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COPYRIGHT, 1888, BY
EDWARD 0. Jenkins' Sons,
Printers and Stereotypers,
A WORD PRELIMINARY.
THE Word of God is the Palladium of the visible Church of Christ, which stands or falls with the Bible. In proportion as this blessed Book is reverenced and obeyed, does the believer's life increase or decline in all that constitutes its true vitality.
It is not strange that upon the Word of God all the forces of the foes of Christianity should be massed. If confidence in that Word can be undermined ; if, by subtlety and sophistry, its infallible inspiration may be made to appear like an old wives' fable or groundless tradition; if in any way men may feel at liberty, like Jehudi, to use a penknife on the sacred roll and cut out of it whatever is offensive to the proud reason or the wayward will of the natural man-the Devil will have achieved his greatest triumph.
Brethren, who are specialists in their departments of study, and who represent all forms of evangelical faith, were asked to come together and give their united testimony. The reader of these pages has the result before him. There is scarce a chord struck in which there is not the fullest harmony. If any discord is apparent, probably it is only apparent, and a clearer definition of terms would eliminate all seeming variance.
The editor's work has been little more than a supervision of proof-reading and arrangement. The authors alone are responsible for the views they advocate ; but it seemed wisest to allow the papers to stand without alteration, that
it might be seen how general is the accord upon all that is fundamental to the unity, integrity, divine inspiration, and infallible authority of the Word of God.
May the Author of that Word accompany this humble attempt, through the million tongues of the press, to give to a cosmopolitan audience the benefit of what was spoken comparatively in the ears of a few. In behalf of the Committee:
ARTHUR T. PIERSON. PHILADELPHIA, PA., Feb., 1888.
THE BIBLE CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA.
The following circular letter, issued in May, 1887, will sufficiently explain the Conference and the nature and contents of this volume:
“It has been decided to hold a Conference in Philadelphia, November 15–20, on the subject of The Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures.
“ Irreverent sceptics persistently attack the foundations of our most holy religion, while professing friends of Christianity are doing incalculable injury through their adverse criticisms on the Bible. Thus timid disciples become discouraged, many of whom make shipwreck; while the army of the doubters increase on every hand. Such a Conference is needed in order to confirm the faith of Christian believers in the canon of Iloly Scripture, which, in its original languages, has been held by the Church in all ages as the product of the Holy Spirit in all its parts and terms. Men of God spake and wrote as they were moved by the Divine Spirit.
“The members of the Committee have selected the following topics to be presented by able, scholarly teachers, who have ever been faithful to the Bible as the very word of God: Importance of the Subject; Different Theories of Inspiration ; Alleged Objections to Plenary Inspiration Considered ; Difference between Inspiration and Illumination ; The Office of Criticism with reference to God's Word ; Jesus a Qualified Witness to Inspiration ; Testimony of the Apostles ; Canon of Scripture; The Bible and the Monuments; Adaptation of the Bible to Human Need ; The Bible Inspired, not Evolved ; The Bible an Organic Whole; The Testimony of Jesus to Himself; The Scriptures are the Word of God, versus The Scriptures contain the Word of God; History of the Doctrine of Inspiration ; Principles of Interpretation ; The Spirit and the Word ; Preach the Word ; Testimony of the Scriptures to Themselves ; Relation of the Personality of the Lord to the Doctrine of Inspiration ; Difficulties of Conscientious Readers Considered; The Structure of the Book an Evidence of its Inspiration ; Difference between Inspiration and Revelation ; The Bearing of Prophecy on Inspiration.
“We earnestly hope that this legitimate effort to make prominent the full Inspiration of God's Word will meet with your hearty accord and endorsement. If the Conference therefore commends itself to your judgment, we shall greatly appreciate your signature to the Call. Above all, we seek, with your brotherly co-operation, your earnest prayers, that through this effort God will indeed glorify Himself in the exaltation of His blessed Word.
“We are yours, in the bonds of the Gospel,
“ Bishop R. E. Church, Philadelphia. “JOHN T. BECKLEY,
“Pastor Beth Eden Baptist Church, Philadelphia. “ROBERT C. MATLACK,
“Sec. of Episcopal Educational Society, Phila. “ARTHUR T. PIERSON,
“Pastor Bethany Presbyterian Church, Phila. “JAMES A. MORROW,
'Secretary of Bible Society, Philadelphia. “J. HOWARD-SMITH,
“Prof. of Systematic Div. R. E. C. Sem., Phila. “J. M. STIFLER,
“Professor Crozier Thcological Seminary. “J. L. LITCH,
“Pastor Central Pres. Church, Norristown, Pa. “GEO. C. NEEDHAM, Secretary,
The other members of the Committee desire to add to the above, their own cordial recognition of the faithful and gratuitous labors of the Secretary, in whose mind the idea of the Conference first originated, and by whose persevering efforts it was carried to a successful completion.-EDITOR.
The following was the Programme both of Topics and Speakers :
NOVEMBER 15. TUESDAY.
10 A.M. SPECIAL HOUR OF PRAYER AND PRAISE. 1. 11 A.M. OPENING ADDRESS, Rev. Thos. A. Hoyt, D.D. 2. 3 P.M. QUESTIONS CONCERNING INSPIRATION,
Rev. Wayland Hoyt, D.D., Philadelphia.