As told by R.A. Torrey
In the great triumph of Deism in England, two of the most brilliant men in the denial of the supernatural were the eminent legal authorities, Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton. The two men were put forward to crush the defenders of the supernatural in the Bible. They had a conference together and one of them said to the other that it would be difficult to maintain their position unless they disposed of two of the alleged bulwarks of Christianity, namely the alleged resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and the alleged conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
Lyttleton undertook to write a book to show that Saul of Tarsus was never converted, as is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, but that his alleged conversion was a myth, if Gilbert West would write another book to show that the alleged resurrection of Christ from the dead was a myth.
West said to Lyttleton, “I shall have to depend upon you for my facts, for I am somewhat rusty on the Bible.” To which Lyttleton replied that he was counting upon West, for he too was somewhat rusty on the Bible. One of them said to the other, “If we are to be honest in the matter, we ought at least to study the evidence,” and this they undertook to do.
They had numerous conferences together while they were preparing their works. In one of these conferences West said to Lyttleton that there had been something on his mind for some time that he thought he ought to speak to him about, that as he had been studying the evidence, he was beginning to feel that there was something in it. Lyttleton replied that he was glad to hear him say so, for he himself had been somewhat shaken as he had studied the evidence of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
Finally, when the books were finished, the two men met. West said to Lyttleton, “Have you written your book?” He replied that he had, but he said, “West, as I have been studying the evidence and weighing it according to the recognized laws of legal evidence, I have become satisfied that Saul of Tarsus was converted as is stated in the Acts of the Apostles, and that Christianity is true and I have written my book on that side.” The book can be found to-day in any first-class library.
“Have you written your book?” said Lyttleton. “Yes, but as I have studied the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and have weighed it according to the acknowledged laws of evidence, I have become satisfied that Jesus really rose from the dead as recorded in the gospels, and have written my book on that side.” This book can also be found in our libraries to-day.
Let any man of legal mind, any man that is accustomed to and competent to weigh evidence—yes, any man with fair reasoning powers, and above all with perfect candour, sit down to the study of the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and he will become satisfied that beyond a peradventure that Jesus really rose from the dead as is recorded in the four gospels.