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rather than that one jot or one tittle of the scriptures should fail—“But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be.” “ Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”not some things in scripture, but whatsoever things were written there, were written for our learning. Now some of these testimonies apply expressly to each and every part of scripturebearing at all times in mind, that this scripture is inclusive, by the testimony of Christ and His Apostles, of all that we now have in the Old Testament, and exclusive of every Jewish writing beside ; inclusive also, on the very evidence which accredits Christianity at all
, of every book that enters into our present New Testament, and exclusive of every Christian writing beside. Of this scripture, in its totality, it is said that it cannot be broken--which it could, if any part of it, however small, might, as being but of human character and authority, be detached from the rest as being of divine authority: Ayd it is also said that whatsoever things were written there, were written for our learning-making no distinction whatever between the degree of faith and docility due to certain of these things, over certain others of them. And then when further told to search the scriptures, and that scripture must be fulfilled—this injunction and this information, distinct and definite as they are, when understood of a well-known book so denominated and of all within the perimeter thereof, become altogether vague, useless, bewilder
ing, and in fact convey no injunction that we can act upon, and no information that we can specify if, on the principle of partial inspiration, the duty of searching, the certainty of fulfilment, apply only to certain parts of this scripture we are told not what, to certain places and passages thereof we are told not where. At this rate, each is left to guess or to find a scripture for himself ; and, with all the properties and excellences ascribed to this book, we positively do not know at this rate what the portions are which this description is meant to light upon.
12. But more than this. There are certain other designations, which, though not always appropriated to scripture, yet have at times the utmost likelihood of being expressly and specifically so applied—or, if otherwise, leave the passages in which they occur without meaning, or at least strip them of all their usefulness. Every property, for example, ascribed to the word of the Lord, if not to be understood of scripture and of all scripture, is to us at least of no utility and of no practical significance whatever. Had God never published a Word to the world in which we live, it would have been of no importance to let us know that the “word of the Lord is pure;” and it would just be of as little importance, if, though He may have published such a word, we are left in uncertainty as to what it is. But apply this saying to the scriptures, and we instantly restore effect and importance to it; and believing, as we do, that it is really expressive of scripture, our interpretation of this testimony is, that in the yaon, the segue γραμματα, the τα λογια του Θεου, the Bible in
short, there exists but one ingredient of pure unmixed divinity, utterly separated and free from the contamination of all that is human. Again, “the word of God is a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our paths”-a most momentous piece of information truly, if we are only made to know what the word of God is; and nothing can be more distinct or satisfactory in the way of guidance, than simply to be told that the word of God is the scriptures of the Old and New Testament. But should the affirmation be made, that this applies only to part of these scriptures, and we are left without any test by which to fix and identify that part—then the light wanes back again into darkness; and an extinguisher is put upon the Bible. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”—a most emphatic affirma. tion of the authority that lies in these words, did we but know what the words are. The doctrine of a universal inspiration leaves no doubt upon the subject—under the doctrine of a partial inspiration, we are left to grope our uncertain way to them, These and hundreds of other testimonies respecting the word of God convey to us an explicit, a special and a most important deliverance-only provided, however, that this word is a recognizable something which one can point to, and hold forth to the distinct observation of men. Grant us inspiration, we mean the inspiration of the whole Bible, and this we can point to: But tell us that there is but the inspiration of a part, leaving it to the fancy or inclination of each man how much or how little this part shall be-and then all these
testimonies to the unchangeableness and the purity and the rightful authority of God's word become a thing of nought. They but present us with the predicates of propositions—leaving us to wander in quest of the subject to which they belong. They are but half sentences, void and meaningless, and just for the want of some specific thing to which we can attach them.
13. The terms “inspiration” and “revelation" have been confounded; but in meaning they are really distinct from each other. A man might be inspired for the purpose of writing a history with selection and undeviating accuracy- yet with all the facts with which he was previously acquainted; and this would be inspiration without revelation. Or a man might be informed by a celestial visitant, of matters known only to celestials, as one of the Apostles by Jesus Christ, and may afterwards, in the natural exercise of memory and composition, commit the doctrines to writing; and this would be revelation without inspiration. The one does not necessarily imply the other. human, but yet visible being, as our Saviour in the flesh, tells his disciples what before were unknown things of God and heaven, this is revelation. I would even call it revelation, when an invisible being, as the Holy Spirit, infuses the knowledge of these things into the minds of men. But when under His guidance, and by His suggestion, they are prompted to speak and write of them to others, this is inspiration. It would accord with the taste and theory of some, did we admit a revelation without an inspiration. We might imagine the
When a super
whole scheme and articles of a system of doctrine made known by some preternatural agent to a commissioned teacher; and that after this, all preternatural application was withdrawn from him
so that for a right conveyance to the world of what he had been thus told or taught, he is left to the retentive powers of his own memory, and to his own faculty of just and appropriate expression. With the advocates for a higher degree of inspiration, there is the demand for much higher securities than this against fallacy and error. They require a preternatural influence, not at the first deposition alone of the subject matter of revelation in the mind of its intermediate messengers, but along the whole line as it were of the communication between God and the world that the matter thus deposited might be kept entire in a mind exempt from all the infirmities of human recollection; and that when discharged upon others, instead of being so in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, it might be couched in the very words suggested by the wisdom of God.
14. It will be perceived by this simple statement, what room there is for manifold diversities of sentiment and understanding upon the subject ---some as Dr. Benson conceiving only a first revelation, and then the whole intermediate process of continued memory and ultimate expression, left to the operation of the natural faculties aloneothers a bringing of all things afresh into the remembrance, whenever an occasion took place for the disclosure of them—others additionally to this an over-ruling determination, not of the