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The progress which lately has been made in understanding what the Bible is, and what it is not, has prepared the way for such a book as this. That progress has brought to light two things: namely, that the Bible has in it a human as well as a divine element; that it is the story not only of a divine disclosure, in many ways and under widely different conditions,— divine as revealing alike the mind of God and the wonderful order of his providence,but also a human document, in that it is the story, and sometimes the illustration, of the imperfect and therefore inaccurate vision of man. These two things are now coming to be widely and, on the whole, helpfully recognized.
But the last does not obscure the first, and cannot. We may call the books of the Bible a literature in the sense in which other books are a literature; but that does not make them identical with other literature. We may be unable always to designate, or even to discriminate, what that is in their literature which makes it unlike other literature; but the fact remains that it is different, and that this is witnessed to by the universal consciousness of man, wherever the Book has gone, there cannot be any honest doubt. Peasant and prince, scholar and toiler, the wise and the simple, ripe years and childhood, have found in it something that spoke