The life of Christ as represented in art - PDF by Frederic William Farrar

The life of Christ as represented in art

The life of Christ as represented in art

In fulfilling a task so difficult and so important as that of writing the Life of Christ, I feel it to be a duty to state the causes which led me to undertake it, and the principles which have guided me in carrying it to a conclusion. 

1. It has long been the desire and aim of the publishers of this work to spread as widely as possible the blessings of knowledge; and, in special furtherance of this design, they wished to place in the hands of their readers such a sketch of the Life of Christ on earth as should enable them to realise it more clearly, and to enter more thoroughly into the details and sequence of the Gospel narratives. They, therefore, applied originally to an eminent theologian, who accepted the proposal, but whose elevation to the Episcopate prevented him from carrying it out. 

Under these circumstances, the application was made to me, and I could not at first but shrink from labour for which I felt that the amplest leisure of a lifetime would be insufficient, and powers incomparably greater than my own would still be utterly inadequate. But the considerations that were urged upon me came to no doubt with additional force from the deep interest with which, from the first, I contemplated the design. 

I consented to make the effort, knowing that I could at least promise to do my best, and believing that he who does the best he can and also seeks the blessing of God upon his labours, cannot finally and wholly fail. And I have reason to be thankful that I originally entered upon the task, and, in spite of all obstacles, have still persevered in it. If the following pages in any measure fulfil the objects with which such a Life ought to be written, they should fill the minds of those who read them with solemn and not ignoble thoughts; they should " add sunlight to daylight by making the happy happier; " they should encourage the toiler; they should console the sorrowful; they should point the weak to the one true source of moral strength.

 But whether this book is thus blessed to high ends, or whether it be received with harshness and indifference, nothing at least can rob me of the deep and constant happiness which I have felt during almost every hour that has been spent upon it. Though, owing to serious and absorbing duties, months have often passed without my finding an opportunity to write a single line, yet, even in the midst of incessant labour at other things, nothing forbade that the subject on which I was engaged should be often in my thoughts, or that I should find in it a source of peace and happiness different, alike in kind and in degree, from any which other interests could either give or take away.

 2. After I had in some small measure prepared myself for the task, I seized, in the year 1870, the earliest possible opportunity to visit Palestine, and especially those parts of it which will be forever identified with the work of Christ on earth. Amid those scenes wherein He moved — in the holy fields Over whose acres walked those blessed feet Which eighteen hundred years ago were nailed, For our advantage, on the bitter cross " — in the midst of those immemorial customs which recalled at every turn the manner of life He lived — at Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, at Bethlehem, by Jacob's Well, in the Valley of Nazareth, along the bright strand of the Sea of Galilee, and in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon — many things came home to me, for the first time, with a reality and vividness unknown before. I returned more than ever confirmed in the wish to tell the full story of the Gospels in such a manner and with such illustrations as — with the aid of all that was within my reach of that knowledge which has been accumulating for centuries — might serve to enable at least the simple and the unlearned to understand and enter into the human surroundings of the life of the Son of God. 

3. But, while I say this, to save the book from being judged by a false standard, and with reference to ends which it was never intended to accomplish, it would be mere affectation to deny that I have hoped to furnish much which even learned readers may value. Though the following pages do not pretend to be exhaustive or especially erudite they yet contain much that men of the highest learning have thought or ascertained. The books which I hare consulted include the researches of divines who have had the privilege of devoting to this subject, and often to some small fragment of it, the best years of laborious and uninterrupted lives. 

No one, I hope, could have reaped, however feebly, among such harvests, without garnering at least something, which must have its value for the professed theologian as well as for the unlearned. But, with this double aim in view, I have tried to avoid "moving as in a strange diagonal," and have never wholly lost sight of the fact that I had to work with no higher object than that thousand, who have even fewer opportunities than myself, might be the better enabled to read that one Book, beside which even the best and profound treatises are nothing better than poor and stammering fragments of imperfect commentary.

 4. It is perhaps yet more important to add that this Life of Christ is avowedly and unconditionally the work of a believer. Those who expect to find in it new theories about the divine personality of Jesus, or brilliant combinations of mythic cloud tinged by the sunset imagination of some decadent belief, will look in vain. It has not been written with any direct and special reference to the attacks of sceptical criticism. It is not even intended to deal otherwise than indirectly with the serious doubts of those who, almost against their will, think themselves forced to lapse into a state of honest disbelief. 

I may indeed venture to hope that such readers if they follow me with no unkindly spirit through these pages, may here and there find considerations of real weight and importance, which will solve imaginary difficulties and supply an answer to real objections. Although this book is not mainly controversial, and would, had it been intended as a contribution to polemical literature, have been written in a very different manner, I do not believe that it will prove wholly valueless to any honest doubter who reads it in a candid and uncontemptuous spirit. 

Hundreds of critics, for instance, have impugned the authority of the Gospels on the score of the real or supposed contradictions to be found in them.

Some contents:

The Nativity.

The Fields of the Shepherds. — An Eastern Khan. — The Cave of Bethlehem. — The Enrolment. — Joseph and Mary. — "No room for them in the inn." — The Manger and the Palace. — The Nativity. — Adoration of the Shepherds. — Fancy and Reality. — Contrast of the Gospels and the Apocrypha 1

The Presentation in the Temple.
Four Circumstances of the Infancy. — Order of Events. — The Circumcision. — The name Jesus. — The Presentation in the Temple. — Simeon. — Anna . 7

The Visit of the Magi.

Importance of the Epiphany. — Herod the Great. — " Magi." — Traditions. — - el their Journey. — General Expectation of the World. — The Star in the East. — Astronomical Conjectures of Kepler, &c. — Evanescent Stars. — Gifts of the Magi 10

The Flight into Egypt, and Massacre of the Innocents.
 Flight into Egypt. — Massacre of ill Innocents. — Its Historical Credibility. — Character of Herod tho Great. — Silence of Josephus. — Death and Burial of Herod tho Great. — 9pe0 of tin- Herodiaa Dominion broken. — Accession of Archelaus. — Settlement of Joseph and Mary in Galilee 16

CHAPTER V. The Boyhood of Jesus.
Galilee. — Nazareth. — Reticence of tho Evangelists. — of the Gospels contrasted with Apocryphal Legends. — Life of Galihean Peasants. — Imagination and Fact. — " Ho shall be called a Nazareno " 22

the book details :
  • Author: Frederic William Farrar was a cleric of the Church of England, schoolteacher and author. He was a pallbearer at the funeral of Charles Darwin in 1882. He was a member of the Cambridge Apostles secret society
  • Publication date: 1901
  • Company:London: Adam and Charles Black

  • Download 30.2 MB

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