Warren Christian Apologetics Center
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AH - McGarvey

J.W. McGarvey

In The Case of Jesus of Nazareth

". . . [W]e cite the inherent power of the New Testament writings to convince men of their own divine origin, and to move them to holy living. That they should possess such power was the expectation of the writers, one of whom expressly declares his purpose in writing to be, that his readers might believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that believing, they might have life through His name. That there is inherent in them a self-evidencing power, is the testimony of a vast multitude who have been turned by it from unbelief to a triumphant faith; and their power to move in the direction of holy living, is attested by the whole host of the believers in every Christian age and country. I may be permitted to cite as an individual example of this, one of the most eminent men by whom the history of your own State of Missouri has been adorned. All of the older men in the audience remember Gen. A. W. Doniphan, a conspicuous office in the Mexican war, an eminent lawyer, and for many years the leader of the Whig party in this State. Until he was about sixty years of age he was indifferent to all creeds, and he had never become a believer in Jesus Christ; but while in attendance on the circuit court away from home, he dropped into a church on the Lord's day to hear a sermon. As he stated afterward, in telling the story, there was nothing in the sermon to especially interest him, but he found his attention drawn to the manifest earnestness of the speaker, an earnestness and an air of sincerity which proved him to be a profound believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. As he reflected on this, the question came into his mind, if this plain man, with moderate intellectual powers, has found evidence to so thoroughly convince him of the claims of Jesus, may not the same evidence be within my reach also, and may I not be guilty of a serious neglect in not paying attention to it? The thought took possession of him, and he resolved, that on returning home he would take the New Testament in hand and examine it carefully, to see if it sets forth a case in favor of Jesus of Nazareth, which he as a lawyer, desiring to keep up his reputation as such, would undertake to defend in a court of justice. He did so; and he said that before he had gone through the Gospel of Matthew he was forced to exclaim, 'The case is a good one.' Within a few weeks afterward he was baptized, and the remnant of his life was devoted to the service of God. He is but one of a countless host whose experiences have been in effect the same."

 

J. W. McGarvey
McGarvey's Sermons (orig. 1893)
 pp. 12-14, 1975 reprint