Jesus's Words

Chapter 3: Paul Disbelieved.—Neither His Divine Commission nor His Inward Conversion Ever Credited by the Apostles or Their Jerusalem Disciples.—Source of Proof Stated

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Section 5: Self-Written Biography—Its Superior Value and Claim to Credence

On the occasion of this portion of history, it seems particularly material, to bring to view an observation, which, on the occasion of every portion of history, it will, it is believed, be of no small use to have in remembrance.

In comparison of self-written biography, scarcely does any other biography deserve the name.

Faint, indeterminate, uninstructive, deceptive, is the information furnished by any other hand, of whatsoever concerns the state of the mental frame, in comparison of what is furnished by a man's own. Even of those particulars which make against himself,—even of those motives and intentions which he would most anxiously conceal,—more clear and correct, as far as it goes, if not more complete—is the information given by him, than any which is commonly afforded, even by an impartial hand. By a man's own hand, not unfrequently is information afforded, of a sort which makes against himself, and which would not, because it could not, have been afforded by any other hand, though ever so hostile. He states the self-condemnatory mental facts, the blindness of self-partiality concealing from his eyes the condemnatory inference: or, even with his eyes open, he lays himself under the imputation: bartering merit in this or that inferior shape, for the merit of candour, or for the hope of augmenting the probative force of his own self-serving evidence, in favour of every other merit for which it is his ambition to gain credence.

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