Apropos of Easter

In contrast with much religious thought of the past, which, through false veneration, has come under the bondage of superstition, mortal sense is now swinging to the opposite extreme of irreverent questioning, and to-day there are those who in all soberness deny the possibility of phenomena of our Saviour's life in which the faith of Christianity has always been centered. German scholarship has supplied a number of the more ultra "higher critics," and one of them, Professor Gunkel, has recently issued a volume on New Testament interpretation in which he dares to aver that the belief in the resurrection of Jesus is nothing more nor less than an outgrowth of mythology! He says, —

"The idea of resurrection is intimately interwoven with that of ascension, and is the counterpart of the belief in a descent into hell. Faith in the death and resurrection of the gods was an important part of the mythology of the Orient. . . . The idea of a resurrection of the gods was no doubt originally suggested by nature. The divinities of the sun and of vegetation seemed to die in the winter and come to life again in the spring. Moreover, the form in which the belief in resurrection appears in early Christianity is identical with that found in the Gentile nations, notwithstanding the difference in content. . . .

Wise and Helpful Testimony
May 6, 1905

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