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image of God. I think imprecatory Psalms ought to be expected in Scripture. I think, were there no imprecatory Psalms in Scripture there were missed one of the firmest evidences of its divine origination.
You point me to apparent clashes with scientific theories. I answer, the Bible is a book which teaches morals. The idea of Inspiration is infallibility in the realm of morals and religion. Its speech about scientific facts must therefore be according to the popular conception of those facts. But, on the one hand, scientific theory does not always prove itself to be scientific fact. And, on the other hand, there have been already proven too many strange fore-pointings and fore-flashings toward the latest scientific facts in the very turn of the words of the wonderful book, to make me fear that Scriptural expression and real scientific fact will, at last, not be found in harmony.
No, as to the extent of Inspiration, I continue to affirm the Plenary Inspiration of the Scripture.
There is but one remaining question I have to ask and to seek to answer concerning Inspiration in order to cover the ground I have intended in this paper. That question is: What was the quality of this Inspiration – was it only greater in degree, but the same in kind, as that which we call--speaking too loosely I cannot help thinking—the inspiration of men now, of the great poet when he soars and sings, of the great philosopher when he thinks, of the great orator when he speaks? Or if not this, was it only greater in degree, but the same in kind, as that most benignant and illuminating touch of the Divine Spirit which is the gracious gift to-day to Christians ? Was this Inspiration of the sacred writers similar then to these, or was it an Inspiration different both in kind and in degree-peculiar, unique, solitary, separated by chasm widest and deepest from all other sorts of spiritual influence which may, by any careless and popular stretch of language, be denominated Inspiration ?
I answer, this Inspiration of the sacred writers was in the strictest sense solitary, singular, separate, different by complete chasm both in kind and in degree. And I think this to be the true answer for these, among many other, reasons.
Because the Bible, the issue of this Inspiration, is so unique. We are so familiar with the wonder that it is stripped of its wonder, and yet nothing is more wonderful. Here are sixty-six books, stringing along through different ages, for a space of nearly two thousand years. Some of them written in an age barbarous, some of them written in an age of the highest civilization, springing out of the most diverse environments, and yet at last brought together, and bound together, and constituting the Bible; and from the beginning to the end one unclashing and increasing purpose runs.
In all the world's literature there is not an approach to such majestic and unique example. Such difference of effect points surely to difference of cause.
Because, again : The effect of what we ought to call the illumination of Christians by the Holy Spirit is different, manifestly, from the effect of Inspiration on the sacred writers. Illumination by the Holy Spirit of Christians now, does not result in giving to Christians new truthit only results in rendering vivid to them the truth already given. Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth. Pastor John Robinson was plainly right in telling the pilgrims, as they left Delfthaven, that without doubt new light would flash upon them; but he was also, as plainly right, in telling them whence it would flash—from the Holy Scriptures. He had no thought of any revelation of new truth, only of the vivider vision of truth already revealed. But through the inspiration of the sacred writers a vast amount of new truth has been given to the
world. Since the action of the IIoly Spirit in the inspiration of the sacred writers is thus different in kind of result, the inspiration of the sacred writers by the IIoly Spirit, and the illumination by the Iloly Spirit of Christians now, must be different in kind.
Because, again : Only as difference in kind as well as in degree of Divine action in the sacred writers is insisted on, is it possible to hold the Scripture in its proper place as the authoritative rule of faith and practice. Why only to the sacred writers should such degree of Divine influence be given? Why is the canon closed, if inspiration of the sort of the sacred writers is still possible?
And, once more: Because the Scripture itself distinctly assures us that there are diversities of operations by the same Spirit. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
Suppose I say, as I once heard a most intelligent Christian say, that wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is Inspiration. That is true; but it is only true as I make that word Inspiration a word so great and wide that it covers a!l the operations of the Divine Spirit-regeneration, sanctification, illumination, guidance. I cannot say that all these are present whenever the Holy Spirit is present, because, to the regenerate man the Holy Spirit is not present to regenerate, but is present to sanctify. There are differences of ministries. I have no right to make that word Inspiration so wide a one. It is impossible for me to think clearly, or speak clearly, theologically, and do it. There are diversities of operations. “For no prophecy ever came by the will of man; but men spake from God, being moved by the IIoly Ghost” (2 Peter i. 21). ndoa y papii DzónvÖVot05 (2 Tim. iii. 16). The only time the word “inspired” occurs in the Bible it occurs in connec
tion with the word translated Scripture. These passages seem to me plainly to point to a distinct and diverse operation of the IIoly Spirit toward the writers of the Scripture. Both in kind and in degree was the action of the Holy Spirit different and lonely in the Inspiration of the sacred writers.
Said the suffering Sir Walter Scott to his son-in-law, Mr. Lockhart, as Sir Walter lay there, faint and feeble amid the thickly-gathering shadows of his last illness-said he in answer to Mr. Lockhart's question, "What book shall I read to you?” “Why do you ask that question? There is but one book. Bring me the Bible.”
There is but one book; it is the Bible; and it is, and it must remain, the one book, because it, and it alone, has been given by the Inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
THE RELATION OF THE GOSPELS AND THE
J. M. STIFLER,
This topic is somewhat arbitrary. The Bible is one complete organism—the Old and the New Testaments being interlinked and related at every point and page. But this vital connection is not methodical or mechanical. The roots and the limbs of a tree are one, but would be impossible to say what is the peculiar relation of a particular root to a particular branch. The Pentateuch and the Gospels are not specially and peculiarly related. The one stands toward the other just as the entire Old Testament stands toward the New. The parts are related only because the whole is. In discussing, then, the relation between the Pentateuch and the Gospels, it is not intended that their coincidence is special. A part of the subject is considered instead of the whole.
I. The relation through the genealogical tables in Matthew and Luke is more profound than it appears at first sight. The quiet way in which these tables are introduced seems to
say that the histories of the Old Testament are now simply carried a step further, or, if you please, to their sequel and consummation. There is no violent break between the Old Testament and the first page of the New, either in their spirit or subject. The Gospels are primarily concerned about Jesus of Nazareth. And the story of his life is taken up precisely as that of Abraham in the twelfth chapter of Genesis. This chapter is immediately preceded by a table, showing Abraham's descent from Shem. Shem begat Selah, Selah begat Eber, and so on to Nahor, who begat Terah, and Terah lived seventy