecies which have been so exactly fulfilled, we have most satisfactory evidence. Supposing a miracle possible, as to which, in my opinion, there can be no doubt, we have as strong evidence for the miracles in support of Christianity, as the nature of the thing admits.”

Talking of those who denied the truth of Christianity, he said, “It is always easy to be on the negative side. If a man were now to deny that there is salt on the table, you could not reduce him to an absurdity. Come, let us try this a little further. I deny that Canada is taken, and I can support my denial by pretty good arguments. The French are a much more numerous people than we; and it is not likely that they would allow us to take it. ‘But the ministry have assured us, in all the formality of the Gazette, that it is taken.’ — Very true. But the ministry have put us to an enormous expence by the war in America, and it is their interest to persuade us that we have got something for our money — ‘But the fact is confirmed by thousands of men who were at the taking of it.’ — Ay, but these men have still more interest in deceiving us. They don’t want that you should think the French have beat them, but that they have beat the French. Now suppose you should go over and find that it really is taken, that would only satisfy yourself; for when you come home we will not believe you. We will say, you have been bribed. — Yet, Sir, notwithstanding all those plausible objections, we have no doubt that Canada is really ours. Such is the weight of common testimony. How much stronger are the evidences of the Christian religion?”

-Boswell, “Life of Samuel Johnson”

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One comment on “Samuel Johnson on Christian Truth and Evidence

  1. Pingback: Interesting Facts About Pope Benedict Xvi – 6 Surprising Facts About Pope Benedict XVI ABC News Yahoo News | Pope Resigns

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This entry was posted on March 12, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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