Christianity as Antiquity.—When on a Sunday morning we hear the old bells ringing, we ask ourselves: Is it possible? All this for a Jew crucified two thousand years ago who said he was God's son? The proof of such an assertion is lacking.—Certainly, the Christian religion constitutes in our time a protruding bit of antiquity from very remote ages and that its assertions are still generally believed—although men have become so keen in the scrutiny of claims—constitutes the oldest relic of this inheritance. A god who begets children by a mortal woman; a sage who demands that no more work be done, that no more justice be administered but that the signs of the approaching end of the world be heeded; a system of justice that accepts an innocent as a vicarious sacrifice in the place of the guilty; a person who bids his disciples drink his blood; prayers for miracles; sins against a god expiated upon a god; fear of a hereafter to which death is the portal; the figure of the cross as a symbol in an age that no longer knows the purpose and the ignominy of the cross—how ghostly all these things flit before us out of the grave of their primitive antiquity! Is one to believe that such things can still be believed?

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A quote saved on April 5, 2015.


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