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many of them, live. If these persons would not share the high morbidity and mortality rates prevalent among the Chinese, they must live in houses which can be kept clean and fairly cool, which have means for the proper disposal of sewage, and are screened. White persons must, in addition, have vacations and means of relaxation. This applies to all except the rare individuals who thrive on broken rules of health. If a missionary wishes to keep intellectually fit, he must have furlough periods for study. If economy be Mr. Bennett's plea, he should know that preventable sickness and death among missionaries have constituted a much greater waste of money than has the building of modern-style houses and of cottages at summer resorts.

Because the unit of Chinese society is the family, it is surprising that Mr. Bennett has only criticism for the presence of the Christian family in China. Wives and children are an integral part of the Protestant missionary force. Finally, even with living quarters furnished, can a man with children to educate live luxuriously on a salary of four or five dollars a day? That a few missionaries, living in such an expensive city as Peking, have had to supplement their inadequate salaries by selling Chinese products is unfortunate, because it offers a mark for the arrow of the ever-present critic.

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Your nameless contributor in the sketch entitled 'Cellar Holes,' in the August issue, gave us a slight start, causing my sister and myself, at sixty plus, to feel for the moment at least a hundred and fifty years old! Cellar holes, as the writer gently intimates, are associated in the mind with crumbling gravestones and by no means with continuing activity in the field of letters (or, indeed, in any other). Nevertheless, while our dear childhood home is now one of New England's sadly beautiful abandoned farms, and the Dutch colonial cottage, with its great central chimney inhabited by mysterious soot-winged chimney swifts, its many fireplaces, all-enveloping Virginia creeper, and sheltering maples (not beeches), has become only a memory, even to the shining flight of white marble steps from the 'Goodale quarry' under the mountain, yet the 'Goodale sisters' are still very much alive.

I wish that your contributor had known my sister Dora Read Goodale's recent volume of poems, The Test of the Sky, of which the name poem appeared a few years ago in the Atlantic. As for me, having brought up my family of six (not seven) children, I am writing and publishing

fiction (or poetry disguised as fiction), and my Luck of Oldacres is soon to appear under the Century imprint. So much for the sequel to 'Cellar Holes'! ELAINE GOODALE EASTMAN

They have no pollywogs in Porto Rico. SAN JUAN, PORTO RICO


On page 284 of the August Atlantic I note that Paul Griswold Howes 'discovered a kind of frog that has simplified its existence to such a point that the pollywog stage has been quite eliminated.' I believe that Karl Patterson Schmidt discovered such a frog in Porto Rico in 1919. He was sent here by the American Museum of Natural History to make a herpetological survey of the island.

While he was at his task he found on El Yunque a frog that laid tiny transparent eggs in which could be seen the already developed babies whom fate had spared the tadpole stage. I well remember how our house fairly crept and crawled with specimens brought in by two greatly interested small sons; and particularly the astonishment of us all when Mr. Schmidt produced his vial of transparent eggs with the midget frogs sitting in state therein.

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The unique uses to which numerous fated copies of the magazine have been put tempt me to send this letter of appreciation.

Our copies of the Atlantic have a quite ertended sub circulation. For instance, the first six copies of 1928 were read by seven persons, having visited four households. When they come back to me, they, with several other magazines, will go to a leper hospital in South India, following their predecessors of the last five years. There they will be read by missionaries and other members of the hospital staff, then passed out to those patients who are able to read and understand them. Following this, the magazines are used as textbooks in English classes conducted by leprosy patients who have had advantages of higher education.

Was R. W. E. speaking ironically or prophetically when he wrote in his diary, in 1857, concerning the new magazine, Atlantic, ‘A journal is an assuming to guide the age — very proper and necessary to be done, and good news that it shall be so But this journal, is this it? Has Apollo spoken?'


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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, November, 1928, Vol. 142, No. 5. Published monthly. Publication Office, 10 Ferry Street, Concord, New Hampshire. Editorial and General Offices, 8 Arlington Street, Boston, Massachusetts. 40c a copy, $4.00 a year. foreign postage $1.00. Entered as second-class matter July 15, 1918, at the Post Office at Concord, New Hampshire, U. S. A under the Act of March 3, 1879. Printed in the U. S. A.



I. The Man of History and the God of Legend



No man knows sufficient of the earthly life of Jesus to write a biography of him. For that matter, no one knows enough about him for the normal Times obituary notice of a great man. If regard were had to what we should call, in current speech, definitely historical facts, scarcely three lines could be filled.

Moreover, if newspapers had been in existence, and if that obituary notice had had to be written in the year of his death, no editor could have found in the literature of his day so much as his name. Yet few periods of the ancient world were so well documented as the period of Augustus and Tiberius. But no contemporary writer knew of his existence. Even a generation later, a spurious passage in Josephus, a questionable reference in Suetonius, and the mention of a name that may be his by Tacitus that is all. His first mention, in any surviving document, secular or religious, is twenty years after.

We do not know, with anything approaching historical certainty, of whom he was born, or when, or where; how

long he lived, or how long he labored; and the sayings which are indubitably his are a mere handful. The stories of his reputed resurrection are so contradictory and confused that it is impossible to make more than a guess at their true import. Yet Lives of Christ are poured forth on the world in everincreasing volume. The most cursory examination of publishers' announcements in Europe and America shows that something calling itself a Life of him is published nearly every month. Hidebound conservatism, blind devotion, and greed combine to produce these. They combine into what thus becomes almost a conspiracy to keep hidden the real truth that there does not exist enough historical evidence to produce a biographical sketch of Christ, let alone a Life.

To our forefathers such statements would have seemed wholly ridiculous, but then our forefathers happily believed that the records of four eyewitnesses existed-eyewitnesses, moreover, who had sat down independently to write four Lives of Christ while the actual facts were fresh in their minds. They believed that the prophet Ezekiel foretold such witnesses, and that the

Copyright 1928, by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.

four Living Creatures of that prophecy were the four Evangelists. The prophetical language was held to be typical of the Gospel contents, and thus mediæval crucifixes had often, in their four corners, the symbols of an ox, a man, a lion, and an eagle. These were regarded as the four independent witnesses who upheld the Story of the Cross. Though forty separate days out of a ministry of at least four hundred are all that the Gospels have stories for, by the greatest stretch of the imagination, and although all Christ's recorded sayings in them might, if read with due gravity and emphasis, take six hours, still these at least constituted a mine of unquestioned value.

But an insidious and vital attack has been made upon the old orthodoxy, an attack made with little waving of banners or beating of drums, which, despite calumny and prejudice, must be admitted to be victorious. The average man, for reasons upon which we shall enter later, is still largely unaware of the grounds for this attack. Setting aside the profoundly religious man who normally approaches the New Testament with the spectacles of tradition and rigidity upon his nose, the average man does not read his Gospels with anything like close attention. He therefore even misses the most obvious fact which gave the early critics their first cause for doubt. He misses the fact that if Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not bound up together in one volume, and if we did not read that volume with the story they have to tell already arranged in our minds, it would appear that there were literally two stories rather than one. John's Life of Jesus Christ, considered as a biography, is simply a different account from the story of the other three. It is not true to say that it does not set out to be a Life of him, comfortable as that assumption would be, for

it begins with his birth, works through his ministry, and ends with his death and resurrection as do the others; but only theological twisting of this wholesale nature can make it the same story.

John has none at all of the other stories connected with the birth; in their place he says: 'In the beginning was the Word,' and 'the Word was made flesh.' Jesus in this biography steps upon the historical stage at his baptism, and moves forward to a ministry which involves personalities and incidents which are not even mentioned by the others. It is scarcely too strong to say, as one turns the pages, that the Jesus of John is moving upon a stage so wholly different from the stage of the others that, without preconceived ideas, we should not think it the same. We should imagine that this account must be written of some other Jesus and some other generation. Thus, Jesus chooses Philip and Nathanael; he makes water wine at Cana of Galilee; he discourses with Nicodemus; he meets the woman of Samaria; he heals the nobleman's son; he cures the infirm man at the Pool of Bethesda; he makes long sermons on himself as the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, the Light of the World, and the Predecessor of Abraham; he pardons the woman taken in adultery; and finally he raises Lazarus from the dead the most important keystone incident, as a result of which the drama draws to its climax, for from that moment the Jews resolve to kill him. All these persons and incidents appear only in connection with John's Jesus. He talks at length in the upper room before his arrest, but does not institute the Holy Communion, and his death occurs on a different day from that of the other Jesus. His main resurrection appearance is in a curiously theological story by the Sea of Galilee, and the conclusion of

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