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Title: Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford
Author: Burgon, John William, 1813-1888
Language: English
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 $Inspiration and Interpretation:$

 SEVEN SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD:
 WITH PRELIMINARY REMARKS:

 BEING AN ANSWER TO A VOLUME ENTITLED

 "Essays and Reviews."

 BY THE
 REV. JOHN WILLIAM BURGON, M.A.,
 FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE, AND SELECT PREACHER.

       *       *       *       *       *

I CANNOT HOLD MY PEACE, BECAUSE THOU HAST HEARD, O MY SOUL,
THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET, THE ALARM OF WAR.

 Oxford & London:
 J. H. and Jas. PARKER.
 1861.

 $Printed by Messrs. Parker, Cornmarket, Oxford.$


 TO THE REVEREND

 WILLIAM SEWELL, D.D.,

 FELLOW OF EXETER COLLEGE: LATE PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE
 UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD; AND LATE WARDEN OF ST. PETER'S COLLEGE, RADLEY.

       *       *       *       *       *

MY DEAR FRIEND,

Let me have the satisfaction of inscribing this volume to yourself. I
know of no one who has more faithfully devoted himself to the sacred
cause of Christian Education: no one to whom those blessed Truths are
more precious, which of late have been so unscrupulously assailed, and
which the ensuing pages are humbly designed to uphold in their integrity.

Affectionately yours,

JOHN W. BURGON.


       *       *       *       *       *

ΔΕΙ ΓΑΡ ΚΑΙ ἉΙΡΕΣΕΙΣ ἘΝ ὙΜΙΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ, ἹΝΑ ΟΙ ΔΟΚΙΜΟΙ ΦΑΝΕΡΟΙ ΓΕΝΩΝΤΑΙ ἘΝ
ὙΜΙΝ.

Ac si diceret: Ob hoc hæreseôn non statim divinitus eradicantur
auctores, ut probati manifesti fiant; id est, ut unusquisque quam tenax,
et fidelis, et fixus Catholicæ fidei sit amator, appareat. Et revera cum
quæque novitas ebullit, statim cernitur frumentorum gravitas, et levitas
palearum: tunc sine magno molimine excutitur ab areâ, quod nullo pondere
intra aream tenebatur.--VINCENTIUS LIRINENSIS, _Adversus Hæreses_, § 20.



PREFACE.


I am unwilling that this volume should go forth to the world without
some account of its origin and of its contents.

I. Appointed last year, (without solicitation on his part,) to the
office of Select Preacher, the present writer was called upon at the
commencement of the October Term to address the University. His Sermon,
(the first in the volume,) was simply intended to embody the advice
which he had already orally given to every Undergraduate who had sought
counsel at his hands for many years past in Oxford; advice which, to say
the truth, he was almost weary of repeating. Nothing more weighty or
more apposite, at all events, presented itself, for an introductory
address: nor has a review of the current of religious opinion, either
before or since, produced any change of opinion as to the importance of
what was on that first occasion advocated.

Another, and another, and yet another preaching turn unexpectedly
presented itself, in the course of the same Term; and the IInd, IIIrd,
and IVth of the ensuing Sermons, (preached on alternate Sundays,) were
the result. The study of the Bible had been advocated in the first
Sermon; but it was urged from a hundred quarters that a considerable
amount of unbelief prevailed respecting that very Book for which it was
evident that the preacher claimed entire perfection and absolute
supremacy. The singular fallacy of these last days, that Natural
Science, in some unexplained manner, has already demolished,--or is
inevitably destined to demolish[1],--the Book of Divine Revelation,
appeared to be the fallacy which had emerged into most offensive
prominence; and to this, he accordingly addressed himself.--It will not,
surely, be thought by any one who reads the IInd of these Sermons that
its author is so weak as to look with jealousy on the progress of
Physical Science. His alarm does not arise from the cultivation of the
noblest study but one,--viz. the study of GOD'S Works; but from the
prevalent _neglect of the noblest study of all_,--viz. _the study of
GOD'S Word_. His quarrel is not with the Professors of Natural Science,
but with those who are mere _Pretenders_ to it. Moreover, he makes no
secret of his displeasure at the undue importance which has of late been
claimed for Natural Science; and which is sufficiently implied by the
prevalent fashion of naming it without any distinguishing epithet,--as
"Science," absolutely: just as if _Theology_ were not a Science also[2]!

It is not necessary to speak particularly of the contents of the next
two Sermons; except to say that the train of thought thus started
conducted the author inevitably over ground which was already occupied
in the public mind by a volume which had already obtained some
notoriety, and which has since become altogether infamous. Enough of the
contents of that unhappy production I had read to be convinced that in a
literary, certainly in a _Theological_ point of view, it was a most
worthless performance; and I recognized with equal sorrow and alarm that
it was but the matured expression of opinions which had been fostering
for years in certain quarters: opinions which, occasionally, had been
ventilated from the University pulpit; or which had been deliberately
advocated in print[3]; and which it was now hinted were formidably
maintained, and would be found hard to answer. Astonished, (not by any
means for the first time in my life,) at the apathy which seemed to
prevail on questions of such vital moment, I determined at all events
not to be a party to a craven silence; and denounced from the University
pulpit with hearty indignation that whole system of unbelief, (if system
it can be called,) which has been growing up for years among us[4]; and
which, I was and am convinced, must be openly met,--not silently ignored
until the mischief becomes unmanageable: met, too, by building up men
in THE TRUTH: above all, by giving Theological instruction to those who
are destined to become Professors of Theological Science, and are about
to undertake the cure of souls.... In this spirit, I asserted the
opposite fundamental verities; and so, would have been content to
dismiss the "Essays and Reviews" from my thoughts for ever.

But in the meantime, the respectability of the authors of that volume
had attracted to their work an increasing share of notice. An able
article in the 'Westminster Review' first aroused public attention. A
still abler in the 'Quarterly' awoke the Church to a sense of the
enormity of the offence which had been committed. It was not that
_danger_ was apprehended. There could be but one opinion as to the
essential impotence of the attack. But the circumstances which aroused
public indignation were twofold. First,--Here was a _conspiracy_ against
the Faith. Seven Critics had _avowedly combined_ "to illustrate the
advantage derivable to the cause of Religious and Moral Truth from a
free handling, in a becoming spirit, of" what they were pleased to
characterize as "subjects peculiarly liable to suffer by the repetition
of conventional language, and from traditional modes of treatment[5]."
They prefixed to their joint labours the expression of a "hope that
their volume would be received as an attempt" to do this. That their
allusion was to the Creeds, Articles, Book of Common Prayer and
Administration of the Sacraments,--was obvious. Equally obvious was the
_un_-becoming spirit, the arrogance and the hostility,--with which all
those sacred things were handled by those seven writers.

Secondly,--"Essays and Reviews" attracted notice because six of its
authors were _Ministers of the Church of England_. Here were six
Clergymen openly making light of their sacred profession, and apparently
worse than regardless of their Ordination vows. As an infidel but
certainly in this instance most truthful as well as able Reviewer,
remarked concerning the work in question,--"In their ordinary, if not
plain sense, there has been discarded the Word of GOD, the Creation, the
Fall, the Redemption, Justification, Regeneration, and Salvation,
Miracles, Inspiration, Prophecy, Heaven and Hell, Eternal punishment and
a Day of Judgment, Creeds, Liturgies, and Articles, the truth of Jewish
History and of Gospel narrative; a sense of doubt thrown over even the
Incarnation, the Resurrection, and Ascension, the Divinity of the Second
Person, and the personality of the Third. It may be that this is a
_true_ view of Christianity; but we insist, in the name of common sense,
that it is a _new_ view. Surely it is waste of time to argue that it is
agreeable to Scripture, and not contrary to the Canons[6]!"

This twofold phenomenon, which has shocked the public conscience and
perplexed common sense, has been _the sole_ cause of the amount of
attention "Essays and Reviews" has excited. Laymen might have combined
to produce this volume, almost unheeded. An obscure Clergyman might
possibly have published any one of these seven papers; and with a rebuke
for his immorality or his insolence, he would probably have been
unnoticed by the world. But here is a combination of Doctors of
Divinity; Professors; Fellows, nay Heads of Colleges; Instructors of
England's Youth; Teachers of Religion; Chaplains to Royal and noble
personages!

The Jesuitical notice prefixed to the book, (deprecating the idea that
its authors should be held responsible, except severally for their
several articles,) completed the scandal. As if seven men, each armed
with his own appropriate weapon of violence, breaking into a house, and
spreading ruin around them, could "readily be understood," (to quote
their own language,) to incur each a limited responsibility!... Charity
doubtless would have rejoiced to spread her mantle over any one or more
of the number, "who, on seeing the extravagantly vicious manner in which
some of his associates had performed their part, had openly declared his
disgust and abhorrence of such unfaithfulness, and had withdrawn his
name[7],"--with some expression of sorrow for the irreparable mischief
which he had actively helped to occasion. But long before _nine_
editions of "Essays and Reviews" had appeared, it became apparent that
each of the living authors, (for one, alas, has already gone to his
account!) has made himself responsible for the _whole_ work[8]. Nay,
there are some of the number who make no secret of their satisfaction
at what has happened; and seem desirous only that their volume should
obtain a yet wider circulation[9].

"Essays and Reviews," as already stated, with the turn of the year,
experienced a vast increase of notoriety. The entire Bench of Bishops
condemned the book; and both Houses of Convocation endorsed the
Episcopal censure. A very careful perusal of the volume became
necessary; and it proved to be infinitely weaker in point of ability,
infinitely more fatal in point of intention, than could have been
suspected from the known respectability and position of its authors. A
clamour also arose for a Reply to these Seven Champions,--not exactly of
Christendom. "You _condemn_: but why do you not _reply_?"--became quite
a popular form of reproach.

It was useless to urge, in private, such considerations as the
following:--To reply to a volume of 433 pages, each of which contains a
fallacy or a falsity,--while some pages are packed full of both,--is a
serious undertaking.--Besides, the book _has been_ replied to already;
for there is scarcely an objection urged within its pages which was not
better urged, and effectually disposed of, in the last century. Nay,
every good Review of "Essays and Reviews" has _answered_ the book: for
what signify the details, if the fundamental lie has been detected, and
unrelentingly exposed? The man who plants his heel on the serpent's
head, and refuses to withdraw it, can afford to disregard the tortuous
writhings of the long supple body.--Again. These attacks are seven. Must
seven men _with_ "concert and comparison,"--with leisure and inclination
too,--be procured to _demolish_ this flimsy compound of dogmatism and
unbelief? to disperse these cloudy doubts, and to analyse and repel
these many ambiguous statements?--Once more. A fool can assert, and in a
moment, that 'There is no GOD.' But it requires a wise man to refute the
lie; and his refutation will probably demand a volume.--I say, it was in
vain to urge such considerations as these. "Why does no one _reply_ to
these 'Essays and Reviews?'" was asked,--till, I apprehend, pens enough
have been unsheathed to do the work effectually.

It struck me, in the meantime, that I should be employing myself not
unprofitably at such a juncture, if (laying aside all other work for a
month or two) I were to attempt a short reply to the volume in
question, myself; and to combine it with the publication of the Sermons
I had already preached; and which I had the comfort of learning had not
only been favourably received by some of those who heard them, but had
attracted some slight notice outside the University also. Accordingly,
with not a little reluctance, in the month of February I began. The
_Destructive_ part of the argument, I determined to address to the
younger members of my own College,--men with whom I live in daily
intimacy, and on terms of private friendship; and whom, above all, I
desired to protect against the influence of that "moral poison," (as the
Bishop of Exeter describes it,) of which the world has lately heard so
much. The _Constructive_ part of the argument, I resolved to complete as
opportunities might offer, in my Sermons. One such opportunity presented
itself early in Lent; of which I availed myself to establish some
fundamental truths relative to the Interpretation of Holy Writ[10]. By
favour of the Vice Chancellor, the promise of yet another preaching turn
was obtained. It appeared best to avail myself of the opportunity to
consider the chief objections which have been brought against the Bible
from the _marvellous_ character of some of its contents[11]. An
University Sermon preached exactly ten years ago, (on the Doctrine of
Accommodation,) supplied an important link in the argument.... Thus the
unscientific shape in which the present volume appears, is explained;
and its want of exact method is accounted for. Let me add, that but for
the forward state of what I like to regard as the _Constructive_ part
of the present volume,--(and which I am not without a humble hope will
secure for the rest a more than ephemeral interest,)--I should have been
slow indeed to undertake the distasteful task of answering a work of
which I have long since been heartily weary.

II. And now, for a few words on the general question which has called
out these "Sermons" and "Preliminary Remarks."

At the root of the whole mischief of these last days lies _disbelief in
the Bible_ as _the Word of GOD_. This is the fundamental error.
Dangerous enough is it to the moral and intellectual nature of Man, when
the authority of the Church is doubted: or rather, this is _the first_
downward step. Not to believe that Christ bequeathed to His Church a
Divine form of polity: not to believe that He set officers over His
Kingdom, of which He is Himself the sole invisible Head: not to believe
that He invested His Apostles with authority to delegate to others the
Commission He had Himself conveyed to them; and that, by virtue of such
transmitted powers, the Church has authority in the Ministration of
GOD'S Word and Sacraments: not to believe that He vouchsafed to His
Church extraordinary guidance at the first, and that He vouchsafes to
His Church effectual guidance still:--an utter want of faith in the
Church and her Ordinances, is the first step, I repeat, in a soul's
downward progress.

Next comes an impatience of Creeds. It has been falsely asserted by an
Essayist and Reviewer that "Constantine inaugurated the principle of
doctrinal limitation[12];" by which is meant that definitions of Faith
date from the Council of Nicæa, A.D. 325: the truth being that the
famous Oecumenical Council which was then held did but rule the
consubstantiality of the SON with the FATHER: whereas elaborate Creeds
exist of a far earlier date; as all are aware. Creeds indeed are coeval
with Christianity itself[13]. What need to add that when the decree of
the first Oecumenical Council concerning the true faith in the
adorable Trinity has been set at nought, all other decisions of the
Church are disregarded also?

That marvellous concrete fact, the Bible,--has next to be encountered.
Unmethodical as it seems to be, the Bible arrests a man in his impatient
course with many a significant History,--many an unmanageable precept.
Much of its contents, it is true, are of such a nature that they may be
glossed over,--explained away,--ignored,--set aside. The reading is
doubtful: or there are two opinions, (perhaps twenty,) concerning it: or
the language may be figurative: or the words are not to be pressed too
closely: or a perverse logic may pretend to find in it agreeable
confirmation, instead of stern reproof. Not a few places there are,
however, which defy any such handling; stubborn rocks which refuse to
yield a single trace of the wished-for vegetation, in return for the
most determined husbandry. Nothing of the kind ever will or can be made
to germinate upon them. They are absolutely unmanageable, and hopelessly
in the way of the man who is determined to cast off restraint,--whether
spiritual, intellectual, or moral. He is for being lawless; or at
least, without law: but _the Bible_ is unmistakably _an external Law_,
and is opposed to him. The Bible is his enemy, and the Bible claims to
be Divine.... What need to state that to deny the Inspiration of the
Bible, and to undermine its authority, and to explain away its
statements, becomes the next object of the unbeliever? It is precisely
at this stage of his downward progress that public attention is excited,
and public indignation aroused. The Church, (like its Divine Author,)
may be outraged, and few will be found to remonstrate. The Creeds may be
assailed, (especially "one unhappy Creed!"), and it is hinted that these
are speculative matters, on which none should pronounce too
dogmatically. But (thank GOD!) Englishmen yet love their Bible; and
Common Sense is able to see that an uninspired Bible is _no Bible at
all_. At the assault upon the Bible, therefore, as I said, an indignant
outcry is raised,--as _now_.

Systematically to cope with such irreverence, such entire ignorance
rather of all the questions at issue, from the pulpit, would be clearly
impracticable. Men require to be taught "which be the first principles."
They require to be educated in Divinity. And thus we come back to the
fontal source of all the mischief of our own Day. We, in Oxford, give no
systematic training to our Candidates for Holy Orders. We do not even
attempt it. Nay, incredible to relate, _we do not give them any training
at all_. And the fatal consequences of this omission are to be seen on
every side. A youth no sooner gets through "the Schools," and graduates
in Arts, than he inquires for a Curacy. During the three months, perhaps
six, of interval, he makes himself sufficiently acquainted with the
Alphabet of Divinity to enable him to satisfy the very modest
requirements of the Bishop's examination; after which he finds himself
at once actively engaged in the Bishopric of souls and the profession of
Theology. It is probable that the realities of the Ministerial calling,
and the eminently practical nature of such an one's daily life, will
keep _this_ man from error. Not so his--more, shall I say, or
less?--fortunate fellow-student; who, by hard self-relying labour,
having obtained distinction in the Schools, finds himself in the
enjoyment of a fellowship, and straightway engages in the work of
tuition. This man, whose fellowship is his "title" for orders, studies
Divinity, or neglects it, at pleasure: and if he studies it, he studies
it in his own way. He has read a little of heathen Ethics with great
care; or he has trained himself to the exactness of mathematical
inference. With the purest idiom of ancient Greece he has also made
himself very familiar. He is besides a Master of Arts. What need to add
that such an one is not therefore a Master of _Divinity_? possesses no
qualification which authorizes him to dogmatize about any one department
of _Theological Science_?

The plain truth is, (and it is really better to speak plainly,)--the
plain truth is, that the offensive Sermons one sometimes hears from the
University pulpit,--the offensive Essays and Reviews which have lately
occasioned so much public scandal,--are the work of men who discuss that
which they do not understand; profess that which they were never, at
any time of their life, taught. Their method of handling a text is
altogether unique and extraordinary. Their remarks concerning Divine
things are even puerile. Their very citations of Scripture are
incorrect. Their cool affectation of superiority of knowledge, their
claim to intellectual power, would be laughable, were the subject less
solemn and important. Speculations so feeble that they sound like the
cries of an infant in the dark, are insinuated to be the sublime views
of a bold and original thinker, who _"has by a Divine help been enabled
to plant his foot somewhere beyond the waves of Time!"_--Doubts so badly
expressed that they read like the confused utterance of one in his
sleep, claim to be regarded as the legacy of one who is about to
_"depart hence before the natural term, worn out with intellectual
toil[14]!"_ ... In a word,--Men who have never been taught and trained,
but have grown up in a miserable self-evolved system of their
own,--(with a little of Hegel, and a little of Schleiermacher, and a
little of Strauss,)--cannot _but_ trouble the peace of the Church. They
deny her authority. (They are not aware of her claims.) They cavil at
her Creeds. (They are not acquainted with their history.) They doubt the
authenticity of the very Bible. (They know wondrous little about
it.)--How did the Bible attain its actual shape? They cannot tell. How
has it been guarded? They are careless to inquire. How does it come to
us as 'the Bible,'--_the_ Book of all books? It is best not to discuss a
question which must infallibly bring forward _the Church_ as "a witness
and a keeper of Holy Writ[15]." Men are even impatient to publish their
private prejudice that it is to be interpreted like any other book; that
it is inspired in no other sense than Sophocles and Plato. "The
principle of private judgment," (it is said,) "puts Conscience between
us and the Bible, making Conscience _the supreme interpreter[16]_."
"Hence," it is said, "we use the Bible,--some consciously, some
unconsciously,--not to override, but to evoke the voice of Conscience."
(p. 44.) "The Book of this Law," (as Hooker phrases it,) is dethroned;
and Man usurps the vacant seat, and becomes a Law unto himself! GOD
Himself is dethroned, in effect; and Man becomes his own god.

To cope systematically with all this from the University pulpit, as
already remarked, is plainly impossible. The preacher must take up the
question at some definite stage, and arrest the false teachers _there_.
"That wicked,"--or rather "THE LAWLESS ONE," (ὁ ἄνομος, as he is
called in 2 Thess. ii. 8,)--must be bound, hand and foot, _somewhere_ in
his career of lawlessness; and in these Sermons _the threshold of the
Bible_ has been chosen as the place for the conflict. My life for his
life. I will slay or be slain on the very portal of Holy Scripture. With
the young, you begin at the beginning,--"the Creed, the LORD'S Prayer,
the Ten Commandments;" and they must be further instructed in the Church
Catechism. But the foundation cannot be laid afresh with the full-grown.
It is idle to talk about the authority of _the Church_ to men who do not
believe in the Bible. It is useless to dispute about Creeds with men
who know nothing of the origin and history of Christianity. Reserving
the _true_ method of teaching for those who alone are capable of being
taught, we are constrained to argue with men of full age about _the
Inspiration and Interpretation of the Bible_.--If in the ensuing Sermons
the principles handled are so very elementary, it is because the
available limits were so very narrow,--while the field over which
Unbelief has spread itself, is so very broad.

III. When a few words have been added concerning the manner in which I
have executed my task, this Preface shall be brought to a close.--If the
style of the present SERMONS,--considering the auditory, and above all
considering the subject,--shall be thought by competent judges not
sufficiently dignified in parts, I will bow to their decision without
remonstrance. Everybody can divine the defence which would be set up;
but perhaps it may not be quite a valid defence. A man feels strongly
and warmly; writes fast and freely; is determined to be clearly
understood: is weary of the dignified conventionalities under which
Scepticism loves to conceal itself when it comes abroad. Perhaps some
expressions which may be permitted in delivery, ought to be remodelled
when a Sermon is sent to the press.

But with regard to the ensuing PRELIMINARY REMARKS, I shall not so
easily be persuaded to think that I am mistaken as to the style in which
Essayists and Reviewers are to be dealt with[17]. Some respectable
persons, I doubt not, will think my treatment of them harsh and
uncharitable. I invite them to consider that we do not expect blasphemy
from Ministers of the Gospel,--irreligion from the teachers of
youth,--infidelity from the Professor's chair: nor are we called upon to
tolerate it either. I have the misfortune to concur entirely with the
verdict pronounced by the Bishop of Exeter on the subject of 'Essays and
Reviews.' Let those who feel little jealousy for GOD'S honour measure
out in grains their censure of a volume, the confessed tendency of which
is to sap the foundation of Faith, and to introduce irreligion with a
flood-tide. Such shall not, at all events, be _my_ method. Private
regard, if it is to weigh largely with him who stands up for GOD'S
Truth, should first have weighed a little with those by whom it has been
most grievously outraged. It may suit these Authors to wrap up their
shameful meaning in a cloud of words; but their Reviewer avails himself
of that Christian liberty to which they themselves so systematically lay
claim, mercilessly to uncover their baseness, and uncompromisingly to
denounce it. If I may declare my mind freely, punctilious courtesy in
dealing with such opinions, becomes a species of treason against Him
after whose Name we are called, and whom we profess to serve. Seven men
may combine to handle the things of GOD, it seems, in the most
outrageous manner; while _themselves_ are to be the objects of
consideration, tenderness, respect! I cannot see their title to any
consideration at all.

It will be found, it is hoped, that when these writers have the courage
to descend to argument, _there_ I have gladly met them on their own
ground, and sought to refute them: but _to reason_ is no part of their
plan. Unsupported dicta on every subject on which they treat: doubts
promiscuously insinuated, but never once openly and honestly maintained:
cool assumptions of intellectual superiority for themselves and their
infidel allies: contemptuous allusions to the names which the
respectable part of mankind agrees to hold in honour: foul imputations
against the honesty of the Clergy:--_this_ is all their method! The
favourite _cant_ of these writers is, that no one should shrink from
free discussion, or fear the results of Criticism. Why then do not they
themselves criticize? Why do not _they_ reason? Charity herself after
weighing these Essays carefully has no alternative but to assume that
the Authors either have not the courage, or that they lack the ability,
to descend to a free discussion, and risk all on a stand-up fight. A
kind of guerilla warfare: half a dozen arrows, and a hasty retreat:
_such_ is their mode of attack! But this method, though it may occasion
annoyance, is quite unworthy of an honest inquirer, and never can be
decisive of anything. It is the cowardly expedient of men who shrink
from scrutiny, and dread exposure. Nothing so easy, for example, as to
repeat the old commonplace about "irreconcileable discrepancies" in the
"Synoptical Gospels:" but why, instead, are we not told, _which these
irreconcileable discrepancies are_? For my own part, I freely renew in
this place the challenge I gave in my IIIrd Sermon[18]. Let any one of
these Gentlemen publicly and definitely lay his finger on one or more
of these contradictory statements in the Gospels, during term-time; and
within a week I hereby undertake publicly to refute him in the Divinity
School of this University: and our peers shall be our judges.

Gentlemen who come abroad in the fashion above described, have no right
to complain if they encounter rough usage on the road. When Critics are
clamorous for the "free handling" of Divine Truth, they must not be
surprised to find themselves freely handled too. If free discussion is
to be the order of the day, then let there be free discussion of "Essays
and Reviews," _as well as of_ THE BIBLE. Six Clergymen of the Church of
England who enter upon a crusade against the Faith of the Church of
England must not be astonished if they are looked upon in the light of
immoral characters, and treated as such. Accordingly, I have handled
_them_ just as freely as _they_ have handled the Prophets, Apostles, and
Evangelists of CHRIST.

I cannot therefore pretend to offer anything in extenuation of the style
in which I have examined the statements of these Essayists and
Reviewers. Perfectly sensible as I am of the gracefulness of highly
courteous language in controversial writing, I will not so far violate
my own conviction of what is right as to bandy compliments on such an
occasion as _this_. This is no literary misunderstanding, or I could
have been amicable enough: no private or personal matter, or I could
have flung it from me with unconcern. No other than an attempt to
destroy Man's dearest hopes, is this infamous book: no other than an
insult, the grossest imaginable, offered to the Majesty of Heaven; an
attack, the more foul because it is so insidious, against the
Everlasting Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. In such a cause I will _not_ so far
give in to the smooth fashion of a supple and indifferent age, as to pay
these seven writers a single compliment which they will care to accept.
The most foolish composition of the seven is Dr. Temple's; the most
mischievous is Professor Jowett's: but the germ of the last Essay is
contained in the first; the foolishness of the first Essay is abundantly
shared by the last: while the evidence of correspondence of sentiment
between the two writers is unmistakable. The most unphilosophical Essay,
(where _all_ are unphilosophical,) is Professor Powell's: the most
insolent, Dr. Williams': the most immoral, Mr. Wilson's: the most
shallow, Mr. Goodwin's; the most irrelevant, Mr. Pattison's. Not one of
these writers shews himself capable of recognizing the true logical
result of his own opinions: of drawing from his own premisses their one
inevitable issue. Not one of them has had the manliness to _speak out_,
and to _say plainly_ what he means. They seem to deny the Divinity of
CHRIST, and the Personality of the HOLY GHOST: but how reluctant is a
reader to believe that they really _mean_ it! Quite inevitable is it
that these clerical critics must choose between two alternatives. Either
they hold opinions which make it impossible that they should retain
Orders in the Church of England, and yet be honest men; or they have
expressed themselves with such culpable inaccuracy and ambiguity, as
shews that they are altogether incompetent to handle the Science of
Theology.--Gladly would one give them the benefit of a third
alternative: but I see not that any remains.

If it should be thought strange that one thinking so meanly of 'Essays
and Reviews' should have produced a yet larger volume in reply to them,
it must suffice to point out that the refutation of a fallacy is almost
of necessity the ampler writing.--Or again, if it be remarked that by
far the largest part of what I have written is directed against the
hundred pages of Professor Jowett, the explanation is still obvious. For
not only does that concluding Essay of his bring to a terribly practical
issue the speculative doubts and difficulties which had been started by
all his predecessors; (namely, doubts as to (1) the relation in which
the Bible stands to Man;--(2) the nature of Prophecy;--(3) the reality
of Miracles;--(4) the worth of Creeds and formularies;--(5) the
authenticity of Genesis;--(6) the basis on which Revelation is by the
Church of England supposed to rest;)--by proposing that we should
henceforth regard the Bible as a book _no otherwise inspired than
Sophocles and Plato_:--not only does Professor Jowett's essay discharge
this fatal office; but his style is somewhat peculiar; and what he says,
cannot always be effectually disposed of by a few words. Let me explain.

There is a certain form of fallacy of statement in which this
Gentleman's writings abound, which calls aloud for notice and signal
reprobation. He has a marvellous aptitude, (one would fain hope through
some intellectual infirmity,) of connecting together in the same
sentence two or three clauses; one or two of which shall be true as
Heaven, while the other is false as Hell. The reply to such a sentence
is impossible, without many words,--far more than Mr. Jowett's sentences
commonly deserve.--Sometimes he strings together several heads of
thought; of which enumeration the kindest thing which can be said is
that it betrays an utter want of intellectual perspective. To unravel
even a part of this tangled web so as to expose its argumentative
worthlessness, soon fills a page.... But there is another kind of
fallacy which the same gentleman wields with immense effect, and in the
use of which he is a great master; which, because it was absolutely
impossible to handle it fitly in the proper place, shall be briefly
adverted to, here. I proceed to describe it not without indignation; for
I am profoundly struck by the intellectual perversity, not to say the
moral obliquity, which has so entirely made this vile instrument its
own.

The fallacy then is of this nature. When Professor Jowett would put
forth something especially deserving of reprehension,--some sentiment or
opinion which he either knows, or ought to know, that the whole Church
will resent with unqualified abhorrence,--he assumes a plaintive manner,
and puts himself into an interesting attitude; sometimes even folds his
hands, as if in prayer. He then begins by (1) throwing out a remark of
real beauty, and so conciliating for himself an indulgent hearing; or
(2) he goes off on some Moral question, and so defeats attention; or
(3) he delivers himself of some undeniable truth, and so disarms
censure; or (4) he says something of an entirely equivocal kind, and so
leaves his reader at fault. Candour, of course, gives him the benefit of
the doubt. It is not till the sentence is well advanced, or till it is
examined by the fatal light of its context, that one is shewn what the
ambiguous writer really was intending. A cloven foot appears at last;
but it is instantly withdrawn, with a shuffle; and you experience a
scowl or a sneer, as the case may be, for your extreme unkindness in
inquiring whether it was not a cloven foot you saw?... Meanwhile, the
learned Professor has gone off _in alia omnia_, with a look of
earnestness which challenges respect, and a vagueness of diction which
at once discourages pursuit and defeats inquiry. The fish invariably
ends by disappearing in a cloud of his own ink.

It shall suffice to have said thus much. These pages must now be
suffered to go forth; not without a hearty aspiration that a blessing
may attend them from Him _sine Quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum_;
and that what was intended for the strength and help of those who want
helping and strengthening, (I am thinking particularly of what has been
offered on the subject of Inspiration,) may not prove misleading or
perplexing to any.

_Oriel, June 24th, 1861._

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The reader is invited to refer to the passages cited in the present
volume, at pp. lxxxvii. and lxxxviii.

[2] See p. 47 to p. 50. Also Appendix (B.)

[3] In illustration of what is meant, may be particularized a highly
objectionable Sermon which Dr. Temple preached before the University
some years ago, and which occasioned no small offence to many who heard
it,--as all in Oxford well remember. It was almost as unsound as the
same writer's Essay "On the Education of the World," which, to the best
of my remembrance, it strongly resembled.--A printed Sermon by Dr.
Temple may also be referred to, "preached on Act-Sunday, July 1, 1860,
before the University of Oxford, during the Meeting of the British
Association," entitled _"The present Relations of Science to
Religion."_--Professor Jowett's handling of the Doctrine of the
Atonement, needs only to be referred to.

[4] Page 80 to 82.

[5] "To the Reader," prefixed to _Essays and Reviews_.

[6] 'Neo-Christianity' in the _Westminster Review_, No. 36.--How true is
what follows:--"The Bible is one; and it is too late now to propose to
divide it. We shall only point out that the _moral value of the Gospel
teaching becomes suspicious_ when the whole miraculous element is
discarded.

"We certainly do think that the Gospels assert a miraculous Incarnation,
Resurrection, and Ascension; and that the Epistles teach Original Sin,
and a vicarious Sacrifice. If this be doubted by our authors, it is
sufficient for us to say that such is the impression they have created
on all ages of Christians."

"We desire that if the Bible, or any part of it be retained as Holy
Writ, it be defended as a miraculous gift to Man, and not by distorting
the principles of modern Science. Let the Essayists be assured that
there exists _no middle course_; that there is no Inspiration more than
is natural, yet not supernatural; _no Theology which can abandon its
doctrines and retain its authority_."

Lastly, with what sickening and almost Satanic power, does the same
writer invite the Essayists and Reviewers to make shipwreck of their
souls in the following terrible passage. And yet, who sees not that _on
their principles_ absolute and professed unbelief is _inevitable_? He
says:--"How long shall this last? Until men have the courage to bury
their dead convictions out of sight, and the greater courage to form
new. All honour to these writers for the boldness with which they have,
at great risk, urged their opinions. _But what is wanted is strength_
not merely to face the world, but _to face one's own conclusions_. We
know the cost. It must be endured. Let each who has thought and felt for
himself, ask himself first what he _does not_ believe, and then, if wise
or needful, avow it. Next let him ask himself what he _does_ believe,
and pursue it to its true and full conclusions. Neither loose
accommodation nor sonorous principles will long give them rest. It is of
as little use to surrender the more glaring contradictions of Science as
it is to evaporate discredited doctrine into a few vague precepts. That
end will not be attained by our authors by subliming Religion into an
emotion, and making an armistice with Science. It will not be obtained
by any unreal adaptation; _nor by this, which is, of all recent
adaptations_, at once the most able, the most earnest, and _the most
suicidal_."

[7] The Bishop of Exeter to Dr. Temple.

[8] The Bishop of Manchester exactly expressed the general opinion, when
he said,--"Nor will I for a single moment, however my personal feelings
might interfere, conceal my deliberate conviction that every partner in
that work is equally guilty."--(_Guardian_, Ap. 10, 1861, p. 341.) But
the most faithful language of all came from the Bishop of Exeter in his
crushing reply to an inquiry put to him by Dr. Temple. "I avow that I
hold every one of the seven persons acting together for such an object
to be alike responsible for the several acts of every individual among
them in executing their avowed common purpose."

[9] A letter from Dr. Rowland Williams, which has appeared in the
newspapers, contains the following language with reference to the
American reprint of "Essays and Reviews:"--"I confess myself personally
gratified that my own work, and that of my far more distinguished
coadjutors, with whom it is sufficient honour for me to be included in
the same volume, should have obtained the honour of a reprint in another
hemisphere. Still more would I hail the circumstance as an auspicious
token of the sympathy which should prevail between kindred nations, as
regards subjects of the highest import, and as a sign of the prospects
of Christian freedom beyond the Atlantic....

"I have not yet discovered any community or individual possessing the
right to cast the first stone at those who interpret the Bible in
freedom, and who subordinate its letter to its spirit, or its parts to
its whole. Even if Holy Scripture were, as is popularly fancied, the
foundation,--and not, as I believe, the expression and the memorial,--of
Religious Truth in man, it would be absurd to render it honours
essentially different from those which it claims for itself, or to make
it a master, where it claims only to be a servant."

[10] Serm. V.

[11] See Sermon VII.

[12] _Essays and Reviews_, p. 166.

[13] See p. clxxvii. to p. clxxxiii.

[14] Mr. Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, p. 433.

[15] Article XX.

[16] _Essays and Reviews_, p. 45.

[17] It should perhaps be stated that the edition of "Essays and
Reviews" which I have employed is _the Third_ (1860.)

[18] pp. 72-3.



 CONTENTS.


 DEDICATION.

 PREFACE.  I. Some account of the present Volume.

          II. Growth of irreligious Opinion.

         III. 'Essayists and Reviewers' to be as 'freely-handled'
              as the Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles of
              CHRIST.

 TABLE OF CONTENTS.

 PRELIMINARY REMARKS ON "ESSAYS AND REVIEWS."                         PAGE

   I. Examination of the contribution of Rev. F. Temple, D.D.          ii

  II.                  Rev. Rowland Williams, D.D.                    xxx

 III.                  Rev. Professor Baden Powell, M.A.             xlvi

  IV.                  Rev. H. B. Wilson, M.A.                       lxiv

   V.                  C. W. Goodwin, M.A.                         lxxxvi

  VI.                  Rev. Mark Pattison, B.D.                      cxii

 VII.                  Rev. Professor Jowett, M.A.                 cxxxix

  In what sense Mr. Jowett's fundamental principle, (that
    "Scripture is to be interpreted like any other book,") may
    be cheerfully accepted                                            cxl

  Mr. Jowett's main assertion that "Scripture has one and only
    one true meaning," shewn to be founded on his assumption
    that the Bible is _uninspired_,--"like any other book"          cxlii

  1. Eight Characteristics of the Bible enumerated, which shew
    that it is _unlike_ "any other book"                               cl

  But the distinctive characteristic of the Bible, is, that _it
    professes to be the work of the HOLY GHOST_                       clx

  Mr. Jowett's syllogism corrected, in consequence                  clxii

  2. Mr. Jowett's proposal accepted, that we should "Interpret
    Scripture from itself." Notion of _Interpretation_ obtained
    from the volume of _Inspiration_                                clxii

  3. In addition to the testimony of Scripture, we have to
    consider the testimony of Antiquity                             clxix

  Remarks on primitive Patristic Interpretation                      clxx

  This part of the subject misunderstood by Mr. Jowett            clxxiii

  Remarks on primitive Tradition.--The Creeds, the records of
    Primitive Christianity                                        clxxvii

  This part of the subject also misunderstood by Mr. Jowett        clxxix

  4. Examination of some of Mr. Jowett's reasons for rejecting
    that method of Interpretation which has been (=1=)
    Established by our LORD; (=2=) Employed by His Apostles;
    (=3=) Universally adopted by the primitive Church; and (=4=)
    Accepted by the most learned and judicious of modern
    Commentators                                                  clxxxvi

  The peroration of Mr. Jowett's Essay examined and commented on     ccvi

  Retrospect of the entire subject                                  ccxvi

  Conclusion                                                      ccxxvii


SERMON I.

  ST. JOHN vi. 68. _LORD, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the
    words of Eternal Life._

  THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE RECOMMENDED; AND A METHOD OF STUDYING
    IT DESCRIBED.

  The Gospel, as a written message, meets with the same
    reception at the hands of the World now, as in the days of
    the Son of Man                                                      1

  Some points of analogy between the Written and the Incarnate
    WORD                                                                2

  Difficulties and seeming contradictions in the Gospel                 3

  Unattractive aspect.--Union of the Human and Divine                   4

  The Bible is generally little read.--Its preciousness                 6

  The age unlearned as well as unfaithful                               7

  Want of preparation for the Ministry.--The question of
    preparation narrowed to the duty of studying the Bible              8

  Conditions of successful Study:--a fixed time for reading the
    Bible, and a fixed quantity to be read                              9

  Vigilance, and independent inquiry                                   10

  Consecutive reading.--The first chapter of Genesis                   11

  Nothing to be skipped.--Result of such a method                      12

  The Bible is to be read, not in the same manner, but with at
    least the same attention, as a merely human work                   13

  A caution                                                            14

  Men not competent to make their own Religion out of the Bible        16

  The advantages of such a study of the Bible as has been here
    recommended, explained                                             17


SERMON II.

  HEBREWS xi. 3. _Through Faith, we understand that the worlds
    were framed by the Word of GOD._

  NATURAL SCIENCE AND THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE.

  Special act of Faith assigned to ourselves in Hebrews xi.            23

  The first Chapter of Genesis considered: Verse 1                     24

  Province of Geology                                                  26

  The Work of the First Day                                            28

  --------------- Second and the Third Day                             29

  --------------- Fourth and the Fifth Day                             30

  --------------- Sixth Day                                            31

  The Mosaic History of the Creation true                              33

  Objections considered                                                34

  Speech ascribed to GOD                                               35

  Adam's knowledge                                                     36

  The first pair.--The days of Creation real days                      37

  Objections of pretenders to Natural Science                          39

  The plea that the Bible is not a scientific book                     40

  The historical truth of the Bible insisted upon                      44

  Natural Science not undervalued                                      46

  The term "Science" not to be opposed to "Theology"                   47

  Theology the Queen of Sciences                                       48


SERMON III.

  2 TIM. iii. 16. _All Scripture is given by inspiration of
    GOD._

  INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE.--GOSPEL DIFFICULTIES.--THE WORD OF
    GOD INFALLIBLE.--OTHER SCIENCES SUBORDINATE TO THEOLOGICAL
    SCIENCE.

  The meaning of 2 Tim. iii. 16                                        53

  St. Paul nowhere disclaims Inspiration                               54

  Holy Scripture is attributed in Scripture to the HOLY GHOST          56

  Forms of unbelief concerning Inspiration                             57

  Impertinence of the modern way of speaking of the Evangelists        60

  Supposed inaccuracies, slips of memory, misstatements                61

  The Gospels not _four_ but _One_                                     62

  A principle laid down for the reconcilement of all Gospel
    difficulties                                                       63

  Illustration from a supposed case of testimony                       64

  Computation of the hours in St. John's Gospel                        66

  The accounts of the blind man restored to sight at Jericho,
    harmonized                                                         67

  Characteristics of an Inspired narrative                             68

  The mention of "Jeremy the prophet," and of Cyrenius,
    considered                                                         70

  Faultlessness of the Gospel                                          72

  Absurdity of the common allegations against it                       73

  The absolute Infallibility of Scripture maintained                   74

  Every syllable of Holy Scripture inspired                            75

  The nature of Inspiration illustrated                                76

  Theology, the noblest of the Sciences                                79

  Insubordination in these last days of Physical Science               80

  The infidel spirit of the Age, protested against                     81

  Theological Science can never be called upon to give way
    before Physical Science                                            83

  Relations of Morals to Theology                                      84

  Conscience and the Moral Sense have been informed afresh by
    Revelation                                                         87


SERMON IV.

  ST. JOHN xvii. 17. _Thy Word is Truth._

  THE PLENARY INSPIRATION OF EVERY PART OF THE BIBLE, VINDICATED
    AND EXPLAINED.--NATURE OF INSPIRATION.--THE TEXT OF
    SCRIPTURE.

  Cavils against the Bible                                             92

  Absolute infallibility of every 'jot' and every 'tittle' of
    Holy Scripture                                                     94

  The popular view of Inspiration stated                               95

  No middle state between Inspiration and non-inspiration              96

  The popular theory applied and tested                                96

  A different view of the nature and office of Inspiration
    stated                                                            100

  Inspiration still the same, however diverse the subject-matter      102

  What is meant by 'a Prophet'                                        104

  The message still GOD'S, whatever its nature may be                 106

  Note of Inspiration in the Historical Books of the Bible            108

  The Title on the Cross                                              109

  Remonstrance                                                        110

  Theories of Inspiration to be rejected                              115

  Remarks on the nature of Inspiration                                116

  Proof that men generally hold that _the words_ of Scripture
    are inspired                                                      117

  Absolute irrelevancy of objections drawn from _the state of
    the Text_ of Scripture                                            118

  The Substance of Scripture inseparable from the Form                120

  Antichristian spirit of the age                                     121

  The Study of Scripture in a childlike spirit recommended            122


SUPPLEMENT TO SERMON IV.

  A favourite view of Inspiration stated                              126

  Vagueness of this theory                                            127

  The theory practically tested, and found unmanageable               128

  Further examination of the theory                                   132

  Our SAVIOUR'S reasoning as difficult as that of St. Paul            134


SERMON V.

  ST. MATTHEW iv. 4. _It is written, Man shall not live by bread
    alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of
    GOD._

  INTERPRETATION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.--INSPIRED
    INTERPRETATION.--THE BIBLE IS NOT TO BE INTERPRETED LIKE ANY
    OTHER BOOK.--GOD, (NOT MAN,) THE REAL AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE.


  Interpretation described                                            140

  Three sources of Interpretation compared                            141

  Eusebius on "the Captain of the LORD'S Host"                        143

  The principle must be ascertained, on which Inspiration is to
    be conducted                                                      144

  How this is to be done                                              145

  This question may not be needlessly encumbered with
    difficulties                                                      147

  The HOLY SPIRIT'S method of Interpretation must be the _true_
    method                                                            148

  Specimens of Inspired Interpretation                                149

  The very narrative of Scripture mysterious                          152

  Divine exposition of the history of Melchizedek                     152

  Further proofs of the mysterious texture of Holy Scripture          156

  Moses wrote concerning CHRIST                                       157

  Two propositions established by the foregoing inquiry: (1) That
    the Bible is _not to be interpreted like any other book_:
    (2) That _the meaning of Scripture is not always only one_        160

  Scripture to be interpreted literally                               160

  The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife remarked upon               162

  The Bible is the Word of GOD                                        163

  Bishop Butler on Inspiration                                        165

  Unbelief remonstrated with from the analogy of Nature and of
    Providence                                                        168

  How the inspired writers may be supposed to have understood
    what they delivered                                               171

  The question of Interpretation not be argued on _à priori_
    grounds                                                           173

  Interpretation would be hopeless, but that the fountain of
    Inspiration is _one_                                              174

  An apology for these Sermons                                        177

  Exhortation to transmit the Faith                                   180


SERMON VI.

  ROMANS x. 6-9. _But the Righteousness which is of Faith
    speaketh on this wise,--'Say not in thine heart, Who shall
    ascend into Heaven?' (that is, to bring CHRIST down from
    above:) or, 'Who shall descend into the deep?' (that is, to
    bring up CHRIST again from the dead.) But what saith it?
    'The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thine
    heart:' that is, the word of Faith, which we preach; that if
    thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD JESUS, and shalt
    believe in thine heart that GOD hath raised Him from the
    dead, thou shalt be saved._

  THE DOCTRINE OF ARBITRARY SCRIPTURAL ACCOMMODATION CONSIDERED.

  Many insidious methods of denying the Inspiration of Scripture      184

  The most subtle method of all, characterized                        185

  The term "Accommodation" not in itself objectionable                187

  Arbitrary Accommodation explained                                   188

  Reasons for rejecting this theory                                   189

  Learned research proves that the theory is gratuitous               190

  St. Paul's exposition of a passage in Deuteronomy xxx, (Rom.
    x. 6 to 9,) proposed for examination                              191

  License of Inspired quotation                                       194

  How the phenomenon is to be regarded                                195

  St. Paul's exposition examined by the light of unassisted
    Reason                                                            198

  Shewn not to be an instance of arbitrary Accommodation, but of
    genuine Interpretation                                            211

  The success or failure of such inquiries, unimportant               212

  No "Accommodation" when an inspired writer quotes Scripture         213

  Remarks on Inspired Reasoning                                       215


SERMON VII.

  ST. MARK xii. 24. _Do ye not therefore err, because ye know
    not the Scriptures, neither the power of GOD._

  THE MARVELS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE,--MORAL AND PHYSICAL.--JAEL'S
    DEED DEFENDED.--MIRACLES VINDICATED.

  Sadduceeism of the day                                              221

  The Moral and Physical Marvels of Scripture proposed for
    consideration                                                     222

  Moral Marvels:--Jael.--How her story is to be read                  223

  History of Jael. Her conduct explained and defended                 224

  Jacob,--the Canaanites,--Abraham,--David                            230

  Physical Marvels:--The greatest of those in the Old Testament
    are witnessed to in the New                                       232

  Design of the quotations in Holy Scripture                          234

  Dr. Arnold and the Book of Daniel                                   235

  Miracles are not to be called violations, &c. of Nature             237

  Law in relation to GOD                                              238

  An objectionable Theory of Miracles exposed                         239

  Bishop Butler on Miracles                                           240

  Miracles may be pared down, but cannot be explained away            242

  "Ideology" applied to the explanation of Miracles                   243

  Ideology explained and exposed                                      245

  The Resurrection of CHRIST the foundation-truth of
    Christianity                                                      248

  False and true Charity                                              250

  A parting Exhortation                                               252


APPENDIX.


  A  _Bishop Horsley on the double sense of Prophecy_                 257

  B  _Bishop Pearson on Theological Science_                          258

  C  _The Bible an instrument of Man's probation_                     260

  D  _St. Stephen's statement in Acts vii. 15, 16, explained_         261

  E  _The simplest view of Inspiration the truest and the best_       265

  F  _The written and the Incarnate Word_                             267

  G  _The volume of the Old Testament Scriptures, indivisible_        268

  I  _Remarks on Theories of Inspiration.--The 'Human Element'_       269

  J  _How the Inspired Authors of the New Testament handle
        the writings of the Inspired Authors of the Old_              271

  K  _Bishop Bull on Deuteronomy_ xxx                                 273

  L  _Opinions of commentators concerning Accommodation_              277



 PRELIMINARY REMARKS

 ON A VOLUME ENTITLED

 "ESSAYS AND REVIEWS:"

 ADDRESSED TO THE

 UNDERGRADUATE MEMBERS OF ORIEL COLLEGE.


My Friends,--I have determined to address to yourselves the present
remarks; their subject, a volume which has recently obtained such a
degree of notoriety that it is almost superfluous even to specify it by
name.

With unfeigned reluctance do I mix myself up in this strife; but the
course of events, when I first took up my pen, left me almost without an
alternative. Far more reluctant should I be to seem to make yourselves
the arbiters of Theological controversy. But in truth nothing is further
from my present intention. As a plain matter of fact, you are called
upon weekly, at St. Mary's, to listen to Sermons which indicate plainly
enough the troubled state of the religious atmosphere; and which, of
late, (too frequently alas!) have inevitably assumed a controversial
aspect. The Sermons here published, (which form the constructive part of
the present volume,) were preached expressly with an eye to _your_
advantage, and were intended to warn you against (what I deemed) a very
serious danger. It is only natural therefore that I should desire to
address to yourselves the present remarks likewise. _You_ are,
naturally, objects of special solicitude to myself in this place,--you,
with whom I live as among friends, and for not a few of whom I entertain
a sincere affection. And in addressing you, I am not by any means
inviting you to exercise your own theological judgment; for _that_ would
indeed be an absurd proceeding. I am simply seeking to instruct you, and
to guide you with mine.

The case of "Essays and Reviews" is, in fact, altogether
exceptional,--whether the respectability of its authors, the wickedness
of its contents, or the reception which it has met with, is considered.
That volume embodies the infidel spirit of the present day. Turn where
you will, you encounter some criticism upon it. No advertizing column
but contains repeated mention of its name. To ignore so flagrant a
scandal to the Church, is quite impossible. I have thought it better,
therefore, to encounter the danger in this straightforward way; and I
proceed, without further preamble, to remark briefly on each of the
Seven "Essays and Reviews," in order.

I. The feeblest essay in the volume is the first. It is not without
grave concern that I transcribe the name of its amiable, and (in every
relation of private life) truly excellent author,--"FREDERICK TEMPLE,
D.D., Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen; Head Master of Rugby School;
Chaplain to the Earl of Denbigh." Under the imposing title of "THE
EDUCATION OF THE WORLD," we are presented with a worthless allegory,
which has all the faults of a schoolboy's theme, (incorrect grammar
included;) and not one of the excellencies which ought to characterize
the product of a ripened understanding,--the work of a Doctor of
Divinity in the English Church[19].

Dr. Temple's opening speculations are at once unintelligible,
irrelevant, and untrue. But they are immaterial; and serve only to lug
in, (not to introduce,) the assumption that the "power, whereby the
present ever gathers into itself the results of the past, transforms the
human race into a colossal man whose life reaches from the Creation to
the day of Judgment. The successive generations of men are days in this
man's life. The discoveries and inventions which characterize the
different epochs of the world's history are his works. The creeds and
doctrines, the opinions and principles of the successive ages, are his
thoughts." [Alas, that the Creeds and Doctrines of the Church should be
spoken of by a Professor of Divinity as the "thoughts" of men!] "The
state of society at different times are (_sic_) his manners. He grows
in knowledge, in self-control, in visible size, just as we do. And his
education is in the same way and for the same reason precisely similar
to ours. All this is no figure, but only a compendious statement of a
very comprehensive fact." (p. 3.) "We may then," (he repeats,) "rightly
speak of a childhood, a youth, and a manhood of the world." (p. 4.) And
the process of this development of the colossal man, "corresponds, stage
by stage, with the process by which the infant is trained for youth, and
the youth for manhood. This training has three stages. In childhood, we
are subject to positive rules which we cannot understand, but are bound
implicitly to obey. In youth we are subject to the influence of example,
and soon break loose from all rules, unless illustrated and enforced by
the higher teaching which example imparts. In manhood we are
comparatively free from external restraints, and if we are to learn,
must be our own instructors. First comes the Law, then the Son of Man,
then the Gift of the Spirit. The world was once a child under tutors and
governors until the time appointed by the Father. Then, when the fit
season had arrived, the Example to which all ages should turn was sent
to teach men what they ought to be. Then the human race was left to
itself, to be guided by the teaching of the Spirit within." (p. 5.)--So
very weak an analogy, (where everything is assumed, and nothing proved,)
singular to relate, is drawn out into distressing tenuity through no
less than 49 pages.

The ANSWER to all this is sufficiently obvious, as well as sufficiently
damaging; and need not be delayed for a minute.

That the Human Race has made considerable progress in Knowledge, from
first to last,--is a mere truism. That, in the civilized world, one
generation is the heir of the generations which went before it, is what
no one requires to be told. Thus the discovery of the compass, of
printing, and of the steam-engine, have been epochs in human knowledge
from which a start was made by all civilized nations, without
retrogression. But such facts supply no warrant for transforming the
whole Human Race into one Colossal Man; do not constitute any reason
whatever why the 6000 years of recorded time should be divided into
three periods corresponding with the Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood of an
Individual.

To this theory, however, Dr. Temple even ostentatiously commits himself.
It is the purpose of his entire Essay, to establish the fanciful analogy
already indicated,--which is proclaimed to be "no figure" but a "fact."
(p. 3.) But an educated man of ordinary intelligence, on reaching p. 7,
(where the writer first discloses his view,) summons the known facts of
History to his recollection; and before he proceeds any further, reasons
with himself somewhat as follows:--

The Human Race had inhabited the Earth's surface for upwards of sixteen
hundred years, when it was destroyed by the waters of the Flood. After
that, the descendants of Noah peopled the earth's surface; a transaction
of which the sole authentic record is to be found in the xth chapter of
the Book of Genesis. Egypt first emerged into importance,--as history
and monuments conspire to prove; having had a peculiar language and
literature, Arts and Sciences, anterior to the period of the Exodus,
viz. B.C. 1491. Meanwhile, the chart of History directs our attention to
four great Empires: the Assyrian Empire, which was swallowed up by the
Persian; and the Persian, which was merged in the Grecian Empire. The
Roman Empire came last. [How _Law_ can be considered to be the
characteristic of all or any part of this period, I am at a loss to
discover. Neither do I see any indication of puling Infancy here.] These
four great Empires of the world had run their course when our SAVIOUR
CHRIST was born. GOD sent His own Eternal SON into the world; and lo, a
change passed over the whole fabric of the world's polity. The old forms
of social life became, as it were, dissolved; or rather, a new spirit
had been breathed into them all. A new era had commenced; and a new
principle henceforth animated mankind. That peculiar system of Divine
Laws which for 1500 years had separated the Hebrew race from all the
nations of the earth,--the Mosaic Law which had hitherto been the
inheritance of a single family, isolated in Canaan,--was explained and
expanded by its Divine Author. The ancient promises to Abraham and his
posterity were declared in their application to be co-extensive with the
whole race of Mankind by faith embracing them. Henceforth, the kingdoms
of the world were proclaimed the kingdoms of CHRIST, and _Mankind became
for the first time subject to a written Law_. The Laws of CHRIST'S
Kingdom, the doctrines of CHRIST'S Church, henceforth become supreme.
Thus, when a Christian Sovereign is crowned, the Bible is solemnly
placed in his hands; and it is required of him that he promise, on his
oath, "to the utmost of his power, _to maintain the Laws of GOD_." "When
you see this Orb set under this Cross," (says the Archbishop, on
delivering those insignia of Royalty,) "remember that the whole World is
subject to the power and empire of CHRIST our Redeemer ... so that no
man can reign happily, who ... directs not all his actions _according
to His Laws_." ... No further change in the order of things is anywhere
intimated. The Faith hath been ἅπαξ,--once and for ever,--delivered to
the Saints. Forsaken, it may be: by many, (alas!) _it will be_ forsaken
before the consummation of all things: but it will not itself cease.
Heaven and Earth shall pass away; but CHRIST'S Word, never. Not one jot
nor one tittle of _the Law_ shall fail.... Such, in brief outline, is
the World's true history,--past, present, future. Does it correspond
with Dr. Temple's account? That may be very soon seen. He calls the
human race a Colossal Man; and says that it passes through three
stages,--Infancy, Boyhood, Manhood: and that during those three stages,
it is governed by three corresponding principles,--Law, Example,
Conscience. How does Dr. Temple establish the first?

The Jews, (he says,) were subject to Law from the period of the Exode to
the coming of CHRIST.--We listen to the statement of a familiar fact
without surprise: but we are inclined to express some stronger feeling
than surprise when we discover that this is _the whole_ of the proof
concerning the infancy of the Colossal Man! Does this writer then mean
to tell us that the Jews were all Mankind? If they were _not_ the
Colossal Man,--if, instead of being the whole Human Race, they were one
of the most inconsiderable and least known of the nations,--an isolated
family, in fact, inhabiting Canaan,--what becomes of the analogy? We
really pause for an answer.... Such a theory might have been expected,
and would have been excusable if it had proceeded from a
Sunday-school-boy of fifteen,--who had read the Bible indeed, but who
was unacquainted with any book besides; and so, had jumped to the
conclusion that the Jews were "the World." But Dr. Temple is a
Schoolmaster, and therefore must surely know better. If he is fanciful
enough to regard Mankind as a Colossal Man; and unphilosophical enough
to consider that History is capable of being divided into three
periods,--corresponding with Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood; and
forgetful enough of the facts of the case to assume that mankind was
subject to Law _until_ the coming of CHRIST, thenceforward to be
emancipated therefrom:--yet Dr. Temple ought not to be so unreasonable
as to pretend that Canaan was coextensive with the World,--the
descendants of Abraham with the posterity of Noah! This amiable writer
is inexcusable for excluding from the corporate entity of the Human Race
the four great Empires of the world, (to say nothing of primæval Egypt
and mysterious India;) and for the sake of elaborating a worthless
allegory, identifying the least of all people with the Colossal Man,
who, (according to his own account of the matter,) represents the
aggregate of all the nations.

Once more. The Mosaic Law was not given till B.C. 1491. But the world
was then upwards of 2500 years old. Far more than one-third, therefore,
of recorded time had already elapsed. How does it happen that the theory
under consideration gives no account of those 2500 years; or rather,
does not begin to be applicable, until they have rolled away?

Other inconveniences await this silly speculation. Thus, the Colossal
Man, (who was _under Law_ from B.C. 1491 to the Christian æra,) proves
to have been a marvellously precocious Infant. He wrote the Song of
Moses _in the year of his birth_. Nay, he built pyramids,--had a
Literature, Arts, and Sciences,--_ages before he was born!..._ While
yet an infant, he sang with Homer, and carved with Phidias, and
philosophized with Aristotle,--as none have ever sung, or carved, or
philosophized since. Times and fashions have altered, truly; but these
three men are still _our_ Masters in Philosophy, in Sculpture, and in
Song. Awkward fact, that the colossal Infant should have lisped in a
tongue which for copiousness of diction, and subtlety of expression,
absolutely remains to this hour without a rival in the world!

Again. At this writer's dogmatic bidding, we force ourselves to think of
Mankind as a Colossal Man, who has already gone through three
ages,--Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood. _Old Age is therefore to come
next_. When, (if it is a fair question,) may it be expected that the sad
period of senile decrepitude will set in? What proof, in the mean time,
is there, (we venture to ask,) that this period of decay has not begun
already? Or does Dr. Temple perhaps imagine that the world is moving in
cycles, (to adopt the grotesque speculation of his own first pages); and
that after having run through the curriculum of Infancy, Boyhood, and
Manhood, the Colossal Man, (escaping, for some unexplained reason, the
penalty of Old Age,) is to grow young again,--shake his rattle and cut
his teeth afresh? There is a childish vivaciousness, a juvenile
recklessness, a skittish impatience of restraint, in this amiable
author's speculations, which powerfully corroborate such a view of the
case.

"The Childhood of the World was over when our LORD appeared on earth,"
(p. 20.) says Dr. Temple. But when at last he is compelled to introduce
to our notice his Colossal Child (p. 9, _bottom_.) now developed into a
Colossal Youth, he is painfully sensible that the Law and the Prophets,
(his schoolmasters,) (p. 8.) have not done their work quite so well as
was to have been desired and expected. Some apology is necessary, (p.
13, _bottom_.) Two great results however he claims for their
discipline:--"a settled national belief in the unity and spirituality of
GOD, and an acknowledgement of the paramount importance of chastity as a
point of morals." (p. 11.) Not however that the Law or the Prophets had
taught them even _this_. (p. 10, _top_.) "It was in the Captivity, far
from the temple and the sacrifices of the temple, that the Jewish people
first learned that the spiritual part of worship could be separated from
the ceremonial; and that of the two the spiritual was far the higher."
(p. 10.) At Babylon also the Jews first distinctly learned the doctrine
of the immortality of the soul. (p. 19.)--The Law, to be sure, had
emphatically said,--"Hear, O Israel, the LORD thy GOD is _one GOD[20]_."
The prophets, to be sure, had protested,--"Behold, to obey is better
than sacrifice[21]." The Law and the Prophets, to be sure, are full of
intimations that "mercy and not sacrifice[22]" is acceptable to the GOD
of Heaven, and that GOD'S Saints well understood the Doctrine[23]; as
well as that a belief in the soul's immortality was a part of the
instruction of the Jewish people. But what is all this to one who has an
allegory to establish?...

_The facts_ of the case, in the meantime, sorely perplex the
truth-loving writer. "For it is undeniable that, in the time of our
Lord, the Sadducees had lost all depth of spiritual feeling, whilst the
Pharisees had succeeded in converting the Mosaic system into a
mischievous idolatry of forms." (p. 10.) "In short, the Jewish nation
had lost very much when John the Baptist came." (p. 11.) The hopelessly
corrupt moral state of the youthful Colossus, described with such
sickening force and power by the great Apostle in the first chapter of
the Epistle to the Romans, cannot have occurred to Dr. Temple's
remembrance, for he says nothing about it. Certain withering
denunciations of "a wicked and adulterous generation[24];"--of
"adulterers and adulteresses[25];"--"serpents," a "generation of
vipers," which should hardly "escape the damnation of Hell[26];"--ought
to have reached him with a reproachful echo; but he is silent about them
all. Still less would it have suited the amiable allegorizer to state
that _just midway_ in the educational process, his Colossal Youth, "as
if" the sins of Samaria and of Sodom "were a very little thing," "_was
corrupted more than they in all his ways_. As I live, saith the LORD
GOD," (apostrophizing Dr. Temple's Colossal Youth, in allusion to his
character and conduct in the middle of his infant career,) "_Sodom_ thy
sister _hath not done as thou_ hast done: ... _neither hath Samaria
committed half thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations
more than they_.... Bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast
committed _more abominable than they_. They are more righteous than
thou[27]!" "Ah sinful nation, laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers,
children that are corrupters!... From the sole of the foot even unto
the head,"--[these words, remember, are addressed to the Colossal Infant
just _midway_ in his career; and Heaven and Earth are called upon to
give ear, "for the LORD hath spoken!" ... From the sole to the crown,]
"there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying
sores.... Your hands are full of blood[28]!" ... About all this hideous
retrospect of what was going on at school, Dr. Temple is silent.

In like manner, the great fact that our REDEEMER came to republish His
own two primæval ordinances,--the spiritual observance of the Sabbath
and the sanctity of Marriage,--is quietly ignored. A youth utterly
degraded by sensuality[29], and blinded by unbelief[30], is a terrible
picture truly. Dr. Temple therefore boldly gives the lie direct to
History, sacred and profane; and insists that "side by side with freedom
from idolatry, _there had grown up in the Jewish mind a chaster morality
than was to be found elsewhere in the world_:" (p. 12:) that "_in
chastity the Hebrews stood alone_; and this virtue, which had grown up
with them from their earliest days (!!!) _was still in the vigour of
fresh life when they were commissioned to give the Gospel to the
nations_." (p. 13.)

Behold the Colossal Child therefore, now grown into a Colossal "Youth
too old for discipline." (p. 20, _bottom_.) "The tutors and governors
have done their work;" (p. 20;) and he is now to go through a distinct
process of training. Three tutors are now brought in to give the
finishing touches to the youth's education, and to inaugurate his new
career. Rome, Greece, and Asia,--which for some unexplained reason never
become (according to Dr. Temple) any part of the Colossal Man _at
all_,--now come in; "Rome to discipline the human will; Greece, the
reason and taste; Asia, the spiritual imagination." (p. 19.) The Law and
the Prophets had disciplined the Colossal Child's conscience,--with what
success we have seen. At all events, Moses and Isaiah are for infants:
we have passed the age for such helps as _they_ could supply. In a
word,--"The childhood of the world was over when our Lord appeared on
earth." (p. 20.) It was "just the meeting-point of the Child and the
Man; the brief interval which separates restraint from liberty." (p.
22.) "It was time that the second teacher of the Human Race should begin
his labours. The second teacher is EXAMPLE:" (p. 20:) and "the period of
youth in the history of the world, when the human race was, as it were,
put under the teaching of example, corresponds, of course, to the
meeting point of the Law and the Gospel. The second stage therefore in
the education of man was the presence of our LORD upon earth." (p. 24.)

Let not this stage of Dr. Temple's allegory suffer by being stated in
any language besides his own. "The world" had been a Colossal Child for
1490 years. It was to be a Youth for almost 100. "The whole period from
the closing of the Old Testament to the close of the New was the period
of the world's youth,--the age of examples: and our LORD'S presence was
not the only influence of that kind which has acted upon the human race.
Three companions were appointed by Providence to give their society to
this creature whom GOD was educating, Greece, Rome, and the Early
Church." (p. 26.) Behold then, our Blessed Redeemer with His "three
companions." (I reproduce this blasphemous speculation with shame and
sorrow.) What kind of Example _He_ was, Dr. Temple omits to inform us.
But Greece was "the brilliant social companion;"--Rome, "the bold and
clever leader;"--the Early Church was "the earnest, heavenly-minded
friend." (p. 26.) We are warned therefore against supposing that "our
Lord's presence was _the only influence of that kind_," (i.e. example,)
appointed by Providence for the creature whom God was educating. In a
word: "The world was now grown old enough to be taught by seeing the
lives of Saints, _better than by hearing the words of Prophets_."
(pp. 28-9.)

We come now to the conclusion of the allegory; and Dr. Temple shall
again speak for himself. "The age of reflection begins. From the
storehouse of his youthful experience the Man begins to draw the
principles of his life. The spirit or conscience comes to full strength
and assumes the throne intended for him in the soul. As an accredited
judge, invested with full powers, he sits in the tribunal of our inner
kingdom, decides upon the past, and legislates upon the future without
appeal except to himself. He decides not by what is beautiful, or noble,
or soul-inspiring, but by what is right. Gradually he frames his code of
laws, revising, adding, abrogating, as a wider and deeper experience
gives him clearer light. He is the third great teacher and the last."
(p. 31.)

And now, it will reasonably be asked,--May not the head-master of Rugby
write a weak and foolish Essay on a subject which he evidently does not
understand, without incurring so much not only of public ridicule, but
of public obloquy also? If his own sixth-form boys do not laugh at him,
need the Church feel aggrieved at what he has written? Where is the
special _irreligion_ in all this?

I answer,--The offence is of the very gravest character; and in the
course of what follows, it will appear with sufficient plainness wherein
it consists. For the moment,--singly considered,--it is my painful duty
to condemn Dr. Temple's Essay on the following grounds.

Whereas the Church inculcates the paramount necessity of _an external
authoritative Law_ to guide all her members;--Creeds to define the
foundation of their Faith,--a Catechism to teach them the necessary
elements of Christian Doctrine,--the several forms of Prayer contained
in the Prayer Book to instruct them further in Religion, as well as to
prescribe their exact mode of worshipping ALMIGHTY GOD: whereas too the
Church requires of her ministers subscription to Articles "for the
avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, and for the establishing of Consent
concerning true Religion;"--above all, since all Christian men alike are
taught to acknowledge the external guidance of the Divine Law itself
contained in Holy Scripture,--and every Minister of the Church of
England is further called upon to admit the authority of that Divine Law
as it is by the Church systematized, explained, upheld,
enforced:--notwithstanding all this, Dr. Temple, who has solemnly taken
the vows of a minister of the Church of England, and writes after his
name that he is _Sacræ Theologiæ Professor_, in his present Essay more
than insinuates, he openly teaches that Man "draws _the principles of
his life_," (not from Revelation, but) "_from_ the storehouse of
_experience_:" that we live in an age when "the spirit or conscience
having come to full strength, assumes the throne intended for him in the
soul." This "spirit or conscience" "legislates _without appeal except to
himself_." "He is the third great teacher and the last." (p. 31.) The
world, in the days of its youth, could not "walk by reason and
conscience alone:" (p. 21:) but it is not so with us, in these, the days
of the world's manhood. "The spiritual power within us ... must be the
rightful monarch of our lives." (p. 14.) _We_, (he says,) "walk by
reason and conscience _alone_." (p. 21.)

Now this is none other than a deliberate dethroning of GOD; and a
setting up of Self in His place. "A revelation speaking from without and
not from within, is an external Law, and not a spirit,"--(p. 36,) says
Dr. Temple. But I answer,--A revelation speaking from within, and not
from without, is _no revelation at all_. "The thought of building a
tower high enough to escape GOD's wrath, could enter into no man's
dreams," (p. 7,) says Dr. Temple in the beginning of his Essay, in
derision of the Old World. But he has carried out into act the very
self-same thought, himself; and his "dreams" occupy the foremost place
in 'Essays and Reviews.' He teaches, openly, that henceforth Man must
learn by "_obedience to the rules of his own mind_." (p. 34.) He is
express in declaring that "an external law" is for the age which is
past, (pp. 34-5.) Ours is "an internal law;" "which bids us
yield,"--not to the revealed Will of GOD, "but,--to the majesty of truth
and justice; _a law which is not imposed upon us by another power, but
by our own enlightened will_." (p. 35.) In this, the last stage of the
Colossal Man's progress, Dr. Temple gives him four avenues of learning:
(1) Experience, (2) Reflection, (3) Mistakes, (4) Contradiction. By
withholding from this enumeration _the Revealed Will of GOD_, and _the
known sanctions of the Divine Law_, he _thrusts out GOD_ from every part
of his scheme; denies that He is even one of the present teachers of the
Human Race,--explaining that the time has even gone by when CHRIST could
teach by example[31],--"for the faculty of Faith has turned inwards,
and cannot now accent any outer manifestations of the truth of GOD[32]."
(p. 24.)--By this Essay, Dr. Temple comes forward as the open abettor of
the most boundless scepticism. Whether or no his statements be such as
Ecclesiastical Courts take cognizance of, is to me a matter of profound
unimportance. In the estimation of the whole Church, it can be entitled
to but one sentence. "We use the Bible," (he tells us,) "not to
override, but to evoke the voice of conscience." (p. 44.) "The current
is all one way,--it evidently points to the identification of the Bible
with the voice of conscience. The Bible, in fact, is hindered by its
form from exercising a despotism (!) over the human spirit; if it could
do that, it would become an outer law at once." (p. 45.) Even if men
"could appeal to a revelation from Heaven, they would still be under the
Law (!!!); for a Revelation speaking from without, and not from within,
is an external Law, and not a Spirit." (p. 36.) "The principle of
private judgment puts conscience between us and the Bible; making
conscience the supreme interpreter, whom it may be a duty to enlighten,
but whom it can never be a duty to disobey." (_Ibid._)--Even those who
look upon the observance of Sunday "as enjoined by an absolutely binding
decree," are reproached as "thus at once putting themselves under a
law." (p. 44.) ... Dr. Temple has written an Essay which he calls "an
argument," and for which he claims "a drift." (p. 31.) _That_ argument
is neither more nor less than a direct assault on the Faith of Christian
men; and carried out to its lawful results, _can_ lead to nothing but
open Infidelity;--which makes it a very solemn consideration that the
author, (whose private worth is known to all,) should be a teacher of
the youth of Christian England. _That_ drift I deplore and condemn; and
no considerations of private friendship, no sincere regard for the
writer's private worth, shall deter me from recording my deliberate
conviction that it is wholly incompatible with his Ordination vows.

I forbear to dive into the depth of irreligion and unbelief implied in
what is contained from p. 37 to p. 40, and other parts of the present
Essay: but I cannot abstain from asking why does this author,--who, in
all the intercourse of private life, is so manly a character,--fall into
the _un_manly trick of his brother-Essayists, of insinuating what they
dare not openly avow? The great master of this cloudy shuffling art is
Mr. Jowett. Even where he and his associates in "free handling," are
express and definite in their statements, yet, as their rule is
prudently to abstain from adducing a single example of their meaning, it
is only by their disingenuous reticence that they escape punishment or
exposure. Thus, Dr. Temple speaks of "many of the doctrinal statements
of the early Church" being "plainly unfitted for permanent use;"
(p. 41;) but he prudently abstains from explaining _which_ of those
"doctrinal statements" he means. He goes on to remark:--"In fact, the
Church of the Fathers claimed to do what not even the Apostles had
claimed,--namely, not only to teach the Truth, but to clothe it in
logical statements ... for all succeeding time." He is evidently
alluding to "the forms in which the first ages of the Church defined the
Truth;" [i.e. to the Creeds;] of which he says, we "_yet refuse to be
bound by them_." (p. 44.) He goes on,--"It belongs to a later epoch to
see 'the law within the law' which absorbs such statements _into
something higher than themselves_." (p. 41.) But the writer of that
sentence ought to have had the manliness to explain _what_ that "higher
something" _is_.

Dr. Temple's estimate of the corruptions of the Papacy is of a piece
with the rest of what I must be excused for calling a most unworthy
performance. "Purgatory," &c. (he says) "was in fact, neither more nor
less than _the old schoolmaster come back_ to bring some new scholars to
CHRIST." (p. 42.) (Is the Romish fable of Purgatory then to be put on
the same footing as the Divine Revelation to Moses on Sinai?) It
follows,--"When the work was done, men began to discover that the Law
was no longer necessary." (_Ibid._) (Is it thus that the head-master of
Rugby accounts for, and explains the Reformation?) "The time was come
when it was fit to trust to the conscience _as the supreme guide_."
(_Ibid._) "At the Reformation, it might have seemed at first as if the
study of theology were about to return. But in reality an entirely new
lesson commenced,--the lesson of toleration. Toleration is the very
opposite of dogmatism." (p. 43.) "Its tendency is to modify the early
dogmatism by substituting the spirit for the letter, and practical
religion for precise definitions of truth." (_Ibid._) "The mature mind
of our race is beginning to modify and soften the hardness and severity
of the principles which its early manhood had elevated into immutable
statements of truth. Men are beginning to take a wider view than they
did. Physical science, researches into history, a more thorough
knowledge of the world they inhabit, have enlarged our philosophy beyond
the limits which bounded that of the Church of the Fathers. And all
these have an influence, whether we will or no, on our determinations of
religious truth. There are found to be more things in heaven and earth
than were dreamt of in patristic theology. GOD'S creation is a new book
to be read by the side of His revelation, and to be interpreted as
coming from Him. We can acknowledge the great value of the forms in
which the first ages of the Church defined the truth, and yet refuse to
be bound by them." (p. 43-4.) ... Who so unacquainted with the method of
a certain school as not to understand the fatal meaning of generalities,
false and foul as these?

       *       *       *       *       *

It may occur to some persons to inquire whether St. Paul, in a
well-known place, does not affirm, (somewhat as it is affirmed in this
Essay,) that "the heir, as long as he is a child, ... is under tutors
and governors until the time appointed of the father?" And that, "Even
so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the
world: but when the fulness of time was come, GOD sent forth His SON
... to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the
adoption of sons?" Does not St. Paul also go on to reproach men for
"turning again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto they desired
to be again in bondage?" saying, "ye observe[33] days, and months, and
times, and years[34]." It is quite true that St. Paul says all this: and
I would fain believe that a puerile misconception of the Apostle's
meaning has betrayed the misguided author of the present Essay into a
notion that he enjoys a species of Divine sanction for what he has
written concerning "the Education of the World." I may add that St. Paul
also declares, (in the same Epistle,) that "the Law was our _pædagogus_
to bring us to CHRIST.... But after faith is come, we are no longer
under a _pædagogus[35]_." He further adds an exhortation to the
Galatians, (for it is still _them_ whom he is addressing,)--"Stand fast
therefore in the liberty wherewith CHRIST hath made us free, and be not
entangled again with the yoke of bondage[36]."--St. John moreover, in
many places, insists upon the spiritual powers and privileges of
believers, in a very remarkable manner,--the same St. John, the same
'Apostle of Love,' who says of a certain Doctrine which 'Essayists and
Reviewers' write as if they disbelieved,--"If there come any unto you,
and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither
bid him GOD speed: for he that biddeth him GOD speed is partaker of his
evil deeds[37]."

But it does not require much knowledge of Divinity to make a man aware
that St. Paul's meaning and intention is as widely removed from Dr.
Temple's, as Truth is removed from falsehood: or rather, that the
Apostle is flatly against him. St. Paul is not bent on explaining what
has been _the Education of the World_, but on pointing out in what
relation _the Gospel of CHRIST stands to the Law of Moses_. He is
reproving men who, having been converted to Christianity, were for
lapsing into Judaism. Certain of the Circumcision had been striving, in
St. Paul's absence, to bring his Galatian converts under the bondage of
the Levitical Law; assuring them that the Gospel would avail them
nothing unless they were circumcised and obedient to the Jewish ritual.
Hence the Apostle's vehemence, and the peculiar form which his
instruction assumes.

The Christian dispensation, (the scheme of Man's Justification by Faith
in CHRIST,) is the fulfilment, (St. Paul says,) of the covenant which
GOD once solemnly made with Abraham. The Mosaic Law, (which was not
given till 430 years after the time of Abraham,) is powerless to cancel
that earlier covenant of Faith. What was the use of the Law, then? some
one may ask. It was a supplementary, parenthetical, superadded thing,
which came in, as it were, accidentally, for certain assignable
purposes. But now that the original covenant of Faith has at length
found fulfilment in the person of CHRIST, it were monstrous (argues the
Apostle) to revert to Judaism: which was a species of prison-house where
we suffered bondage until MESSIAH came to set us free. We were _as
prisoners_, says the Apostle. We were also _as children_, (who,
anciently, from the age of six to fourteen, used to be consigned by
their father to the care of a slave called a 'pædagogus;' who was
neither qualified nor allowed to teach them anything; but whose office
it was _to conduct them to school_.) So _brought to the School of
CHRIST_, where learning comes _by Faith_, (such is his argument,) let
men beware how they revert to the carnal ordinances of the Jewish Law.

How different a view of our true state is thus discovered, from that
which Dr. Temple describes! A glorious liberty is _in reserve_ for us
indeed[38]: a precious freedom is ours already. But it bears no
resemblance whatever to that _lawlessness_ (ἀνομία) with which Dr.
Temple seems to be enamoured. It is the correlation of _slavery_, not of
obedience. It implies emancipation from the _Levitical_ Law, not from
the sanctions, however strict, of the _Christian Church_. The Doctrines
of Christ's kingdom are the Christian's crown and joy. _His_ "service is
perfect freedom," and imparts to life all its sweetness.--Not only,
therefore, (according to St. Paul's view of the matter,) were men _not_
released from school at "the meeting point of the Law and the Gospel,"
(p. 24,) but they only _began_ to go to School _then[39]_!

How different a view of the Education of the World does the HOLY
SPIRIT,--does our LORD Himself--furnish, from that which Dr. Temple here
advocates!... Fallen, in the person of Adam, and made subject to the
penalty of eternal death, behold Mankind from the very first taught to
believe that they should be ultimately redeemed by One born of woman.
Under the image of a son who remained in his father's house, the
favoured descendants of Abraham are set before us: while the rest of the
world is pourtrayed in the person of another son, who goes into a far
country, and there wastes his substance with riotous living. _Not_ when
grown into a colossal "youth too old for discipline," (p. 20, _bottom_,)
but in the day of his dire necessity, and when he begins to be sensible
of his utter need, behold the heathen nations, (in the person of the
poor prodigal,) arising, and going to their true Father, and in the
fulness of their misery asking for a hired servant's place in the
household. Behold too GOD'S mercies in CHRIST set forth by "the first
robe," (_that_ robe of innocence which when Adam lost he knew that he
was naked!) and the ring, and the shoes, and the fatted calf! Lastly, in
the embrace which the Father, (while yet the offending but repentant son
is a long way off,) _runs_ to bestow,--behold _how_ GOD loved the World!

But Dr. Temple may say,--_My_ parable relates to one person: that which
you have quoted pourtrays two, and thus all parallelism is lost. (In
other words, _our LORD'S picture_ of "the Education of the World" _is
altogether unlike Dr. Temple's_!)--Take, however, a parable which ought
to suit exactly; for in it mankind are exhibited in the person of "a
certain man."

This individual is represented as one who, as he travels, is by thieves
stripped, wounded, and left half dead. Such then, by nature, is the
state of the human race! Priest and Levite, who "look on him," but "pass
by on the other side," set forth the Education of the World (!) until
CHRIST came. A certain Samaritan, who has compassion on the naked and
wounded wretch, goes to him, binds up his wounds, pours in oil and wine,
sets him on his own beast, brings him to the inn, and takes care of
him:--_this_ one is CHRIST. The stranger's pence, and his promise to
repay at his second coming what shall have been over-expended,--set
forth, I suppose, _that_ ministration of CHRIST'S Word and Sacraments
which Dr. Temple exercises.... Let me dismiss the subject by remarking
that I find no countenance given by Holy Scripture to Dr. Temple's
monstrous notions concerning the Infancy, the Youth, and the Manhood of
the Colossal Man.

Our SAVIOUR CHRIST is indeed set before us in Scripture as our great
Exemplar[40]; and St. Paul calls upon us to be followers, or rather
imitators, (μιμηταί), of himself; even as _he_ was of CHRIST[41]. But
this walking by example, did not supersede the walking by precept;
neither was it to endure, (GOD forbid!) (as Dr. Temple emphatically says
it was), (pp. 26: 28-9,) only for about a hundred years: still less was
"Example," (the second Teacher of the Human Race,) straightway to find
itself supplanted by "the Spirit or Conscience" of Man,--"the third
great Teacher, and the last." What need to say that until His Second
Coming to judge the world, we shall have _no_ Teacher but CHRIST,--_no_
other way proposed to us to walk in, but that which the Gospel
discloses?

Neither is it true that the world has been old enough, for the last 1800
years, to be taught by "_seeing the lives of Saints_," (a sentiment
worthy of the weakest of Romanists!) "_better than by hearing the words
of Prophets_." (pp. 28-9.) The Church of CHRIST will for ever listen to
the blessed accents of that "goodly fellowship," until she beholds Him
by whose Spirit they spake[42], coming again to judgment. True that the
object with which she will all along _inform_ her children, will ever be
that they may become _conformed_ to the model of her Divine LORD. But
"sound doctrine[43],"--embodied in a "form of sound
words[44],"--constitutes that παρακαταθήκη, or "deposit," which is her
proudest inheritance and her greatest treasure[45]: and impatience of it
is a note of evil men, and of a season at which Prophecy points her
awful finger[46].... "Lawlessness," (ἀνομία,) is discoursed of by the
SPIRIT with a mysterious earnestness which it seems to me impossible to
survey without mingled awe and terror lest one may become oneself
involved in the threatened condemnation. I allude of course especially
to what St. Paul says in his second Epistle to the Thessalonians; the
language of which, to be understood, must be studied in the
original[47].

Conscience has her office, doubtless; and a most important one it is.
Conscience is the very candle of the LORD within us. But, (as I have
elsewhere shewn,) it were base treason to speak of conscience as
Essayists and Reviewers speak of it. With _them_, it is indeed
impossible to argue. They must first withdraw from the cause which they
have betrayed; cease to profess the teaching which they disbelieve;
resign their commission in a Church to whose Doctrine and Discipline
they openly proclaim themselves to be opposed. I will not argue _with
them_, while they presume to write B.D. and D.D. after their
names,--hold Chaplaincies,--preside over Schools and Colleges,--profess
to lecture in Divinity,--officiate at the altars of the Church of
England,--by virtue of their sacred office, _and by virtue of that
only_, are instructors of youth. They _cannot_, (if they are in the full
enjoyment of their faculties,) they _cannot_ imagine, for a moment,
that, as honest men, they can remain where they are! They _must_ either
recal their words or resign their stations!

But speaking to others, it will abundantly suffice to point out that
such principles as the present Essay advocates are incompatible with the
profession of Christianity in _any_ country, and in _any_ age. If the
spirit or conscience of Man is to legislate "_without appeal except to
himself_;" (p. 31;) if men are to "_refuse to be bound_" (p. 44.) by the
Creeds of the Church; if the very Bible is not to be looked upon as "_an
outer law_:" (p. 45:)--how is sentence _ever_ to be pronounced with
authority? how are men to know _what_ they have to believe? how are we
to enjoy the guidance of any "outer law" _at all_? I do not ask these
questions as a clergyman; neither am I addressing those exclusively who
have been admitted to the Christian priesthood. Common sense, ordinary
piety, natural reverence, seem to cry out, and ask,--If _the Church_
have no "authority in controversies of Faith[48];" if _the three Creeds_
ought not "thoroughly to be received and believed[49];" if _the Bible_
is not "an outer Law;"--_where_ is Authority in things Divine to be
sought for? _What_ can be worthy of credit? _Where_ are we to look for
external guidance on this side the grave?... Surely, surely, common
sense is outraged when she hears it insisted that the written Bible is a
Revelation speaking NOT "from without," but "from within!" (pp. 36 and
45.) Surely it must be admitted that it were mere atheism to pretend
that Man's "spirit or conscience, _without appeal except to himself_,"
shall henceforth be the governing principle of Mankind!

Let me in conclusion do this writer an act of justice, (for which he
will not perhaps altogether thank me,) even while with shame and sorrow
I now dismiss his Essay. Unpardonable as he is for having written thus;
and _wholly_ without excuse for having suffered _nine editions_ of his
blasphemous allegory to go forth to the world without apology,
explanation, or retractation of any kind,--although he labours under a
weight of competent censure without a parallel, I believe, in the annals
of the English Church[50]: notwithstanding all this, I am bound to say
that if the unbelievers of this generation think they have an ally in
_the man_, Frederick Temple,--they are very much mistaken. That so pure
a heart, and earnest a spirit, will never work itself free of its
present bondage,--I should be sorry indeed to think. (But O the mischief
which the head-master of Rugby School will have done in the meantime!)
His misfortune (or rather fault) it has been, that he has really never
studied Divinity; nor, in fact, _knows anything at all about it_,--as a
volume of his, lately published, sufficiently shews. Apart from his
opinions (!), he is a thoroughly amiable man; and--(with the same
proviso!)--an excellent schoolmaster; but when he ventures upon the
province of Theology, he shews himself something infinitely worse than
_a very bad Divine_.

       *       *       *       *       *

II. On turning the first page of the review which follows, "by ROWLAND
WILLIAMS, D.D. Vice-Principal and Professor of Hebrew, St. David's
College, Lampeter; Vicar of Broad Chalke, Wilts,"--we are made sensible
that we are in company of a writer considerably in advance of Dr.
Temple, though altogether of the same school. In fact, if Dr. Williams
had not been Vice-Principal of a Theological College, and a Doctor of
Divinity, one would have supposed him to be a complete infidel,--who
found it convenient to vent his own unbelief in a highly laudatory
review of the principles of the late Baron Bunsen. Hear him:--"When
Bunsen asks 'How long shall we bear this fiction of an external
Revelation,'--that is, of one violating the heart and conscience,
instead of expressing itself through them;--or when he says, 'All this
is delusion for those who believe it; but what is it in the mouths of
those who teach it?'--Or when he exclaims, 'Oh the fools! who, if they
do see the imminent perils of this age, think to ward them off by
narrow-minded persecution'!--and when he repeats, 'Is it not time, in
truth, to withdraw the veil from our misery? to tear off the mask from
hypocrisy, and destroy that sham which is undermining all real ground
under our feet? to point out the dangers which surround, nay, threaten
already to engulf us?'--there will be some who think his language too
vehement for good taste. Others will think burning words needed by the
disease of our time. These will not quarrel on points of taste with a
man who in our darkest perplexity has reared again the banner of Truth,
and uttered thoughts which gave courage to the weak and sight to the
blind. If Protestant Europe is to escape those shadows of the twelfth
century which with ominous recurrence are closing around us, to Baron
Bunsen will belong a foremost place among the champions of light and
right." (pp. 92-3.)

But even the Prussian infidel is not advanced enough for the Vicar of
Broad Chalke. Bunsen, it seems, was weak enough to believe that the
prophet Jonah was a real personage. This evokes the following singular
burst of critical indignation from the Reverend author of the present
Essay:--"It provokes a smile on serious topics,"--(a kind of impropriety
which the Vice-Principal of Lampeter will not commit except under
protest and with an apology!)--"to observe the zeal with which our
critic vindicates the personality of Jonah, and the originality of his
hymn, (the latter being generally thought doubtful), while he proceeds
to explain that the narrative of our book in which the hymn is imbedded,
contains a late legend founded on misconception. One can imagine the
cheers which the opening of such an essay might evoke in some of our
circles, changing into indignation (!) as the distinguished foreigner
developed his views. After this he might speak more gently of mythical
theories." (p. 77.)

For the most part, however, the Vicar of Broad Chalke is able to cite
the opinions of Bunsen with admiration and approval. They are both
agreed that the Deluge "was but a prolonged play of the forces of fire
and water rendering the primæval regions of North Asia uninhabitable,
and urging the nations to new abodes." (Of what nature this "_prolonged
play_" was, is however left unexplained: while "_the forces of fire and
water_ rendering _primæval regions_ uninhabitable," and "_urging_
nations to new abodes," has altogether a Herodotean sound.) "We learn
approximately its antiquity, and infer limitation in its range from
finding it recorded in the traditions of Iran and Palestine, (or of
Japheth and Shem), but unknown to the Egyptians and Mongolians."
(p. 56.) (A delightful method truly of attaining historical precision
in a matter of this nature!) ... "In the _half ideal, half traditional_
notices of the beginnings of our race compiled in Genesis, we are bid
notice the combination of documents and the recurrence of barely
consistent Genealogies." (_Ibid._) Praise is at hand for "the firmness
with which Bunsen relegates the long lives of the first patriarchs to
the domain of legend, or of symbolical cycle." (p. 57.) "The historical
portion begins with Abraham." (_Ibid._)--After this admission, it is
instructive to observe how the learned writer deals with the narrative.
The Exode was "a struggle conducted by human means." (p. 59.) "Thus, as
the pestilence of the Book of Kings becomes in Chronicles the more
visible angel, so the avenger who slew the firstborn may have been the
Bedouin host, (!) akin nearly to Jethro, and more remotely to Israel."
(_Ibid._) (It is really hardly worth stopping to point out that by
'Kings' the Reverend writer means 'the second Book of Samuel:' and to
remind the reader that _the Angel is mentioned as expressly in Samuel
as in Chronicles[51]_. Also, to ask what 'the Bedouin host' could have
been doing _in Egypt_ previous to the Exode?) "The passage of the Red
Sea may be interpreted with the latitude of poetry." (_Ibid._) "Moses
would gladly have founded a free religious society, ... but the rudeness
or hardness of his people's heart compelled him to a sacerdotal system
and formal tablets of stone." (p. 62.) Nay, Abraham's intended sacrifice
of Isaac was an act of obedience to "the fierce ritual of Syria, with
the awe of a Divine voice:" (p. 61:) while the Divine command, in
conformity with which Abraham spared to slay his son, is resolved into
an allegory. "He trusted that the FATHER, whose voice from Heaven he
heard at heart, was better pleased with mercy than with sacrifice, and
this trust was his righteousness." (p. 61.) Dr. Williams straightway
shews us how _we_ may tread in the steps of faithful Abraham. The
perpetual response of our hearts, (he says,) to principles of Reason and
Right of our own tracing, is a truer sign of faith than deference to a
supposed external authority. (p. 61.) ... According to this writer,
therefore, Genesis and Exodus are pure fable!

The whole of Scripture, in the hands of this Doctor of Divinity,
undergoes corresponding treatment. They who "twist Prophecy into harmony
with the details of Gospel history, fall into inextricable
contradictions." (pp. 64-5.) "The Book of Isaiah, as composed of
elements of different eras," can only be accepted with a "modified
theory of authorship and of prediction." (p. 68.) In the prophecy of
Zechariah are "three distinct styles and aspects of affairs." (_Ibid._)
"The cursing Psalms," (!!!) he informs us, were not "evangelically
inspired;" (p. 63;) and yet we are constrained to remember that the
cixth Psalm (specially alluded to) is evangelically interpreted by St.
Peter[52]. The true translation of Psalm xxii. 17, (learnedly discussed,
long since, by Bishop Pearson,) is not "they pierced My hands and My
feet,"--but "like a lion;" (notwithstanding that Pearson has shewn that
the substitution of _vau_ for _yod_ in this place is one of the eighteen
instances where the Scribes have tampered with the text[53]; and
notwithstanding that this modern corruption of the Hebrew, as every one
must see, makes the place almost nonsense[54].)--Is. vii. 14 does not
refer to the miraculous birth of CHRIST, (p. 69,) (although St. Matthew
is express in his assertion that it _does_.) There is, it seems, an
elder and a later Isaiah, (p. 71.) The famous liiird chapter does not
refer to CHRIST; but either to Jeremiah or to "the collective
Israel,"--(p. 73,) (although it is at least seven times quoted, and
expressly applied to our SAVIOUR, in the New Testament[55].) Daniel, we
are assured, belongs to different ages; and it is "certain, beyond fair
doubt ... that those portions of the book, supposed to be specially
predictive, are ... a history of past occurrences." (p. 69.) That "the
book contains no predictions, except by analogy and type, can hardly be
gainsaid." (pp. 76-7.) ... (If any of _us_ had dogmatized as to Truth as
these men do as to error, (remarks Dr. Pusey,) what scorn we should be
held up to!) ... The Reverend author insolently adds,--"It is time for
divines to recognize these things, since with their opportunities of
study, the current error is as discreditable to them, as for the
well-meaning crowd, who are taught to identify it with their creed, it
is a matter of grave compassion." (p. 77.) "When so vast an induction on
the destructive side has been gone through, it avails little that some
passages may be doubtful; one perhaps in Zechariah, and one in Isaiah,
capable of being made directly Messianic; and a chapter possibly in
Deuteronomy foreshadowing the final fall of Jerusalem. Even these few
cases, the remnant of so much confident rhetoric, tend to melt, if they
are not already melted, in the crucible of searching enquiry." (pp.
69-70.) ... Our Doctor of Divinity, having reduced the prophecies
_"capable of being made"_ Messianic, to _two_,--breaks out into a strain
of refined banter which is altogether his own, and which we presume is
intended to stand in the place of argument. "If our German, [viz.
Bunsen,] had ignored all that the masters of philology have proved on
these subjects, his countrymen would have raised a storm of ridicule, at
which he must have drowned himself in the Neckar." (p. 70.) A
catastrophe so fatal to the cause of true Religion and sound learning
may well point a paragraph!... But we must write gravely.

The absolute worthlessness of unsupported dicta such as these, ought to
be apparent to all. It is useless to reason with a madman. We desiderate
nothing so much as "searching enquiry," (p. 69,) but we are presented
instead with something worse than random assertion. If the writer would
state a single case, with its evidence,--we should know how to deal with
him. We should examine his arguments seriatim; and either refute them,
or admit their validity. From such "free handling," the cause of sacred
Truth can never suffer. But when, in place of argument and evidence, we
have merely bluster,--what is to be said? Pity and disregard are the
only reply we can bestow; or our answers must be as brief as the calumny
which provokes them. "How," (asks the Regius Professor of Hebrew,) "can
such an undigested heap of errors receive a systematic answer in brief
space, or in any one treatise or volume?"

"If any sincere Christian now asks, is not then our SAVIOUR spoken of in
Isaiah; let him open his New Testament, and ask therewith John the
Baptist, whether he was Elias? If he finds the Baptist answering _I am
not_, yet our LORD testifies that in spirit and power this was Elias; a
little reflexion will shew how the historical representation in Isaiah
liii. is of some suffering prophet or remnant, yet the truth and
patience, the grief and triumph, have their highest fulfilment in Him
who said, 'FATHER, not My will but Thine.'" (p. 74.) I have transcribed
this passage to illustrate the miserable sophistry of the author. It is
foretold by Malachi that before the great and terrible day of the LORD,
Elijah is to come back to Earth[56]. John Baptist came in his "spirit
and power[57]," but was not Elijah himself. How does it follow from this
that Isaiah may have prophesied merely of _qualities_ and not of a
person? The only logical inference from his words would surely be, that
Elijah is yet to come[58]!--Dr. Williams adds,--"We must not distort the
prophets to prove the Divine WORD incarnate, and then from the
Incarnation reason back to the sense of prophecy." (p. 74.) _Was_ not
then the Divine WORD incarnate?

The theory of one who writes like an open unbeliever concerning Divine
things is really not worth developing: and yet, as I am examining an
Essay which seems to be entirely built upon such a theory, it may be
desirable, in this instance, that the deformity of the writer should be
uncovered: especially since Dr. Williams writes such very dark English,
that, until some of his sentences are translated, they are barely
intelligible.

Anticipating that his doctrines may "alarm those who think that, apart
from _Omniscience belonging to the Jews_, (!) the proper conclusion of
reason is Atheism;"--(in other words, that the rejection of a belief in
_the inspiration of Prophecy_ will eventually conduct a man to the
rejection of GOD Himself;) the Reverend writer declares that "it is not
inconsistent with the idea that ALMIGHTY GOD has been pleased to educate
men and nations, employing imagination no less than conscience, and
suffering His lessons to play freely within the limits of humanity and
its shortcomings." (p. 77.) (In other words, that what Scripture
emphatically declares, and what men have for thousands of years
believed to be inspired predictions of future events, are none other
than the effusions of a lively imagination, or the suggestions of a
well-informed conscience.) "The prophetical disquisitions," (p. 77,)
therefore, are subject to error of every imaginable description; and
possess no higher attributes than belong to any ordinary human work by
"a master's hand." (p. 77.) "The Sacred Writers acknowledge themselves
men of like passions with ourselves, and we are promised illumination
from the Spirit which dwelt in them." (p. 78.) We may not think of the
Sacred Writers as "passionless machines, and call Luther and Milton
'uninspired.'" (_Ibid._) "The great result is to vindicate the work of
the Eternal Spirit; that abiding influence which underlies all others,
and in which converge all images of old time and means of grace now:
temple, Scripture, finger, and Hand of GOD; and again, preaching,
sacraments, waters which comfort, and flame which burns." (p. 78.) It
follows,--"If such a Spirit did not dwell in the Church, the Bible would
not be inspired, for _the Bible is_, before all things, _the written
voice of the congregation_." (p. 78.) Offended Reason, (for Piety has no
place here,) has not time to reclaim against so preposterous a
statement; for it follows immediately,--"Bold as such a theory of
Inspiration (!) may sound, it was the earliest creed of the Church, and
it is the only one to which the facts of Scripture answer." (p. 78.) ...
What reply _can_ be offered to such an outrageous statement, but flat
contradiction? What more effectual refutation of such a 'theory' (?)
concerning Scripture, than simply to state it?

Let this miserable but conceited man yet further map out the nature of
his own delusion respecting Prophecy. He applauds the wisdom of one who
"accepts freely the belief of scholars, and yet does not despair of
Hebrew Prophecy as a witness to the Kingdom of God:" (p. 70:) (that is,
of one who, like Bunsen, altogether disbelieves in prophecy _as
prophecy_, and yet is bent on finding something of an Evangelical
character in the prophetic writings.) "The way of doing so left open to
him, was to shew pervading the Prophets those deep truths which lie at
the heart of Christianity, and to trace the growth of such ideas, the
belief in a righteous GOD, and the nearness of Man to GOD, the power of
prayer, and the victory of self-sacrificing patience, ever expanding in
men's hearts, until the fulness of time came, and the ideal of the
Divine thought was fulfilled in the Son of Man." (p. 70.) In other
words, CHRIST was nothing more than the fullest development and
impersonation of the best thoughts and feelings of the (so-called)
prophets! He "fulfilled in His own person the highest aspiration of
Hebrew seers and of mankind, thereby lifting the ancient words, so to
speak, into a new and higher power; and therefore was recognized as
having eminently the unction of a prophet whose words die not,--of a
priest in a temple not made with hands,--and of a king in the realm of
thought, delivering his people from a bondage of moral evil, worse than
Egypt or Babylon." (pp. 74-5.) "A notion of _foresight by vision of
particulars_, or a kind of clairvoyance," (p. 70,)--(such is this Doctor
of Divinity's notion of the gift of prophecy!)--he deems inadmissible.
"_Literal prognostication_," (p. 65,) is his abhorrence. He would
eliminate the Messianic passages altogether. (pp. 65-6.) That Prophecy
was miraculous, was a dream of the Fathers, (p. 66.) Even the notion
that Prophecy is "a natural gift, consistent with fallibility," (p. 70,)
Dr. Williams rejects as an unwarrantable addition to the "moral and
metaphysical basis of Prophecy." (p. 70.) Bunsen was for admitting that
addition. "One would wish," (says the Vicar of Broad Chalke,) "_he might
have intended only the power of seeing the ideal in the actual_, or of
tracing the Divine Government in the movements of men. He seems to mean
_more than presentiment or sagacity_: and this element in his system
requires proof." (pp. 70-1.) ... This, from a Doctor of Divinity! a
Professor of Hebrew! the Vice-Principal of a Theological College! a
shepherd of souls!

We are left to infer that "the Fall of Adam represents ideally the
circumscription of our spirits in limits of flesh and time:" (p. 88:)
that CHRIST is "the moral Saviour of mankind;" (p. 80;) and that
Salvation from evil is to be attained by the conformity of our souls to
a "_religious idea_" which was "brought to perfection" in CHRIST.
(p. 80.) This "religious idea" "is the thought of the Eternal."
(_Ibid._) In other words, "Salvation from evil" is "through sharing the
SAVIOUR's Spirit." (p. 87.)--We are further left to infer that
"Justification by faith means the peace of mind, or sense of Divine
approval, which comes of trust in a righteous GOD:" (p. 80:) that
"Regeneration is a correspondent giving of insight, or an awakening of
forces of the soul: Resurrection, a spiritual quickening: Salvation, our
deliverance, not from the life-giving GOD, but from evil and darkness."
(p. 81.) ... And this from a Clergyman who has just subscribed,
"willingly and _ex animo_," the three Articles in the 36th Canon!...
After such specimens of Divinity, we are scarcely surprised to find that
the fires of Hell γέεννα "may serve as images of distracted remorse:"
(p. 81:) that "Heaven is not a place[59], so much as a fulfilment of the
love of GOD." (pp. 81-2.) The very Incarnation, (which he calls "the
embodiment of the Eternal Mind,") (p. 82.) is spoken of as if it were a
myth. "It becomes with our author _as purely spiritual_ as it was with
St. Paul. The Son of David by birth is the SON of GOD _by the spirit of
holiness_. What is flesh, is born of flesh; and what is spirit, is born
of Spirit." (p. 82.) Rom. i. 1-3 is quoted in support of this, which I
cannot but regard as blasphemy: for if it does not mean that our SAVIOUR
was not, in a true and literal sense, the SON of GOD at all, it is hard
to see _what_ it can mean.--As for the following account of the mystery
of the Blessed Trinity, it shall only be said that it sounds like a
denial of the Catholic doctrine altogether. "Being, becoming, and
animating; or substance, thinking, and conscious life, are expressions
of a Triad which may be also represented as will, wisdom, and love; as
light, radiance, and warmth; as fountain, stream, and united flow; as
mind, thought, and consciousness; as person, word, and life; as FATHER,
SON, and SPIRIT." (p. 88.)

The _nebulous_ is a striking peculiarity of the style of the Vicar of
Broad Chalke[60]. He informs us that "in virtue of the identity of
Thought with Being the primitive Trinity represented neither three
originant principles nor three transient phases, but three eternal
subsistences in one Divine Mind.... The Divine Consciousness or Wisdom,
consubstantial with the Eternal Will, becoming personal in the Son of
Man, is the express image of the FATHER; and JESUS actually, but also
Mankind ideally, is the SON of GOD." (pp. 88-9.) Since this has "almost
a Brahmanical sound" (p. 89.) even to the Vicar of Broad Chalke, we are
content to pass it by in mute astonishment. He proceeds: "Both spiritual
affection and metaphysical reasoning forbid us to confine Revelations
like those of CHRIST to the first half century of our era; but shew at
least affinities of our faith existing in men's minds, anterior to
Christianity, and renewed with deep echo from living hearts in many a
generation." (p. 82.) Was our SAVIOUR then a fabulous personage,--a
virtuous principle,--and not a Man?... "Again. We find the evidences of
our canonical books and of the patristic authors nearest to them, are
sufficient to prove illustration in outward act of principles
perpetually true, but not adequate to guarantee narratives inherently
incredible or precepts evidently wrong." (pp. 82-3.) Are then the sacred
"narratives" "inherently incredible?" or the Divine "precepts"
"evidently wrong?"--These are, we presume, among the "traditional
fictions about our Canon" (p. 83.) at which the Theological Professor
sneers. "Hence we are obliged to assume in ourselves a verifying
faculty,"--(p. 83,) and so, Dr. Williams and Dr. Temple shake hands[61].
An instance of the exercise of this faculty is immediately subjoined.
"The verse 'And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but he that came
down,' is intelligible as a free comment near the end of the first
century; but has no meaning in our Lord's mouth at a time when the
Ascension had not been heard of." (p. 84.)--"The Apocalypse" in like
manner, to "cease to be a riddle," must be "taken as a series of
poetical visions which represent the outpouring of the vials of wrath
upon the City where our LORD was slain." (p. 84.) ... (Is it possible
that a Minister of the Gospel of CHRIST can speak thus concerning the
Divine record?) ... "The second of the Petrine Epistles, having alike
external and internal evidence against its genuineness, is necessarily
surrendered as a whole." (p. 84.) (Can a man solemnly sign the vith
Article, and yet so write?)--"A philosophical view [of the doctrine of
the Trinity] recommends itself as easiest to believe." (p. 87.) The
"view" expressed in the Athanasian Creed is we presume that which is
stigmatized as "one felt to be so irrational, that it calls in the aid
of terror." (p. 87.) The Reverend writer does not _name_ the Athanasian
Creed, indeed. It is not the general fashion of Essayists and
Reviewers,--from Dr. Temple to Professor Jowett,--to speak plainly. But
common sense asks,--If Dr. Williams does _not_ allude to the Creed in
question, what _does_ he allude to? And common honesty adds,--How is
such an allusion to that formula consistent with subscription to Art.
viii.?

The Sacrament of Baptism, (he says,) has "degenerated into a magical
form," (p. 86,) since it has "become twisted into a false analogy with
circumcision,"--(twisted, at all events, by St. Paul[62]!)--and it is
merely an "Augustinian notion" that "a curse is inherited by
Infants."--How, one humbly asks, does the Reverend writer reconcile it
to his conscience not only to have signed the ixth Article, but to
employ the Baptismal Service, and to teach the little ones of the flock
their Catechism?

On reaching the last page of the present Essay, one is irresistibly led
to remark that if a single word could convey an adequate notion of the
author's manner, that word would be _Insolence_. When Dr. Williams would
express difference of opinion, he has recourse to violence and bluster:
when he would patronize, he is sure to make himself unspeakably
offensive. But he seldom agrees with anybody, even with disciples of the
same school with himself,--as Messrs. Bunsen and Arnold, Coleridge and
Francis Newman. Professor Mansel is "a mere gladiator hitting in the
dark," whose "blows fall heaviest on what it was his duty to defend."
(p. 67.) Dr. Pusey receives a menacing intimation of what his Commentary
must _not_ be. Davison's reasoning labours under the inconvenient defect
of an unproved minor premiss. (p. 66.) The majestic memory of Bp.
Pearson is insulted by this vulgar man, and the fairness of his
citations are impeached. (p. 72.)--Bp. Butler is declared to have turned
aside from an unwelcome idea (!), literature not being his strong
point (!) (p. 65.)--Justin, (p. 64,)--Augustine, (p. 65,)--Jerome, (pp.
65, 71,)--Anselm, (p. 67,)--all come in for a share of the
Vice-Principal of Lampeter's contempt. Even the Apologist of _Essays and
Reviews_ is constrained to admit that "anything more" _un_becoming "than
some of Dr. Williams's remarks we have never read, in writings
professing to be written seriously[63]."

But faults of mind and manner, however gross, do but disqualify a writer
for being the associate of men of taste and good breeding; and blemishes
of style are, at least, venial. Not so easily to be excused is the
deplorable spectacle of a Minister of the Gospel, a Doctor of Divinity
and Vice-Principal of a Theological College, lending all his critical
powers, (which yet seem to be of the most indifferent description,) in
order to undermine the authority of GOD'S Word. He has been asked,--"Do
you unfeignedly believe all the Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New
Testament?" and he has answered,--"I do believe them." He has been
asked, "Will you be ready, with all diligence, to banish and drive away
all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to GOD'S Word?" and he has
made reply,--"I will, the LORD being my helper." He has solemnly
declared his trust that he was "_inwardly moved by the HOLY GHOST to
take upon himself this office and ministration_."--Yet this is the man
who explains away Miracles, denies Prophecy, and idealizes Scripture;
the man who disparages the formulæ he uses daily, mutilates the Canon,
and evacuates the most solemn doctrines of the Church!

I have now said as much as I think necessary concerning Dr. Williams's
Essay. The entire refutation of such a tissue of groundless assertions
and unfounded statements, and unscholarlike criticisms, and
unphilosophical views,--would fill many volumes. It is to be feared also
that, to _him_, the result would not be convincing after all. To have
stated in brief outline, as I have already done, the leading positions
to which he commits himself, ought to suffice. The mere exhibition of
such principles (?) ought to be their own abundant refutation.... GOD
give the unhappy author repentance of his errors!--And will not men
believe that in the pages of the present Essay is to be seen the lawful
development, and inevitable result of the opinions advocated _in every
other part_ of the present volume? I perceive scarcely any _essential_
difference between the views of any of these seven writers. All are
moving along the same fatal road; and are simply at different stages of
the journey. But they conduct themselves wondrous differently in their
progress, certainly; Dr. Williams being immeasurably the most offensive
of the seven,--the only one who, besides seeming blasphemous, can truly
be called _vulgar_.

       *       *       *       *       *

III. The third Essay in the present volume is by "the REV. BADEN POWELL,
M.A., F.R.S., Savilian Professor of Geometry in the University of
Oxford,"--a gentleman with whose labours I shall deal briefly and gently
for two reasons. His assertions admit of summary refutation; and he has
already, (alas!) passed beyond the limit of earthly Criticism. I desire
to add concerning him, that in the private relations of life he was a
friendly and amiable person.

The solemn circumstance already adverted to, would have kept me silent
altogether. When a writer is no longer able to defend himself, it is
ungenerous to attack him: and at a time when he knows far more wonders
than are dreamed of by any one on the Earth's surface, it seems
unbecoming to stand reasoning over his grave about an "antecedent
probability." But I am addressing not the dead, but the living,--to
whom, in the pages of 'Essays and Reviews,' Professor Powell "being dead
yet speaketh."

He entitles his contribution,--"On the Study of the Evidences of
Christianity:" but, as often happens with performances of the like
nature, the title of his Essay gives a wrong notion of its contents. It
ought to have been called "The Validity of THE EVIDENCE FROM MIRACLES
considered," or rather "denied."

There is nothing new in the present attack on the Miracles of Scripture.
The author disposes of them by a single assertion. "What is alleged,"
(he says,) "is a case of the supernatural. _But no testimony can reach
to the supernatural._" (p. 107.) The inference is obvious.--Again: "an
event may be so incredible intrinsically as to _set aside any degree of
testimony_." (p. 106.) Such an event he declares a Miracle to be; and
explains that "from the nature of our antecedent convictions, the
probability of _some_ kind of mistake or deception _somewhere_, though
we know not _where_, is greater than the probability of the event really
happening in _the way_, and from _the causes_ assigned." (pp. 106-7.)
This merely amounts to asserting that the antecedent improbability of
Miracles is so great as to make them incredible. The writer does not
attempt to establish this point. "The present discussion," (he says,)
"is not intended to be of a controversial kind; it is purely
contemplative and theoretical." (p. 100.) And yet, he _cannot_ suppose
that the Universal Church will surrender its convictions and reverse its
deliberate judgment, at the merely "contemplative and theoretical"
suggestions of an individual, however respectable he may happen to be.
Against his mere assertion, we claim a right to set the result of Bp.
Butler's careful investigation of the same subject:--"_That there
certainly is no such presumption against Miracles, as to render them in
any wise incredible_: that, on the contrary, our being able to discern
reasons for them, gives a positive credibility to the history of them,
in cases where those reasons hold: and that it is by no means certain
that there is any peculiar presumption at all, from analogy, even in the
lowest degree, against Miracles, as distinguished from other
extraordinary phenomena[64]."

Professor Powell's objection against Miracles is, in fact, practically
that of the infidel Hume; who asserted "that no testimony for any kind
of Miracle can ever possibly amount to a probability, much less to a
proof." He argued that Miracles, being contrary to general experience,
are incapable of proof. He maintained also, (with Spinoza,) that
Miracles, being contrary to the established laws of Nature, imply, in
the very character of them, a palpable contradiction. This latter
position seems to be identical with that adopted by Professor Powell.

In a certain place, this author finds fault with "the too frequent
assumption ... of the part of the ... _Advocate_, when the character to
be sustained should be rather that of the unbiassed _Judge_." (p. 95.)
But what are we to think of the judicial fairness of one who is not only
Advocate and Judge in his own cause; but who even turns the Witnesses
out of Court; and will listen to no evidence,--on the plea that it
_cannot_ be trustworthy; or at least, that it _shall_ be unavailing?--"I
express myself with caution," (says Bp. Butler, with reference to
arguments against the credibility of Revelation,) "lest I should be
mistaken to vilify Reason; which is indeed the only faculty we have
wherewith to judge concerning anything, even Revelation itself: or be
misunderstood to assert that a supposed revelation cannot be proved
false, from internal characters. For it may contain clear immoralities,
or contradictions; and either of these would prove it false. Nor will I
take upon me to affirm, that nothing else can possibly render any
supposed revelation incredible. Yet still the observation is, I think,
true beyond doubt; that _objections against Christianity, as
distinguished from objections against its evidence, are frivolous[65]_."

That a certain occurrence or phenomenon "is due to supernatural causes,"
Professor Powell maintains is "entirely dependent on the previous belief
and assumptions of the parties." (p. 107.) He forgets that he grounds
his own denial of the possibility of a Miracle, on nothing stronger than
"the nature of" his own "antecedent convictions." Thus, the question
becomes merely a personal one between Mr. Baden Powell and the Apostles
of CHRIST. The reasonableness of the "antecedent convictions" in the one
case have to be set against the reasonableness of the "antecedent
convictions" in the other. Either party, (according to this view,) has
its own "previous belief and assumptions;" which, in the one case, are
known to have produced conviction; in the other, they are unhappily
found to have resulted in a rejection of Miracles. But then it happens,
unfortunately, that in the case of the Apostles and others, conviction
of the truth of our LORD'S Miracles was based on _knowledge_, and
_experience of a matter of fact_: in the case of Professor Powell,
disbelief is founded on certain "antecedent convictions" only: namely,
"the inconceivableness of imagined interruptions of natural Order, or
supposed suspensions of the Laws of matter." (p. 110.) He is never tired
of repeating that "in an age of physical research like the present, all
highly cultivated minds and duly advanced intellects (!) have imbibed,
more or less, the lessons of the Inductive Philosophy; and have, at
least in some measure, learned to appreciate the grand foundation
conception of universal Law:" (p. 133:) that "the entire range of the
Inductive Philosophy is at once based upon, and in every instance tends
to confirm, by immense accumulation of evidence, the grand truth of the
universal Order and constancy of natural causes, as a primary law of
belief; so strongly entertained and fixed in the mind of every truly
inductive inquirer, that he cannot even conceive the possibility of its
failure." (p. 109.)

I gladly avail myself of a page from the writings of a thoughtful writer
of our own, who, half a century ago, reviewed the very errors which are
being so industriously reproduced among ourselves at this
day,--certainly not with more ability than of old:--"Let us examine a
little farther into the weight of the argument derived from the supposed
immutability of the Laws of Nature. It has constantly been the theme of
modern Unbelievers, that the course of Nature is fixed, eternal,
unalterable; and that nothing which is supposed to violate it can
possibly take place. Now, we may readily allow, that the course of
Nature is unalterable by _human_ power; nay, even by the power of any
_created_ being whatsoever. But the question is,--Are these Laws
unalterable _by Him who made them_? Proof of this is requisite, before
the argument from the immutability of the Laws of Nature can have the
least force. We may safely assert, however, that proof of this is
absolutely impossible.--'Facts,' it may be said, 'daily passing before
us, warrant us in _supposing_ its laws to be unchangeable.' Perhaps so.
But if a thousand or more facts have occurred, since the Creation of the
World, in which those Laws appear to have been over-ruled, or suspended,
is such a conclusion _then_ warrantable? Even if there had never been a
single instance of a Miracle recorded, since the Creation; yet the
conclusion would not be just or logical, that no such thing is possible.
But with such a multiplicity of instances to the contrary as are already
on record, it is no better than a shameless assertion, in direct
opposition to the evidence of men's senses and experience. Nay, more;
the argument is _atheistical_. For, either GOD made and ordained these
Laws of Nature; and may, consequently, at His pleasure, unmake or
suspend them: or else, these laws are self-framed, and Nature is
independent of the GOD of Nature; which is saying, in other words, that
the material Universe is not governed by any Supreme Intelligence.

"This latter opinion appears, indeed, to be the tenet of all who resort
to arguments of this kind, in opposition to the credibility of Miracles.
Thus it is said, [by Hume,] that every effect must have a cause; and
that, therefore, a Miracle must have a cause in _Nature_; otherwise, it
cannot be effected.--But, is not the _Will of_ GOD, without any other
agency, or predisposing cause, sufficient for the purpose? When GOD
created the World out of nothing, what pre-existing cause was there,
except His own omnipotent Will to produce the effect? Why then is not
the same Will sufficient to work Miracles?

"'But,' says another Sophist, [Spinoza,]--'GOD is the Author of the Laws
of Nature; so that whatever opposes those Laws, is necessarily
_repugnant to the Divine nature_: if, therefore, we believe that GOD may
act in a manner contrary to those laws, we, in effect, believe that He
may do what is contrary to _His own nature_; which is absurd and
impossible.'

"The reasoning turns upon the supposition that GOD is actuated by an
absolute _necessity_ of His Nature, and not by his _Will_: or, rather,
that He hath neither Will, nor Intellect. Otherwise, it were easy to
perceive, that in suspending the operation of His own Laws, GOD cannot
be charged with doing anything contradictory to _His own_ nature; since
He may justly be supposed to have as good reasons for _departing_ from
those Laws, as for _framing_ them: and as we know not why He framed them
in such a manner, and no otherwise; so He may have the best and wisest
reasons for the suspension of them, which it is not for us to call in
question. To speak of the Supreme Being as actuated by a kind of
physical necessity, and not by His _Will_, is to confound the GOD of
Nature with Nature itself; which is the very essence of Atheism, and
never can be reconciled with any just notions of the Deity, as a Being
of intellectual and moral perfections[66]."

_It is by no means inconceivable_, therefore, that the great Cause of
Creation, and first Author of Law should interfere at any given time in
the established Order of Nature. Moreover, it is irrational, on
sufficient testimony, to disbelieve that He has sometimes so interposed.
To deny that this is conceivable, is to make GOD inferior to His own
decree; to pronounce it incredible that the Lawgiver should be superior
to His own Laws. "The universal subordination of causation," (p. 134,)
we as freely admit as the Professor himself: but then we contend that
_everything else_ must be subordinate to the _First great Cause of all_.
Worse than unphilosophical is it to argue as the Professor presumes to
do, concerning the MOST HIGH; but unphilosophical in the strictest sense
it is. For it is to reason about Him, (the finite concerning the
Infinite!) as if we understood Him; we, who can barely decipher a
little part of His works! A few more remarks on this subject will be
found in my viith Sermon.

We are anxious to know if the whole of the case is really before us. A
few more extracts from Professor Powell's Essay seem necessary to do
full justice to his view of the matter:--"All moral evidence must
essentially have respect to the parties to be convinced. 'Signs' might
be adapted peculiarly _to the state of moral or intellectual progress of
one age_, or one class of persons, and not be suited to that of
others.... And it is to the entire difference in the ideas,
prepossessions, modes, and grounds of belief in those times, that we may
trace the reason why Miracles, which would be incredible _now_, were not
so in the age, and under the circumstances, in which they are stated to
have occurred." (p. 117.) ... "An evidential appeal which in a long past
age was convincing, as made to _the state of knowledge in that age_[67],
might have not only no effect, but even an injurious tendency, if urged
in the present, and referring to what is at variance with existing
scientific conceptions; just as the arguments of the present age would
have been unintelligible to a former."

"In a period of advanced physical knowledge, the reference to what was
believed in past times, if at variance with principles now acknowledged,
could afford little ground of appeal: in fact, would damage the argument
rather than assist it." (p. 126.)

"It becomes imperatively necessary, that such views should be suggested
as may be really suitable to better informed minds, and may meet the
increasing demands of an age pretending at least to greater
enlightenment." (p. 126.)

There is nothing in the additional suggestions thus thrown out which in
reality affects the question at issue. Certain antecedent considerations
were before insisted on, which (it was said) "must be paramount to all
attestation." (p. 107.) These have been disposed of. The writer now
tells us that he does not question "_the honesty_ or _veracity_ of the
testimony, or the reality of the _impressions_ on the minds of the
witnesses." (p. 106.) It remains to inquire therefore to what natural
causes, events which were once thought miraculous, may reasonably be
referred; since the so-called Miracles of the imperfectly-informed age
of our LORD and His Apostles will not endure the scrutiny of the present
age of scientific enlightenment.

But this, unless it be a proposal to open the whole question afresh,--to
examine _the Miracles themselves_,--to consider them one by one,--to
inquire into their exact nature,--and to investigate their attendant
circumstances,--is unmeaning. For we cannot, as reasonable men, dismiss
a vast body of august events, differing so considerably one from
another, with a vague inuendo that there was probably "some kind of
mistake or deception somewhere, though we do not know where:" (p. 106:)
a hint that natural events may have been regarded as supernatural by an
unscientific age, (which I believe was Schleiermacher's view:) and so
forth. The two miraculous Draughts of fishes,--the Stater found in the
fish's mouth,--the stilling of the Storm,--might perhaps, by a little
rhetorical sophistry, in unscrupulous hands, be so disposed of. But the
_Creative Power_ displayed on the two occasions of a miraculous feeding
of thousands,--the giving of sight to a man born blind,--the calling of
Lazarus out of the grave where he had been for four days buried;--these
are transactions which resist every attempt of the enemy to explain
away, as unscientific misconceptions. They may be powerless to produce
conviction in some _now_, as they were powerless to produce conviction
in some _then_: but they cannot be set aside by an insinuation. There
could not have been any mistake when the Five Thousand were fed with
five loaves, and twelve baskets full were gathered up; or when the Four
Thousand were fed with seven loaves, and fragments enough to fill seven
baskets remained over[68]. There was no room for deception in the case
of the man born blind; for _that_ case immediately underwent a judicial
scrutiny[69]. Lazarus bound hand and foot with grave-clothes required
that the bystanders should "loose him and let him go[70]:" but from that
moment, neither supposed scientific necessity, nor antecedent
considerations, nor the ordinary course of Nature, nor any other
creature, will avail to bind him any more!

This may suffice on the subject of Professor Powell's Essay. On the
great question itself, I have said something in my Seventh Sermon, to
which the reader is requested to refer.--The performance now under
consideration abounds in incorrect statements, while it revives not a
few exploded objections; but I have considered the only points in it
which are material.

Thus the author assumes "that, unlike the _essential Doctrines_ of
Christianity, 'the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,' those
_external accessories_, [Miracles, for example,] constitute a subject
which of necessity is perpetually taking somewhat at least of a new
form, with the successive phases of opinion and knowledge." (p. 94.)
But, (waiving for the moment the impossibility of severing the Doctrines
of the Gospel from the miraculous evidence that our LORD was a Teacher
sent from Heaven[71]), it requires no ability to perceive that although
"opinion" should alter daily, and "knowledge" increase ever so much,
yet, events professing to be miraculous, being plain _matters of fact_,
are to-day exactly what and where they were many centuries ago. Physical
Science may pretend (with Paulus) to explain them on natural principles,
truly; and while she does so, the world is sure to give her a patient,
even an indulgent hearing. But then she must let it be known _what_ she
proposes to explain, and _how_ she proposes to explain it. She must be
so indulgent also, as to listen while we, in turn, shew her _on what_
grounds we find it impossible to accept her Theory. "The inevitable
progress of research," (says this author,) "must, within a longer or
shorter period, unravel _all that seems most marvellous_; and what is at
present least understood will become as familiarly known to the Science
of the future, as those points which a few centuries ago, were involved
in equal obscurity, but are now thoroughly understood." (p. 109.) Such a
vaticination as regards Miracles, is, to say the least, premature; and
until it can appeal to incipient accomplishment, it must be regarded as
nugatory also. I am not aware, that as yet one single Miracle has been
struck off the list; yet Miracles have now been before the world a long
time, and they have not wanted enemies either.

To begin Divinity with a discussion of the "Evidences," we do indeed
hold to be a beginning _at the wrong end_. At the same time, all of
Professor Powell's opening remarks, in which he insinuates that the
Church would bar, or would stifle discussion concerning the evidences of
Religion, are obviously untrue. No scrutiny of Christian Miracles,
however rigid, is stopped by the admonition that such narratives "ought
to be held sacred, and exempt from the unhallowed criticism of human
Reason." (p. 110.) We do not, by any means, "treat all objections as
profane, and discard exceptions unanswered as shocking and immoral."
(p. 100.) Neither does the Church think herself "omniscient and
infallible;" (p. 96;) though she holds Omniscience to be an attribute of
GOD; and Infallibility, of the Bible. But she deprecates in the
strongest manner vague insinuations and unsupported doubts of the
reality of her LORD'S Miracles, sown broad-cast over the land; and she
is at a loss to understand how the "difficulties" of any, can be in this
manner "removed;" (p. 96;) except by a process analogous to that which
would cure a malady by taking away the life of the patient. We are not
in fact at all disposed to admit that "Miracles, which in the estimation
of a former age were among the chief _supports_ of Christianity, are at
present among the main _difficulties_, and hindrances to its
acceptance," (p. 140,)--although Professor Powell and Dr. Temple say so.

This Essay in fact is full of incorrect, or objectionable statements.
Thus Professor Powell asserts that since "evidential arguments are
avowedly addressed to the intellect, it is especially preposterous to
shift the ground, and charge the rejection of them on _moral_ motives."
(p. 100.) And yet it is worthy of notice that our LORD Himself assures
us that the reception of Truth depends on our moral, rather than on our
intellectual condition. "How can ye believe," (He said to the Jews,)
"which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that
cometh from GOD only[72]?"

This writer reasons also with singular laxity and inaccuracy. After
quoting the dictum that "on a certain amount of testimony we might
believe any statement, however improbable," (pp. 140-1,) he scornfully
adds;--"So that if a number of respectable witnesses were to concur in
asseverating that on a certain occasion they had seen two and two make
five, we should be bound to believe them!" (p. 141.) Does he fail to
perceive, (1) that mathematical truths do not come within the province
of probable reasoning, and (2) are not dependent on testimony?... Again,
"The case of the _antecedent_ argument of Miracles is very clear,
however little some are inclined to perceive it. In Nature and from
Nature, by Science and by Reason, _we neither have nor can possibly have
any evidence of a Deity working by Miracles_;--for that, we must go out
of Nature, and beyond Science." (pp. 141-2.) Very true. We must go _to
Scripture_. We must have recourse to testimony. This is precisely what
we are maintaining.... But,--"Testimony, after all, is but a second-hand
assurance; it is but a blind guide; testimony can avail nothing against
Reason." (p. 141.) True. But this, if it is intended as an argument
against the reasonableness of admitting the truth of Miracles, is a mere
_petitio principii_.... Again. "It is not the _mere fact_ but the
_cause_ or _explanation_ of it, which is the point at issue." (p. 141.)
Admitting then, as the learned author here does, that when CHRIST said
"Lazarus, come forth," "he that was dead," (though he had been buried
four days,) "came forth, bound hand and foot with
grave-clothes[73];"--admitting these "facts," I say,--what other
"cause," or "explanation" does the reverend gentleman propose to assign
but the supernatural power of the Divine Speaker?

Far graver exception, however, must be taken against certain parts of
Professor Powell's labours, which betray an animus fatally indicative of
the tendency of such Essays and Reviews as these. Witness his assertion
that "it is now acknowledged that 'Creation' is only another name for
our ignorance of the mode of production;" (p. 139;) and that a recent
work on the Origin of Species "substantiates on undeniable grounds the
very principle so long denounced by the first naturalists,--_the
origination of new species by natural causes_;" (p. 139;) and that the
said work "must soon bring about an entire revolution of opinion in
favour of the grand principle of the _self-evolving powers of Nature_."
(p. 139.)

One object of the present Essay is to insist that since Miracles belong
to the world of matter, "we must recognize the due claims of Science to
decide" upon them. We are reminded that "beyond the domain of physical
causation and the possible conceptions of _intellect_ or _knowledge_,
there lies open the boundless region of spiritual things, which is the
sole dominion of Faith:" (p. 127:) and that "Advancing knowledge, while
it asserts the dominion of Science in physical things, confirms that of
Faith in spiritual." (p. 127.) It is proposed that "we thus neither
impugn the generalizations of Philosophy, nor allow them to invade the
dominion of Faith; and admit that what is not a subject for a problem,
may hold its place in a Creed." (p. 127.)

But the fatal consequences of this plausible fallacy become apparent the
instant we turn the leaf, and read that "the more knowledge advances,
the more it has been, and will be acknowledged, that Christianity, as a
real religion, must be viewed apart from connexion with physical
things." (p. 128.) That "the first dissociation of the spiritual from
the physical was rendered necessary by the palpable contradictions
disclosed by astronomical discovery with the letter of Scripture.
Another still wider and more material step has been effected by the
discoveries of Geology. More recently, the antiquity of the Human Race,
and the development of Species, and _the rejection of the idea of
'Creation'_ (!) have caused new advances in the same direction."
(p. 129.) ... From this it is evident, not only that the object of
Science in thus taking the Miracles of Scripture into her own keeping,
is (like an unnatural step-dame) to slay them; but that downright
Atheism is to be the attitude in which men are expected to survey that
"boundless region of spiritual things" which is yet proclaimed to be
"the sole dominion of Faith!"

Faith, on the other hand, does not object to the constant visits of
Science to any part of _her_ treasure. She does but insist that all
discussion shall be conducted _according to the rules of right Reason_.
Vague insinuations about "a progressing Age," (p. 131,)--"new modes of
speculation," (p. 130,)--"the advance of Opinion," (p. 131,)--and so
forth, are as little to the purpose, _apart from specific objections_,
as sneers at "the one-sided dogmas of an obsolete school, coupled with
awful denunciations of heterodoxy on all who refuse to listen to them,"
(p. 131,) are unsuited to the gravity of the occasion. Faith insists
moreover that a divorce between the miraculous parts of Scripture, and
the context wherein they stand, is simply impossible. The unbeliever who
boldly says, "I disbelieve the Bible,"--however much we may deplore his
blindness and pity his misery,--is yet intelligible in his unbelief. But
the man who proposes to believe _the narrative_ of the Exode of Israel
from Egypt, (for instance,) apart from the supernatural character of the
events which are related to have attended it; who believes _the history_
of the Gospels, (holding the Evangelists to have been veracious
writers,) yet rejects the Divine nature of the Miracles which the
Gospels relate; and proposes, after eliminating from the historical
narrative everything which claims to be miraculous, to make what
remains of that historical narrative, the strength and stay of his soul
in life and in death:--_that_ man we boldly affirm to be one who cannot
have studied the Bible with that ordinary attention which would entitle
him to dogmatize concerning its contents: or else, whose logical faculty
must be so hopelessly defective that discussions of this class are
evidently not his proper province.

Finally, we are presented in this Essay with the same offensive
assumption of intellectual superiority on the part of the writer, which
disfigures the entire volume. "It becomes _imperatively necessary_ that
views should be suggested really suitable _to better informed minds_."
(p. 126.) "Points which may be seen to involve the greatest difficulty
to _more profound inquirers_, are often such as do not occasion the
least perplexity to _ordinary minds_, but are allowed to pass without
hesitation." (p. 125.) (And this, from one of those "profound
inquirers," one of "those who have reflected most deeply," (p. 126,) who
yet cannot get beyond a resuscitation of Hume and Spinoza's exploded
objections to the truth of Miracles!)--Butler's unanswerable arguments,
(for the allusion is evidently to _him_,) are spoken of as "a few trite
and commonplace generalities as to the moral government of the World and
the belief in the Divine Omnipotence; or as to the validity of human
testimony; or the limits of human experience." (p. 133.) And yet the
author is for ever informing us that his hostility to Miracles "is
essentially built upon those _grander conceptions_ of the order of
Nature, those comprehensive primary elements of all physical knowledge,
those ultimate ideas of universal causation, which can only be familiar
to _those thoroughly versed in cosmical philosophy in its widest
sense_." (p. 133.) "All _highly cultivated minds_, and _duly advanced
intellects_," are supposed to find their exponent in Professor Baden
Powell. All other thinkers have "_minds of a less comprehensive
capacity_," "accustomed to reason on _more contracted views_." (p. 133.
See also p. 131, _top_.) Is this the modesty of real Science? the
language of a true Philosopher and Divine?

Finally, after all that has gone before we are not much astonished, but
we _are_ considerably shocked, to read as follows:--"The Divine
Omnipotence is entirely an inference _from the language of the Bible_,
adopted _on the assumption_ of a belief in Revelation. That 'with GOD
nothing is impossible' is the very declaration of Scripture; yet on
this, the whole belief in Miracles is built[74]." Now, it happens that
'the whole belief in Miracles' is built on nothing of the kind: but the
point is immaterial. By no means immaterial, however, is the intimation
that the Divine attribute of Omnipotence is a mere inference from the
language of Revelation,--the very belief in which is also a mere
"assumption." _If belief in Holy Scripture_ is to be treated as _an
assumption_,--without at all complaining of the unreasonableness of one
who so speaks,--we yet desire that he would say it very plainly; and let
us know at least _with whom_ we have to do, and _what_ we are expected
to prove. We do not complain, if any one calls upon us to shew that a
belief in the Bible cannot be called an assumption; but it makes us very
sad: and when the challenge comes from a Minister of the Church, we are
unable to forbear the remark that there is something altogether
immoral[75] in the entire proceeding. On the other hand, to find
ourselves involved in an argument on questions of Divinity with one _who
believes nothing_, is in a manner absurd; and provokes a feeling of
resentment as well as of pity.... What need to add that life is not long
enough for such processes of proof? "He that cometh unto GOD _must
believe that He is_!" We cannot be for ever laying the foundation. The
building must begin, at last, to grow. And when it _has_ grown up, and
is compact as well as beautiful, it _cannot_ be necessary to pull it all
down again once or twice in every century in order to ascertain whether
the strong foundations be still there!

       *       *       *       *       *

IV. The next performance is mainly directed against faith in the Church,
as a society of Divine origin. "The Rev. HENRY BRISTOW WILSON, B.D.,
Vicar of Great Staughton, Hunts," claims that a National Church shall be
regarded as a purely secular Institution,--the spontaneous development
of the State. "If all priests and ministers of religion could at one
moment be swept from the face of the Earth, they would soon be
reproduced[76]." The Church is concerned with Ethics, not with Divinity.
It should therefore be "free from dogmatic tests, and similar
intellectual bondage:" (p. 168:) hampered by no traditional Doctrines;
pledged to no Creeds: but, on the contrary, should be subject to
periodical doctrinal re-adjustments. "Doctrinal limitations" (i.e. the
Creeds) "are not essential to" the Church. "Upon larger knowledge of
Christian history, upon a more thorough acquaintance with the mental
constitution of man, upon an understanding of the obstacles they present
to a true Catholicity (!), they may be cast off." (p. 167.) "In order to
the possibility of recruiting any national Ministry from the whole of
the nation, ... no needless intellectual or speculative obstacles should
be interposed." (p. 196. So at p. 198.)

To all this, the answer is very obvious. Viewed as an historical fact,
the Church is _not_ of human origin. The Church _is_ a Divine
Institution. That a Priest of the Church, charged with a cure of souls,
should desire her annihilation,--the reversal of the facts of her past
History,--her reconstruction on an unheard-of basis, without even Creeds
as terms of communion with her,--and so forth; all this may suggest some
very painful doubts as _to the objector's honesty_ in continuing to
employ the formularies of that Church, and in professing to teach her
doctrines;--but it can hardly be supposed to have any effect whatever on
the question at issue.

Foreseeing this, Mr. Wilson begins by asserting,--(for to insinuate is
not for so advanced a disciple of "the negative Theology,") (p.
151,)--"the fact of a very wide-spread alienation, both of educated and
uneducated persons, from the Christianity which is ordinarily presented
in our Churches and Chapels." (p. 150.) "A self-satisfied Sacerdotalism,
confident in a supernaturally transmitted illumination," may amuse
itself in trying to "keep peace within the walls of emptied Churches:"
(p. 150:) but the day for "traditional Christianity" (p. 149.) has gone
by. We may no longer ignore "a great extent of dissatisfaction on the
part of the Clergy at some portion, at least, of formularies of the
Church of England,"--especially at the use of "one unhappy creed." (p.
150.) There has been "a spontaneous recoil" from some of the old
doctrines: a distrust of the old arguments: and a misgiving concerning
Scripture itself. "In the presence of difficulties of this kind, ... it
is vain to seek to check open discussion." (p. 151.)

Why then does not this man proceed openly to discuss? is the obvious
rejoinder. Instead of vaguely hinting that either the Reason or the
Moral sense is shocked by what people hear "in our Churches and
Chapels,"--why has not this writer, first, the honesty to withdraw from
the Ministry of the Church of England; and next, the courage to indicate
the particular doctrines which offend? To say that "the ordinances of
public worship and religious instruction provided for the people of
England" are not "really adapted to the wants of their nature as it is,"
(p. 150,) is a very vague and unworthy style of urging an objection. Why
does not the reverend writer explain _wherein_ the Doctrine and
Discipline of the English Church are not really adapted to the actual
wants of Man's nature?

Let every unbeliever however be allowed to state his difficulties in his
own way. Mr. Wilson's difficulties certainly take a very peculiar shape.
The increased _Geographical_ knowledge of the present generation has
evidently disturbed his faith. "In our own boyhood, the World as known
to the ancients was nearly all which was known to ourselves (!). We have
recently become acquainted,--intimate,--with the teeming regions of the
far East, and with empires, pagan or even atheistic, of which the
origin runs far back beyond the historic records of Judæa or of the
West, and which were more populous than all Christendom now is, for many
ages before the Christian era." (p. 162.) Such a statement is soon made;
but it ought to have been substantiated. I take the liberty of doubting
its accuracy.

But granting even that the heathen world "for many ages before the
Christian era" _was_ more populous than all Christendom now is:--what
then? This fact "_suggests questions_ to those who on Sundays hear the
reading and exposition of the Scriptures as they were expounded to our
forefathers, and on Monday peruse the news of a World of which our
forefathers little dreamed." (pp. 152-3.)--And pray, (we calmly
inquire,) _Why_ are the Scriptures to be read or expounded after a novel
fashion, even though our geographical knowledge _has_ made a
considerable advance? To this, we are favoured with no answer. The
"questions" suggested are, we presume, the same which are contained in
the following sentence. "In what relation does the Gospel stand to these
millions[77]? Is there any trace on the face of its records that it even
contemplated their existence[78]? We are told, that to know and believe
in JESUS CHRIST is in some sense necessary to Salvation. It has not been
given to these. Are they,--will they be, hereafter,--the worse off for
their ignorance?" (p. 153.) ... "As to the necessity of faith in a
SAVIOUR to these peoples when they could never have had it, no one,
upon reflection, can believe in any such thing. Doubtless they will be
equitably dealt with." (p. 153.)

These last seven words, (which scarcely seem of a piece with the rest of
the sentence,) we confess have always seemed a sufficient answer to the
badly-expressed speculative difficulty which immediately precedes; a
difficulty, be it observed, which does not depend _at all_ on the
popular advancement of Geographical knowledge; for it was urged with the
self-same force anciently, as now; and was met by Bp. Butler, almost in
the self-same words[79], upwards of a hundred years ago. But Mr. Wilson
to our surprise and sorrow proceeds:--"We cannot be content to wrap this
question up and leave it for a mystery, as to what shall become of those
myriads upon myriads of non-Christian races. First, if our traditions
tell us, that they are involved in the curse and perdition of Adam, and
may justly be punished hereafter individually for his transgression, not
having been extricated from it by saving faith,--we are disposed to
think that our traditions cannot herein fairly declare to us the words
and inferences from Scripture; but if on examination it should turn out
that they have,--we must say, that the authors of the Scriptural books
have, in those matters, represented to us their own inadequate
conceptions, and not the mind of the SPIRIT of GOD." (pp. 153-4.)

I forbear to dwell upon the grievous spectacle with which we are thus
presented. Here is a Clergyman of the Church of England deliberately
proposing the following dilemma:--Either the Prayer Book is incorrect in
its most important doctrinal inferences from Holy Scripture; or else,
the Authors of Holy Scripture itself are incorrect in their statements.
The morality of one who declares that he finds himself placed between
the horns of this dilemma, and yet retains his office as a public
teacher in the Church of England,--it is painful to contemplate. But
this is only _ad hominem_. The Reverend writer's difficulty remains.

And it seems sufficient to reply:--It is not _we_ who "wrap up the
question," but GOD. As a mystery we find it; and as a mystery, we not
only "can," but _must_ be content to "leave it." Further, it is not
"_our traditions_," but Holy Scripture itself which tells us that "by
one man Sin entered into the World, and Death by Sin; and so Death
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned[80]:"--that "in Adam all
died[81]:"--that "we were by nature the children of wrath, even as
others[82]:" and the like. Scripture, on the other hand, as
unequivocally assures us that GOD is good, or rather that He is very
Goodness. We are convinced, (in Mr. Wilson's words,) "that all shall be
equitably dealt with according to their opportunities." (p. 154.)
Moreover, _he_ would be a rash Divine who should venture to adopt the
opinion so strenuously disclaimed by Bp. Butler, "that none can have the
benefit of the general Redemption, but such as have the advantage of
being made acquainted with it in the present life[83]." ... How, in the
meantime, speculative difficulties concerning the hereafter of the
unevangelized Heathen are affected by the fact that our population now
"peruse the news of a World of which our forefathers little dreamed,"
(pp. 152-3,)--it is hard to see. Equally unable am I also to understand
how the discovery that a larger number of persons are the subjects of
this speculative difficulty than used once to be supposed, can
constitute any reason why Scripture should not still be read and
expounded on Sunday "as it used to be expounded to our forefathers."

We have been so particular, because whenever any of these writers
condescend to be argumentative, _we_ are eager to bear them company. No
wish at all have we, in the abstract, to stifle inquiry; no objection
whatever have we to the principle of free discussion. And yet, as a
clergyman, I cannot discuss such questions as these with a _Minister of
the Church of England_, except under protest. I deny that these are in
any sense open questions. To dispute concerning them,--εἰ μὴ θέσιν
διαφυλάττων,--one of the disputants must first, at least, resign his
commission. It is simply dishonest in a man to hold a commission in the
Church of England, under solemn vows, and yet to deny her doctrines. An
Officer in the Army who should pursue a similar line of action, would be
dismissed the Service,--or worse.--Under protest, then, we follow the
Rev. H. B. Wilson, B.D.

Next come three other specimens "of the modern questionings of
traditional Christianity," "whereby observers are rendered dissatisfied
with old modes of speaking:" (p. 156:) viz. (1) St. Paul "speaks of the
Gospel 'which was preached to every nation (_sic_) under heaven,' when
it has never yet been preached to the half[84]." (2) "Then, again, it
has often been appealed to as an evidence of the supernatural origin of
Christianity, and as an instance of supernatural assistance vouchsafed
to it in the first centuries, that it so soon overspread the world:"
(p. 155:) whereas "it requires no learning to be aware that neither then
nor subsequently have the Christians amounted to a fourth part of the
people of the Earth." (_Ibid._) (3) So again, "it has been customary to
argue that, _à priori_, a supernatural Revelation was to be expected at
the time when JESUS CHRIST was manifested upon the Earth, by reason of
the exhaustion of all natural or unassisted human efforts for the
amelioration of mankind;" (pp. 155-6;) whereas "our recently enlarged
Ethnographical information shews such an argument to be altogether
inapplicable to the case." "It would be more like the realities of
things, as we can now behold them, to say that the Christian Revelation
was given to the Western World, because it deserved it better and was
more prepared for it than the East." (p. 156.)--The remedy for the first
of these difficulties (says Mr. Wilson,) is, "candidly to acknowledge
that the words of the New Testament which speak of the preaching of the
Gospel to the whole world, were limited to the understanding of the
times when they were spoken." The suggestions of our own moral instincts
are rather to be followed, "than the express declarations of Scripture
writers, who had no such knowledge as is given to ourselves of the
amplitude of the World." (p. 157.)

For my own part, I see not how Mr. Wilson's proposed remedy meets the
case; unless he means to say that in the time of St. Paul the Gospel had
been literally preached to the whole World _as far as the World was then
known_. If not, it is clear that recourse must be had to some other
expedient. Instead then of the "candid acknowledgment" required of _us_
by the learned writer, may we be allowed to suggest to _him_ the more
prosaic expedient (1st) of making sure that he quotes Scripture
accurately; and (2nd) that he understands it?... It happens that St.
Paul does not use the words "_every nation under heaven_" as Mr. Wilson
inadvertently supposes. The Apostle's phrase, πάσῃ τῇ κτίσει, in
Colossians i. 23, (as in St. Mark xvi. 15), means 'to the whole
Creation,' or 'every creature;' (the article is doubtful;) in other
words, he announces the universality of the Gospel, as contrasted with
the Law; and he explains that it had been preached _to the Heathen_ as
well as to the Jews. Our increased knowledge therefore has nothing
whatever to do with the question; and the supposed difficulty
disappears. The two which remain, being (according to the same writer,)
merely incorrect inferences of Biblical critics, need not, it is
presumed, be regarded as insurmountable either.

Following Mr. Wilson through his successive vagaries of religious (?)
thought, we come upon a succession of strange statements; the object of
which seems to be to cast a slur on _Doctrine_ generally.--The doctrine
of Justification by faith "is not met with ... in the Apostolic
writings, _except those of St. Paul_." (p. 160.) [A minute exception
truly!].--"Then, on the other hand, it is maintained by a large body of
Theologians, as by the learned Jesuit Petavius and many others, that the
doctrine afterwards developed into the Nicene and Athanasian, is not to
be found explicitly in the earliest fathers, nor even in Scripture,
although provable by it." (p. 160.) [Would it not have been fair,
however, to state what appears to have been the design of Petavius
therein[85]? and should it not have been added that our own Bishop Bull
in his immortal "Defensio Fidei Nicænæ" established the very reverse
"out of the writings of the Catholic Doctors who flourished within the
first three centuries of the Christian Church[86]?"] "The nearer we come
to the original sources of the History, the less definite do we find the
statements of Doctrines, and even of the facts from which the Doctrines
were afterwards inferred." (p. 160.) "In the patristic writings,
theoretics assume continually an increasingly disproportionate value.
Even within the compass of our New Testament, there is to be found
already a wonderful contrast between the words of our LORD and such a
discourse as the Epistle to the Hebrews." (pp. 160-1.) [What a curious
discovery, by the way, that an argumentative Epistle should differ in
style from an historical Gospel!] "Our LORD'S Discourses," (continues
this writer,) "have almost all of them a direct _Moral_ bearing."
(p. 161.) [The case of St. John's Gospel immediately recurs to our
memory. And it seems to have occurred to Mr. Wilson's also. He says:--]
"This character of His words is certainly more obvious in the first
three Gospels than in the fourth; and the remarkable unison of those
Gospels, when they recite the LORD'S words, notwithstanding their
discrepancies in some matters of fact, compels us to think, that _they
embody more exact traditions of what He actually said than the fourth
does_." (p. 161.) [In other words, the authenticity of St. John's
Gospel[87] is to be suspected rather than the worthlessness of the
speculations of the Vicar of Great Staughton!]

The object of three pages which follow (pp. 162-5.) seems to be to shew
that in the Apostolic Age, Immorality of life was more severely dealt
with, even than erroneousness of Doctrine. Except because the writer is
eager to depreciate the value of orthodoxy of belief, and to cast a slur
on doctrinal standards generally,--it is hard to see why he should write
thus. Let him be reminded however that our SAVIOUR makes Faith itself a
_moral_, not an _intellectual_ habit[88]; and, (if it be not an uncivil
remark,) what but an _immoral_ spectacle does a Clergyman present who
openly inculcates distrust of these very Doctrines which he has in the
most solemn manner pledged himself to uphold and maintain?

And thus we come back to the theme originally proposed. "A national
Church," we are informed, "need not, historically speaking, be
Christian (!); nor, if it be Christian, need it be tied down to
particular forms which have been prevalent at certain times in
Christendom (!). That which is essential to a National Church is, that
it should undertake to assist the spiritual progress of the nation and
of the individuals of which it is composed, in their several states and
stages. Not even a Christian Church should expect all those who are
brought under its influence to be, as a matter of fact, of one and the
same standard; but should endeavour to raise each according to his
capacities, and should give no occasion for a reaction against itself,
nor provoke the individualist element into separation." (p. 173.) Of
what sort the Ministers of such a "chartered libertine" are to prove,
may be anticipated. "Thought and speech, which are free among all other
classes," must be free also "among those who hold the office of leaders
and teachers of the rest in the highest things." The Ministers of the
Church ought not "to be bound to cover up, but to open; and having, it
is presumed, possession of the key of knowledge, ought not to stand at
the door with it, permitting no one to enter unless by force. A National
Church may also find itself in this position, which, perhaps, is our
own." (p. 174.)--What a charming picture of the duties and the method of
that class to which the Vicar of Great Staughton himself belongs!... The
writer proceeds to set an example of that freedom of inquiry which he
vindicates as the privilege of his Order; and without which he is
apprehensive of being left isolated between "the fanatical religionist,"
(p. 174,) (i.e. the man who believes the truths he teaches,) and "the
negative theologian," (i.e. those who, "impatient of old fetters, follow
free thought heedlessly wherever it may lead them.") (_Ibid._) "The
freedom of opinion[89]," (he says,) "which belongs to the English
citizen should be conceded to the English Churchman; and the freedom
which is already practically enjoyed by the members of the congregation,
cannot without injustice be denied to its ministers." (p. 180.) Let us
see how the Reverend Gentleman exercises the license which he claims:--

The phrase "Word of GOD," (he says,) is unauthorized and begs the
question. The epithet "Canonical" "may mean either books ruled and
determined by the Church, or regulation books; and the employment of it
in the Article hesitates between these two significations." (p. 176.)
The declaration of the sixth Article simply implies "the Word of GOD is
contained in Scripture; whence it does not follow that it is
co-extensive with it." (p. 170.) "Under the terms of the Sixth Article
one may accept literally, or allegorically, or as parable, or poetry, or
legend, the story of a serpent-tempter, of an ass speaking with man's
voice, of an arresting the earth's motion, of a reversal of its
motion[90], of waters standing in a solid heap, of witches, and a
variety of apparitions. So under the terms of the Sixth Article, every
one is free in judgment as to the primeval institution of the Sabbath,
the universality of the Deluge, the confusion of tongues, the corporeal
taking up of Elijah into Heaven, the nature of Angels, the reality of
demoniacal possession, the personality of Satan, and the miraculous
particulars of many events." (p. 177.) "Good men," we are assured; (the
Inspired Writers being the good men intended;) "may err in facts, be
weak in memory, mingle imaginations with memory, be feeble in
inferences, confound illustration with argument, be varying in judgment
and opinion." (p. 179.) [A "free handling" this, of the work of the HOLY
GHOST, truly!... It would, I suppose, be deemed very unreasonable to
wish that a catalogue of facts misstated,--of slips of memory,--of
imaginary details,--of feeble inferences,--of instances of logical
confusion,--and so forth, had been subjoined by the Reverend writer. I
will only observe concerning his method that such "frank criticism of
Scripture" (p. 174.) as this, is dogmatism of the most disreputable
kind: insinuating what it does not state; assuming what it ought to
prove; asserting in the general what it may be defied to substantiate in
particular.] It follows,--"But the spirit of absolute Truth cannot err
or contradict Himself; if He speak immediately, even in small things,
accessories, or accidents." (p. 179.) To this we entirely agree. Where
then are the "errors?" and where the "contradictions?"

We cannot "suppose Him to suggest contradictory accounts:" [not
_contradictory_, of course; because contradictories cannot both be
true:] "or accounts only to be reconciled in the way of hypothesis and
conjecture."--(_Ibid._) _Why_ not[91]?

"To suppose a supernatural influence to cause the record of that which
can only issue in a puzzle, is to lower indefinitely our conception of
the Divine dealings in respect of a special Revelation."
(_Ibid._)--_Why_ more of a lowering puzzle in GOD'S Word than in GOD'S
Works[92]?

Mr. Wilson proceeds:--"It may be attributed to the defect of our
understandings, that we should be _unable altogether to reconcile the
aspects_ of the SAVIOUR as presented to us in the first three Gospels,
and in the writings of St. Paul and St. John. At any rate, there were
current in the primitive Church very distinct Christologies."--(_Ibid._)
Queer language this for a plain man! _I_, for my own part, have never
yet discovered the difficulty which is here hinted at; but which has
been prudently left unexplained.

It follows:--"But neither to any defect in our capacities, nor to any
reasonable presumption of a hidden wise design, nor to any partial
spiritual endowments in the narrators, can we attribute the difficulty,
if not impossibility, of reconciling the genealogies of St. Matthew and
St. Luke; or the chronology of the Holy Week; or the accounts of the
Resurrection: nor to any mystery in the subject-matter can be referred
the uncertainty in which the New Testament writings leave us, as to the
descent of JESUS CHRIST according to the flesh, whether by His mother He
were of the tribe of Judah or of the tribe of Levi."--(pp. 179-180.) I,
for my part, can declare that I have found the reconcilement in the
three subjects first alluded to, as complete as could be either expected
or desired. The last part of the sentence discovers nothing so much as
the writer's ignorance of the subject on which he presumes to dogmatize.

Presently, we read,--"It may be worth while to consider how far a
liberty of opinion is conceded by our existing Laws, Civil and
Ecclesiastical."--(p. 180.) "As far as _opinion privately entertained is
concerned_, the liberty of the English Clergyman appears already to be
complete. For no Ecclesiastical person can be obliged to answer
interrogations as to his opinions; nor be troubled for that which he has
not actually expressed; nor be made responsible for inferences which
other people may draw from his expressions." (_Ibid._)--Surely such
language needs only to be cited to awaken indignation in every honest
bosom! "With most men educated, not in the schools of Jesuitism, but in
the sound and honest moral training of an English Education, the mere
entering on the record such a plea as this, must destroy the whole case.
If the position of the religious instructor is to be maintained only by
his holding one thing as true, and teaching another thing as to be
received,--in the name of the GOD of Truth, either let all teaching
cease, or let the fraudulent instructor abdicate willingly his office,
before the moral indignation of an as yet uncorrupted people thrust him
ignominiously from his abused seat[93]!"

The remarks just quoted serve to introduce a series of views on
subscription to the Articles, which, if they were presented to me
without any intimation of the quarter from which they proceed, I should
not have hesitated to denounce as simply dishonest[94].... The Statute
13 Eliz. c. 12, is next discussed with the same unhappy licentiousness;
and the declaration that "the meshes are too open for modern
refinements." (p. 185.) ... I desire not to speak with undue severity of
a fellow-creature: but I protest that I cannot read the Review under
consideration without a profound conviction that, (speaking for myself,)
I have to do with one whom in the common concerns of life I would not
trust. The aptitude here displayed[95] for playing tricks with plain
language, is calculated to sap the foundations of human intercourse, and
to destroy confidence. If plain words may mean anything, or may mean
nothing,--then, farewell to all good faith in the intercourse of daily
life. If Articles "for the avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, and for
the establishing of Consent touching true Religion[96],"--such Articles
especially as the IInd., "Of the WORD or SON of GOD, which was made very
Man;" and the Vth., "Of the HOLY GHOST," (which the Rev. Mr. Wilson
calls "humanifying of the Divine Word," and "the Divine Personalities,")
(p. 186,)--may be signed by one who, even in signing, resolves to "_pass
by the side of them_," (p. 186, line 6,)--then is it better at once to
admit that no Logic can be supposed to be available with such a writer;
that he places himself outside the reach of fair argumentation; and must
not be astonished if he shall find himself regarded by his peers simply
in the light of an untrustworthy and impracticable person.

The last stage of all in this deplorable paper is an application to
Holy Scripture itself of the tricks which the Vicar of Great Staughton
has already played, so much to his own satisfaction, with the Articles.
"We may say that the value of the historical parts of the Bible may
consist, rather in their significance, in the ideas which they awaken,
than in the scenes themselves which they depict." (p. 199.) To a plain
English understanding, (unperplexed with the dreams of Strauss, and
other unbelievers of the same stamp,) such a statement conveys scarcely
an intelligible notion. But we are not left long in doubt.

"The application of Ideology to the interpretation of Scripture, to the
doctrines of Christianity, to the formularies of the Church, may
undoubtedly be carried to an excess; may be pushed so far as to leave in
the sacred records no historical residue whatever.... An example of the
critical Ideology carried to excess, is that of Strauss; which resolves
into an ideal _the whole of the historical and doctrinal person of
JESUS_.... But it by no means follows, because Strauss has substituted a
mere shadow for the JESUS of the Evangelists, that there are not traits
in the scriptural person of Jesus, which are better explained by
referring them to an ideal than an historical origin: and without
falling into fanciful exegetics, there are parts of Scripture more
usefully interpreted ideologically than in any other manner,--as for
instance, _the history of the Temptation of JESUS by Satan, and accounts
of demoniacal possessions_." (pp. 200-201.) "Some may consider the
descent of all Mankind from Adam and Eve as an undoubted historical
fact; others may rather perceive in that relation a form of narrative
into which in early ages tradition would easily throw itself
spontaneously.... _Among a particular people, this historical
representation became the concrete expression of a great moral
truth_,--of the brotherhood of all human beings.... The force, grandeur,
and reality of these ideas are not a whit impaired in the abstract, nor
indeed the truth of the concrete history (!) as their representation,
even though mankind should have been placed upon the earth _in many
pairs at once, or in distinct centres of creation_. For the brotherhood
of men really depends," &c., &c. (p. 201.) "Let us suppose one to be
uncertain whether our LORD were born of the house and lineage of David,
_or of the tribe of Levi_; and even to be driven to conclude that the
genealogies of Him have _little historic value_; nevertheless, in idea,
JESUS is both Son of David and Son of Aaron, both Prince of Peace, and
High Priest of our profession; as He is, under another idea, though not
literally, 'without father and without mother.' And He is none the less
Son of David, Priest Aaronical, or Royal Priest Melchizedecan, in idea
and spiritually, even if it be unproved whether He were any of them _in
historic fact_.--In like manner it need not trouble us, if in
consistency, we should have to suppose both an ideal origin, and to
apply an ideal meaning, to the birth in the city of David, (!) and to
other circumstances of the Infancy. (!) So again, the Incarnification of
the divine Immanuel remains, although the angelic appearances which
herald it in the narratives of the Evangelists may be of ideal origin,
according to the conceptions of former days." (pp. 202-3.) "And,"
lastly,--"_liberty must be left to all as to the extent in which they
apply this principle_!" (p. 201.)

To such dreamy nonsense, what "Answer" _can_ we return[97]? Such
speculations would be a fair subject for ridicule and merriment, if the
subject were not so unspeakably solemn,--the issues so vast, and
terribly momentous. We find ourselves introduced into a new world,--of
which the denizens talk like madmen, and in a jargon of their own. And
yet, that jargon is no sooner understood, than the true character of our
new companions becomes painfully evident[98].... He who believes the
plain words of Holy Writ, finds himself called "the literalist." He who
resolves Scripture into a dream, and the LORD who redeemed him into "a
mere shadow," (p. 200) is dignified with the title of "an idealist."
"Neither" (we are assured) "should condemn the other. They are fed with
the same truths; the literalist unconsciously, the idealist with
reflection. Neither can justly say of the other that he undervalues the
Sacred Writings, or that he holds them as inspired less properly than
himself." (p. 200.) "The ideologian," (who is the same person as the
"idealist;" for the gentleman, at this place, changes his name;) "is
evidently in possession of a principle which will enable him to stand in
charitable relation to persons of very different opinions from his own."
(p. 202.) "Relations which may repose on doubtful grounds as matter of
history, and, as history, be incapable of being ascertained or verified,
may yet be equally suggestive of true ideas with facts absolutely
certain. The spiritual significance is the same of the Transfiguration,
of opening blind eyes, of causing the tongue of the stammerer to speak
plainly, of feeding multitudes with bread in the wilderness, of
cleansing leprosy; whatever links may be deficient in the traditional
records of particular events." (_Ibid._) ... I will but modestly
inquire,--What would be said of _us_, if _we_ were so to expound Holy
Scripture _in defence_ of Christianity?

But it is time to dismiss this tissue of worthless as well as most mischievous
writing;--even to exhibit which, in the words of its misguided author,
ought to be its own sufficient exposure. Do men really expect us to
"answer" such groundless assertions, and vague speculations as those
which go before? A Faith without Creeds: a Clergy without authority or
fixed opinions: a Bible without historical truth:--how can such things,
for a moment, be supposed to be[99]? What answer do we render to the
sick man who sees unsubstantial goblins on the solid tapestried wall;
and mistakes for shadowy apparitions of the night, the forms of flesh
and blood which are ministering to his life's necessities? If the
Temptation, and the Transfiguration, and the Miracles of CHRIST be not
true history, but ideological allegories,--then why not His Nativity and
His Crucifixion,--His Death and His Burial,--His Resurrection and His
Ascension into Heaven likewise? "_Liberty_" (we have been expressly
told,) "_must be left to all, as to the extent in which they apply the
principle_" (p. 201.)--_Where_ then is Ideology to begin,--or rather,
where is ideology to end? "Why then is Strauss to be blamed for using
that universal liberty, and '_resolving into an ideal the whole of the
historical and doctrinal person of JESUS_?' Why is Strauss' resolution
'an excess?' or where and by what authority, short of his extreme view,
would Mr. Wilson himself stop? or at what point of the process? and by
what right could he, consistently with his own canon, call on any other
speculator, to stay the ideologizing process[100]?"

"Discrepancies in narratives, scientific difficulties, defects in
evidence, do not disturb the ideologist as they do the literalist."
(p. 203.) No, truly. _Nothing_ troubles him; simply because he _believes
nothing_! The very Sacraments of the Gospel are not secure from his
unhallowed touch. "The same principle" (?) is declared to be "capable of
application" to them also. "Within these concrete conceptions there lie
hid the truer ideas of the virtual presence of the LORD JESUS everywhere
that He is preached, remembered, and represented." (p. 204.) ... Do we
ever deal thus with any other book of History? And yet, on what possible
principle is the Bible to be thus trifled with, and Thucydides to be
spared?--I protest, if the historical personages of either Testament may
be resolved at will into abstract qualities, and the historical
transactions of either Testament may be supposed to represent ideas and
notions only,--then, I see not why the Vicar of Great Staughton himself
may not prove to be a mythical personage also. Why need Henry Bristow
Wilson, B.D.,--who, (as "literalists" say,) in 1841 was one of the 'Four
Tutors' who procured the condemnation of Tract No. 90, on the ground
that it 'evaded rather than explained the Thirty-nine Articles;' and
who, in 1861 writes that "Subscription to the Articles may be thought
_even inoperative upon the conscience_ by reason of its vagueness;"
(p. 181.)--why need this author be supposed to be a man _at all_? Why
should he not be interpreted "ideologically;" and resolved into the
principle of disgraceful Inconsistency of conduct, and "variation of
opinion at different periods of life?"

       *       *       *       *       *

V. In the present crusade against the Bible and the Faith of Christian
men, the task of destroying confidence in the first chapter of Genesis
has been undertaken by MR. C. W. GOODWIN, M.A. He requires us to "regard
it as the speculation of some Hebrew Descartes or Newton, promulgated
in all good faith as the best and most probable account that could be
then given of GOD'S Universe." (p. 252.)

Mr. Goodwin remarks with scorn, that "we are asked to believe that a
vision of Creation was presented to him by Divine power, for the purpose
of enabling him to inform the world of what he had seen; which vision
inevitably led him to give a description which has misled the world for
centuries, and in which the truth can now only with difficulty be
recognized." (p. 247.) He puts "pen to paper," therefore, (he says,) in
order to induce the world to a "frank recognition of the erroneous views
of nature which the Bible contains." (p. 211.) The importance of the
inquiry, he vindicates in the following modest terms:--"Physical Science
goes on unconcernedly pursuing its own paths. Theology, (the Science
whose object is the dealing of GOD with Man as a moral being,)
_maintains but a shivering existence, shouldered and jostled by the
sturdy growths of modern thought_, and _bemoaning itself_ for the
hostility it encounters." (p. 211.)--A few remarks at once suggest
themselves.

I cannot help thinking that if any person of ordinary intelligence,
unacquainted with the Bible, were to be left to obtain his notion of its
contents from "Essays and Reviews," infidel publications generally, and
(_absit invidia verbo!_) from not a few of the Sermons which have been
preached and printed in either University of late years,--the notion so
obtained would be singularly at variance with the known facts of the
case. Would not a man infallibly carry away an impression that the Bible
is a book abounding in statements concerning matters of Physical Science
which are flatly contradicted by the ascertained phenomena of Nature?
Would he not be led to expect that it contained every here and there a
theoretical Excursus on certain Astronomical or Physiological subjects?
and to anticipate, above all, an occasional chapter on Geology? Great
would be his astonishment, surely, at finding that _one single chapter_
comprises nearly the whole of the statements which modern philosophy
finds so very hateful; and _that_ chapter, the first chapter in the
Bible[101].

But the surprise would grow considerably when the conditions of the
problem came to be a little more fully stated. Has then the actual
history of the World's Creation been ascertained from some other
independent and infallible source? No! Are Geologists as yet so much as
agreed even about a theory of the Creation? No! Can it be proved that
any part of the Mosaic account is false? Certainly not! Then why all
this hostile dogmatism?--To witness the violence of the partisans of
Geological discovery, and the arrogance of their pretensions, one would
suppose that some Divine Creed of theirs had been impugned: that a
revelation had been made to _them_ from Heaven, which the profane and
unbelieving world was reluctant to accept. Whereas, these are Christian
men, impatient, as it seems, to tear the first leaf out of their Bible:
or rather, to throw discredit on the entire volume, by establishing the
untrustworthiness of the earliest page!

One single additional consideration completes the strangeness of the
picture. If our account of the Six Days of Creation were a sybilline
leaf of unknown origin, it would not be unreasonable to treat its
revelations as little worth. But since the author of it is confessedly
Moses,--the great Hebrew prophet, who lived from B.C. 1571 to 1451, who
enjoyed the vision of the Most High; nay, who conversed with GOD face to
face, was with Him in the Mount for thrice forty days, and received from
Him the whole details of the Sacred Law;--since this first chapter of
Genesis is known to have formed a part of the Church's unbroken heritage
from that time onward, and therefore must be acknowledged to be an
integral part of the volume of Scripture which, (as our LORD says,) οὐ
δύναται λυθῆναι,--"cannot be broken, diluted, loosened, explained
away;"--since, further, this account of Creation is observed to occur in
the most conspicuous place of the most conspicuous of those books which
are designated by an Apostle by the epithet θέοπνευστος, or, "given by
inspiration," "filled with the breath," or "Spirit of GOD;" and when it
is considered that our SAVIOUR and His Apostles refer to the primæval
history contained in the first two chapters about thirty
times[102]:--when, (I say,) all this is duly weighed, surely too strong
a _primâ facie_ case has been made out on behalf of the first chapter of
Genesis, that its authority should be imperilled by the random
statements of every fresh individual who sees fit to master the elements
of Geology; and on the strength of that qualification presumes to sit in
judgment on the Hebrew Scriptures,--of which, confessedly, he does not
understand so much as the alphabet!

It is even amusing to see how vain a little mind can become of a little
knowledge. Mr. Goodwin remarks,--"The school-books of the present day,
while they teach the child that the Earth moves, yet assure him that it
is a little less than six thousand years old, and that it was made in
six days." (p. 210.) (I am puzzled to reconcile this statement with the
author's declaration that "no well-instructed person now doubts the
great antiquity of the Earth any more than its motion." (_Ibid._) Would
it not have been fairer to have _named_ at least _one_ of the
school-books which perpetuate so wicked a heresy?) "On the other hand,
Geologists of all religious creeds are agreed that the Earth has existed
for an immense series of years,--to be counted by millions rather than
by thousands; and that indubitably more than six days elapsed from its
first Creation to the appearance of Man upon its surface. By this broad
discrepancy between old and new doctrine is the modern mind startled, as
were the men of the sixteenth century when told that the earth moved."
(p. 210.)

But begging pardon of our philosopher, if all he means is that more than
six days elapsed between the Creation of "Heaven and Earth," (noticed in
ver. 1,) and the Creation of Man, (spoke of from ver. 26 to 28,)--he
means to say mighty little; and need not fear to encounter contradiction
from any "well-instructed person." True, that an ignorant man could not
have suspected anything of the kind from reading the first chapter of
Genesis: but this is surely nobody's fault but his own. An ignorant man
might in like manner be of opinion that the Sun and Moon are the two
largest objects in creation; and there is not a word in this same
chapter calculated to undeceive him. Again, he might think that the Sun
rises and sets; and the common language of the Observatory would confirm
him hopelessly in his mistake. All this however is no one's fault but
his own. The ancient Fathers of the Church, behind-hand as they were in
Physical Science, yet knew enough to anticipate "the hypothesis of the
Geologist; and two of the Christian Fathers, Augustine and Theodoret,
are referred to as having actually held that a wide interval elapsed
between the first act of Creation, mentioned in the Mosaic account, and
the commencement of the Six Days' work." (p. 231.) Mr. Goodwin therefore
has got no further, so far, than Augustine and Theodoret got, 1400 years
since, without the aid of Geology.

But we must hasten on. The business of the Essayist, as we have said, is
to undermine our confidence in the Bible, by exposing the ignorance of
the author of the first chapter. "Modern theologians," (he remarks, with
unaffected displeasure,) "have directed their attention to the
possibility of reconciling the Mosaic narrative with those geological
facts which are admitted to be beyond dispute." (p. 210.)--And pray, (we
modestly ask,) is not such a proceeding obvious? A "frank recognition of
the erroneous views of Nature which the Bible contains," (p. 211,) we
shall be prepared to yield when those "erroneous views" have been
demonstrated to exist,--_but not till then_. Mr. Goodwin must really
remember that although, in _his_ opinion, the "Mosaic Cosmogony," (for
so he phrases it,) is "not an authentic utterance of Divine knowledge,
but a human utterance," (p. 253,) the World thinks differently. The
learned and wise and good of all ages, including the present, are
happily agreed that the first chapter of Genesis is _part of the Word of
GOD_.

After what is evidently intended to be a showy sketch of the past
history of our planet,--"we pass" (says Mr. Goodwin) "to the account of
the Creation contained in the Hebrew record. And it must be observed
that in reality two distinct accounts are given us in the book of
Genesis; one, being comprised in the first chapter and the first three
verses of the second; the other, commencing at the fourth verse of the
second chapter and continuing till the end. This is so philologically
certain that it were useless to ignore it." (p. 217.) Really we read
such statements with a kind of astonishment which almost swallows up
sorrow. Do they arise, (to quote Mr. Goodwin's own language,) "from our
modern habits of thought, and from the modesty of assertion which the
spirit of true science has taught us?" (p. 252.) Convinced that _my_
unsupported denial would have no more weight than Mr. Goodwin's ought to
have, I have referred the dictum just quoted to the highest Hebrew
authority available, and have been assured that it is utterly without
foundation.

After such experience of Mr. Goodwin's _philological_ "certainties,"
what amount of attention does he expect his dicta to command in a
Science which, starting from "a region of uncertainty, where Philosophy
is reduced to mere guesses and possibilities, and pronounces nothing
definite," (p. 213,) has to travel through "a prolonged period,
beginning and ending we know not when;" (p. 214;) reaches another
period, "the duration of which no one presumes to define;" (_Ibid._;)
and again another, during which "nothing can be asserted positively:"
(p. 215:) after which comes "a kind of artificial break?" (_Ibid._)

For my own part, I freely confess that Mr. Goodwin's final admission
that "the advent of Man may be considered as inaugurating a new and
distinct epoch, _that_ in which we now are, and during the whole of
which the physical conditions of existence cannot have been very
materially different from what they are now;" (p. 216;) and that "thus
much is clear, that Man's existence on Earth is brief, compared with the
ages during which unreasoning creatures were the sole possessors of the
globe:" (p. 217:)--these statements, I say, contain as much as one
desires to see admitted. For really, since the fossil Flora, and the
various races of animated creatures which Geologists have classified
with so much industry and skill, confessedly belong to a period of
immemorial antiquity; and, _with very rare exceptions indeed_, represent
_extinct species_,--I, as an interpreter of Scripture, am not at all
concerned with them. Moses asserts nothing at all about them, one way or
the other. What Revelation says, is, that nearly 6000 years ago, after a
mighty catastrophe,--unexplained alike in its cause, its nature, and its
duration,--the Creator of the Universe instituted upon the surface of
this Earth of ours that order of things which has continued ever since;
and which is observed at this instant to prevail: that He was pleased to
parcel out His transcendent operations, and to spread them over Six
Days; and that He ceased from the work of Creation on the Seventh Day.
All extant species, whether of the vegetable or the animal Kingdom,
including Man himself, belong to the week in question. And this
statement, as it has never yet been found untrue, so am I unable to
anticipate by what possible evidence it can ever be set aside as false.

In my IInd Sermon, I have ventured to review the Mosaic record
sufficiently in detail, to render it superfluous that I should retrace
any portion of it here. The reader is requested to read at least so much
of what has been offered as is contained from p. 28 to p. 32. My
business at present is with Mr. Goodwin.

And _in limine_ I have to remind him that he has really no right first
to give, in his own words, his own notion of the history of Creation;
and then to insist on making _the Revelation_ of the same transaction
ridiculous by giving _it_ also in words of his own, which become in
effect a weak parody of the original. What is there in Genesis about
"_the air or wind_ fluttering over the waters of the deep?" (p. 219.) Is
this meant for the august announcement that "the SPIRIT of GOD moved
upon the face of the waters?"--"On the third day, ... we wish to call
attention to the fact that trees and plants destined for food are those
which are particularly singled out as the earliest productions of the
earth." (p. 220.) The reverse is the fact; as a glance at Gen. i. 11.
will shew.--"The formation of the stars" on the fourth day, "is
mentioned in the most cursory manner." (p. 221.) But _who_ is not aware
that "the formation of the stars" is _nowhere mentioned in this chapter
at all_?

"Light and the measurement of time," (proceeds Mr. Goodwin,) "are
represented as existing before the manifestation of the Sun." (p. 219.)
Half of this statement is true; the other half is false. The former
idea, he adds, is "repugnant to our modern knowledge." (p. 219.) Is then
Mr. Goodwin really so weak as to imagine that our Sun is the sole source
of Light in Creation? Whence then the light of the so-called fixed
Stars? But I shall be told that Mr. Goodwin speaks of _our_ system only,
and of our Earth in particular. Then pray, whence that glory[103] which
on a certain night on a mountain in Galilee, caused the face of our
REDEEMER to shine as the Sun[104] and His raiment to emit a dazzling
lustre[105]? "We may boldly affirm," (he says,) "that those for whom
[Gen. i. 3-5] was penned could have taken it in no other sense than that
light existed before and independently of the sun." (p. 219.) We may
indeed. And I as boldly affirm that I take the passage in that sense
_myself_: moreover that I hold the statement which Mr. Goodwin treats so
scornfully, to be the very truth which, in the deep counsels of GOD,
this passage _was designed_ to convey to mankind; even that "the King of
Kings, and LORD of Lords, who only hath immortality, _dwelleth in the
Light which no man can approach unto[106]_."

"The work of the second day of Creation is to erect the vault of Heaven
(Heb. _Rakia_; Gr. στερέωμα _Lat. Firmamentum_,) which is represented
as supporting an ocean of water above it. The waters are said to be
divided, so that some are below, and some above the vault.... No
quibbling about the derivation of the word _Rakia_, which is literally
'something beaten out,' can affect the explicit description of the
Mosaic writer contained in the words 'the waters that are above the
firmament,' or avail to shew that he was aware that the sky is but
transparent space." (pp. 219, 220.) "The allotted receptacle [of Sun and
Moon] was not made until the Second Day, nor were they set in it until
the fourth." (p. 221.) Surely I cannot be the only reader to whom the
impertinence of this is as offensive, as its shallowness is ridiculous!
In spite of Mr. Goodwin's uplifted finger, and menacing cry,--"No
quibbling!" I proceed with my inquiry.

For first; Why does Mr. Goodwin parody the words of Inspiration? The
account as given by Moses is,--"And GOD said, Let there be a firmament
in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the
waters[108]." But surely, to make the "open firmament of Heaven" in
which every winged fowl may fly[109], is not _"to erect the vault of
Heaven,"--"a permanent solid vault,"--"supporting an ocean of water!"_

The Hebrew word here used to denote "firmament," on which Mr. Goodwin's
indictment turns, ("_rakia_,") is derived from a verb which means to
"beat." Now, what is beaten, or hammered out, while (if it be a metal)
it acquires _extension_, acquires also _solidity_. The Septuagint
translators seem to have fastened upon the latter notion, and
accordingly represented it by στερέωμα; for which, the earliest Latin
translators of the Old Testament coined an equivalent,--_firmamentum_.
But that Moses by the word "_rakia_" intended rather to denote the
_expanse_ overhead, than to predicate _solidity_ for the sky, I suspect
will be readily admitted by all. True that in the poetical book of Job,
we read that the sky is "strong, as a molten looking-glass[110]:" but
then we meet more frequently with passages of a different tendency. God
is said to "_stretch out_ the heavens _like a curtain[111]_," "and
_spread them out as a tent_ to dwell in[112]:" to "bind up the waters in
His thick clouds[113]," and "_in a garment[114]_," &c., &c.[115] It is
only needful to look out the word in the dictionary of Gesenius to see
that _spreading out_, (as of thin plates of metal by a hammer,) is the
_only_ notion which properly belongs to the word. Accordingly, the
earliest modern Latin translation from the Hebrew, (that of Pagninus,)
renders the word _expansio_. And so the word has stood for centuries in
the margin of our English Bible.

The actual _fact_ of the case,--the _truth_ concerning the physical
phenomenon alluded to,--comes in, and surely may be allowed to have some
little weight. Since expansion _is_ a real attribute of the atmosphere
which divides the waters above from the waters below,--and solidity is
_not_,--it seems to me only fair, seeing that the force of the
expression is thought doubtful, to assign to it the meaning which is
open to fewest objections.

But "the Hebrews," (says Mr. Goodwin,) "understood the sky, firmament,
or heaven to be a permanent solid vault, as it appears to the ordinary
observer." This, he adds, is "evident enough from various expressions
made use of concerning it. It is said to have pillars[116],
foundations[117], doors[118], and windows[119],"--(p. 220.) Now, I
really do not think Mr. Goodwin's inference by any means so "evident" as
he asserts. If Heaven has "pillars" in the poetical book of Job, so has
the Earth[120]. The "foundations" spoken of in 2 Sam. xxii. 8, seem
rather to belong to _Earth_ than to Heaven,--as a reference to the
parallel place in Ps. xviii. 7 will shew[121]. Is Mr. Goodwin so little
of a poet, as to be staggered by the phrase "windows of Heaven," when it
occurs in the figurative language of an ancient people, and in a
poetical book[122]?

For the foregoing reasons, I distrust Mr. Goodwin's inference that "the
Hebrews understood the sky to be a solid vault, furnished with pillars,
foundations, doors, and windows." But whether they did, or did not, it
is to be hoped that he is enough of a logician to perceive that the
popular notions of God's ancient people on this subject, are not the
thing in question. The only FACT we have to do with is clearly
_this_,--that _Moses has in this place employed the word "rakia_:" and
the only QUESTION which can be moved about it, is (as evidently) the
following,--whether he was, or was not, to blame _in employing that
word_; for as to _the meaning which he, individually, attached to the
phenomenon_ of which "_rakia_" is the name, it cannot be pretended that
any one living knows anything at all about the matter. A Greek, Latin,
or French astronomer who should speak of Heaven, would not therefore be
assumed to mean that it is _hollow_; although κοῖλον, '_coelum_,'
'_ciel_,' etymologically imply no less.

Now I contend that Moses employed the word "_rakia_" with exactly the
same propriety, neither more nor less, as when a Divine now-a-days
employs the English word "firmament." It does not follow that the man
who speaks of "the spacious firmament on high," is under so considerable
a delusion as to suspect that the firmament is _a firm thing_; nor does
it follow that Moses thought that "_rakia_" was _a solid_ substance
either,--even if _solidity_ was the prevailing etymological notion in
the word, and even if the Hebrews were no better philosophers than Mr.
Goodwin would have us believe. The Essayist's objection is therefore
worthless. GOD was content that Moses should employ the ordinary
language of his day,--accommodate himself to the forms of speech then
prevalent,--coin no new words. What is there unreasonable in the
circumstance? What possible ground does it furnish for a supposition
that the _etymological_ force of the word,--or even that the popular
physical theory of which that word may, or may not, have once been the
connotation,--denoted _the sense in which Moses employed it_? Is it to
be supposed that when a physician speaks of a "_jovial_ temperament," he
insinuates his approval of an exploded system of medicine? Do
astronomers maintain that the Sun has a _disk_, or the Earth _an axis_?
that the former _leaves its place_ in the heavens when it suffers
'eclipse[123]?' or that the latter has a superior _latitude_, from East
to West? To give the most familiar instance of all,--Do scientific men
believe that the sun _rises_, and _sets_?--And yet all _say_ that it
does, until this hour!... Why is Moses to be judged by a less favourable
standard than anybody else,--than Shakspeare, than Hooker, even than Mr.
Goodwin? The first, in an exquisite passage, bids Jessica,--

                  "Look how the floor of heav'n
    Is thick inlayed with patens of bright gold."


Did Shakspeare expect his beautiful language would be tortured into a
shape which would convict him of talking nonsense?--But this is poetry.
Then take Hooker's prose:--

     "If the frame of that heavenly arch erected over our heads should
     loosen and dissolve itself; ... if the Moon should wander from her
     beaten way[124]," &c.

Did Hooker suppose that heaven is "an arch," which could be "loosened
and dissolved?" or that "the way" of the moon is "beaten?"--But this is
a highly poetical passage, written three centuries ago.--Let an
unexceptionable witness then be called; and so, let the question be
brought to definite issue. _I_, for my part, am quite content that it
shall be _the philosopher in person_. The present Essayist shall be
heard discoursing about Creation, and shall be convicted out of his own
mouth. Mr. Goodwin begins his paper by a kind of cosmogony of his own,
which he prefaces with the following apology:--"It will be necessary for
our purpose to go over the oft-trodden ground, which must be done with
rapid steps. Nor let the reader object to be reminded of some of the
most elementary facts of his knowledge. The human race has been ages in
arriving at conclusions now familiar to every child." (p. 212.) After
this preamble, he begins his "elementary facts," as follows:--

"This Earth, apparently so still and stedfast, lying in majestic repose
beneath the ætherial vault,"--(p. 212.)

But we remonstrate immediately. "The ætherial _vault_!" Do you then
understand the sky, firmament, or heaven to be "a permanent solid vault,
as it appears to the ordinary observer?" (p. 220.)

"The Sun which seems to leap up each morning from the east, and
traversing the skyey bridge,"--(p. 212.)

"The _skyey bridge_!" And pray in what part of the universe do you
discover a "skyey bridge?" Is not _this_ calculated "to convey to
ordinary apprehensions an impression at variance with facts?" (p. 231.)

"The Moon which occupies a position in the visible heavens only second
to the Sun, and far beyond that of every other celestial body in
conspicuousness,"--(p. 212.)

Nay, but really Mr. Philosopher, while you remind us "of some of the
most elementary facts of our knowledge," (p. 212,) you write (except in
the matter of the "leaping Sun" and the "skyey bridge,")--_exactly as
Moses does_ in the first chapter of Genesis! What else does that great
Prophet say but that "the Moon occupies a position in the visible
heavens only second to the Sun, and far beyond that of every other
celestial body in conspicuousness?" (p. 212.)

Enough, it is presumed, has been offered in reply to Mr. Goodwin, and
his notions of "Mosaic Cosmogony." He writes with the flippancy of a
youth in his teens, who having just mastered the elements of natural
science, is impatient to acquaint the world with his achievement. His
powers of dogmatism are unbounded; but he betrays his ignorance at every
step. The Divine decree, "Let us make Man in Our image, after Our
likeness[125]," he explains by remarking that "the Pentateuch abounds in
passages shewing that the Hebrews contemplated the Divine being in the
visible form of a man." (!!!) (p. 221.) A foot-note contains the
following oracular dictum,--"See particularly the narrative in Genesis
xviii." What _can_ be said to such an ignoramus as this? Hear him
dogmatizing in another subject-matter:--"The common arrangement of the
Bible in chapters is of comparatively modern origin, and is admitted on
all hands to have no authority or philological worth whatever. In many
cases the division is most preposterous." (p. 222.) That the division of
chapters is occasionally infelicitous, is true: but is Mr. Goodwin weak
enough to think that he could divide them better? The division into
chapters and verses again is _not_ so modern as Mr. Goodwin fancies. Dr.
M'Caul, (in a pamphlet on the Translation of the Bible,) shews reason
for suspecting that some of the divisions of the Old Testament
Scriptures are as old as the time of Ezra.

To return, and for the last time, to Mr. Goodwin's Essay.--His object
is, (with how much of success I have already sufficiently shewn,) (1) To
fasten the charge of absurdity and ignorance on the ancient Prophet who
is confessedly the author of the Book of Genesis: (2) To prove that a
literal interpretation of Gen. i., "will not bear a moment's serious
discussion." (p. 230.) I look through his pages in vain for the
wished-for proof. He has many strong assertions. He puts them forth with
not a little insolence. But he proves nothing! At p. 226, however, I
read as follows:--"Dr. Buckland appears to assume that when it is said
that the Heaven and the Earth were created in the beginning, it is to be
understood that they were created in their present form and state of
completeness, the heaven raised above the earth as we see it, or seem to
see it now." (pp. 226-7.)

But Dr. Buckland "appears to assume" nothing of the kind. His words
are,--"The first verse of Genesis seems explicitly to assert the
creation of _the Universe_: the Heaven, including the sidereal
systems,--and the Earth, ... the subsequent scene of the operations of
the six days about to be described." (pp. 224-5.)

"This," continues Mr. Goodwin, "is the fallacy of his argument."
(p. 227.)

But if this is "_the_ fallacy of his argument," we have already seen
that it is a fallacy which rests not with Dr. Buckland, but with Mr.
Goodwin. He proceeds:--

"The circumstantial description of the framing of the Heaven out of the
waters proves that the words 'Heaven and Earth,' in the first verse,
must be taken proleptically."--(p. 227.)

But we may as well stop the torrent of long words, by simply pointing
out that "the heavens," (_hashamaim_,) spoken of in Gen. i. 1, are quite
distinct from "the firmament," (_rakia_,) spoken of in ver. 6. The word
is altogether different, and the sense is evidently altogether different
also; although Mr. Goodwin seeks to identify the two[126]. And further,
we take leave to remind our modern philosopher that _no_
"circumstantial description of the framing of the heaven out of the
waters," is to be found either in ver. 6, or elsewhere. And this must
suffice.

The entire subject shall be dismissed with a very few remarks.--Mr.
Goodwin delights in pointing out the incorrectness of "the sense in
which the Mosaic narrative was taken by those who first heard it:"
(p. 223:) and in asserting "that this meaning is _primâ facie_ one
wholly adverse to the present astronomical and geological views of the
Universe." (p. 223.) But we take leave to remind this would-be
philosopher that "the idea which entered into the minds of those to whom
the account was first given," (p. 230,) is not the question with which
we have to do when we are invited to a "frank recognition of the
erroneous views of Nature which the Bible contains." (p. 211.) "It is
manifest,"--(in this I cordially agree with Mr. Goodwin,)--"that the
whole account is given from a different point of view from that which we
now unavoidably take:" (p. 223:) and, (I beg leave to add,) _that_ point
of view is _somewhere in Heaven_,--not here on Earth! The "Mosaic
Cosmogony," as Mr. Goodwin phrases it, (fond, like all other smatterers
in Science, of long words,) is _a Revelation_: and the same HOLY GHOST
who gave it, speaking by the mouth of St. John, not obscurely intimates
that it is mystical, like the rest of Holy Scripture,--that is, that it
was fashioned not without a reference to the Gospel[127]. But we are
touching on a high subject now, of which Mr. Goodwin does not understand
so much as the Grammar. _He_ is thinking of the structure of the globe:
_we_ are thinking of the structure _of the Bible_. But to return to
Earth, we inform the Essayist that it is simply unphilosophical, even
absurd, for him to insist on what _shall_ be implied by certain words
employed by Moses,--(of which he judges by their etymology;) and further
to assume what erroneous physical theories those words must have been
connected with, by his countrymen, and so forth; and straightway to hold
up the greatest of the ancient prophets to ridicule, as if those notions
and those theories were all _his_!

"After all," (as Dr. Buckland remarked, long since,) "it should be
recollected that the question is not respecting the correctness of the
Mosaic narrative, but of our interpretation of it:" (p. 231:)--"a
proposition," (proceeds Mr. Goodwin,) "which can hardly be sufficiently
reprobated." But I make no question which of these two writers is most
entitled to reprobation. For the view which will be found advocated in
Sermon II., (which is substantially Dr. Buckland's,) (p. 24 to p. 32,)
it shall but be said that it recommends itself to our acceptance by the
strong fact that it takes _no_ liberty with the sacred narrative,
whatever; and receives the Revelation of GOD in all its strangeness,
(which it _cannot_ be a great mistake to do;) without trying to
reconcile it with supposed discoveries, (wherein we _may_ fail
altogether.) I defy anybody to shew that it is _impossible_ that GOD may
have disposed of the actual order of the Universe, as in the first
chapter of Genesis He is related to have done; and _probability_ can
clearly have no place in such a speculation. I would only just remind
the thoughtful student of Scripture, and indeed of Nature also, that the
singular _analogy_ which Geologists think they discover between
successive periods of Creation, and the Mosaic record of the first Six
Days, is no difficulty to those who hesitate to identify those Days with
the irregular Periods of indefinite extent. Rather was it to have been
expected, I think, that such an analogy would be found to subsist
between His past and His present working, when, 6,000 years ago, GOD
arranged the actual system of things in Six Days.--Neither need we feel
perplexed if Hugh Miller was right in the conclusion at which, he says,
he had been "compelled to arrive;" viz. that "not a few" of the extant
species of animals "enjoyed life in their present haunts" "for many long
ages ere Man was ushered into being;" "and that for thousands of years
anterior to even _their_ appearance many of the existing molluscs lived
in our seas." (p. 229.) I find it nowhere asserted _by Moses_ that the
severance was so complete, and decisively marked, between previous
cycles of Creation and that cycle which culminated in the creation of
Man, _that_ no single species of the præ-Adamic period was reproduced by
the Omnipotent, to serve as a connecting link, as it were, between the
Old world and the New,--an identifying note of the Intelligence which
was equally at work on this last, as on all those former occasions. On
the other hand, I _do_ find it asserted _by Geologists_ that between the
successive præ-Adamic cycles such connecting links are discoverable; and
this fact makes me behold in the circumstance supposed fatal to the view
here advocated, the strongest possible confirmation of its accuracy. At
the same time, it is admitted that in every department of animated and
vegetable life, the severance between the last (or Mosaic) cycle of
Creation, and all those cycles which preceded it, is _very_ broadly
marked[128].

Mr. Goodwin's method contrasts sadly with that of the several writers he
adduces,--whether Naturalists or Divines. Those men, believing in the
truth of GOD'S Word, have piously endeavoured, (with whatever success,)
to shew that the discoveries of Geology are not inconsistent with the
revelations of Genesis. But he, with singular bad taste, (to use no
stronger language,) makes no secret of the animosity with which he
regards the inspired record; and even finds "the spectacle of able, and
we doubt not conscientious writers engaging in attempting the
impossible,--painful and humiliating." He says, "they evidently do not
breathe freely over their work; but shuffle and stumble over their
difficulties in a piteous manner." (p. 250.) He asserts dogmatically
that "the interpretation proposed by Buckland to be given to the Mosaic
description, will not bear a moment's serious discussion:" (p. 230:)
while Hugh Miller "proposes to give an entirely mythical or enigmatical
sense to the Mosaic narrative." (p. 236.) He is clamorous that we should
admit the teaching of Scripture to be "to some extent erroneous."
(p. 251.) He "recognizes in it, not an authentic utterance of Divine
Knowledge, but a human utterance." (p. 253.) "Why should we hesitate,"
(he asks,) "to recognize the fallibility of the Hebrew writers?"
(p. 251.)

With one general reflexion, I pass on to the next Essay.--The Works of
GOD, the more severely they have been questioned, have hitherto been
considered to bear a more and more decisive testimony to the Wisdom and
the Goodness of their Author. The animal and the vegetable kingdoms have
been made Man's instructors for ages past; and ever since the microscope
has revealed so many unsuspected wonders, the argument from contrivance
and design, Creative Power and infinite Wisdom, has been pressed with
increasing cogency. The Heavens, from the beginning, have been felt to
"declare the glory of GOD." One department only of Nature, alone, has
all along remained unexplored. Singular to relate, the Records of
Creation, (as the phenomena of Geology may I suppose be properly
called,)--though the most obvious phenomena of all,--have been
throughout neglected. It was not till the other day that they were
invited to give up their weighty secrets; and lo, they have confessed
them, willingly and at once. The study of Geology does but date from
yesterday; and already it aspires to the rank of a glorious Science.
Evidence has been at once furnished that our Earth has been the scene of
successive cycles of Creation; and the crust of the globe we inhabit is
found to contain evidence of a degree of antiquity which altogether
defies conjecture. The truth is, that Man, standing on a globe where his
deepest excavations bear the same relation to the diameter which the
scratch of a pin invisible to the naked eye, bears to an ordinary
globe;--learns that his powers of interrogating Nature break down
marvellous soon: yet Nature is observed to keep from him no secrets
which he has the ability to ask her to give up.

In the meantime, the attitude assumed by certain pretenders to Physical
Science at these discoveries, cannot fail to strike any thoughtful
person as extraordinary. Those witnesses of GOD'S work in Creation,
which have been dumb for ages only because no man ever thought of
interrogating them, are now regarded in the light of depositaries of a
mighty secret; which, because GOD knew that it would be fatal to the
credit of His written Word, He had bribed them to keep back, as long as,
by shuffling and equivocation, they found concealment practicable. It
seems to be fancied, however, that _that_ fatal secret the determination
of Man has wrung from their unwilling lips, at last; and lo, on
confronting GOD with these witnesses, He is convicted even by His own
creatures of having spoken falsely in His Word[129].--Such, I say, is
the tone assumed of late by a certain school of pretenders to Physical
Science.

What need to declare that to the well-informed eye of Faith,--(and
surely Faith is here the perfection of Reason! for _Faith_, remember, is
the correlative not of _Reason_, but of _Sight_;)--the phenomenon
presented is of a widely different character. Faith, or rather Reason,
looks upon GOD'S Works _as a kind of complement of His Word_. He who
gave the one, gave the other also. Moreover, He knew that He had given
it. So far from ministering to unbelief, or even furnishing grounds for
perplexity, the record of His Works was intended, according to His
gracious design, to supply what was lacking to our knowledge in the
record of His Word.... "Behold My footprints, (He seems to say,) across
the long tract of the ages! I could not give you this evidence in My
written Word. The record would have been out of place, and out of time.
It would have been unintelligible also. But what I knew would be
inexpedient in the page of Revelation, I have given you abundantly in
the page of Nature. I have spared your globe from combustion, which
would have effaced those footprints,--in order that the characters might
be plainly decipherable to the end of Time.... O fools and blind, to
have occupied a world so brimful of wonders for wellnigh 6000 years, and
only now to have begun to open your eyes to the structure of the earth
whereon ye live, and move, and have your being! Yea, and the thousandth
part of the natural wonders by which ye are surrounded has not been so
much as dreamed of, by any of you, yet!... O learn to be the humbler,
the more ye know; and when ye gaze along the mighty vista of departed
ages, and scan the traces of what I was doing before I created
Man,--multiply that problem by the stars which are scattered in number
numberless over all the vault of Heaven; and learn to confess that it
behoves the creature of an hour to bow his head at the discovery of his
own littleness and blindness; and that his words concerning the Ancient
of Days had need to be at once very wary, and very few!"

       *       *       *       *       *

VI. By far the ablest of these seven Essays is from the pen of the "REV.
MARK PATTISON, B.D., Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford." It purports to
be an Essay on the "TENDENCIES OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT IN ENGLAND,
1688-1750;" but it can hardly be said to correspond with that
description. In the concluding paragraph, the learned writer gives to
his work a different name. It is declared to be "_The past History of
the Theory of Belief in the Church of England_[130]." But neither the
title at the head, nor the title at the tail of the Essay, gives any
adequate notion of the Author's purpose.

Had we met with this production, isolated, in the pages of a Review, we
should have probably passed it by as the work of a clever man, who,
after amusing himself to some extent with the Theological literature of
the last century, had desired to preserve some record of his reading;
and had here thrown his random jottings into connected form. There is a
racy freshness in a few of Mr. Pattison's sketches, (as in his account
of Bentley's controversy with Collins[131],) which forcibly suggests
the image of an artist whose pencil cannot rest amid scenery which
stimulates his imagination. To be candid, we are inclined to suspect
that, in the first instance, something of this sort was in reality all
that the learned author had in view. But we are reluctantly precluded
from putting so friendly a construction on these seventy-six pages. Not
only does Mr. Pattison's Essay stand between Mr. Goodwin's open
endeavour to destroy confidence in the writings of Moses, and Professor
Jowett's laborious insinuations that the Bible is only an ordinary book;
but it claims a common purpose and intention with both those writers.
Mr. Pattison's avowed object is "to illustrate the advantage derivable
to the cause of religious and moral truth, from a free handling, in a
becoming spirit, of subjects peculiarly liable to suffer by the
repetition of conventional language, and from traditional methods of
treatment[132]." We proceed therefore to examine his labours by the aid
of the clue which he has himself supplied. For when nine editions of a
book appear in quick succession, prefaced by a description of the spirit
in which "_it is hoped that the volume will he received_,"--it seems a
pity that the author should not be judged by the standard of his own
choosing.

We are surprised then to find how slightly Mr. Pattison's Essay fulfils
its avowed purpose. The learned author does not, in fact, _directly_
"handle" the class of subjects referred to, _at all_: or if he does, it
is achieved in a couple of pages. And yet it is not difficult to point
out the part which his Essay performs in the general scheme of this
guilty volume. With whatever absence of "concert or comparison" the
authors may have severally written, the fatal effect of their combined
endeavours is not more apparent than the part sustained by each Essay
singly in promoting it.

While Mr. Goodwin demolishes the Law, and Dr. Williams disbelieves the
Prophets; while Professor Powell denies the truth of Miracles, and
Professor Jowett evacuates the authority of Holy Scripture
altogether--while Dr. Temple substitutes the inner light of Conscience
for an external Revelation; and Mr. Wilson teaches men how they may turn
the substance of Holy Scripture into a shadow, evade the plain force of
language, and play fast and loose with those safeguards which it has
been ever thought that words supply;--Mr. Pattison, reviewing the last
century and a half of our own Theological history, labours hard to
produce an impression that, _here_ also "all is vanity and vexation of
spirit." He calls off our attention from the Bible, and bids us
contemplate the unlovely aspect of the English "religious world" from
the Revolution of 1688 down to the publication of the 'Tracts for the
Times,' in 1833[133]. "Be content for a while, (he seems to say,) to
disregard the prize; and observe the combatants instead. Listen to the
historian of moral and religious progress," while he depicts "decay of
religion, licentiousness of morals, public corruption, profaneness of
language, a day of rebuke and blasphemy." Come attend to me; and I will
draw the likeness of "an age destitute of depth or earnestness; an age
whose poetry was without romance, whose philosophy was without insight,
and whose public men were without character; an age of 'light without
love,' whose 'very merits were of the earth, earthy.'" (p. 254.) "If we
would understand our own position in the Church, and that of the Church
in the age; if we would hold any clue through the maze of religious
pretension which surrounds us; we cannot neglect those immediate
agencies in the production of the present, which had their origin
towards the beginning of the eighteenth century." (p. 256.) Let us then
"trace the descent of religious thought, and the practical working of
the religious ideas," (p. 255,) through some of the phases they have
more recently assumed. You shall see the Apostles tried on a charge "of
giving false witness in the case of the Resurrection of JESUS;"
(p. 303;) and pronounced "not guilty," by one whose "name once commanded
universal homage among us;" but who now, (!) with South (!!) and
Barrow, (!!!) "excites perhaps only a smile of pity." (p. 265.) You
shall be shewn Bentley in his attack on Collins the freethinker,
enjoying "rare sport,"--"rat-hunting in an old rick;" and "laying about
him in high glee, braining an authority at every blow." (p. 308.)
"Coarse, arrogant, and abusive, with all Bentley's worst faults of style
and temper, this masterly critique is decisive." (p. 307.) And yet, you
are not to rejoice! "The 'Discourse of Freethinking' was a small tract
published in 1713 by Anthony Collins, a gentleman whose high personal
character and general respectability seemed to give a weight to his
words, which assuredly they do not carry of themselves." (p. 307.) [Why,
the man ought to have been an Essayist and Reviewer!] ... "By
'freethinking'" he does but "mean liberty of thought,--the right of
bringing all received opinions whatsoever to the touchstone of reason:"
(p. 307:) [a liberty which has evidently disappeared from English
Literature: a right which no man dares any longer exercise under pain
of excommunication!] "Collins was not a sharper, and would have
disdained practices to which Bentley stooped for the sake of a
professorship." (p. 310.) [O high-minded Collins!] "The dirt endeavoured
to be thrown on Collins will cleave to the hand that throws it."
(p. 309.) [O dirty Bentley!] And though "Collins's mistakes,
mistranslations, misconceptions, and distortions are so monstrous, that
it is difficult for us now, forgetful how low classical learning had
sunk, to believe that they _are_ mistakes, and not wilful errors,"
(p. 308,)--yet "Addison, the pride of Oxford, had done no better. In his
'Essay on the Evidences of Christianity,' Addison 'assigns as grounds
for his religious belief, stories as absurd as that of the Cock-lane
ghost, and forgeries as rank as Ireland's 'Vortigern;' puts faith in the
lie about the thundering legion; is convinced that Tiberius moved the
Senate to admit JESUS among the gods; and pronounces the letter of
Agbarus, King of Edessa, to be a record of great authority.'" (p. 307,
quoting Macaulay's _Essays_.) All this and much more you shall see.
Remember that it is the history of your immediate forefathers which you
will be contemplating,--the morality of the professors of religion
during the last century,--"the past history of the theory of Belief in
the Church of England!" (p. 329.)

The curtain falls; and now, pray how do you like it? I invite you, in
conclusion, to "take the religious literature of the present day, as a
whole; and endeavour to make out clearly on what basis Revelation is
supposed by it to rest; whether on Authority, on the Inward Light, on
Reason, on self-evidencing Scripture, or on the combination of the
four, or some of them, and in what proportions." (p. 329.) ... After
this, you are at liberty to proceed to read 'Jowett on
Inspiration,'--with what appetite you may!

Such is the impression which Mr. Pattison's Essay is calculated to leave
behind. That he had no wicked intention in writing it, no one who knows
him could for an instant suppose: but _the effect_ of what he has done
is certainly to set his reader adrift on a dreary sea of doubt.
Discomfort and dissatisfaction, confusion and dismay, are the prevailing
sentiments with which a religious mind, unfortified with learning, will
rise from the perusal of the present Essay: while the irreligious man
will study it with a sneer of ill-concealed satisfaction. The marks of
Mr. Pattison's own better knowledge, (sufficiently evident to the quick
eye of one who is aware of the writer's high theological
attainments;)--the indications of a truer individual judgment,
(discoverable throughout by one who _knows_ the author's private worth,
and is himself happily in possession of the clue by which to escape from
this tangled labyrinth:)--_these_ escape the common reader. To _him_,
all is dreary doubt.

I must perforce deal with Mr. Pattison's labours in a very summary
manner. The chief complaint I have to make against him is that he has
altogether omitted what, to you and to me, is the _most_ important
feature of the century which he professes to describe,--namely, the vast
amount of lofty Churchmanship, the unbroken Catholic tradition, which,
with no small amount of general short-coming, is to be traced throughout
the eighteenth century. To insinuate that the return to Catholic
principles _began_ with the publication of the 'Tracts for the Times,'
(p. 259,) in 1833, is simply to insinuate what is _not_ true. But Mr.
Pattison does more than 'insinuate.' He states it openly. "In
constructing _Catenæ Patrum_," (he says,) "the Anglican closes his list
with Waterland or Brett, and leaps at once to 1833." (p. 255.)--Now,
since Waterland _died_ in 1740 and Brett in 1743, it is clear that,
(according to Mr. Pattison,) a hundred years and upwards have to be
cleared _per saltum_: during which the lamp of Religion in these
kingdoms had gone fairly out. But how stands the truth? At least _four_
"Catenæ Patrum" are given in the "Tracts for the Times[134];" _not one_
of which is closed with Waterland or Brett. On the contrary, in the two
former Catenæ (beginning with Jewel and Hooker) the names of these
supposed 'ultimi Romanorum' occur little more than _half way_!... "Les
faits," therefore, (as usual with 'Essayists and Reviewers,')--"_les
faits sont contraires_."--It would be enough to cite Bethell's 'General
View of the Doctrine of Regeneration in Baptism,' which appeared in
1822; and Hugh James Rose's 'Discourses on the Commission and Duties of
the Clergy,' which were preached in 1826. But the case against Mr.
Pattison, as I shall presently shew, is abundantly stronger.

In short, to exclude from sight, as this author so laboriously
endeavours to do, the Catholic element of the last century and the early
part of the present, is extremely unfair. There had _never failed_ in
the Church of England a succession of illustrious men, who transmitted
the Divine fire unimpaired, down to yesterday. Quenched in some places,
the flame burned up brightly and beautifully in others. As for the
'Tracts for the Times,' they speedily assumed a party character: and by
the time that ninety-seven of them had appeared, the series was
discontinued by the desire of the Diocesan,--who was yet the friend of
its authors. The Tracts do not all, by any means, represent Anglican
(i.e. Catholic) Theology. They were written by a very few men; while the
greatest of those who had materially promoted the Catholic movement out
of which they sprang, (_not_ which they _occasioned_,) were dissatisfied
with them; would not write in them; kept aloof; and foresaw and foretold
what would be the issue of such teaching[135]. And yet, 'Tracts for the
Times' did more good than evil, I suppose, on the whole.

The truth is, that in every age, (and the last century forms no
exception to the rule,) the history of the Church on Earth has been a
_warfare_. Mr. Pattison says contemptuously,--"The current phrases of
'the bulwarks of our faith,' 'dangerous to Christianity,' are but
instances of the habitual position in which we assume ourselves to
stand. Even more philosophic minds cannot get rid of the idea that
Theology is polemical." (p. 301.) And pray, whom have we to thank, but
such writers as Mr. Pattison, that it is so? I am one of the many who at
this hour are (unwillingly) neglecting _constructive_ tasks in order to
be _destructive_ with Mr. Pattison and his colleagues! So long as
Infidelity abounds, our service _must_ be a warfare. 'The Prince of
Peace' foretold as much, when He prophesied to His Disciples that it
would be found that He had "brought on earth, a sword." As much was
typically adumbrated, I suspect, (begging Mr. Jowett's pardon,) when, at
the rebuilding of the walls of the Holy City, "they which builded on the
wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with
one of his hands wrought in the work, and _with the other hand held a
weapon_. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side,
and so builded[136]." May I not add that the unique position which the
Church of England has occupied, ever since her great Reformation in
respect both of Doctrine and of Discipline three centuries ago,--is of a
nature which must inevitably subject her to constant storms? An object
of envy to 'Protestant Europe,'--and of hatred to Rome;--exposed to the
hostility of the State, (which would trample her under foot, if it
dared,)--and viewed with ill-concealed animosity by Dissenters of every
class;--admitting into her Ministry men of very diverse views,--and
restraining them by scarcely any discipline;--allowing perfect freedom,
aye, licentiousness of discussion,--and tolerating the expression of
almost any opinions,--_except those of Essayists and Reviewers_:--how
shall the Church of England fail to adopt 'the bulwarks of the faith'
for one of her current phrases? how not, many a time, deem 'dangerous to
Christianity' the speculations of her sons?... Nay, polemics _must_
prevail; if only because, in a certain place, the Divine Speaker already
quoted foretells the partial, (if not the _entire_,) obscuration even of
true Doctrine, in that pathetic exclamation of His,--"When the Son of
Man cometh, shall He find the faith upon the Earth[137]?" ... In the
face of all this, it is to confuse and mystify the ordinary reader to
draw such a picture of the last century as Mr. Pattison has drawn here.
As dismal a view might be easily taken of the first, of the second, of
the third, of the fourth, of the fifth century. What Mr. Newman once
designated as "ancient, holy, and happy times," might very easily indeed
be so exhibited as to seem times of confusion and discord, blasphemy and
rebuke. A discouraging picture might be drawn, (I suppose,) of every age
of the Church's history. But in, and by itself, it would never be quite
a _true_ picture. For to the eye of Faith there is ever to be descried,
amid the hurly-burly of the storm, the Ark of CHRIST'S Church floating
peacefully over the troubled waters, and making steadily for that
Heavenly haven "where it would be." ... Yes, there is ever some blessed
trace discoverable, that this Life of ours is watched over by One whose
Name is Love; whether we con the chequered page of History,
Ecclesiastical or Civil; or summon to our aid the story of our own
narrow experience. From the fierce and fiery opposition, Good is ever
found to have resulted; and _that_ Good was _abiding_. Out of the weary
conflict ever has issued Peace; and _that_ Peace was of the kind which
'passeth all understanding;' a Peace which the world cannot give,--no,
nor take away. There are abundant traces that in all that has happened
to the Church of CHRIST, from first to last, there has been a purpose
and a plan!... No one knows this better than Mr. Pattison. No man in
Oxford could have drawn out what I have been saying into a convincing
reality, better than he, had he yielded to the instincts of a good
heart, and directed his fine abilities to their lawful scope.

The character of the last dismal century, Mr. Pattison has drawn with
sufficient vividness: but that century armed the Church, (as we shall be
presently reminded,) on the side of the "Evidences of Religion;" and if
it taught her the insufficiency of such a method, the eighteenth
century did its work. Above all, _it produced Bishop Butler_.--The
previous century, (the seventeenth,) witnessed the supremacy of
fanaticism. It saw the monarchy laid prostrate, and the Church trampled
under foot, and the use of the Liturgy prohibited by Act of Parliament.
The "Sufferings of the Clergy" fill a folio volume. But this was the
century which produced our great Caroline Divines! From Bp. Andrewes to
Bp. Pearson,--_what_ a galaxy of names! Moreover, on the side of the
Romish controversy, the seventeenth century supplied the Church's
armoury for ever,--Stillingfleet, who died in the year 1699, in a manner
closing the strife.--The sixteenth century witnessed the Reformation of
Religion, with all its inevitably attendant evils; an unsettled
faith,--gross public and private injustice,--an illiterate parochial
clergy:--yet how goodly a body of sound Divinity did the controversies
of that age call forth! The same century witnessed the rise of
Puritanism; but then, it produced Richard Hooker!--What was the
character of the century which immediately preceded the
Reformation,--the fifteenth?... A tangled web of good and evil has been
the Church's history from the very first. The counterpart of what we
read of in Eusebius and Socrates is to be witnessed among ourselves at
the present day, and will doubtless be witnessed to the end! But then,
in days of deepest discouragement, faithful men have never been found
wanting to the English Church, (no, nor GOD helping her, ever _will_!)
who, like the late Hugh James Rose, "when hearts were failing, bade us
stir up the gift that was in us, and betake ourselves to our true
Mother." Mean wilee, such names as George Herbert and Nicholas Farrar,
Ken and Nelson, Leighton and Bishop Wilson, shine through the gloom
like a constellation of quiet stars; to which the pilgrim lifts his
weary eye, and _feels_ that he is looking up to Heaven!

When the spirit of the Age comes into collision with the spirit of the
Gospel, the result is sometimes (as in the earliest centuries,)
portentous;--sometimes, (as in the last,) simply deplorable and
grievous. The battle which seems to be at present waging is of a
different nature. Physical Science has undertaken the perilous task of
hardening herself against the GOD of Nature. We shall probably see this
unnatural strife prolonged for many years to come;--to be succeeded by
some fresh form of irreligion. Somewhat thus, I apprehend, will it be to
the end: and the men of every age will in those conflicts find their
best probation; and it will still be the office of the Creator, in this
way to separate the Light from the Darkness,--until the dawn of the
everlasting Morning!

It is not proposed to enter into the Rationalism of the last century,
therefore; or to inquire into the causes of the barren lifeless shape
into which Theology then, for the most part, threw itself. I have never
made that department of Ecclesiastical History my study: and _who_ does
not turn away from what is joyless and dreary, to greener meadows, and
more fertile fields? It shall only be remarked that when the
_Credibility_ of Religion is the thing generally denied, _Evidences_
will of necessity be the form which much of the Theological writing of
the Day will assume. Let it not be imagined for an instant that one is
the apologist of what Mr. Pattison has characterized as "an age of Light
without Love." (p. 254.) But I insist that the theological picture of
the last century is incomplete, until attention has been called to the
many redeeming features which it presents, and which are all of a
re-assuring kind.

Thus, in the department of sacred scholarship, _who_ can forgot that our
learned John Mill, in 1707, gave to the world that famous edition of the
New Testament which bears his name, after thirty years of patient toil?
Who can forget our obligations in Hebrew, to Kennicott? (1718-1783.)
Humphrey Hody's great work on the Text, and older Versions of Holy
Scripture, was published in 1705.--Bingham's immortal 'Origines' began
to appear in 1708; and William Cave lived till 1714.

In the same connexion should be mentioned Bp. Gibson, who died in 1748,
and Humphrey Prideaux, whose 'Connexion' is dated 1715. Pococke died on
the eve of the commencement of the last century (1691); but so great a
name casts a bright beam through the darkness which Mr. Pattison
describes so forcibly. Archbishop Wake died in 1737. Warton, the author
of 'Anglia Sacra,' died at the age of 35 in 1695.

Survey next the field of Divinity, properly so called; and in the face
of Mr. Pattison's rash statement that "we have no classical Theology
since 1660," (p. 265,) take notice that Bp. Bull, one of the greatest
Divines which the Church of CHRIST ever bred, did not begin to write
until 1669, and lived to the year 1709. This was the man, remember, who
received the thanks of the whole Gallican Church for his 'Judicium
Ecclesiæ Catholicæ,' (i.e. his learned assertion of our SAVIOUR'S
GODhead[138];)--the man whose writings would have won him the reverence
and affection of Athanasius and Augustine and Basil, had he lived in
their day; for he had a mind like theirs. Bp. Pearson did not die till
1686. Bp. Beveridge wrote till his death in 1707. Fell, the learned
editor of Cyprian, died in 1686: Stillingfleet lived till 1699. Wall's
History of Infant Baptism appeared in 1705. Wheatly, who led the way in
liturgical inquiry, was alive till 1742; and Bp. Patrick was a prolific
writer till his death in 1707. May we not also claim the excellent and
learned Grabe as altogether one of ourselves?

Such names do not require special comment. They are their own best
eulogium, and present a high title to their country's gratitude. The
name of Prebendary Lowth, (the author of an excellent commentary on the
prophets,) reminds us that there was living till 1732 one who fully
appreciated the calling of an Interpreter of God's Word[139]. Bishop
Lowth his son, in his great work, (1753,) recovered the forgotten
principle of Hebrew poetry. To convince ourselves what a spirit existed
in some quarters, (notwithstanding the general spread of the very
opinions which 'Essayists and Reviewers' have been so industriously
reproducing in our own day,) it is only necessary to transcribe the
title-page of S. Parker's excellent 'Bibliotheca Biblica,' a Commentary
on the Pentateuch, 1720-1735; 'gathered out of the genuine writings of
Fathers, Ecclesiastical Historians, and Acts of Councils down to the
year of our LORD 451, being that of the fourth General Council; and
lower, as occasion may require.'--That learned man designed to achieve a
Commentary on the whole Bible on the same laborious plan; but his
labours and his life, (at the age of 50,) were brought to an end in
1730.--Dr. Waterland, born in 1683, and Dr. Jackson, born in 1686,--two
great names!--died respectively in 1740 and 1763.--In 1778, appeared Dr.
Townson's admirable 'Discourses on the Gospels.' The author lived till
1792. Pious Bp. Horne (1730-1792) has left the best evidence of his
ability as a Divine in the Introduction to his Commentary on the Psalms.
Jones of Nayland is found to have lived till 1800. Bp. Horsley, a great
champion of orthodoxy of belief, as well as an excellent commentator,
critic, and Sermon writer, lived till 1806. Not seven years have elapsed
since there was to be seen among ourselves a venerable Divine, who was
declared in 1838, by the chief promoter of the 'Tracts for the Times,'
to have "been reserved to report to a forgetful generation what was the
Theology of their Fathers[140]." Martin Joseph Routh, died in 1854,
after completing a century of years. In 1832 appeared his 'Scriptorum
Ecclesiasticorum Opuscula.' His 'Reliquæ Sacræ' had appeared in 1814.
The work was undertaken so far back as 1788. The last volume appeared in
1848, and concluded with a _Catena_ of authorities on the great question
which was denied by the unbelievers of the last century, and _is_ denied
by the 'Essayists and Reviewers' of this[141]. Here then was one who had
borne steady witness in the Church of England to what is her genuine
Catholic teaching from a period dating long before the birth of any one
who was concerned with the 'Tracts for the Times.'

More ancient names present themselves as furnishing exceptions to Mr.
Pattison's dreary sentence. From Abp. Potter and Leslie, down to Abp.
Laurence and Van Mildert,--how many might yet be specified! We have not
hitherto mentioned Abp. Leighton, who died in 1684: Hickes, Johnson, and
Brett, who survived respectively till 1715, 1725, and 1743: the truly
apostolic Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man (1663-1755,)--a name, by the
way, which deserves far more distinct and emphatic notice than can here
be bestowed upon it; and Nelson, the pious author of 'Fasts and
Festivals,' who died in 1715. We had good Iz. Walton, till 1683, and
holy Ken till 1711. Richard Hele, author of 'Select Offices,' (which
appeared in 1717,) is a name not forgotten in Heaven certainly, though
little known on Earth; while Kettlewell and Scandret begin a Catena of
which good Bishop Jolly would be only one of the later links. Meanwhile,
the reader is requested to take notice that there were many other
excellent Divines of the period under consideration, (as Long and
Horbery;) men who made no great figure indeed, but who were evidently
persons of great piety and sound judgment; while their learning puts
that of 'Essayists and Reviewers' altogether to the blush.

But I have reserved for the last, a truly noble name,--which Mr.
Pattison, (with singular bad taste, to say no worse,) mentions only to
disparage. I allude to Dr. Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham; whose
'Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and
Course of Nature,'--remains, at the end of a century, unanswerable as an
Apology,--unrivalled as a text-book,--unexhausted as a mine of
suggestive thought. It may be convenient for an 'Essayist and Reviewer'
to declare that "the merit of the Analogy lies in its want of
originality." (p. 286.) There was not much originality perhaps in the
remark that an apple falls to the ground. Whatever the faults of the
Analogy, that work, under GOD, _saved the Church_. However "depressing
to the soul" (p. 293.) of Mr. Pattison, it is nevertheless a book which
will invigorate Faith, and brighten Hope, and comfort Charity
herself,--long after the spot where he and I shall sleep has been
forgotten: long after our very names will be hard to find.

Let me turn from this illustrious individual, to one whose very name is
perhaps unknown. One loves to think that there are at all times plenty
of good men, who are doing GOD'S work in the world, in quiet corners;
but whose names do not perhaps rise to the surface and emerge into
notice, throughout the whole of a long life. Conversely, how many must
there be, the blessing of whose example and influence has extended down
from the surface, (where perhaps it was acknowledged and appreciated by
all,) until it made itself felt by the humblest units of a lowly country
parish!... The obscure village of Finmere, (in Oxfordshire,) was so
happy as to enjoy for its Rector, from 1734 to 1771, the Rev. Thomas
Long, M.A.,--"a man," (says the Register,) "of the most exemplary piety
and charity." He presented to the church twelve acres of land, "charging
it with a yearly payment of fifteen shillings to the Clerk, _as a
recompense to him for attending on the Fasts and Festivals_; and
ordering sixpence to be deducted from the payment, for each time the
Clerk failed to attend on those days,--unless let by sickness." About
ten years ago, there was found in the hands of a labouring man at
Finmere, a solitary copy of a printed "Lecture," by this individual,
"addressed to the young persons" of the village, (1762,) which begins as
follows:--"I have usually, once every three years, gone through a course
of Lectures upon the Catechism; but considering my age and great
infirmities, it is not very probable I should continue this practice any
longer. I am willing therefore, as a small monument of my care and
affection for you, to print the last of these Lectures," &c.... What
heart so dull as not to admit that men like this, (and there were _many_
of them!) are quite good enough to redeem an age from indiscriminate
opprobrium and unmitigated contempt?

Shall we omit, after this enumeration, to notice the singular fact that
_Discipline_ still lingered on,--even the discipline of _public
penance_,--until within the memory of aged persons yet living? Merchants
in the city of London wore mourning during Lent, within the present
century. It is only within the last thirty years that formulæ expressive
of reliance on the Divine blessing have been expunged from
bills-of-lading, and similar printed documents. In the beginning of the
period discoursed of by Mr. Pattison, (viz. in the year 1714,) the
excellent Robert Nelson, in "An Address to Persons of Quality and
Estate," proposed as objects for the generosity of the affluent, such
institutions as the following:--"the creating of Charity Schools,"--of
"Parochial Libraries in the meanly endowed Cures throughout
England,"--of "a superior School for training up Schoolmasters and
Schoolmistresses,"--and of "Colleges or Seminaries for the Candidates of
Holy Orders." He suggested that there should be "Houses of Hospitality
for entertaining Strangers;" "Suffragan Bishops, both at home and in the
Western Plantations;" "Colleges for receiving Converts from Popery."
Some of Nelson's suggestions read like vaticinations. He points out the
need of Ladies' Colleges,--of a Hospital for Incurables,--of Ragged
Schools, (for what else is a school "for the distressed children called
the _Black-guard_?"),--and of Houses of Mercy for the reception of
penitent fallen women.--Is it right to speak of a century which could
freely contemplate such works as these and carry into execution many of
them[142], without some allusion to the leaven which was at work beneath
the dry crust of Society? the living Catholic energy which neither the
average dulness of the pulpit could quench, nor the lifeless morality
which had been popularly substituted for Divinity could destroy?

We are abundantly prepared therefore for Mr. Pattison's admission that
"public opinion was throughout on the side of the defenders of
Christianity:" (p. 313:)--that, "however a loose kind of Deism might be
the tone of fashionable circles, it is clear that distinct disbelief of
Christianity was by no means the general state of the public mind. The
leaders of the Low-Church and Whig party were quite aware of this.
Notwithstanding the universal complaints of the High-Church party of the
prevalence of infidelity, it is obvious that this mode of thinking was
confined to a very small section of society." (p. 313.)

And surely it should not escape us that the peculiar form which unbelief
assumed during the period under discussion, resulted in a benefit to the
Church. "The eighteenth century," (says our author,) "enforced the
truths of Natural Morality with a solidity of argument and variety of
proof which they have not received since the Stoical epoch, if then."
(p. 296.) "The career of the Evidential School, its success and its
failure, has enriched the history of Doctrine," not indeed "with a
complete refutation of that method as an instrument of theological
investigation," (p. 297,) (witness the immortal 'Analogy' of Bishop
Butler!)--but, certainly with very precious experience. That age has
bequeathed to the Church a vast body of controversial writing which she
could ill afford to part with at the present day.

So far, we have little to complain of in Mr. Pattison's Essay, except on
the side of omission. _But_ for the fatal circumstance of the company in
which the learned writer comes abroad, and _the avowed purpose_ with
which he is found there, a charitable construction might have been put
upon most of the present performance. The following sentences, on the
other hand, are _not_ excusable.

"In the present day when a godless orthodoxy threatens, as in the
fifteenth century, to extinguish religious thought (!) altogether, and
nothing is allowed in the Church of England but the formulæ of past
thinkings, which have long lost all sense of any kind, (!) it may seem
out of season to be bringing forward a misapplication of common-sense in
a bygone age," (p. 297.)

The "orthodoxy" of the fifteenth century is something new to us. So is
the prospect "in the present day," of an "extinction of religious
thought,"--the result of "godless orthodoxy." The fault, or the
misfortune of the Church of England then, is, that she retains "_the
formulæ of past thinkings, which have long lost all sense of any
kind_." (p. 297.) If this does not mean the English _Book of Common
Prayer_, what _does_ it mean? And if it _means_ the English Prayer-Book,
how can Mr. Pattison retain his commission in the Church of England, and
exclusively employ a Book which he presumes so to characterize?

But this is _ad hominem_. The learned writer proceeds:--"There are times
and circumstances when religious ideas will be greatly benefited by
being submitted to the rough and ready tests by which busy men try what
comes in their way; by being made to stand their trial, and be fully
canvassed, _coram populo_. As Poetry is not for the critics, so Religion
is not for the Theologians." (p. 297.)

No doubt. But does Mr. Pattison then really mean to tell us that the
proper tribunal before which the Creeds, (for example,) of the Catholic
Church,--our Communion and Baptismal offices,--the structure of our
Calendar, and so forth,--should "_stand their trial_, and be _freely
canvassed_," is, "_coram populo_?" A "rough and ready test," this, of
Truth, I grant; aye, a _very_ "rough" one. But was it ever,--can it ever
be,--a _fair_ test? Let us hear Mr. Pattison out, on the subject of
Religion:--

"When it is stiffened into phrases, and these phrases are declared to be
objects of reverence but not of intelligence, it is on the way to become
_a useless encumbrance; the rubbish of the past; blocking the road_.
Theology then retires into the position it occupies in the Church of
Rome at present, an unmeaning frostwork of dogma, out of all relation to
the actual history of Man." (pp. 297-8.)

It cannot be necessary to discuss such sentiments. With Mr. Pattison
personally, I _will not_ condescend to discuss them,--until he has
divested himself of that "useless encumbrance," and ceased to employ
daily "that rubbish of the past," which yet the two letters he subjoins
to his name indicate, in the most solemn manner, his reverence for; and
which alone make him _Reverendus_.

But speaking to others,--speaking to _you_, my friends,--let me point
out that "the tendencies of _irreligious_ thought in England,
1860-1861," are _indeed_ in a direction where the Prayer-Book is found
to be _effectually_ "blocking up the road." (pp. 297-8.) Mr. Pattison is
simply dreaming,--haunted by the phantoms of his own brain, and talking
the language of the den,--when he complains that "the Philosophy, now
petrified into tradition, may once have been a vital Faith; but now
that" it is "withdrawn from public life," has ceased to be a "social
influence." (p. 298.) And when he would exalt the last century at the
expence of the present, (pp. 298-9,) he shews nothing so much as the
morbid state of his own imagination,--the disordered condition of his
own mind. He has blinded himself; and he will not or he cannot see in
the healthier tone of our popular Divinity,--in the increased attention
to the study of Holy Scripture,--in the impulse which Liturgical
inquiries have received since Wheatly's useful volume appeared;--or
again, in the immense number of Schools and Churches which have been
recently built,--in the marvellous change for the better which has come
over the Clergy of the Church of England within the present century,--in
the vast development of our Colonial Episcopate within the last few
years,--in the rapid increase of Institutions connected more or less
directly with the Church,--and I will add, in the conspicuous loyalty
of the nation;--a practical refutation of his own injurious
insinuations; a blessed earnest that God has _not_ forsaken us; and that
we shall _yet_ be a blessing to the World! The people of England, I am
persuaded, are in the main very sincerely attached to their Prayer-Book.
To them, it is not "a useless encumbrance, the rubbish of the past,
blocking the road." Nay, there is a "rough and ready test" of what is
the current temper of the age in things religious, to which I appeal
with infinite satisfaction. I mean, _the general burst of execration
with which "Essays and Reviews" have been received_, from one end of the
kingdom to the other. _The censure of all the Bishops_, and of _both
Houses of Convocation_; re-echoed, as it has been, through _all ranks of
the community_, is a great fact;--a fact which I cordially recommend to
Mr. Pattison's attention, when he would philosophize on the religious
tendencies of his countrymen.

The age we live in, (Heaven knows!) has many drawbacks. _What_ age of
the Church has _not_ had them? The fatal disposition which prevails to
relax all the ancient safeguards,--the desire to tamper yet further with
the Law of Marriage, and to desecrate the Christian Sabbath,--these are
grievous features of the times; which may well occasion alarm and create
perplexity. But nothing of the kind should ever make us despond; much
less despair. There is One above "who is over all, GOD blessed for
ever." Shall we not rather seek to employ these advantages which we
have, with a single heart, a single eye to GOD'S glory; and leave the
issue, with a generous confidence, to _Him_?... It was thus that the
great philosophic Divine of the last century comforted himself, amid
darker days than _we_ shall ever experience.

"As different ages have been distinguished by different sorts of
particular errors and vices, the deplorable distinction of ours," (he
said,) "is an avowed scorn of Religion in some, and a growing disregard
to it in the generality." "It is impossible for me, my
brethren,"--(Butler is still addressing the clergy of his Diocese,
1761,)--"to forbear lamenting with you the general decay of Religion in
this nation; which is now observed by every one, and has been for some
time the complaint of all serious persons. The influence of it is more
and more wearing out of the minds of men;" while "the number of those
who profess themselves unbelievers, increases, and with their number
their zeal. Zeal, it is natural to ask,--for what? Why truly _for_
nothing, but _against_ everything that is sacred and good among
us[143]." And yet, in days dark as those, Piety could suggest that "no
Christian should possibly despair;" and Faith could assign as the reason
of this blessed confidence,--"_For He who hath all power in Heaven and
Earth, hath promised that He will be with us to the end of the world._"

It is time to dismiss Mr. Pattison's Essay. In doing so, I will not
waste my time and yours by carping at the many errors of detail into
which he has (not inexcusably) fallen. These are the accidents,--not the
essence of his paper. The root of bitterness with the Author is, clearly
enough, _the Theory of Religious Belief in the Church of England_. His
concluding words shew this plainly. The sting of the Essay is in the
tail:--

"In the Catholic theory the feebleness of Reason is met half-way, and
made good by the authority of the Church. When the Protestants threw off
this authority, they did not assign to Reason what they took from the
Church, but to Scripture. Calvin did not shrink from saying that
Scripture 'shone sufficiently by its own light.' As long as this could
be kept to, the Protestant theory of belief was whole and sound. At
least it was as sound as the Catholic. In both, Reason, aided by
spiritual illumination, performs the subordinate function of recognising
the supreme authority of the Church, and of the Bible, respectively.
Time, learned controversy, and abatement of zeal, drove the Protestants
generally from the hardy but irrational assertion of Calvin. Every foot
of ground that Scripture lost was gained by one or other of the three
substitutes: Church-authority, the Spirit, or Reason. Church-authority
was essayed by the Laudian divines, but was soon found untenable, for on
that footing it was found impossible to justify the Reformation and the
breach with Rome." [O shame!] "The SPIRIT then came into favour along
with Independency. But it was still more quickly discovered that on such
a basis only discord and disunion could be reared. There remained to be
tried Common Reason, carefully distinguished from recondite learning,
and not based on metaphysical assumptions. To apply this instrument to
the contents of Revelation was the occupation of the early half of the
eighteenth century; with what success has been seen. In the latter part
of the century the same Common Reason was applied to the external
evidences. But here the method fails in a first
requisite,--universality; for even the shallowest array of historical
proof requires some book-learning to apprehend."--(pp. 328-9.)

Now all this is discreditable to Mr. Pattison as a Philosopher and as a
Divine. _When_ did Protestant England "throw off the authority" of the
Church?--What are _Calvin's_ opinions to _her_?--How does
'Independency,' 'Rationalism,' or any other unsound principle, affect
_us_? Look at our Prayer-Book. Is it not the same which it was from the
beginning? The Sarum Use, reformed and revised, has been our unbroken
heritage as Christian men, from the first. Essentially remodelled in the
days of Edward VI., the recension of our "Laudian Divines" is, (by GOD'S
great mercy!) still ours. What other teaching but that of _the Book of
Common Prayer_, is, to this hour, the authoritative teaching of the
Church of England? Why insinuate there has been vicissitude of Theory,
where notoriously there has been none? Why imply that the storms which
periodically sweep over the citadel of our Zion are effectual to remove
the old foundations and to substitute new? What but a hollow heartless
Scepticism _can_ be the result of such an abominable passage as the
foregoing?

"Whoever will take the religious literature of the present day as a
whole, and endeavour to make out clearly on what basis Revelation is
supposed by it to rest, whether on Authority, on the Inward Light, on
Reason, on self-evidencing Scripture, or on the combination of the four,
or some of them, and in what proportions; would probably find that he
had undertaken a perplexing but not altogether profitless
inquiry."--(p. 329.) And so the Essay ends.

With a short comment on the proposed problem, I also shall conclude.

No one but a fool would set about the task which Mr. Pattison here
proposes. The current "religious literature _of the day_" cannot be
supposed, for an instant, to be an adequate exponent of the mind of the
Church of England,--or of any other Church. Revelation rests, at this
hour, on exactly the same basis on which it has always rested, and on
which it will rest, to the end of time; let the age be faithful, or
faithless,--learned or unlearned,--rationalizing or
scientific,--sceptical or superstitious,--or whatever else you will. And
if I am asked to explain myself, I would humbly say,--(always submitting
my own statements in such a matter to the judgment of the Bishops and
Doctors of the Church of England,)--that we receive the Bible on the
authority of _the Church_. The Church teaches us by the concurrent
voices of many Fathers, Doctors, Saints, how to interpret the Bible; and
convinces us that the three Creeds which she delivers to us as her own
independent tradition, may be proved thereby; being in entire conformity
with Holy Scripture, though not originally deduced from it.
"Self-evidencing" is hardly a correct epithet to bestow upon Scripture.
And yet, from the evidence which the New Testament supplies to the Old,
and from the interpretation which it puts upon its teaching, we should
not despair of proving the Truth of Revelation, to one who had neither
darkened the inward Light, nor perverted his Reason.

In truth, however, it is idle thus to speculate. We have been born into
the world during the nineteenth Century, whether we wish it or not. We
have been nourished, (GOD be thanked!) in the bosom of the Christian
Church, whether we would or no. The glory of the Gospel has informed our
natural reason, and we cannot undo the blessed process, strive we as
much as we will. The "inward Light," (as we call it,) is the lingering
twilight of the Day of Creation, in the case of the heathen,--the
reflected ray of the noontide of the Gospel, even in the case of the
modern unbeliever. We cannot escape from these conditions of our being,
although we may affect to ignore them, or pretend to turn our eyes the
other way. _No_ help however is to be rejected. _No_ faculty of the soul
need be denied the privilege of assisting to convince the doubting
heart. The inward Light may not be disparagingly spoken of: for what if
it should prove to be a ray sent down from the Father of Lights, to
illumine the dark places of the soul? The aid of Reason is not to be
excluded; for what is Faith but the highest dictate of the Reason?
Faith, (let us ever remember,) being opposed not to _Reason_, but to
_Sight_!... And who for a moment supposes that we disparage the office
of Reason, because we speak of the authority of the Church, in
controversies of Faith? We simply proclaim the Church to be the
appointed witness and keeper of Holy Writ; and when we are invited "_to
make out clearly_ on what basis Revelation is supposed to rest,"
(p. 329,) we point,--where else _should_ we point?--unhesitatingly to
_her_ unwavering witness from the beginning.

       *       *       *       *       *

VII. The Essay which brings up the rear in this very guilty volume is
from the pen of the "REV. BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A., [Fellow and Tutor of
Balliol College, and] Regius Professor of Greek in the University of
Oxford,"--"a gentleman whose high personal character and general
respectability seem to give a weight to his words, which assuredly they
do not carry of themselves[144]." His performance is entitled "ON THE
INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE:" being, in reality, nothing else but a
laborious _denial of its Inspiration_.

Mr. Jowett's quarrel is with the whole body of Commentators on the
Bible,--ancient and modern; with the whole Church Catholic. He cannot
endure the claim of that Book, (like its Divine object and Author,) to
"a Name which is above every other Name." That Plato and Sophocles
should be capable of but one method of Interpretation, and _that_ the
literal,--while the Bible lays claim to a yet profounder meaning,--so
distresses the Regius Professor of Greek, that he has appropriated to
himself almost a quarter of the present volume, in order that he may
cast laborious and systematic ridicule on the very supposition. Some
parts of his method I propose presently to submit to _exactly the same
"free handling" which he has himself applied to THE WORD OF GOD_. In the
meantime, since it is my intention not only to demonstrate the
worthlessness of the structure which Mr. Jowett has with so much
perverse industry here built up, by an examination of some parts of it
in detail, but also to pull down as much of the fabric as I am able
within a small compass,--(the construction of something which it is
hoped will prove more durable, being to be found in my IIIrd and IVth,
Vth and VIth Sermons,)--I proceed at once to inspect the
foundation-stone of his edifice; and briefly to demonstrate its absolute
insecurity.

$1.$ Mr. Jowett's fundamental principle is expressed in the following
brief precept: "_Interpret the Scripture like any other book._"
(p. 377.) To this favourite tune, (although he plays many intricate
variations on it,) he invariably reverts in the end[145]. On this
preliminary postulate therefore, which, at first sight, to a candid
mind, seems fair enough, I proceed to remark as follows:--

Mr. Jowett's formula may be cheerfully and entirely accepted,--_apart
from the sinister glosses which he immediately proceeds to put upon it_.
By all means "Interpret the Scripture like any other book." Let us see
to what result this principle will conduct us. As for the formula
itself, I take the liberty to assume that it _ought to mean_ somewhat as
follows:--"Approach the volume of Holy Scripture with the same candour,
and in the same unprejudiced spirit with which you would approach any
other famous book of high antiquity. Study it with at least the same
attention. Give at least equal heed to all its statements. Acquaint
yourself at least as industriously with its method, and with its
principle; employing and applying either, with at least equal fidelity,
in its interpretation. Above all, beware of playing tricks with its
plain language. Beware of suppressing any part of the evidence which it
supplies as to its own meaning. Be truthful, and unprejudiced, and
honest, and consistent, and logical, and exact throughout, in your work
of Interpretation. 'INTERPRET SCRIPTURE LIKE ANY OTHER BOOK.'"

Now, (not to be tedious,) if _this_ were Mr. Jowett's principle, all
further discussion would be at an end. The general question of the right
method of interpreting the Bible would be easily settled; but it would
be hopelessly settled--_against the Regius Professor of Greek_. As I
have briefly shewn, (from p. 144 to p. 160 of the present volume,) our
LORD and His Apostles openly and repeatedly claim for Scripture that
very depth of meaning, that very extent of signification, which Mr.
Jowett so strenuously maintains that it does _not_ possess.--This great
fact, he prudently takes no notice of. He simply ignores it. Either he
has overlooked it, through inadvertency: or he has omitted it, as not
perceiving its force and bearing on the question: or he has
disingenuously kept it back. He must choose between these three
suppositions. If he has overlooked the fact on which I lay so much
stress,--he is a careless and incompetent reader. If he has failed to
see its force and bearing on the question,--he is a weak and illogical
thinker. If he has deliberately suppressed it, knowing its fatal
power,--he is simply a dishonest man. To prevent offence, I may as well
state freely that my entire conviction is that he is simply a weak and
illogical person. My warrant for this opinion is especially the very sad
performance of his now under consideration.

It is clear however that the paraphrase above hazarded does _not_
express Mr. Jowett's principle. "Interpret the Bible like any other
book," means with him something else. And what it _does_ mean, the
Reverend author does not suffer us to doubt. He shews that his meaning
is, _Interpret the Bible like any other book_, FOR _it is like any other
book_. I proceed to shew that this _is_ Mr. Jowett's meaning.

It becomes necessary however at once to introduce to the reader's notice
the main inference which, (as already hinted,) flows from Mr. Jowett's
favourite position. "_Interpret_ Scripture like any other book,"--he
says. His business is with _the Interpretation_ of "the Jewish and
Christian Scriptures;" and he begins by eagerly assuring us,--and is
strenuous in all that follows to make us believe,--(but simply on _à
priori_ grounds!)--that "the true glory and note of Divinity in these,
is _not_ that they have hidden, mysterious, or double meanings; but _a
simple and universal one_, which is beyond them and will survive them."
(p. 332.) "Is it admitted," (he asks, at the end of many pages,) "that
_the Scripture has one and only one true meaning_?" (p. 368.)

Let us hear what reasons the Reverend author of this seventh Essay is
able to produce in support of his favourite opinion. He approaches the
subject from a respectful distance:--

(i) "It is a strange, though familiar fact,"--(such are the opening
words of his Essay,)--"that great differences of opinion exist
respecting the Interpretation of Scripture." (p. 330.)--'Familiar,' the
fact is, certainly; but why 'strange?' A Book of many ages,--of immense
antiquity,--of most varied character,--treating of the unseen
world,--purporting to be a mysterious composition,--and by all Christian
men believed to have GOD for its true Author: a book which has come into
collision with every form of human error, and has triumphed gloriously
over every form of human opposition:--_how_ can it be thought 'strange'
that the interpretation of such a book should have provoked "great
differences of opinion?" ... Surely none but the weakest of thinkers,
unless committed to the assumption that _the Bible is like any other
book_, could ever have penned such a silly remark.

(ii) "We do not at once see _the absurdity_ of the same words having
many senses, or free our minds from _the illusion_ that the Apostle or
Evangelist must have written with a reference to the creeds or
controversies or circumstances of other times. Let it be considered,
then, that this extreme variety of interpretation _is found to exist in
the case of no other book, but of the Scriptures only_." (p. 334.)

But the "phenomenon" which Mr. Jowett represents as "so extraordinary
that it requires an effort of thought to appreciate it," (_Ibid._,) does
not seem at all extraordinary to any one who does not begin by
_assuming_ that the Bible is "like any other book."--If _the Bible be
inspired_,--then all is plain!

(iii) "Who would write a bulky treatise about the method to be pursued
in interpreting Plato or Sophocles?"--asks Mr. Jowett. (p. 378.)--No one
but a fool!--is the obvious reply. Plato and Sophocles are ordinary
books; and therefore _are to be interpreted_ like any other book. The
Bible not so, as we shall see by and by. Again,--

(iv) "Each writer, each successive age, has characteristics of its own,
as strongly marked, or more strongly, than those which are found in the
authors or periods of classical Literature. These differences are not to
be lost in _the idea of a Spirit from whom they proceed, or by which
they were overruled_. And therefore, illustration of one part of
Scripture by another should be confined to writings of the same age and
the same authors, except where the writings of different ages or persons
offer obvious similarities. It may be said, further, that illustration
should be chiefly derived, not only from the same author, _but from the
same writing, or from one of the same period of his life_. For example,
the comparison of St. John and the 'synoptic' Gospels, or of the Gospel
of St. John with the Revelation of St. John, will tend _rather to
confuse than to elucidate the meaning of either_." (pp. 382-3.)--But
really, in reply, it ought to suffice to point out that the result of
the Church's experience for 1800 years has been the very opposite of
the Professor's. "_The idea of a SPIRIT from whom they proceeded_," is,
to the thoughtful part of mankind, _the only intelligible clue_ to the
several books of Holy Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation! Hence "the
marginal references to the English Bible," (to which Mr. Jowett devotes
a depreciatory half page,) so far from being the dangerous or useless
apparatus which he represents, we hold to be an instrument of paramount
importance for eliciting the true meaning of Holy Writ.--In a word, he
is reasoning about the Bible on _the assumption_ that the Bible is _like
any other book_.

(v) "To attribute to St. Paul or the Twelve the abstract notion of
Christian Truth which afterwards sprang up in the Catholic Church ... is
the same error as to attribute to Homer the ideas of Thales or
Heraclitus, or to Thales the more developed principles of Aristotle and
Plato." (p. 354.)--_Not if St. Paul and the Twelve were inspired._

(vi) He bids us remark, with tedious emphasis, that although the same
philological and historical difficulties which occur in Holy Scripture
are found in profane writings, yet "the meaning of classical authors is
known with comparative certainty; and the interpretation of them seems
to rest on a scientific basis.... _Even the Vedas and the Zendavesta_,
though beset by obscurities of language probably greater than are found
in any portion of the Bible, are interpreted, at least by European
scholars, according to fixed rules, and beginning to be clearly
understood." (p. 335.)

But at the end of several weak sentences, through which the preceding
fallacy is elongated into distressing tenuity, _who_ does not
exclaim,--The supposed "scientific" basis on which the interpretation of
books in general rests, is simply this; (=1=) that being _merely
human_, and (=2=) _not professing_ to have any other than their obvious
literal meaning,--they are all interpreted in the obvious ordinary way!

For (=1=),--If any book were even _suspected_ to be Divine, the manner
of interpreting it would of course be different. Not that the "basis" of
such Interpretation would therefore cease to be "scientific!" Take the
only known instance of such a Book. The Bible has been suspected (!) for
1800 years to be inspired. How has it fared with the Bible?

The Science of Biblical Interpretation is one of the noblest and best
understood in the world. It has been professed and practised in every
country of Christendom. The great Masters of this Science have been such
men as Hilary of Poictiers, Basil and the two Gregories in Asia Minor,
Epiphanius in Cyprus, Ambrose at Milan, John Chrysostom at Antioch,
Jerome in Palestine, Augustine in Africa, Athanasius and Cyril at
Alexandria. The names descend in an unbroken stream from the first four
centuries of our æra down to the age of Andrewes, and Bull, and Pearson,
and Mill. These men all interpret Scripture in one and the same way.
Their principles are the same throughout. They were all Professors of
_the same Sacred Science_.

But (=2=),--If a book even _professes_ to have a hidden meaning, it is
interpreted by a special set of canons. Thus Dante's great poem[146] may
not be read as Hume's History of England is read.--To proceed, however.

(vii) Sophocles is perhaps the most subtle of the ancient Greek poets.
"Several schools of critics have commented on his works. To the
Englishman he has presented one meaning, to the Frenchman another, to
the German a third; the interpretations have also differed with the
philosophical systems which the interpreters espoused. To one the same
words have appeared to bear a moral, to another a symbolical meaning; a
third is determined wholly by the authority of old commentators; while
there is a disposition to condemn the scholar who seeks to interpret
Sophocles from himself only and with reference to the ideas and beliefs
of the age in which he lived. And the error of such an one is attributed
not only to some intellectual but even to a moral obliquity (!) which
prevents his seeing the true meaning." (p. 336.)

It has fared with Sophocles therefore, (according to Mr. Jowett,) _in
all respects as it has fared with the Bible_. "It would be tedious," (he
justly remarks,) "to follow the absurdity which has been supposed into
details. By such methods," Sophocles or Plato might "be made to mean
anything." (p. 336.)

But who does not perceive that the obvious way to escape from the
supposed difficulty, is to remember that _neither Sophocles nor Plato
was inspired_!... Mr. Jowett's difficulty is occasioned by his
assumption that _the Bible stands on the same level as Plato and
Sophocles_.

(viii) Again,--"If it is not held to be a thing impossible that there
should be agreement in the meaning of _Plato and Sophocles_, neither is
it to be regarded as absurd, that there should be a like agreement in
the interpretation of _Scripture_?" (p. 426.)--The whole force of this
argument clearly consisting in the strictly equal claims of these books
to Inspiration.--Elsewhere, Mr. Jowett expresses the same thing more
unequivocally:--The old "explanations of Scripture," (he says,) "are no
longer tenable. They belong to a way of thinking and speaking which was
once diffused over the world, but has now passed away." Having quietly
_assumed_ all this, the Reverend writer proceeds:--"And what we give up
as a general principle, we shall find it impossible to maintain
partially; _e.g._ in the types of the Mosaic Law, and the double
meanings of Prophecy, at least _in any sense in which it is not equally
applicable to all deep and suggestive writings_." (p. 419.)

(ix) "Still one other supposition has to be introduced, which will
appear, perhaps, _more extravagant than any which have preceded_.
Conceive then that these modes of interpreting Sophocles (!) had existed
for ages; that great institutions and interests had become interwoven
with them; and in some degree even the honour of Nations and
Churches;--is it too much to say that, in such a case, they would be
changed with difficulty, and that they would continue to be maintained
long after critics and philosophers had seen that they were
indefensible?" (pp. 336-7.)

I suppose we may at once allow Mr. Jowett most of what he asks. We may
freely grant that if the Tragedies of Sophocles _had_ exercised the same
wondrous dominion over the world which the Books of the Bible have
exercised:--if Oedipus and Jocasta and Creon; if Theseus and Dejanira
and Hercules; if Ajax, Ulysses and Minerva;--_had_ done for the world
what Enoch and Noah;--what Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;--what Joseph, and
Joshua, and Hannah, and Samuel, and David;--what Elijah and Elisha;
what Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, and the rest;--what St.
Peter, and St. John, and St. Paul;--what the Blessed Virgin and her
name-sakes, have done:--In a word: had Homer's gods and heroes
altogether changed the face of society, and revolutionized the world;
_so that "great institutions and interests had become interwoven with
them, and in some degree even the honour of Nations and Churches_;"
(p. 336;)--if, I repeat, all this _had_ really and actually taken
place;--_great_ "difficulty" would, no doubt, (as Mr. Jowett profoundly
suggests,) be experienced, at the end of 2000 years, in getting rid of
them.

But since it unfortunately happens that _they have done nothing of the
kind_, we do not seem to be called upon to follow the Regius Professor
of Greek into the supposed consequences of what he admits to be an
"extravagant supposition;" and which we humbly think is an excessively
foolish one also.

When, however, the Reverend Author of this speculation establishes it as
_a parallel with what has taken place with regard to the Word of GOD_,
we tell him plainly that his insinuation that "critics and philosophers
are maintaining the present mode of interpreting Scripture _long after
they have seen that it is indefensible_"--is a piece of impertinence
which seems to require a public apology. A man may retain Orders in the
Church of England, if he pleases, while yet he repudiates her doctrines:
may declare that he subscribes her Articles _ex animo_, and yet seem
openly to deny them. But he has no right whatever to impute
corresponding baseness to others. The charge should be either plainly
made out, or openly retracted[147].

By such considerations then does Professor Jowett attempt to shew that
we ought to "interpret Scripture like any other book." The gist of his
observations, in every case, is one and the same,--namely, from _à
priori_ considerations to insinuate that _the Bible is not essentially
unlike any other book._

Now, quite apart from its Inspiration,--which is, obviously, THE one
essential respect wherein the Bible is wholly unlike every other book in
the world; (inasmuch as, if it is inspired, it differs from every other
book _in kind_; stands among Books as the Incarnate WORD stood among
Men,--_quite alone_; notwithstanding that He spoke their language,
shared their wants, and accommodated Himself to their
manners;)--_apart_, I say, _from the fact of its Inspiration_, it is not
difficult to point out several particulars in which the Bible is
_utterly unlike any other Book which is known to exist_; and therefore
to suggest an _à priori_ reason why _neither should it be interpreted_
like any other book.

1. The Bible then contains in all (66-9=) 57 distinct writings,--the
work of perhaps upwards of forty different Authors[148]. Yet, for
upwards of fifteen centuries those many writings have been all collected
into one volume: and, for a large portion of that interval, on the
writings so collected the Church Universal has agreed in bestowing the
name of _the Book_,--κατ' ἐξοχήν,--THE BIBLE.

2. The Bible is divided into two parts, which are severed by an interval
of upwards of four centuries. On these two great divisions of the Bible,
respectively, has been bestowed the title of the Old and the New
Covenant. And, what is remarkable,--_The same phenomena which are
observable in respect of the whole Bible, are observable in respect of
either of its parts._ Thus,

(=1=) The several writings of which the Old Testament is
composed,--(39-3=) 36 in all[149], are by many different hands: those of
the New Testament, in like manner,--(27-6=) 21 in all, are by eight
different authors.

(=2=) Those many writings of the Old Testament are found to have been
collected into a single volume about four hundred years before the
Christian æra; when they were denominated by a common name, ἡ
γραφή,--"_The Scripture_[150];" and the supreme authority of the
writings so collected together, was axiomatic[151]. One arguing with His
Hebrew countrymen was able to appeal to a place in the Psalms, and to
remind them parenthetically that "the Scripture _cannot be
broken_[152],"--that is, might not be gainsaid, doubted, explained
away, or set aside.--Precisely similar phenomena are observable in
respect of the writings of the New Testament.

(=3=) Although the books of the Old Covenant are scattered at intervals
over the long period of upwards of a thousand years, the writers of the
later books are observed to quote the earlier ones, as if by a peculiar
secret sympathy: now, incorporating long passages,--now, simply adapting
one or two sentences,--now, blending allusive references. For some proof
of this assertion, (as far as I am able to produce it at a moment's
notice,) the reader is referred to the foot of the page[153].

The self-same phenomenon is observable with regard to the New Testament
Scriptures. Although all the books were written within so short a space
as about fifty years, the later writers quote the earlier ones to a
surprising extent. In the Gospels, the Gospels are quoted times without
number. In the Epistles, the Gospels are cited, or referred to, upwards
of sixty times. The Epistles contain many references to the
Epistles.--The phenomenon thus alluded to will also be found insisted
upon in a later part of the present volume[154].

"The fact, I believe, on close examination, will be found to stand
thus:--The Holy Bible abounds in quotations, even more perhaps than most
other books; but they are introduced in a way which is peculiar to
Revelation, and its own. When a Prophet or Apostle mentions one of his
own holy brethren, as when Ezekiel names Daniel, or Daniel Jeremiah;
when St. Peter speaks of St. Paul, or St. Paul of St. Peter, or of St.
Luke the Physician; _when they mention them, they do not quote them; and
when they quote them, they do not mention them_[155]."

(=4=) The later writer in the Old Testament who quotes some earlier
portion of narrative is often observed to supply independent
information,--entering into minute details and particulars which are not
to be found in the earlier record.--Now, "with the same Almighty SPIRIT
for their guide, what was it to be expected that the historians of our
Blessed LORD would do? What, but the very thing which they have done?
that they would walk in the path, which the holy Prophets of old had
marked out? that they would often tread full in each other's steps;
often relate the same miracle, or discourse, or parts of it, in the
words of the same prior writer; sometimes compress, sometimes expand;
always shew to the diligent inquirer, that they did not derive their
information, even of facts which they relate in another's words, from
him whom they copy, but wrote with antecedent plenitude of knowledge and
truth in themselves; without staying to inform us whether what they
deliver is told for the first time, or has its place already in
authentic history[156]."

(=5=) It may be worth remarking that though _the Inspiration_ of no part
of either Testament has ever been doubted in the Church, there do exist
doubts as to the _Authorship_ of more than one of the Books of the Old
Testament; and _one_ Book in the New, (the Epistle to the Hebrews,) has
been suspected by some orthodox writers _not_ to have been from the pen
of St. Paul, but to have been the work of some other inspired and
Apostolic writer.

(=6=) History, Didactic matter, and Prophecy,--is found to be the
subject of either Testament.

(=7=) In the New Testament, as in the Old, we are presented with the
singular phenomenon of more than one Book being in a manner _copied_
from another,--yet with the addition of much independent original
matter. It is superfluous to name Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, on one
side,--and the Gospels on the other. To the Gospels may be added the
Second Epistle of St. Peter and the Epistle of St. Jude.

(=8=) Lastly, the same _modest_ use of the Supernatural is to be found
in either Testament.--In both, the writers are observed to pass without
effort, and as it were unconsciously, from revelations of the most
stupendous character, to statements of the simplest and most ordinary
kind[157].--In both, there is the same prominence given to individual
characters[158]; the same occasional minuteness of detail where it might
have been least expected[159].

3. But by far the most remarkable phenomenon remains to be noticed;
namely, the immense number of quotations, (so far more numerous than is
commonly suspected,)--extending in length from a single word to nearly a
hundred and fifty[160],--together with allusive references, literally
without number, which are found in the New Testament Scriptures; _the
writings of the elder Covenant being in every instance,
exclusively[161], the source of those quotations,--the object of those
allusions_.

4. When the nature of these quotations, references, and allusions is
examined with care, several extraordinary phenomena present themselves,
which it seems impossible to consider without the deepest interest,
surprise, and admiration. Thus,--(i.) The New Testament writers, on
repeated occasions, display _independent knowledge_ of the Old Testament
History to which they make reference[162]. The following instances occur
to my memory:--All the later links in our LORD'S Genealogy[163]; the
second Cainan[164]: Salmon's marriage with Rahab[165]: the burial-place
of the twelve Patriarchs[166]: the age of Moses in Exod. ii. 11[167]:
that in the days of Elijah the heaven was shut up for three years _and
six months_[68]: that it was _the Devil_ who tempted Eve[169]: the
contest for the dead body of Moses[170]: the names of Pharaoh's
magicians[171]: how Abraham reasoned with himself when he prepared to
offer up his son Isaac[172]: the golden censer, mentioned in Heb. ix. 4:
Abraham's purchase of Sychem[173]; and a few other things[174].

(ii.) The same New Testament writers are observed to handle the Old
Testament Scriptures with an air of singular authority, and to exercise
an extraordinary license of quotation; inverting clauses,--paraphrasing
statements,--abridging or expanding;--and always without apology or
explanation;--as if they were conscious that they were dealing with
_their own_.

(iii.) Most astonishing of all, obviously, as well as most important, is
_the purpose_ for which the Evangelists and Apostles of our LORD make
their appeal to the Old Testament Scriptures; invariably in order _to
establish some part of the Christian Revelation_. "Every thoughtful
student of the Holy Scriptures has been struck with the circumstance
which I now allude to: the freedom, namely, with which the inspired
Writers of the New Testament appeal back to the Old; and see in it, as
its one proper theme, the Christian subject. They find themselves in
that place, at length, to which former intimations had pointed, and
recognize the connexion which they themselves have with their ancient
forerunners[175]." ... It is as if for four hundred years and upwards, a
mighty mystery,--described in many a dark place of Prophecy, exhibited
by many a perplexing type, foreshadowed by many a Divine narrative,--had
waited for solution. The world is big with expectation. The
long-expected time at last arrives. Up springs the Sun of Righteousness
in the Heavens; and lo, the cryptic characters of the Law flash at once
into glory, and the dark Oracles of ancient days yield up their wondrous
meanings! "GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time
past unto the Fathers by the Prophets,"--in these last days speaks "unto
us by His SON:" and lo, a chorus of Apostolic voices is heard bearing
witness to the Advent of "the Desire of all nations!" ... Such is the
relation which the New Testament bears to the Old: such the true nature
of the many quotations from the earlier Scriptures, which are found in
the later half of the One inspired Volume.

5. And thus we are led naturally to notice the extraordinary connexion
which subsists between the two Testaments. "For what is the Law," (asks
Justin, A.D. 140,) "but the Gospel foretold? or what is the Gospel, but
the Law fulfilled[176]?" "The contents of the Old and New Testament are
the same," remarks Augustine: "_there_ foreshadowed, _here_ revealed:
_there_ prefigured, _here_ made plain." "In the Old Testament there is a
concealing of the New: in the New Testament there is a revealing of the
Old[177]."--Mr. Jowett's inquiry,--"If we assume the New Testament as _a
tradition running parallel with the Old_, may not the Roman Catholic
assume with equal reason a tradition parallel with the New?"
(p. 81.)--shews a truly childish misapprehension of the entire
question. The New Testament is not a "parallel tradition" at all; but a
_subsequent Revelation from Heaven_.

6. Now I might pursue these remarks much further: for it would be well
worth while to exhibit what an extraordinary sameness of imagery,
similarity of allusion, and unity of purpose, runs through the writings
of either Covenant;--phenomena which can only be accounted for in one
way. This subject will be found dwelt upon elsewhere; and to what has
been already delivered, I must be content here to refer the reader[178].

(Mr. Jowett himself has been struck by the phenomenon thus alluded to:
but after hinting at "some natural association" as having suggested the
language of the Prophets, he proceeds: "We are not therefore justified
in supposing any hidden connexion in the prophecies where [the prophetic
symbols] occur. _Neither is there any other ground for assuming design
of any other kind in Scripture; any more than in Plato or Homer._"
(p. 381.) ... And thus our philosopher, assuming at the outset that the
Bible is an uninspired book, is for ever coming back to the lie with
which he set out. But to proceed.)

7. Still better worthy of notice, in this connexion, is the singular
fact (which will also be found adverted to in another place[179],) that
the Old and New Testaments alike profess to be a History of _Earthly_
events from a _Heavenly_ point of view. The writers of either Covenant
claim to know _what GOD did_[180]; how characters and events appeared
_in His sight_[181]: they profess to find themselves in a familiar, and
altogether extraordinary relation with the unseen world[182]. Thus,
Moses begins the Bible with an august account of the great Six
Days,--when GOD was alone in Creation; the unwitnessed Agent, and Author
of all things:--while St. John the Divine, concluding the inspired
Canon, relates that he was "in the Spirit on the LORD'S Day;" and heard
behind him "a great Voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and
Omega, the first and the last[183]." ... "The general design of
Scripture," (says Bishop Butler,) "may be said to be, to give us an
account of the World, in this one single view,--_as GOD'S World: by
which it appears essentially distinguished from all other books, as far
as I have found, except such as are copied from it_[184]."

8. And _yet_ the grand external characteristic feature of the Bible
remains unnoticed! The one distinctive feature of the Bible, is
_this_,--that the four-fold Gospel, _as a matter of fact_, exhibits to
us, the WORD "made flesh:" and, (O marvel of marvels!) suffers us to
hear His voice, and look upon His form, and observe His actions. It does
more. The New Testament professes to be, and is, the complement of the
Old. The promise of CHRIST, solemnly, and repeatedly,--"at sundry times
and divers manners,"--given in the one, is fulfilled in the other.
Henceforth they are no more twain, for they have been by GOD Himself
joined together; and the subject of both is none other than our SAVIOUR,
JESUS CHRIST.

Enough surely has been already adduced to warrant a reasonable man in
refusing to accept Professor Jowett's repeated asseveration that the
Bible is "to be interpreted like any other book." A Book which proves on
examination to be so _wholly unlike every other book_,--so entirely _sui
generis_,--may surely well create an _à priori_ suspicion that it is not
to be interpreted either, after any ordinary fashion. But the grand
consideration of all is _still_ behind! The _one_ circumstance which
effectually refutes the view of the Reverend Professor, remains yet to
be specified; namely, that THE BIBLE PROFESSES TO BE INSPIRED BY THE
HOLY SPIRIT. The HOLY GHOST is again and again declared _to speak_
therein, διά, "_by the instrumentality_," "_by the mouth_," of Man. In
other words, _GOD, not Man, professes to be the Author of the Bible_!

That the Bible _does_ set up for itself such a claim, will be found
established at p. 53 to p. 57 of the present volume. Professor Jowett's
assurance that "for any of the higher or supernatural views of
Inspiration, _there is no foundation in the Gospels or Epistles_,"
(p. 345,)--must therefore be regarded as an extraordinary, or rather as
an unpardonable oversight on his part. One would have thought that a
single saying, like that in Acts iii. 18 and 21, would have occurred to
his memory, and been sufficient to refute him. Other places will be
found quoted at p. cxcvii.

Very much is it to be feared however that the same gentleman has
overlooked a consideration of at least equal importance; namely, the
inevitable _inference_ from the discovery that the origin of the Bible
is Divine. He informs us that,--"It will be a further assistance (!) in
the consideration of this subject, to observe that the Interpretation of
Scripture has _nothing to do with any opinion respecting its origin_."
(p. 350.) "The _meaning_ of Scripture," (he proceeds,) "is one thing:
the _Inspiration_ of Scripture is another."--True. But when we find the
Reverend Author insisting, again and again, that "it may be laid down
that Scripture has _one_ meaning,--_the meaning which it had to the mind
of the Prophet or Evangelist who first uttered, or wrote it_,"
(p. 378,)--we are constrained to remind him that, "To say that the
Scriptures, and the things contained in them, can have no other or
farther meaning than those persons thought or had, who first recited or
wrote them; is evidently saying, _that those persons were the original,
proper, and sole authors of those books_, i.e. THAT THEY ARE NOT
INSPIRED[185]." So that, in point of fact, _the origin_ of Holy
Scripture, so far from being a consideration of no importance, (as Mr.
Jowett supposes,) proves to be a consideration of the most vital
importance of all. And _the Interpretation_ of Scripture, so far from
having "_nothing to do_ with any opinion respecting its origin," is
affected by it most materially, or rather depends upon it altogether!

On a review of all that goes before, it will, I think, appear plain to
any person of sound understanding, that Professor Jowett's _à priori_
views respecting the Interpretation of Holy Scripture will not stand the
test of exact reason. To suggest as he has done that the Bible is to be
interpreted like any other book, on the plea that it _is_ like any other
book, is to build upon a false foundation. His syllogism is the
following:--

     If the Bible is a book like any other book, the Bible is to be
     interpreted like any other book.

     The Bible is a book like any other book.

      Therefore,--

But it has been shewn that the learned Professor's minor premiss is
false. It has been proved that the Bible is NOT a book like any other
book.

Nay, I claim to have done _more_. I claim to have established the
contradictory minor premiss. The syllogism therefore will henceforth
stand as follows:--

     If the Bible can be shewn to be a book like no other book, but
     entirely _sui generis_, and claiming to be the work of
     Inspiration,--then is it reasonable to expect that it will have to
     be interpreted like no other book, but entirely after a fashion of
     its own.

     But the Bible _can_ be shewn to be a book like no other book;
     entirely _sui generis_; and claiming to be the work of Inspiration.

      Therefore,--

$2.$ It remains however, now, to advance an important step.--Mr. Jowett,
in a certain place, adopts a principle, the soundness of which I am
able, happily, entirely to admit. "Interpret Scripture from
itself,--like any other book about which we know almost nothing except
what is derived from its pages." (p. 382.) "_Non nisi ex Scripturâ
Scripturam interpretari potes._" (p. 384.)

Scarcely has he made this important admission however, and enunciated
his golden Canon of interpretation, when he hastens to nullify it. His
very next words are,--"The meaning of the Canon is only this,--'That we
cannot understand Scripture without becoming familiar (!) with it.'"

But, (begging the learned writer's pardon,) so far from _that_ being the
whole of the meaning of the Canon, his gloss happens exactly to miss the
only important point. The plain meaning of the words,--"Only out of the
Scriptures can you explain the Scriptures,"--is obviously rather
this:--'That in order _to interpret_ the Bible, our aim must be to
_ascertain how the Bible interprets itself_.' In other
words,--'Scripture must be made _its own Interpreter_.' More simply yet,
in the Professor's own words, (from which, _more suo_, he has
imperceptibly glided away,)--"_Interpret Scripture from itself._"
(p. 382.) ... How then does Scripture interpret Scripture? _That_ is the
only question! for the answer to this question must be held to be
decisive as to the other great question which Mr. Jowett raises in the
present Essay,--namely, How are _we_ to interpret Scripture?

Now this whole Inquiry has been conducted elsewhere; and will be found
to extend from p. 144 to p. 160 of the present volume. It has been there
established, by a sufficiently large induction of examples, that _the
Bible is to be interpreted as no other book is, or can be interpreted_;
and for the plain reason, that _the inspired Writers themselves_, (our
LORD Himself at their head!) _interpret it after an altogether
extraordinary fashion_. Mr. Jowett's statement at p. 339 that "the
mystical interpretation of Scripture originated in the Alexandrian
age," is simply false.

And in the course of this proof, (necessarily involved in it, in fact,)
it has been incidentally shewn that the sense of Scripture is not, by
any means, invariably _one_; and _that_ sense the most obvious to those
who wrote, heard, or read it. It has been fully shewn that the office of
the Interpreter is _not_, by any means, (as Mr. Jowett imagines,) "to
recover the meaning of the words _as they first struck on the ears, or
flashed before the eyes of those who heard or read them_." (p. 338.) The
Reverend writer's repeated assertion that "we have no reason to
attribute to the Prophet or Evangelist any second or hidden sense
different from that which appears on the surface," (p. 380,) has been
fully, and as it is hoped effectually refuted.

And here I might lay down my pen. For since, at the end of 74 pages, the
Professor thus delivers himself, (in a kind of imitation of St. Paul's
language[186],)--"Of what has been said, this is the sum,--That
Scripture, _like other books_, has _one_ meaning, which has to be
gathered from itself ... _without regard to à priori notions about its
nature and origin_:" that, "It is to be interpreted _like other books_,
with attention to the prevailing state of civilization and knowledge,"
and so forth; (p. 404;)--it must suffice to say that, having established
the very opposite conclusion, I claim to have effectually answered his
Essay; because I have overthrown what he admits to be "the sum" of it.
Let me be permitted however--before I proceed to review some other parts
of his performance,--in the briefest manner, not so much to
recapitulate, as to exhibit 'the sum' of what has been hitherto
delivered on the other side; in somewhat different language, and as it
were from a different point of view.

We are presented then, in the New Testament Scriptures, with the august
spectacle of the Ancient of Days holding the entire volume of the Old
Testament Scriptures in His Hands, _and interpreting it of Himself_. He,
whose Life and Death are set forth in the Gospel;--whose Church's early
fortunes are set forth historically in the Acts, while its future
prospects are shadowed prophetically in the Apocalypse;--whose
Doctrines, lastly, are explained in the twenty-one Epistles of St. Paul
and St. Peter, St. James and St. John and St. Jude:--He, the Incarnate
WORD, who was "in the beginning;" who "was with GOD," and who "was
GOD:"--that same Almighty One, I repeat, is exhibited to us in the
Gospel, repeatedly, holding the Volume of the Old Testament Scriptures
in His Hands, and _explaining it of Himself. "To day is this Scripture
fulfilled_ in your ears[187],"--was the solemn introductory sentence
with which, in the Synagogue of Nazareth, (after closing the Book and
giving it again to the Minister,) He prefaced His Sermon from the lxist
chapter of Isaiah.--"Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me:
_for he wrote of Me_[188],"--"'O fools, and slow of heart to believe all
that the Prophets have spoken! Ought not CHRIST to have suffered these
things, and to enter into His glory?' And _beginning at Moses and all
the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things
concerning Himself_[189]."--"These are the words which I spake unto you,
that all things must be fulfilled _which are written in the Law of
Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me_[190]."

"CHRIST was before Moses. The Gospel was not made for the Law; but the
Law was made for the Gospel. The Gospel is not based on the Law, but the
Law is a shadow of the Gospel. In order to believe the Bible, we must
look upward; and fix our eyes on JESUS CHRIST, sitting in Heavenly
Glory, holding both Testaments in His Hand; sealing both Testaments with
His seal; and delivering both Testaments as Divine Oracles, to the
World. We must receive the _written Word_ from the Hands of the
INCARNATE WORD[191]."

This august spectacle, let it be clearly stated,--(1) Establishes,
beyond all power of contradiction, the intimate connexion which subsists
between the Old and the New Testament; as well as the altogether unique
relation which the one bears to the other:--(2) Invests either Testament
with a degree of sacred importance and majestic grandeur which
altogether makes the Bible _unlike "any other book_:"--(3) Proves that
the Bible is to be interpreted as no other book ever was, or ever can be
interpreted:--(4) Demonstrates that it has _more than a single
meaning_:--and lastly, Convincingly shews that _GOD, and not Man, is its
true Author_.

It will of course be asked,--Then does Mr. Jowett take no notice at all
of this vast and complicated problem? How does he treat of the relation
between the Old Testament and the New?... He despatches the entire
subject in the following passage:--"The question," (he says,) "runs up
into a more general one, 'the relation between the Old and New
Testaments.' For the Old Testament _will receive a different meaning
accordingly as it is explained from itself, or from the New_." (Very
different certainly!) "In the first case,--a careful and conscientious
study of each one for itself is all that is required." (That is to say,
it will not be explained at all!) "In the second case,--_the types and
ceremonies of the Law, perhaps the very facts and persons of the
history_, WILL BE ASSUMED (!) to be predestined or made after a pattern
corresponding to the things that were to be in the latter days."
(p. 370.) (And why not "_will be found_ to be replete with Christian
meaning,--full of lofty spiritual significancy?"--the _proved_
marvellousness of their texture, the _revealed_ mysteriousness of their
purpose, being an effectual refutation of all Mr. Jowett's _à priori_
notions!)

"And this question," (he proceeds,) "stirs up another question
respecting the Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New. Is such
Interpretation to be regarded as the meaning of the original text, or
_an accommodation of it to the thoughts of other times_?" (Nay, but
Reverend and learned Sir: "nothing so plain," as you justly observe,
"that it may not be explained away;" (p. 359;) yet we cannot consent to
have the sense of plain words thus clouded over at your mere bidding. It
is now _our_ turn to declare that the Interpreter's "object is to read
Scripture _like any other book_, with a real interest and not merely a
conventional one." It is now _we_ who "want to be able to open our eyes,
and see things as they truly are." (p. 338.) We simply petition for
leave to "_interpret Scripture like any other book, by the same rules of
evidence and the same canons of criticism_." (p. 375.) And if this
freedom be but conceded to us, there will be found to be no imaginable
reason why the Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New,--(CHRIST
Himself being the Majestic Speaker! our present edification and
everlasting welfare being His gracious purpose!)--should not be strictly
"regarded as _the meaning of the original text_." ... But let us hear
the Professor out:--)

"Our object," (he says, and with this he dismisses the problem!)--"Our
object is not to attempt here the determination of these questions; but
to point out that they must be determined before any real progress can
be made, or any agreement arrived at in the Interpretation of
Scripture." (p. 370.) ... They must indeed. But can it be right in this
slovenly, slippery style to shirk a discussion on the issue of which the
whole question may be said to turn? especially on the part of one who
scruples not to prejudge that issue, and straightway to apply it, (in a
manner fatal to the Truth,) throughout all his hundred pages. Mr.
Jowett's method is ever to _assume_ what he ought to _prove_, and then
either to be plaintive, or to sneer. "It is a _heathenish or Rabbinical
fancy_:"--"Such complexity would place the Scriptures _below human
compositions_ in general; for it would deprive them of the ordinary
intelligibleness of human language" (p. 382):--&c.

"Is the Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New to be regarded as
the _meaning of the original text_; or an _accommodation of it to the
thoughts of other times_?" (p. 370.) This is Mr. Jowett's question; the
question which it is "_not his object_ to attempt to determine;" but
which I, on the contrary, have made it _my_ object to discuss in my VIth
Sermon,--p. 183 to p. 220. Without troubling the reader however now to
wade through those many pages, let me at least explain to him in a few
words what Mr. Jowett's question really amounts to: namely this,--Do the
Apostles and Evangelists, does our Blessed LORD Himself, when He
professes to explain the mysterious significancy of the Old
Testament,--_invariably,--in every instance,--misrepresent "the meaning
of the original text_?" And the answer to this question I am content to
await from any candid person of plain unsophisticated understanding. Is
it credible, concerning the Divine expositions found in St. Matth. xxii.
31, 32,--xxii. 43-5,--xii. 39, 40,--xi. 10,--St. John viii. 17,18,--i.
52,--vi. 31, &c,--x. 34-5:--the Apostolic interpretations found in 1
Cor. ix. 9-11,--x. 1-6,--xv. 20,--Heb. ii. 5-9,--vii. 1-10,--Gal. iv.
21-31:--is it conceivable, I ask, that _not one_ of all these places
should exhibit the actual '_meaning of the original text_?' And yet, (as
Mr. Jowett himself is forced to admit,)--"If we attribute to the details
of the Mosaical ritual a reference to the New Testament, or suppose the
passage of the Red Sea to be regarded not merely as a figure of Baptism,
but as a preordained type;--_the principle is conceded_!" (p. 369.) "A
little more or a little less of the method does not make the
difference." (_Ibid._) In a word,--in such case, Mr. Jowett's Essay
falls to the ground!... To proceed however.

$3.$ The case of Interpretation has not yet been fully set before the
reader. Hitherto, we have merely traced the problem back to the
fountain-head, and dealt with it simply as _a Scriptural question_. We
have shewn what light is thrown upon _Interpretation_ by the volume of
_Inspiration_. The subject has been treated in the same way in the Vth
and VIth of my Sermons. But it will not be improper, in this place,--it
is even indispensable,--to develope the problem a little more fully; and
to explain that it is of much larger extent.

Now, there is a family resemblance in the method of all ancient
expositions of Holy Scripture which vindicates for them, however
remotely, a common origin. There is a resemblance in the general way of
handling the Inspired Word which can only be satisfactorily explained by
supposing that the remote type of all was the oral teaching of the
Apostles themselves. In truth, is it credible that the early Christians
would have been so forgetful of the discourses of the men who had seen
the LORD, that no trace of it,--no tradition of so much as _the manner_
of it,--should have lingered on for a hundred years after the death of
the last of the Apostles; down to the time when Origen, for example, was
a young man?... It cannot possibly be!

(i.) "The things which thou hast heard of me among many witnesses,"
(writes the great Apostle to his son Timothy,) "the same commit thou to
faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also[192]." Provision is
thus made by the aged Saint,--_in the last of his Epistles_,--for the
transmission of his inspired teaching[193] to a second and a third
generation. Now the words just quoted were written about the year 65, at
which time Timothy was a young man. Unless we suppose that ALMIGHTY GOD
curtailed the lives of the chief depositaries of His Word, Timothy will
have lived on till A.D. 100; so that "faithful men" who died in the
middle of the next century might have been trained and taught by him for
many years. It follows, that the "faithful men" last spoken of will
have been "able to teach others also," whose writings (if they wrote at
all) would range from A.D. 190 to A.D. 210. Now, just such a writer is
Hippolytus,--who is known to have been taught by that "faithful man"
Irenæus[194],--to whom, as it happens, the deposit was "committed" by
Polycarp,--who stood to St. John in the self-same relation as Timothy to
St. Paul!

(ii.) Our SAVIOUR is repeatedly declared to have interpreted the Old
Testament to His Disciples. For instance, to the two going to Emmaus,
"beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, _He interpreted to them in all
the Scriptures the things concerning Himself_[195]." Moreover, before He
left the world, He solemnly promised His Apostles that the HOLY GHOST,
whom the FATHER should send in His Name, "should _teach them all
things_, and _bring to their remembrance all things which He had spoken
to them_[196]." Shall we believe that the Treasury of _Divine
Inspiration_ thus opened by CHRIST Himself was straightway closed up by
its human guardians, and at once forgotten? Shall we not rather believe
that Cleopas and his companion, (for instance,) forthwith repeated their
LORD'S words to every member of the Apostolic body, and to others also;
that they were questioned again and again by adoring listeners, even to
their extremest age; aye, and that they taxed their memories to the
utmost in order to recal every little word, every particular of our
SAVIOUR'S Divine utterance? It must be so! And the echo, the remote echo
of that exposition, depend upon it! descended to a second, aye and to a
third generation; yea, and has come down, faintly, and feebly it may be,
but yet essentially and truly, even to ourselves!

(iii.) And yet,--(for we would not willingly incur the charge of being
fanciful in so solemn and important a matter,)--the great fact to be
borne in mind, (and it is the great fact which nothing can ever set
aside or weaken,) is, that for the first century at least of our æra,
there existed within the Christian Church _the gift of Prophecy_; that
is, of _Inspired Interpretation_[197]. The minds of the Apostles, CHRIST
Himself "opened, _to understand the Scriptures_[198]." Can it be any
matter of surprise that men so enlightened, when they had been
miraculously endowed with the gift of tongues[199], and scattered over
the face of the ancient civilized World, should have disseminated the
same principles of Catholic Interpretation, as well as the same elements
of Saving Truth? When this miraculous _gift_ ceased, its _results_ did
not also come to an end. The fountain dried up, but the streams which it
had sent forth yet "made glad the City of GOD." And by what possible
logic can the teaching of the early Church be severed from its source?
It cannot be supposed for an instant that such a severance ever took
place. The teaching of the Apostolic age was the immediate parent of the
teaching of the earliest of the Fathers,--in whose Schools it is matter
of history that those Patristic writers with whom we are most familiar,
studied and became famous. Accordingly, we discover a method of
Interpreting Holy Scripture strictly resembling that employed by our
SAVIOUR and His Apostles, _in all the earliest Patristic writings_. As
documents increase, the evidence is multiplied; and at the end of two or
three centuries after the death of St. John the Evangelist, voices are
heard from Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine; from Antioch and from
other parts of Syria; from the Eastern and the Western extremities of
North Africa; from many regions of Asia Minor; from Constantinople and
from Greece; from Rome, from Milan, and from other parts of Italy; from
Cyprus and from Gaul;--all singing in unison; all singing the same
heavenly song!... In what way but one is so extraordinary a phenomenon
to be accounted for? Are we to believe that there was a general
conspiracy of the East and the West, the North and the South, to
interpret Holy Scripture in a certain way; and that way, the wrong way?

Enough has been said, it is thought, to shew that many of Mr. Jowett's
remarks about the value of Patristic evidence are either futile or
incorrect; or that they betray an entire misapprehension of the whole
question, not to say a thorough want of appreciation of the claims of
Antiquity. We do not yield to the 'Essayist and Reviewer' in veneration
for the Inspired page; and trust that enough has been said to shew it.
Our eye, when we read Scripture, (like his,) "is fixed on the form of
One like the Son of Man; or of the Prophet who was girded with a garment
of camel's hair; or of the Apostle who had a thorn in the flesh."
(p. 338.) We are only unlike Mr. Jowett we fear in _this_,--that _we_
believe _ex animo_ that the first-named was the Eternal SON, "equal to
the FATHER," and "of one substance with the FATHER[200]:" and further
that St. Paul's fourteen Epistles are all _inspired writings_, in an
entirely different sense from the Dialogues of Plato or the Tragedies of
Sophocles. It follows, that however riveted our mental gaze may be on
the awful forms which come before us in Holy Scripture,--as often as we
con _the inspired record of the actions and of the sayings of those
men_, we are constrained many a time to look upward, and to exclaim with
the Psalmist, "Thy thoughts are very deep[201]!" And often if asked,
"Understandest thou what thou readest?"--we must still answer with the
Ethiopian, "How can I, except some man should guide me[202]?"

(iv.) To assume however that our defective knowledge "cannot be supplied
by the _conjectures_ of Fathers or Divines," (p. 338,) is in some sort
to beg the question at issue. To say of the student of Scripture that
"the history of Christendom, and all the afterthoughts of Theology, _are
nothing to him_:" (p. 338:) that "he has to imagine himself a disciple
of CHRIST or Paul, and _to disengage himself from all that follows_:"
(_Ibid._:) is not the language of modesty, but of inordinate conceit. In
Mr. Jowett it is in fact something infinitely worse; for he shews that
his object thereby is to "obtain an unembarrassed opportunity of
applying all the resources of a so-called criticism to discredit and
destroy the written record itself[203]."

"True indeed it is, that more than any other subject of human knowledge,
Biblical criticism has hung (_sic._) to the past;" (p. 340;) but the
reason is also obvious. It is because, in the words of great Bishop
Pearson, "Philosophia quotidie _progressu_, Theologia nisi _regressu_
non crescit[204]." "O ye who are devoting yourselves to the Divine
Science of Theology," (he exclaims,) "and whose cheeks grow pale over
the study of Holy Scripture above all; ye who either fill the venerable
office of the Priesthood or intend it, and are hereafter to undertake
the awful cure of souls:--rid yourselves of that itch of the present
age, the love of novelty. Make it your business to inquire for that
which was from the beginning. Resort for counsel to the fountain-head.
Have recourse to Antiquity. Return to the holy Fathers. Look back to the
primitive Church. In the words of the Prophet,--'_Ask for the old
paths_[205].'"

When therefore Mr. Jowett classes together "the early Fathers, the Roman
Catholic mystical writers, the Swiss and German Reformers, and the
Nonconformist Divines," (p. 377,)--he either shews a most lamentable
want of intellectual perspective, or a most perverse understanding. So
jumbled into one confused heap, it may not be altogether untrue to say
of Commentators generally, that "the words of Scripture suggest to them
_their own thoughts or feelings_." (p. 377.) But when it is straightway
added, "There is nothing in such a view derogatory to _the Saints and
Doctors of former ages_," (_Ibid._,) we are constrained, (for the
reasons already before the reader,) to remonstrate against so
misleading and deceitful a way of putting the case. Mr. Jowett desires
to be understood not to depreciate "the genius or learning of famous men
of old," when he remarks "that _Aquinas or Bernard did not shake
themselves free from the mystical method of the Patristic times_."
(_Ibid._) But with singular obtuseness, or with pitiful
disingenuousness, he does his best by such words to shut out from view
the real question at issue,--namely, _the exegetical value of Patristic
Antiquity_. For the Church of England, when she appeals, (as she
repeatedly does,) to "the Ancient Fathers," does not by any means intend
such names as the Abbot of Clairvaux, who flourished in the middle of
the twelfth century; or Thomas of Aquinum, who lived later into the
thirteenth. It is the spirit of _the ante-Nicene age_ which she defers
to; the Fathers of _the first four or five centuries_ to whose opinion
she gives reverent attention; as her formularies abundantly shew.
Whether therefore Aquinas and Bernard were or were not able to "shake
themselves free from the mystical method _of the Patristic times_,"
matters very little. The point to be observed is that _the Writers of
the Patristic times_, as a matter of fact, "did not shake themselves
_free from the mystical method of" CHRIST and His Apostles_!

Very far am I from denying that "any one who, instead of burying himself
in the pages of the commentators, would learn the Sacred Writings by
heart, and paraphrase them in English, will probably make a nearer
approach to their true meaning than he would gather from any
Commentary." Quite certain is it that "the true use of Interpretation is
to get rid of interpretation, and leave us alone in company with the
author." (p. 384.) But this is quite a distinct and different matter, as
every person of unsophisticated understanding must perceive at once. The
same thing will be found stated by myself, in a subsequent part of the
present volume, at considerable length[206]; the qualifying condition
having been introduced at p. 16. The truth is, a man can no more divest
himself of the conditions of thought habitual to one familiar with his
Prayer-Book, than he can withdraw himself from the atmosphere of light
in which he moves. _Not_ the abuse of Commentators on Holy Scripture,
but _the principle on which Holy Scripture itself is to be
interpreted_,--is the real question at issue: the fundamental question
which underlies this, being of course the vital one,--namely, _Is the
Bible an inspired book, or not_?

Apart from what has been already urged concerning "the torrent of
_Patristic_ Interpretation[207]" which flows down not so much from the
fountain-head of Scripture, (wherein so many specimens of _Inspired_
Interpretation are preserved,) as from the fontal source of all Wisdom
and Knowledge,--even the lips of the Incarnate WORD Himself;--apart from
this, a very important Historical circumstance calls for notice in this
place.

How did Christianity originate? how did it first establish a footing in
the world? "The answer is, By the preaching of living men, who said they
were commissioned by GOD to proclaim it. _That_ was the origin and first
establishment of Christianity. There is indeed a vague and unreasoning
notion prevalent that Christianity was _taken from the New Testament_.
The notion is historically untrue. Christianity was widely extended
through the civilized world before the New Testament was written; and
its several books were successively addressed to various bodies of
Christian believers; to bodies, that is, who already possessed the faith
of CHRIST in its integrity. When, indeed, GOD ceased to inspire persons
to write these books, and when they were all collected together into
what we call the New Testament, the existing Faith of the Church,
derived from oral teaching, was tested by comparison with this Inspired
Record. And it henceforth became the standing law of the Church that
nothing should be received as necessary to Salvation, which could not
stand that test. But still, though thus tested, (every article being
proved by the New Testament,) Christianity is not taken from it; _for it
existed before it_.

"What, then, was the Christianity which was thus established? Have we
any record of it as it existed before the New Testament became the sole
authoritative standard? I answer, we have. The Creeds of the Christian
Church are the record of it. That is precisely what they purport to be:
not documents taken from the New Testament, but documents transmitting
to us the Faith as it was held from the beginning; the Faith as it was
preached by inspired men, before the inspired men put forth any
writings; the Faith once for all delivered to the Saints. Accordingly
you will find that our Church in her viiith Article does not ground her
affirmation that the Creeds ought to be 'thoroughly received and
believed,' on the fact that they _were taken_ from the New Testament,
(which they were _not_;) but on the fact that '_they may be proved by
most certain warrants of Holy Scripture_.'"

It follows therefore from what has been said, that even if bad men could
succeed in destroying the authority of the Bible as the Word of GOD, all
could not be up with Christianity. There would _still_ remain to be
dealt with the Faith as it exists in the world; the Faith held from the
beginning; the Faith once delivered to the Saints. None of the assaults
on Holy Scripture can touch _that_; for it traces itself to an
independent origin. The evil work, therefore, would have to be begun all
over again. The special doctrines which are impugned in 'Essays and
Reviews' do not stand or fall with the Inspiration or Interpretation of
Scripture; but are stereotyped in the Faith of Christendom. "The Fall of
Man, Original Sin, the Atonement, the Divinity of CHRIST, the Trinity,
all have their place in the Faith held from the beginning. They are
imbedded in the Creeds, and in that general scheme of Doctrine which
circles round the Creeds, and is involved in them. Nay, curiously
enough,--or rather I should say providentially,--the very point against
which the attacks of this book are principally directed, namely the
Inspiration of the Old Testament, is in express terms asserted
there:--_the_ HOLY GHOST '_spake by the Prophets_[208].'"

It remains to shew the bearing of these remarks on Mr. Jowett's
Essay.--With infinite perseverance, he dwells upon "the nude Scripture,
the merest letter of the Sacred Volume, as if in it and in it alone,
resided the entire Revelation of CHRIST, and all possible means of
judging what that Revelation consists of: whereas this is very far
indeed from being the case. Every single Book of the New Testament was
written, as we have seen, to persons _already in possession of Christian
Truth_. It is quite erroneous therefore, historically and notoriously
erroneous, to suppose either that the Divine Institution of the Church,
or that its Doctrines, were literally founded upon the written words of
Holy Scripture; or that they can impart no illustration nor help in the
Interpretation of those written words.... The complete possession of the
saving Truth belonged to the Christian Church not by degrees, nor in
lapse of time, but from the first. Of that saving truth, thus taught and
thus possessed, _the Apostles' Creed_, growing up as it did on every
side of Christendom as the faithful record of the uniform oral teaching
of the Apostles, is the true and precious historical monument[209]; and
I venture to say that if any person claims to reject the Apostles'
Creed as an auxiliary, a great and invaluable auxiliary, in interpreting
the writings of the Apostles, he shews himself to be very wanting indeed
in appreciation of the comparative value of Historical Evidence, and of
the true principles of Historical Philosophy.--And not the Apostles'
Creed only; but the whole history and tradition of the universal
Church,--needing, no doubt, skill and discretion in its
application,--supply, when applied with requisite skill and discretion,
very valuable and real aid in interpreting Holy Scripture[210]."

When therefore Mr. Jowett speaks contemptuously of "the attempt to adapt
the truths of Scripture to the doctrines of the Creeds," (p. 353,) the
kindest thing which can be said is that he writes like an ignorant, or
at least an unlearned man. "The Creeds" (he says) "are acknowledged to
be a part of Christianity.... Yet it does not follow that they should be
pressed into the service of the Interpreter." Why not? we ask. "The
_growth of ideas_," (he replies,) "in the interval which separated the
first century from the fourth or sixth makes it _impossible_ to apply
the language of the one to the explanation of the other. Between
Scripture and the Nicene or Athanasian Creeds, _a world of the
understanding comes in_; and mankind are no longer at the same point as
when the whole of Christianity was contained in the words 'Believe on
the LORD JESUS CHRIST and thou mayest be saved;' when the Gospel centred
in the attachment to a living and recently departed friend and Lord."
(p. 353.)

But there is a fallacy or a falsity at every step of this argument. For
_when_ did the Gospel ever "centre in attachment?" or _when_ was "the
whole of Christianity contained" in one short sentence? Supposing too
that "a world of the understanding" _does_ come in between the first
century and the sixth; how does it follow that it is "impossible" to
apply the language of the Creeds to the interpretation of Holy
Scripture? Explain to me how that "world of understanding" affects _the
Nicene_ Creed? Even in the case of that most precious Creed called the
Athanasian,--why need we _assume_ that "the growth of ideas" has been a
spurious growth? What if it should prove, on the contrary, that the
development has been that of the plant from the seed[211]? Above all,
why talk of "the fourth _or sixth_ century,"--as if the Creeds were not
essentially much older; nay, _co-eval with Christianity itself_?... Such
writing shews nothing so much as a confused mind,--a weak, ill-informed,
and illogical thinker.

Indeed Mr. Jowett seems to be altogether in the dark on the subject of
the Creeds: for he speaks of them as "the result of three or four
centuries of reflection and controversy," (p. 353,)--which is by no
means true of all of them; nor, except in a certain sense, of any. But
when he inquires,--"If the occurrence of the phraseology of the Nicene
age in a verse of the Epistles would detect the spuriousness of the
verse in which it was found,--how can the Nicene _or Athanasian Creed_
be a suitable instrument for the interpretation of Scripture?"
(p. 354.)--he simply asks a fool's question. The cases are not only not
parallel, but there is not even any analogy between them. Let us hear
him a little further:--

"Absorbed as St. Paul was in the person of Christ, ... he does not speak
of Him as 'equal to the Father,' or 'of one substance with the
Father[212].' Much of the language of the Epistles, (passages for
example such as Romans i. 2: Philippians ii. 6,) would lose their
meaning if distributed in alternate clauses between our LORD'S Humanity
and Divinity[213]. Still greater difficulties would be introduced into
the Gospels by the attempt to identify them with the Creeds[214]. We
should have to suppose that He was and was not tempted[215]; that when
He prayed to His Father He prayed also to Himself[216]; that He knew and
did not know 'of that hour' of which He as well as the angels were
ignorant[217]. How could He have said 'My God, My God, why hast Thou
forsaken Me?' or 'Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from Me.'
How could He have doubted whether 'when the Son of Man cometh He shall
find faith upon the earth[218]?' These simple and touching words,"
(p. 355,)--pah!

Now if what precedes means anything at all,--(I am by no means certain
however that it does!)--it means that the writer does not believe in the
Divinity of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Unless the sentence which is without
a reference to the foot of the page be not a denial of the fundamental
Doctrine of the Faith[219],--I do not understand it. But look at _all_
which precedes; and then say if those are the remarks of a man entitled
to dogmatize "On the Interpretation of Scripture." ... If Mr. Jowett
really means that the Creeds _cannot be reconciled with the Bible_,--how
can he himself subscribe to the VIIIth Article? If he means nothing of
the kind,--why does he write in such a weak, cloudy, illogical way?

But the whole of the case has not even yet been stated. Down from the
remote period of which we have been hitherto speaking,--the age of
primitive Creeds, and oecumenical Councils, and ancient Fathers,--in
every country of the civilized world to which the Gospel has
spread,--the loftiest Intellect, the profoundest Learning, the sincerest
Piety, have invariably endorsed the ancient and original method of
interpretation. I am not implying that such corroboration was in any
sense _required_; but the circumstance that it has been _obtained_, at
least deserves attention. Modes of thought are dependent on times and
countries. There is a fashion in all things. Great advances in
Science,--grand epochs in civilization,--vicissitudes of
opinion,--difference of institutions, national traditions, and the
like,--might be supposed to have wrought a permanent change even in this
department of Sacred Science. But it is not so. The storm has raged from
one quarter or other of the heavens, but has ever spent its violence in
vain. Still has the Church Catholic retained her own unbroken tradition.
To keep to the history of that Church to which we, by GOD'S mercy,
belong:--The constant appeal, at the time of our own great Reformation,
was to the Fathers of the first four centuries. Ever since, the temper
and spirit of our Commentators has been to revert to the same standard,
to reproduce the same teaching. The most powerful minds and the most
holy spirits,--English Divines of the deepest thought and largest
reading,--let me add, of the soundest judgment and severest
discrimination,--have, in every age, down to the present, gratefully
accepted not only the method, but even the very details of primitive
Patristic Interpretation. But "the acceptance of a hundred generations
and the growing authority arising from it,"--like "the institutions
based upon such ancient writings, and the history into which they have
entwined themselves indissolubly for many centuries,"--all conspire to
"constitute a perpetually increasing and strengthening[220]" body of
evidence on the subject of Sacred Interpretation.

Now, to oppose to the learning, and piety, and wisdom, of every age of
the English Church,--to the unbroken testimony of the Church
Universal,--(3) to the torrent of Patristic Antiquity,--(4) the decision
of early Councils, and (5) the 'still small voice' of primitive
Creeds,--yet more, (6) to the constant practice of the Apostles,--and,
above all, (7) to the indisputable method of our Divine LORD
Himself;--to oppose to all this mighty accumulation of evidence, the
simple _à priori_ convictions of--Mr. Jowett! savours so strongly of the
ridiculous, that it really seems superfluous to linger over the
antithesis for a single moment.

$4.$ Our task might now be looked upon as completed.--It only remains,
in justice to the gentleman whose method we have been considering, to
ascertain by what considerations he is induced to reject that method of
Interpretation which, as we have seen, enjoys such overwhelming
sanction.

(i) In opposition to what goes before, then, he throws out a suggestion,
that "nothing would be more likely to restore a natural feeling on this
subject than a History of the Interpretation of Scripture. It would take
us back to the beginning; it would present in one view the causes which
have darkened the meaning of words in the course of ages." (p. 338-9.)
"Such a work would enable us to separate the elements of Doctrine and
Tradition with which the meaning of Scripture is encumbered in our own
day." (p. 339.)

Let us here be well understood with our author. The advantage of a good
"History of Interpretation" would indeed be incalculably great. But Mr.
Jowett, (like most other writers of his class,) _assumes_ the point he
has to _prove_, when he insinuates that the result of such a
contribution to our Theological Literature would be to shew that all the
world has been in error for 1700 years, and that he alone is right. That
'erring fancy' has _often_ been at work in the fields of sacred
criticism,--_who_ ever doubted? That there have been epochs of
Interpretation,--different Schools,--and varying tastes, in the long
course of so many centuries of mingled light and darkness, learning and
barbarism;--what need to declare? A faithful history of Interpretation
would of course establish these facts on a sure foundation.

But the Reverend Author forgets his Logic when he goes on from these
undoubted generalities to imply that all has been confusion and utter
uncertainty until now. Above all, common regard for the facts of the
case ought to have preserved him from putting forth so monstrous a
falsehood as the following:--"_Among German Commentators_ there is for
the first time in the history of the world, an approach to agreement and
certainty." (p. 340.)

Let us however,--passing by the many crooked remarks and unsound
inferences with which the Reverend writer, (_more suo_,) delights to
perplex a plain question[221],--invite him to abide by the test which he
himself proposes. For 1700 years, (he says,) the Interpretation of
Scripture has been obscured and encumbered by successive Schools of
Interpretation. The Interpreter's concern (he says) is _with the Bible
itself_. "The simple words of that book he tries to preserve absolutely
pure from the refinements of later times.... The greater part of his
learning is a knowledge of the text itself." [He is evidently the very
man who _sweeps the house to discover the pearl of great price_.
(p. 414.)] "He has no delight in the voluminous literature which has
overgrown it. He has no theory of Interpretation. A few rules guarding
against common errors are enough for him.... He wants to be able to open
his eyes, and see or imagine things as they truly are." (p. 338.) [How
crooked by the way is all this! "He has no _theory_ of
Interpretation[222]?" Why, no; for the best of all reasons. He _denies
Inspiration altogether!_ His "theory" is that _the Bible is an
uninspired Book!_ ... How peculiar too, and how plaintive is the "want"
of the supposed Interpreter, "_to he able to open his eyes_;"--glued up,
as they no doubt are, by the superstitious tendencies of the nineteenth
century, and the tyranny of an intolerant age!]

But we may perhaps state the matter more intelligibly and simply,
thus:--In order to ascertain the _true_ principle of Scriptural
Interpretation, let us,--divesting ourselves of the complicated and
voluminous lore of 1700 years,--_resort to the Bible itself_. Let us go
for our views to the fountain-head; and abide by what we shall discover
_there_.

A fairer proposal (as I think) never was made. It exactly describes the
method which I have humbly endeavoured myself to pursue in the ensuing
Sermons. The inquiry will be found elaborated from  p. 141 to p. 160 of
the present volume; and the result is to be read on the last-named page,
in the following words:--"that it may be regarded as a fundamental rule,
that the Bible _is not to be interpreted like a common book_. This I
gather infallibly from the plain fact, that _the inspired writers
themselves_ habitually interpret it _as no other book either is, or can
be interpreted_.--Next, I assert without fear of contradiction that
inspired Interpretation, whatever varieties of method it may exhibit, is
yet uniform and unequivocal in this one result; namely, that it proves
Holy Scripture to be of far deeper significancy than at first sight
appears. By no imaginable artifice of Rhetoric or sophistry of
evasion,--by no possible vehemence of denial or plausibility of counter
assertion,--can it be rendered probable that Scripture has invariably
one only meaning; and _that_ meaning, the most obvious and easy."

Now, the reader is requested to observe that what precedes is _the
direct contradictory_ of the position which Mr. Jowett has written his
Essay in order to establish. And thus we keep for ever coming back to
his πρῶτον ψεῦδος,--the fundamental falsity which underlies the whole
of what he has written.

(ii) But although we have eagerly resorted to Scripture itself in order
to ascertain _on what principle_ Scripture ought to be interpreted, we
cannot for a moment allow some of the sophistries with which the
Reverend Author has encumbered the question, to escape without
castigation. He may not first court an appeal to the School of
Apostolical Interpretation; and then, before the result of that appeal
has been ascertained, go off in praise of the illumination of the
present age; and claim to represent the Theological mind of Europe in
his own person. "Educated persons," (he has the impertinence to
assert,) "are _beginning to ask_ (!), not what Scripture may be _made_
to mean, but what it _does_. And it is no exaggeration to say that he
who in the present state of knowledge will confine himself to _the plain
meaning of words_, and the study of their context, may know more of the
original spirit and intention of the authors of the New Testament _than
all the controversial writers of former ages put together_."
(pp. 340-1.) This might be tolerated perhaps, in the self-constituted
oracle of a Mechanics' Institute; but as proceeding from a Divinity
Lecturer in one of the first Colleges in Oxford, I hesitate not to
declare that such an opinion is simply disgraceful.

Very much of a piece with this, in point of flippancy,--(though barely
consistent with his frequent assertions that the entire subject is
hemmed in by grave difficulties,)--are the Regius Professor of Greek's
remarks on the value of learning as a help to the Interpretation of Holy
Writ. "_Learning obscures_ as well as illustrates." (p. 337.)--"There
seem to be reasons for doubting whether any _considerable light_ can be
thrown on the New Testament from inquiry into _the language_."
(p. 393.)--"Minute corrections of tenses or particles are _no good_."
(p. 393.)--"Discussions respecting the chronology of St. Paul's life and
his second imprisonment; or about the identity of James, the brother of
the LORD; or, in another department, _respecting the use of the Greek
article,--have gone far beyond the line of utility_." (p. 393.) "The
minuteness of the study of Greek in our own day has also a tendency _to
introduce into the text associations_ which are not really found there."
(p. 391.)--Lastly, he complains of "the error of interpreting every
particle, as though it were a link in the argument; instead of being,
as is often the case, _an excrescence of style_." (p. 391.)

So then, in brief, the Fathers are in a conspiracy to mislead: Creeds
and Councils encumber the sense: Modern Commentators are not to be
trusted: the comparison of Scripture with Scripture, except it be "of
the same age and the same authors," "will tend rather to confuse than to
elucidate:" (p. 383:) "Learning obscures," and an accurate appreciation
of the meaning of the text is "no good!"--"When the _meaning of Greek
words_ is once known[223], the young student has almost _all the real
materials which are possessed by the greatest Biblical scholar_, in the
book itself." (p. 384.) In a word, (as Dr. Moberly has had the manliness
to remark,)--"It simply comes to this: A little Greek, (not too much,)
and a strong self-relying imagination, and you may interpret Holy
Scripture as well as--Mr. Jowett!" (p. lxii.) ... Benighted himself, the
unhappy author of this Essay is so apprehensive lest a ray of light from
Heaven shall break in upon one of his disciples,--even sideways, as it
were, from the margin of the Bible,--that he carefully prohibits "the
indiscriminate use of parallel passages" as "useless and uncritical."
... Yet may one not _with discrimination_ refer to the margin?--Better
not! "No good!" (p. 393.) replies the Oracle. "Even the critical use of
parallel passages is _not without danger_." (p. 383.) ... O shame! And
all this from a College Tutor and Lecturer on Divinity! _this_ from one
entrusted with the care of educating young men! _this_ from a Regius
Professor of Greek[224]!

Mr. Jowett congratulates himself that "Biblical criticism has made two
great steps onward,--at the time of the Reformation, and _in our own
day_." But his notion is amply refuted by the known facts of the case:
for when he adds,--"The diffusion of a critical spirit in History and
Literature is affecting the criticism of the Bible in our own day in a
manner not unlike the burst of intellectual life in the fifteenth or
sixteenth centuries;" (p. 340;) he clearly requires to be reminded that
the success of the Divinity of the Reformation was owing to the grand
appeal then made to _the Patristic writings_.

So far then as any of ourselves are resorting to _those_ sources of
information, there may be a faint resemblance _in kind_ between the
spirit which animates us, and that which wrought so nobly in the Fathers
of our spiritual freedom,--Cranmer and Ridley and the other learned and
holy men who revised our Offices. But if "_German_ Commentators" and
_their_ method be supposed to be the ideals to which the age is tending,
_then_ the Theology of the middle of the nineteenth century stands in
marked _contrast_ to what prevailed in the middle of the sixteenth; and
our spirit is _the very reverse of theirs_.--But I hasten on.

(iii) "The uncertainty which prevails in the Interpretation of
Scripture," Mr. Jowett proposes to get rid of,--(this is in fact the aim
of his entire Essay,) by denying that there are in Scripture any deeper
meanings to interpret. In the meantime, by every device in his power, he
seeks from _à priori_ considerations, (as we have seen,) to shew that no
such meanings can exist. We allow ourselves to be biassed, to a singular
extent, he says, "by certain previous suppositions with which we come to
the perusal of Scripture." (p. 342.) _But_ for this, "no one would
interpret Scripture as many do." (_Ibid._) Let us ascertain then what
these erroneous "suppositions" are.

(=1=) "The failure of a prophecy is never admitted, in spite of
Scripture and of history, (Jer. xxxvi. 30. Isaiah xxiii. Amos vii.
10-17.)" (p. 343.)

Now this can only mean two things: viz. first, that a Divine Prophecy is
_not_ an infallible utterance: and secondly, that the three places
quoted from the Old Testament are _proofs_ of the fallibility of
Prophecy; proofs which ought to overcome prejudice, and persuade men to
renounce their "previous supposition" that Prophecy is _in_fallible.

Certainly the charge is a grave one. For if _Prophecy_ is untrue, then
what becomes of Inspiration?

And yet, how stands the case? The writer seems to have expected "that no
one would refer to the passages that he has bracketed, or that all would
be too ignorant to know the utter groundlessness of his assumption. If
there are, in the whole Scripture, two past prophecies which were
signally and remarkably fulfilled, they are the first two which he has
selected as instances to be dropped down, without a remark, of the
failure of Scripture prophecies! And as to the third passage, surely it
implies an 'incuria' which might be deemed 'crassa' to have asserted
that it contained an instance of the non-fulfilment of Prophecy: for it
implies that Mr. Jowett has read the verses to which he refers with so
little attention as not to have discovered that the prediction which
failed of its fulfilment was _no utterance of Amos_, but was _the
message of Amaziah, the priest of Bethel_, in which he falsely
attributes to Amos _words he had not spoken_!... Surely such slips as
these are as discreditable to a scholar as a Divine[225]!"

And this, from a gentleman who has the impertinence to remind us
oracularly, that "he who would understand the nature of Prophecy in the
Old Testament, should have _the courage to examine how far its details
were minutely fulfilled_!" (p. 347.) Are we then to infer that Mr.
Jowett's courage failed him when he came to Amos vii. 10-17?

(=2=) "The mention of a name later than the supposed age of the
prophet is not allowed, as in other writings, to be taken in evidence of
the date. (Isaiah xlv. 1.)" (p. 343.)

But what is the meaning of this complaint when applied to Isaiah's well
known prophecy concerning Cyrus? In the words of the excellent critic
last quoted,--"We know not that we could point to such an instance as
this in the writings of any other author of credit. Of course, Mr.
Jowett knows as well as we do the distinction between History and
Prophecy; and that the mention in any document of the name of one who
was unborn at the time fixed as the date of the writing, would be at
once a complete _disproof_ of its accuracy as a history of the past, and
a _proof_ of its accuracy as a prediction of the future. Of course he
also remembers that the point he has _to prove_ is that this passage is
History and not Prediction; and his mode of proving is this; _he
assumes that it is a history of the past_,--advancing as a charge
against the believers of Revelation, that they do not, (as they would in
any other History,) reject the genuineness of the passage because it
embalms a future name in a past history!... This audacious, (for we
cannot use a weaker word,) _assumption_ of what he has _to prove_,
pervades his Essay[226]."

And thus, into whatever department of speculation we follow this writer,
the tortuous path is still found to conduct us back to the same
underlying fallacious _assumption_,--viz. that _the Bible is like any
other Book_; in other words, is _not inspired_.

(=3=) Persons in Mr. Jowett's position, "find themselves met by a _sort
of presupposition that 'GOD speaks not as Man speaks_.'"--(p. 343.)

"A sort of presupposition," indeed!... Does the Reverend gentleman
really expect that we will stoop so low as argue _this_ point also with
him? It shall suffice to have branded him with his own words.

"The suspicion of Deism, or perhaps of Atheism, awaits inquiry. By such
fears, a good man (!) refuses to be influenced: a philosophical mind (!)
is apt to cast them aside with too much bitterness. It is better to
close the book, than to read it under conditions of thought which are
imposed from without." (p. 343.)

Well surely, the proximity to Balliol College of the scene of Cranmer
and Ridley's martyrdom, must have turned the brain of the Regius
Professor of Greek!--Let him be well assured however that not rational
"Inquiry," but irrational _assumption_; not the modest cogitations of "a
philosophical mind," but the _arrogant dreams of a weak and confused
intellect_, are what have excited such general indignation of late,
among "good men," from one end of the Kingdom to the other. Nor could
anything probably of equal pretensions be readily appealed to, which is
nevertheless more truly unphilosophical, fallacious, and foolish, than
the Essay now under consideration.

(iv) Subsequently, (p. 344,) Mr. Jowett professes to grapple with the
phenomenon of Inspiration. His method is instructive. He begins by
inadvertently advancing a direct untruth: for he asserts that for none
"of the higher or supernatural views of Inspiration is there _any
foundation_ in the Gospels or Epistles." (p. 345.)--Had he then
forgotten St. Paul's statements in Gal. i. 1, 11-17: ii. 2, 7-9. 1 Cor.
xv. 3. Ephes. iii. 3, &c., &c.? But I have established the contradictory
of the Professor's position in the ensuing Sermons, p. 53 to p. 57, to
which the reader must be referred.--This done, he proceeds to assert
that,

(=1=) Inspiration does not preserve a writer from inaccuracy. And the
charge is substantiated by the following ridiculous enumeration:--"One
[Evangelist] supposes the original dwelling-place of our LORD'S Parents
to have been Bethlehem[227], another Nazareth[228]." (This from a
Lecturer on Divinity! Does Mr. Jowett then suppose that his readers have
never opened the Gospels, and do not know better? Why, _both_ his
statements are simply _false!_)--"They trace His genealogy in different
ways." (Yes. In two. And why not _in twenty?_ Is Mr. Jowett not aware
that a genealogy may be differently traced through different
ancestors?)--"One mentions the thieves blaspheming: another has
preserved to after ages the record of the penitent thief:" (And why
should he not?)--"They appear to differ about the day and hour of the
Crucifixion." (Yes, _they appear_ to differ: but _they do not
differ_!)--"The narrative of the woman who anointed our LORD'S feet with
ointment is told in all four, each narrative having more or less
considerable variations." (There is no conceivable reason why this
should _not_ have been as Mr. Jowett relates; but, as a matter of fact,
we have here another of this Gentleman's private _blunders_,--shewing
what an uncritical reader he must be, of that book concerning which he
presumes to dogmatize so freely.)--"These are a few instances of the
differences which arose in the traditions of the earliest ages
respecting the history of our LORD." (Nay, but this is to beg the whole
question!)--"He who wishes to investigate the character of the sacred
writings _should not be afraid_ to make a catalogue of them all, with
the view of estimating their cumulative weight." (p. 346.) (Truly, it
would be well for Mr. Jowett if he had as little to fear from such
"investigations" as the Evangelists!)

"In the same way, he who would understand the nature of Prophecy in the
Old Testament, should have the courage to examine how far its details
were minutely fulfilled. _The absence of such a fulfilment_ may further
lead him to discover that he took the letter for the spirit in expecting
it." (p. 347.) But really this is again simply to beg the whole
question. Unbecoming in any writer, how absurd also is such a sentence
from the pen of one who, (as we have lately seen,) no sooner descends to
particulars than he makes himself ridiculous by betraying his own
excessive ignorance.... "The letter for the spirit," also! which is one
of the 'cant' expressions of Mr. Jowett and his accomplices in 'free
handling,'--based evidently on a misconception of the meaning of 2 Cor.
iii. 6. The contrast recurs at pp. 36, 357, 375, 425, &c., &c.

(=2=) Still bent on shewing that Inspiration does not secure Scripture
from blots and blemishes, Mr. Jowett proceeds as follows. (I must
present him to the reader, for a short space, _in extenso_; since by no
other expedient can the complicated fallacies of his very intricate and
perverse method be exposed.)

"Inspiration is a fact which we infer from the study of Scripture,--not
of one portion only, but of the whole." (p. 347.) (Now even _this_ is
not a correct way of stating the case. Still, because the words _may_
bear an honourable sense, we pass on.)--"Obviously then, it embraces
writings of very different kinds,--the book of Esther, for example, or
the Song of Solomon, as well as the Gospel of St. John." (That _the
volume_ of Inspiration is of this complex character, and that _it_
embraces writings so diverse, is beyond dispute.)--"It is reconcileable
with the mixed good and evil of the characters of the Old Testament,
which nevertheless does not exclude them from the favour of GOD." (_Why_
the Inspiration of a writer should not be 'reconcileable' with _any_
amount of wickedness in the persons about whom he writes,--I am quite at
a loss to perceive. Neither do I see why "the mixed good and evil" of
certain "characters of the Old Testament," (or of the New either,)
should "exclude them from the favour of GOD." What else becomes of your
hope, and mine, of Eternal Life?)--"Inspiration is also reconcileable,"
(he proceeds,)--"with the attribution to the Divine Being of _actions at
variance with that higher revelation which He has given of Himself in
the Gospel_." (Is this meant as an insult to "the Divine Being?" or
simply as a slur on Revelation? Either way, we reject the charge with
indignation[229].)--"It is not inconsistent with imperfect or opposite
aspects of the Truth, as in the Book of Job or Ecclesiastes:" (Nothing
which comes from GOD should be called "imperfect:" but why _different_
aspects of the Truth should not be brought out, by different writers, as
by St. Paul and by James,--it is hard to see.)--"With variations of fact
in the Gospels, or the Books of Kings and Chronicles:" (We do not admit
that Inspiration is consistent with "variations of _fact;_" but with
_different versions_ of the same incident, it is confessedly
compatible.)--"With inaccuracies of language in the Epistles of St.
Paul." (With _grammatical inelegancies_, no doubt; but not with _logical
inaccuracies_.)--"For these are all found in Scripture:" (This
statement, by the way, should have been substantiated by at least as
many references as there are heads in the indictment,)--"neither is
there any reason why they should not be; except a general impression
that Scripture ought to have been written in a way different from what
it has." (Just as if Mankind for 1800 years had been the victims of an
_à priori_ conception as to _how_ Holy Scripture _ought to have been_
written!)--"A principle of progressive revelation admits them all; and
this is already contained in the words of our SAVIOUR, 'Moses because of
the hardness of your hearts;' or even in the Old Testament, 'Henceforth
there shall be no more this proverb in the house of Israel?'" (O if
Catholic writers were to expound Holy Scripture with the license of
_these_ gentlemen!... That the scheme of Revelation has been
progressive, is a Theological truism. What that has to do with the
question in hand, I see not.)--"For what is progressive is necessarily
imperfect in its earlier stages:" ("Imperfect" in what sense?)--"and
_even erring_ to those who come after." (No, not in _that_ sense
imperfect, certainly!) ... "There is no more reason why _imperfect
narratives_ should be excluded from Scripture than imperfect grammar; no
more ground for expecting that the New Testament would be logical or
Aristotelian in form, than that it would be written in Attic Greek."
(Now _why_ this cloudy shuffling about "imperfect narratives,"--instead
of saying _what you mean_, like a man! Further,--Is Mr. Jowett so weak
as not to perceive that there is _no force whatever_ in his supposed
parallel? The Discourses of the Incarnate SON, for instance, are
certainly anything but "Aristotelian in form." His dialect,--(Angels
bowed to catch it, I nothing doubt!)--was that of the despised Galilee.
But need _the teaching it conveyed_ have _therefore_ been "imperfect?"
Why may not the least perfect _Greek_ be the vehicle for the more
perfect _Doctrine_? What connexion is there between the casket and the
jewel which it encloses?)

(=3=) The Reverend writer promises us help, from "another consideration
which has been neglected by writers on this subject." (The announcement
makes us attentive.)--"It is this,--that any true Doctrine of
Inspiration must conform to all well-ascertained facts of History or of
Science." (We scarcely see the drift of this ill-worded proposition; but
are disposed to assent.)--"The same fact cannot be true and untrue,"
(Who ever supposed that it could?)--"any more than the same words can
have two opposite meanings." (But why glide at once into a gross
falsity? Are there not plenty of words and speeches, of the kind called
'equivocal' or 'ambiguous,' which are of this nature? I am content to
refer this writer to _his own pages_, for the abundant refutation of his
own assertion. No man in the world knows better than Mr. Jowett that
"_the same words can have two opposite meanings_.") "The same fact
cannot be true in Religion, when seen by the light of Faith; and untrue
in Science, when looked at through the medium of evidence or
experiment." (Why not? For example,--'He maketh His Sun to rise.' 'If
GOD so clothe the grass of the field.' 'GOD said, Let there be light.'
Who sees not that the view which Faith and which Physical Science
respectively take of the same phenomenon, may essentially differ?)--"It
is ridiculous to suppose that the Sun goes round the Earth in the same
sense in which the Earth goes round the Sun;" (Very ridiculous.)--"or
that the world appears to have existed, but has not existed, during the
vast epochs of which Geology speaks to us." (Leave out the words,
"appears to have," and this also is undeniable.)--"But if so, there is
no need of elaborate reconcilements of Revelation and Science." (How
does that follow? If what is thought to be Divinely revealed, and what
is thought to be scientifically ascertained, seem to be conflicting
truths,--why should not an effort be made to reconcile them?) "They
reconcile themselves the moment any scientific truth is distinctly
ascertained." (Yes: by the Human simply trying to thrust the Divine out
of doors!)--"As the idea of Nature enlarges, the idea of Revelation also
enlarges:" (I deny that there is any such intimate connexion as this
author supposes between Physical Science and Divinity,)--"it was a
temporary misunderstanding which severed them." (But _when_ were Nature
and Revelation ever for an instant "severed?")--"And as the knowledge of
Nature which is possessed by the few is communicated in its leading
features at least, to the many, they will receive it with a higher
conception of the ways of GOD to Man. It may hereafter appear as natural
to the majority of Mankind to see the Providence of GOD in the order of
the world, as it once was to appeal to interruptions of it." (p. 349.)
(As if an increased _knowledge of Nature_ were the condition of
Theological enlightenment!... I presume that the latter clause,--so hazy
and the reverse of obvious in its meaning!--is intended to convey the
sentiment which Mr. Baden Powell expresses as follows:--"The inevitable
progress of research must, within a longer or shorter period, unravel
_all that seems most marvellous_; and what is at present least
understood will become as familiarly known to the Science of the future,
as those points which a few centuries ago were involved in equal
obscurity, but now are thoroughly understood[230].")

(=4=) We are next informed "that there are a class of scientific facts
with which popular opinions on Theology often conflict.... Such
especially are the facts relating to the formation of the Earth and the
beginnings of the Human Race." (p. 349.) (And pray, what "_facts_" are
these, relative to the "beginnings of the Human Race," which conflict
with Scripture?) ... "Almost all intelligent persons are agreed that the
earth has existed for myriads of ages:" (Which is perfectly true.)--"The
best informed are of opinion that the history of nations extends back
_some thousand years_ before the Mosaic Chronology." (Which is
decidedly false.)--"Recent discoveries in Geology _may perhaps_ open a
further vista of existence for the human species; while _it is possible,
and may one day be known_, that Mankind spread not from one but from
many centres over the globe; or, (as others say,) that the supply of
links which are at present wanting in the chain of animal life _may
lead_ to new conclusions respecting the origin of Man." (A cool way,
this, of anticipating that something which '_may_'--(or _may not!_)--be
discovered hereafter, will demonstrate that the beginning of the Bible
is all a fable!)--"Now," (proceeds our author,) "let it be granted that"
"_the proof_ of some of these facts, especially of those last-mentioned,
_is wanting_; still it is a false policy to set up Inspiration or
Revelation _in opposition to them_, a principle which can have _no
influence on them_, and should be kept rather out of their way."
(Considerate man!) "The Sciences of Geology and comparative Philology
are steadily gaining ground. Many of the guesses of twenty years ago
have been certainties; and the guesses of to-day may hereafter become
so. Shall we peril Religion (!) on the possibility of their untruth? on
such a cast to stake the life of Man, implies not only a recklessness of
facts (!), but a misunderstanding of the nature of the Gospel. If it is
fortunate for Science, it is perhaps more fortunate for Christian Truth,
that the admission of Galileo's discovery has for ever settled the
principle of the relations between them."--(pp. 349-50.) ...

Now, what a curious picture of a perverse and crooked mind does such a
sentence exhibit! Divine Revelation can "_have no influence_" of course,
on facts of _any_ kind, (including facts in Physical Science,) when
once those facts have been well ascertained. But, _in the entire absence
of such facts_, why should we refuse to listen to the _well ascertained
Revelation of GOD_? Nothing is more emphatic, for example, than the
Divine declaration that the whole Human family is derived from a single
pair; and the origin of Man is plainly set down in Genesis. Why then
oppose to this, the confessedly _undiscovered_ fact that "mankind spread
from many centres;" and the purely speculative possibility that,
hereafter, a certain theory "_may lead_ to new conclusions respecting
the origin of Man?"--As for "Religion" being "perilled on the
possibility" of the truth or untruth of the Sciences of Geology and
comparative Philology;--we really would submit that _GOD may be safely
left to take care of His own;_ and that "peril," there is,--there _can_
be,--_none!_

And then, the maudlin tenderness of an "Essayist and Reviewer" (of all
persons in the world!) for "_the life of Man_,"--meaning thereby his
Christian hope, and Faith in the REDEEMER!... As if, (first,) Man's
"_Life_" were _in any sense_ endangered, by our upholding the honour and
authority of the Bible! And (secondly,) as if the age had shewn itself
in the least degree impatient of scientific investigation! And
(thirdly,) as if Religion depended, or could be made to depend, on
Physical phenomena, or on the progress of Natural Science, _at all!_ ...
I scruple not to say that arguments like these impress me with the
meanest opinion of Mr. Jowett's intellectual powers: while they prove to
demonstration that he does not in the least understand the subject on
which he yet writes with such feeble vehemence.

But I may not proceed any further, or my pages will equal in extent
those of the gentleman already named. Indeed, to follow that most
confused of thinkers, and crooked of disputants, through all his
perverse pages; to expose his habitual paltry evasive dodging,--his
shifting equivocations,--his misapplications of Scripture,--his unworthy
insinuations,--his plaintive puerilities of thought and
sentiment;--would require a thick volume.--If Mr. Jowett does not deny
the Personality of the HOLY GHOST, he ought to be thoroughly ashamed of
himself for penning sentences which can lead to no other inference. For
he ought to know that when men talk of words "receiving _a more exact
meaning than they will truly bear_;" and of what "is _spoken in a
figure_ being construed with the severity of a logical statement, while
_passages of an opposite tenour are overlooked or set
aside_:"--(p. 360.) men mean to repudiate the doctrine which those words
are thought to convey; not to imply their acceptance of it.--So again,
if Mr. Jowett holds the doctrine of Original Sin, he ought to be
heartily ashamed of himself for having insinuated that it depends "on
_two figurative expressions of St. Paul to which there is no parallel in
any other part of Scripture_." (p. 361.)--Nor, however moderate his
attainments as a teacher of Divinity, ought he to be capable of putting
forth such a notorious misstatement as that the doctrine of Infant
Baptism _rests upon a verse in the Acts_ (xvi. 33,)--which verse has
really _nothing whatever to do with the question_[231]. (p. 360.)

Professor Jowett shuts up his Essay with a passage which, for a certain
amount of tender pathos in the sentiment, has been often quoted, and
sometimes admired, He says:--

"The suspicion or difficulty which attends critical inquiries is no
reason for doubting their value. The Scripture nowhere leads us to
suppose that the circumstance of all men speaking well of us is any
ground for supposing that we are acceptable in the sight of God. And
there is no reason why the condemnation of others should be witnessed to
by our own conscience. Perhaps it may be true that, owing to the
jealousy or fear of some, the reticence of others, the terrorism of a
few, we may not always find it easy to regard these subjects with
calmness and judgment. But, on the other hand, these accidental
circumstances have nothing to do with the question at issue; they cannot
have the slightest influence on the meaning of words, or on the truth of
facts....

"Lastly, there is some nobler idea of truth than is supplied by the
opinion of mankind in general, or the voice of parties in a Church.
Every one, whether a student of Theology or not, has need to make war
against his prejudices no less than against his passions; and, in the
religious teacher, the first is even more necessary than the last.... He
who takes the prevailing opinions of Christians and decks them out in
their gayest colours,--who reflects the better mind of the world to
itself--is likely to be its favourite teacher. In that ministry of the
Gospel, even when assuming forms repulsive to persons of education (!),
no doubt the good is far greater than the error or harm. But there is
also a deeper work which is not dependent on the opinions of men, in
which many elements combine, some alien to Religion, or accidentally at
variance with it. That work can hardly expect to win much popular
favour, so far as it runs counter to the feelings of religious parties.
But he who bears a part in it may feel a confidence, which no popular
caresses or religious sympathy could inspire, that he has by a Divine
help been enabled to plant his foot somewhere beyond the waves of Time.
He may depart hence before the natural term, worn out with intellectual
toil; regarded with suspicion by many of his contemporaries; yet not
without a sure hope that the love of Truth, which men of saintly lives
often seem to slight, is, nevertheless, accepted before
GOD."--(pp. 432-3.)

My respect for a fellow-man induces me to offer a few remarks on all
this.

Let me be permitted then to declare that I am as incapable as any one
who ever breathed the air of this lower world, of making light of the
sentiments of true genius. I can respond with my whole heart to the
passion-stricken cry of one who, when "regarded with suspicion by many
of his contemporaries," is observed to hail his fellows with confidence,
across the gulph of Time; and as it were implore them, after many days,
to do him right. Nay, were I to behold a man of splendid, but misguided
powers, elaborating from GOD'S Word a plausible system of his own,
whereby to bring back the Golden Age to suffering Humanity; and
insisting that he beheld in the common revelations of the SPIRIT, the
unsuspected outlines of such a form of polity as Man never dreamed
of,--(nor, it may be, Angels either;)--I should experience a kind of
generous sympathy with this bright-eyed enthusiast; even while I
proceeded to test his wild dream by what I believed to be the standard
of right Reason. Then, as the specious fabric was seen suddenly to
collapse and melt away, should I not, with affectionate sorrow, secretly
mourn that such brilliant parts had not been enlisted on the side of
Truth? and feel as if I could have been content to go about for life
maimed in body, or hopelessly impoverished in estate, if so great a
disaster could but have been prevented as the loss of one who ought to
have been a standard-bearer in Israel?

Once more. Although the cold shade of unbelief has never for an instant,
(thank GOD!) darkened my spirit; so that one may not be very apt to
sympathize with men who walk about hampered with a doubt; yet, were one
to know, (as one has often known,--_too_ often, alas!) that the arrow
was rankling in a friend's heart,--who by consequence shunned the
society of his fellows, and walked in moody abstraction,--looking as if
life had lost its charm, and as if nothing on the earth's surface were
any longer to him a joy;--would one not be the first to go after such a
sufferer; and seek whether a firm hand and steady eye might not avail to
extract the poisoned shaft? If that might not be, at least by daily acts
of unaltered kindness, and the ways which brotherly sympathy suggests,
_who_ would not strive to recover such an one? If all other arts proved
unavailing, it would remain for a man with the ordinary instincts of
humanity, in silence and sorrow at least, to look on, while the solitary
doubter was paying the bitter penalty,--doubtless, of his sin.

But how widely different,--rather, how utterly dissimilar,--is the
phenomenon before us! Here is a singularly confused and shallow thinker
oppressed with the vastness of his discovery, that the Bible--_has
nothing in it!_ Here is a Clergyman of the Church of England, and a
Lecturer in Divinity, whose difficulty is how he shall convince the
world that the Bible is--_like any other book!_ Here is the sceptical
fellow of a College, conspiring with six others, to produce a volume of
which Germany itself, (having changed its mind,) would already be
ashamed!... Mr. Jowett is enthusiastic for _a negation!_ Without belief
himself, he cannot rest because Christendom has, on the whole, a good
deal of belief remaining! If he may but _unsettle somebody's mind_,--his
Essay will have achieved its purpose, and its author will not have lived
in vain!... Sublime privilege for "the only man in the University of
Oxford who" is said to "exercise a moral and spiritual influence at all
corresponding to that which was once wielded by John Henry Newman[232]!"

I shall be thought a very profane person, I dare say, by the friends and
apologists of Mr. Jowett, if I avow that the passage with which he
concludes his Essay, instead of sounding in my ears like the plaintive
death-song of departing Genius, sounds to me like nothing so much as the
piteous whine of a schoolboy who knows that he _deserves_ chastisement,
and perceives that he is about to experience his deserts. System, or
Theory, the Reverend Gentleman has none to propose. Views, except
negative ones, Mr. Jowett is altogether guiltless of. Can anybody in his
senses suppose that a man "has, by a Divine help (!), been enabled to
plant his foot _somewhere beyond the waves of Time_," (p. 433,) who
doubts everything, and believes nothing? Can any one of sane mind dream
that posterity will come to the rescue of a man who, when he is asked
for his story, rejoins, (with a well-known needy mechanic,) that he has
"none to tell, Sir?" _What_ then is posterity to vindicate? _What_ has
the Regius Professor of Greek written so many weak pages to prove? Just
nothing! If Mr. Jowett's Essay could enforce the message it carries, the
result would simply be that the world would become _dis_believers in the
Inspiration of the Bible: they would _dis_believe that Scripture has any
sense but that which lies on the surface: they would therefore
_dis_believe the Prophets and Evangelists and Apostles of CHRIST: they
would _dis_believe the words of our LORD JESUS CHRIST Himself!... Has
Mr. Jowett, then, grown grey under the laborious process of arriving at
this series of negations? When he anticipates "departing hence before
the natural term," does he mean that he is "_worn out with the
intellectual toil_" of propounding _nothing!_ and that he expects the
sympathy and gratitude of posterity for what he has propounded?

But this is not all. Instead of coming abroad, (if come abroad he must,)
in that garb of humility which befits doubt,--that self-distrust which
becomes one whose fault, or whose misfortune it is, that he simply
cannot believe,--Mr. Jowett assumes throughout, the insolent air of
intellectual superiority; the tone of one at whose bidding Theology must
absolutely 'keep moving.' A truncheon and a number on his collar, alone
seem wanting. The menacing voice, and authoritative air, are certainly
not away,--as I proceed to shew.

"It may be observed that a change in some of the prevailing modes of
Interpretation, is not so much a matter of expediency as _of necessity_.
The original meaning of Scripture _is beginning to be understood_."
(p. 418.)

"Criticism has _far more power_ than it formerly had. It has spread
itself over ancient, and even modern history.... _Whether Scripture can
be made an exception to other ancient writings_, now that the nature of
both is more understood; whether ... _the views of the last century will
hold out_,--these are questions respecting which" (p. 420.) it is hard
to judge.

"It has to be considered whether the intellectual forms under which
Christianity has been described, may not also be _in a state of
transition_." (p. 420.)

"Now, as _the Interpretation of Scripture is receiving another
character_, it seems that distinctions of Theology which were in great
measure based on old Interpretations, are _beginning to fade away_." ...
"There are other signs that times are changing, and we are changing
too." (p. 421.)

"These reflections bring us back to the question with which we
began,--_What effect will the critical Interpretation of Scripture have
on Theology?_" (p. 422.)

Again:--"As the time has come when it is no longer possible to ignore
the results of criticism, it is of importance that Christianity should
be seen to be in harmony with them." (p. 374.) (The sentences which
immediately follow shall be exhibited in distinct paragraphs, in order
that they may separately enjoy admiration. Each is a gem or a curiosity
in its way.)

"That objections to some received views _should be valid_, and yet that
they should be always held up as _the objections of Infidels_,--is a
mischief to the Christian cause."

"It is a mischief that critical observations which any intelligent man
can make for himself (!), should be ascribed to Atheism or Unbelief."

"It would be a strange and almost incredible thing that the Gospel,
which at first made war only on the vices of mankind, should now be
_opposed_ to one of the highest and rarest of human virtues,--_the love
of Truth_."

"And that in the present day the great object of Christianity should be,
not to change the lives of men, but to prevent them from changing their
opinions; _that_ would be a singular inversion of the purposes for which
CHRIST came into the world."

We are really constrained to pause for a moment, and to inquire what
this last sentence means. Are not "the lives of men" mainly _dependent_
on "their opinions?" Why then contrast the two? And _which_ of our
"opinions" does Mr. Jowett desire to see changed? Would he have us
resign our belief in the Atonement? reject the Divinity of CHRIST? deny
the Personality of the HOLY GHOST? put the Bible on a level with
Sophocles and Plato? ridicule the idea of Inspiration?... How would it
be a "singular inversion of the purposes of CHRIST'S Coming," that
Christianity should "prevent" mankind from "changing" such "opinions" as
_these?_

"The Christian religion is in a false position when _all the tendencies
of knowledge are opposed to it_." (_All the tendencies of knowledge,
then, are opposed to the Christian Religion!_)

"Such a position cannot be long maintained, or can only end in the
withdrawal of the educated classes from the influences of Religion." (So
we are to look for "_the withdrawal of the educated classes from the
influences of Religion_[233]!") After anticipating "religious
dissolution," because of "the progress of ideas, (!) with which
Christian teachers seem to be ill at ease," (!) Mr. Jowett, (who we
presume is speaking of himself,) says, "Time was when the Gospel was
before the Age:" (The Gospel is therefore now _behind_ the age!)--"when
the difficulties of Christianity were difficulties of the heart only:"
(When was that?)--"and _the highest minds_ found in its truths not only
the rule of their lives, but a well-spring of intellectual delight."
(All this then has _ceased to be the case!_ "The highest minds" being of
course represented by--Mr. Jowett!)

"Is it to be held a thing impossible that the Christian Religion,
instead of shrinking into itself, (!) may again _embrace the thoughts of
men upon the earth?_" (that is to say, "embrace the thoughts" of--Mr.
Jowett!)--"Or is it true that _since the Reformation 'all intellect has
gone the other way_?'"

"But for the faith that the Gospel might win again the minds of
_intellectual men_," (such men as Mr. Jowett?)--"it would be better to
leave Religion to itself, instead of attempting to draw them together."
(p. 376.)

Now this kind of language, in daily life, would be called sheer
impertinence; and the person who could talk so before educated gentlemen
would probably receive an intimation that he was making himself
offensive. He would certainly be looked upon as a weak and conceited
person. I really am unable to see why things should be _written and
printed_ which no one would presume _to say_! ... Encircled by a little
atmosphere of fog of his own creating, Mr. Jowett is evidently under the
delusion that his own confused vision and misty language are the result
of the giddy eminence to which, (leaving his fellow-mortals far behind
him,) he has contrived, all alone, to soar. He anticipates the complaint
of some unhappy disciple, that he "experiences a sort of shrinking or
dizziness at the prospect which is opening before him:" whereupon Mr.
Jowett invites the "highly educated young man," (p. 373,) to consider
"that he may possibly not be the person who is called upon to pursue
such inquiries." Who are they _for_, then? "No man should busy himself
with them who has not clearness of mind enough to see things as they
are." (p. 430.) The clearness of mind, for example, which belongs to Mr.
Jowett!

True enough it is that had such airs been assumed by such an one as
Richard Hooker, who achieved the first four books of his 'Laws of
Ecclesiastical Polity' before he was 40; and dying in his 46th year,
proved himself to be the greatest genius of his age:--had language like
Mr. Jowett's been found on the lips of Joseph Butler, who when he was 44
produced his immortal 'Analagy,' and at the age of 26 delivered his
famous Rolls 'Sermons:'--had Bishop Bull been betrayed into the language
of self-complacency when, at the age of 35, he made himself famous by
his 'Harmonia Apostolica:'--the proceeding would have been intelligible,
however much one might have lamented such an exhibition of weakness....
But when the speaker proves to be one of the very shallowest of
thinkers, and most confused of reasoners;--a man who, although
grey-headed, has done nothing whatever for Literature, sacred or
profane;--nor indeed is known out of Oxford except for having been
thought to deny the Doctrine of the Atonement;--a man who dogmatizes in
a Science of which he clearly does not know so much as the very
alphabet; and presumes to dispute about a Bible which he has evidently
not read with the attention which is due even to a first-rate uninspired
book;--_then_, one's displeasure and impatience assume the form of
indignation and disgust. The Divine who, purposing to prove that Holy
Scripture is in kind like any other book, does so _by inveighing against
those who treat it differently_; and indeed, on every occasion, _assumes
as proved_ the thing he has _to prove_[234]:--is obviously the very man
to vaunt the privileges of the intellect. The student of the Bible who
mistakes the utterance of a lying prophet for the language of Amos, and
then boldly charges the lie upon the inspired author of a book of
Canonical Scripture;--is of course a proper person to discuss the
Prophetic Canon. The gentleman who flatters himself that he has been
_sweeping the house_ to find _the pearl of great price_, (p. 414,) is a
very pretty person, truly, to lecture about the Gospel!... I forbear
reproaching Mr. Jowett with his _invariable_ misapplications or
misapprehensions of the meaning of Scripture: his false glosses, and
truly preposterous specimens of exegesis[235]. I am content to take
leave of him, while he is flattering himself that he has "_found the
pearl of great price, after sweeping the house_:" (p. 414:) and under
that melancholy delusion, I fear he must be left,--holding the broom in
his hands.

       *       *       *       *       *

On a review of these Seven Essays, few things strike one more forcibly
than the utterly untenable ground occupied by their authors. They are
"in a position in which it is impossible to remain. The theory of Mr.
Jowett and his fellows is as false to philosophy as to the Church of
England. More may be true, or less; but to attempt to halt where they
would stop is a simple absurdity[236]."

To exactness of method or System, their work can hardly pretend; and yet
they _have_ a system,--which has only not been rounded into symmetry, by
the singular circumstance that these seven writers "have written in
entire independence of one another, and without concert or comparison."
They _avow a common purpose_, however; for they "hope" that their joint
labours "will be received as an attempt to illustrate," (whatever _that_
may mean,) "the advantage derivable to the cause of Religion and Moral
Truth" from what they have here attempted; and which they justly
characterize as "_free handling_." Putting oneself in their position, it
is easy to imagine the sorrow and concern,--the _horror_ rather,--with
which a good man, when the first edition of 'Essays and Reviews' made
its appearance, would have discovered the kind of complicity into which
he had been inadvertently betrayed; and how eagerly he would have
withdrawn from a literary partnership which had resulted so
disastrously. At the end of nine large editions, however, the corporate
responsibility of each individual author has become fully established;
and besides the many proofs of sympathy between the several authors
which these pages contain[237], it is no longer doubtful that the
sentiments of the work are to be quoted without reference to the
individual writers. It would be unfair to assume that not one of these
seven men has had the manliness to avow that his own individual
convictions are opposed to those of his fellows. We are compelled to
regard their joint labours as _one_ production. It is the _corporate
efficacy_ of the several contributions which constitutes the chief
criminality of the volume. It is to the respectability and weight of the
_conjoined_ names of its authors, and to their _combined_ efforts, that
'Essays and Reviews' are indebted for all their power.

What then is the system, or theory, or view, advocated by these seven
Authors?--They are all agreed that we are "placed evidently at an epoch
when Humanity finds itself under new conditions, to form some definite
conception to ourselves of the way in which Christianity is henceforward
to act upon the world which is our own." (p. 158.) To do this, we must
emerge from our "narrow chamber of Doctrinal and Ecclesiastical
prepossessions." (_Ibid._) Accordingly, we find insinuated "a very
wide-spread alienation, both in educated and uneducated persons, from
the Christianity which is ordinarily presented in our Churches and
Chapels." (p. 150.) There has been "a spontaneous recoil." (p. 151.) We
cannot "resist the tide of civilization on which we are borne."
(p. 412.) "The time has come when it is no longer possible to ignore the
results of criticism." It is therefore "of importance that Christianity
should be seen to be in harmony with them." (p. 374.) "The arguments of
our genuine critics, with the convictions of our most learned clergy"
(p. 66) are all opposed to the actual teaching of the Church. Meantime,
"the Christian Religion is in a false position when all the tendencies
of knowledge are opposed to it." (p. 374.) "Time was when the Gospel was
before the age: ... when the highest minds found in its truths not only
the rule of their lives, but a well-spring of intellectual delight. Is
it to be held a thing impossible that the Christian Religion may again
embrace the thoughts of men upon the earth?" (pp. 374-5.)

In the mean time, THE BIBLE is a stubborn fact in the way of the new
Religion. Nay, the English _Book of Common Prayer_ is a great hindrance;
for those "formulæ of past thinkings, have long lost all sense of any
kind;" (p. 297;) so that the Prayer-book "is on the way to become a
useless encumbrance, the rubbish of the past, blocking the road."
(_Ibid._) But the Prayer-book confessedly stands on a different footing
from the Bible. The Bible erects itself hopelessly in the way of "the
negative religion." (p. 151.) O those many prophecies, which for 4000
long years sustained the faith of GOD'S chosen people, and at last found
fulfilment in the person of CHRIST, or in the circumstances which
attended the establishment of His Kingdom! O that glorious retinue of
types and shadows which heralded MESSIAH'S approach!... And then,--O the
miraculous evidence which attested to the reality of His Divinity[238]!
O the confirmation, (to those who needed it,) when He walked the water,
and stilled the storm, and cast out devils by His word, and by one
strong cry broke the gates of Death, and caused Lazarus to "Come forth!"
... O the solemn _independent_ testimony borne by Creeds, from the very
birthday of Christianity,--(whether planted in Syria or in Asia Minor,
in Africa or in Italy, in Greece or in Gaul; "in Germany or in Spain,
among the Celts or in the far East, in Egypt or in Libya, or in the
middle regions of the globe[239].") Lastly,--O the adoring voice of the
whole Church Catholic throughout the world, for many a succeeding
century,--translating, expounding, defining, explaining, defending to
the death!... How shall all this formidable mass of evidence possibly be
set aside?

It is plain that Prophecy must be evacuated of its meaning; or rather,
must be denied entirely: and to do this, falls to the share of the
vulgar and violent Vice-Principal of Lampeter College. Disprove he
cannot; so he sneers and rails and blusters instead. Prophecy, he calls
"omniscience;" "a notion of foresight by vision of particulars;"
(p.70;) "a kind of clairvoyance," (p. 70,) and "literal
prognostication." (p. 65.) Mr. Jowett (as we have lately seen[240],)
lends plaintive help: but indeed Dr. Williams does not lack supporters.

To deny the truth of Miracles falls to the lot of the Savilian Professor
of Astronomy. His method has the merit of extreme simplicity: for it is
based on the ground that, in the writer's opinion, Miracles are
impossible,--which of course must be held to be decisive of the
question.

The battle against the Inspiration of the Word of GOD is reserved for
the Regius Professor of Greek; who requires for his purpose twice the
space of any of his fellows. _His_ method is also of the simplest kind,
when divested of its many encumbrances. He simply _assumes it as proved_
that the Bible is a book not essentially different from Sophocles and
Plato. In other words he _assumes_ that the Bible is not inspired; and
reproaches, pities, or sneers at every one who is not of his opinion.

In the meantime, What _is_ Prophecy? What _are_ Miracles? Of what sort
is that Bible which has imposed upon mankind so grossly, and so long?
They are _facts_, and must be explained. What are they? Prophecy, then,
is "_only the power of seeing the ideal in the actual_, or of tracing
the Divine Government in the movements of men." (p. 70.) As for
Miracles, "their evidential force is wholly _relative_ to the
apprehensions of the parties addressed ... Columbus' prediction of the
Eclipse to the native islanders," (p. 115,) is advanced as an
illustration of the nature of the argument from Miracles. By whatever
method the Bible has attained its present footing in the world, it is a
book which has been hitherto misunderstood; and it must plainly be dealt
with after a new fashion. Our Lord's Incarnation, Temptation, Death and
Burial, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven,--all His Miracles, in
short, will be best interpreted _Ideologically_; in other words, by a
principle "which resolves into an ideal the whole of the historical and
doctrinal person of JESUS." (p. 200.) So interpreted, "the Gospel may
win again the minds of intellectual men;" (p. 376;) but it will find it
no easy matter. There is in fact "a higher wisdom" than the Gospel,
"which is known to those who are perfect,"--"_that_ reconcilement,"
namely, "of Faith and Knowledge which may be termed Christian
Philosophy." (p. 413.)

The great object, in short, is to bring about "a reconciliation"
(p. 375,) between "the minds of intellectual men" (p. 376,) and
Christianity. Such a reconciliation is to be regarded as a "restoration
of belief." (p. 375.) And it is to be effected by "taking away some of
the external supports, because they are not needed and do harm: also
because they interfere with the meaning." (p. 375.)--Those "external
supports" are (1) a belief in the Inspiration of the Bible;--(2) the
writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church;--(3) Creeds and the
decisions of Councils;--(4) the works of Anglican Divines;--(5)
Learning; (p. 337;)--(6) a profound acquaintance with the Greek
language; (p. 393;)--(7) a minute knowledge of Greek Grammar;
(p. 391;)--(8) the Doctrine of the Greek Article;--(9) the free use of
the parallel passages.... The Bible, when interpreted by any
self-relying young man who knows a little Greek, and attends to the
meaning _of words_,--will be seen in all the freshness of its early
beauty, like an old picture which has been recently cleaned. "A new
interest" will be excited by this new Bible, which will "make for itself
a new kind of authority." By being thus literally interpreted, it will
be transformed into "a spirit." Then, (but not before) the Bible will
enjoy the sublime satisfaction of keeping pace with the Age. It may so,
even yet, "embrace the thoughts of men upon the earth."

But what kind of thing will this Bible be? The beginning of Genesis,
(pp. 207-253,) is to be rejected because it "is not an authentic
utterance of Divine knowledge, but a human utterance, which it has
pleased Providence to use in a special way for the education of
mankind." (p. 253.) We are invited to "a frank recognition of the
_erroneous views of Nature_ which the Bible contains." (p. 211.) Thus,
_all_ miraculous transactions will have to be explained away. The volume
of Prophecy will have to be regarded as a volume of History. The very
History will have to be read with distrust. Like other records, it is
subject to the conditions of "knowledge which existed in an early stage
of the world." (p. 411.) It does not even begin to be authentic, until
B.C. 1900; or rather, until B.C. 900[241]. What remains is to be looked
upon as "the continuous witness in all ages of the higher things in the
heart of man," (p. 375,)--(whatever that may happen to mean.) The Gospel
is to be looked upon as "a life of CHRIST in the soul, instead of a
theory of CHRIST which is in a book, or written down," (p. 423.) "The
lessons of Scripture, when disengaged from theological formulas, have a
nearer way to the hearts of the poor." (p. 424.) Even "in Missions to
the heathen, Scripture is to be treated as the expression of universal
truths, rather than of the tenets of particular men and Churches."
(p.423.) It is anticipated that this "would remove many obstacles to the
reception of Christianity." (_Ibid._) "It is not the Book of Scripture
which we should seek to give the heathen;" "but the truth of the Book;
the mind of CHRIST and His Apostles, in which all lesser details and
differences should be lost and absorbed;" "the purer light or element of
Religion, of which Christianity is the expression." (p. 427.) ... Such
is the ghostly phantom, by the aid of which the Heathen are to become
evangelized!

But this historical Bible is not to be regarded as the rule of a man's
life, or indeed as an external Law at all. (pp. 36, 45.) "We walk now by
Reason and Conscience _alone_." (p. 21.) The Bible is to be identified
"with the voice of Conscience," (p. 45,)--which it has "to evoke, not to
override." (p. 44.) "The principle of private judgment ... makes
Conscience the supreme interpreter." (p. 45.) Ours is "a law which is
_not imposed upon us by another power_, but _by our own enlightened
will_:" (p. 35:) for the "Spirit, or Conscience" "legislates" henceforth
"_without appeal except to himself_." (p. 31.)

Having thus disposed of "Traditional Christianity," (p. 156,) it is not
obscurely hinted that something quite different is to be substituted in
its place. And first, next to "a frank appeal to Reason, and a frank
criticism of Scripture," (p. 174,) the nature and "office of the Church
is to be properly understood." (p. 194.)

The Church then is a spontaneous development of the State, as "part of
its own organization," (p. 195,)--a purely secular Institution. The
State will "develop itself into a Church" by "throwing its elements, or
the best of them, into another mould; and constituting out of them a
Society, which is in it, though in some sense not of it (?),--which is
another (?), yet the same." (p. 194.) The nation must provide, from time
to time, that the teaching of one age does "not traditionally harden, so
as to become an exclusive barrier in a subsequent one; and so the moral
growth of those who are committed to the hands of the Church be
checked." (_Ibid._) The Church is founded, therefore, not upon "the
possession of a supernaturally communicated speculation (!) concerning
GOD," but "upon _the manifestation of a Divine Life in Man_."
"Speculative doctrines should be left to _philosophical schools_. A
national Church must be concerned with the _ethical development_ of its
members." (p. 195.) It should be "free from dogmatic tests, and similar
intellectual bondage;" (p. 168;) hampered by no Doctrines, pledged to no
Creeds. These may be retained indeed; but "_we refuse to be bound by
them_." (p. 44.) The Subscription of the Clergy to the Articles should
also be abolished: for "no promise can reach fluctuations of opinion,
and personal conviction." (!!!) _Open_ heretical teaching may, to be
sure, be dealt with by the Law; but the Law "should not require any act
which appears to signify 'I think.'" (p. 189.) Witness "the reluctance
of the stronger minds to enter an Order in which their intellects may
not have _free play_." (p. 190.) ... Such then is the Negative Religion!
Such is the new faith which Doctors Temple and Williams, Professors
Powell and Jowett, Messieurs Wilson, Goodwin, and Pattison, have
deliberately combined to offer to the acceptance of the World!

It is high time to conclude. I cannot lay down my pen however until I
have re-echoed the sentiments of one with whom I heartily agree. I
allude to Dr. Moberly; who professes that he is "struck almost more with
what seems to him the hardheartedness, and exceeding unkindness of this
book, than with its unsoundness. Have the writers," (he asks,)
"considered how far the suggesting of innumerable doubts,--doubts
unargued and unproved,--will check honest devotion, and embolden timid
sin? _For whom_ do they intend this book? Is it written for the mass of
general readers? Is it designed for students at the Universities? Do
they suppose that this multitude of random suggestions will be carefully
wrought out by these readers, and be rejected if unsound; so as to leave
their faith and devotion untarnished?... Have they reflected how many
souls for whom CHRIST died may be slain in their weakness by _their_
self-styled strength?"

"Suppose, for a moment, that the Holy Scriptures _are_ (p. 177,) the
Word of the Spirit of GOD,--that the Miracles, (cf. p. 109,) including
the Resurrection of CHRIST, are actual objective facts, which have
really happened,--that the Doctrines of the Church are true, (p. 195,)
and the Creeds (p. 355,) the authoritative expositions of them,--and
that men are to reach Salvation through faith in CHRIST, Virgin-born,
according to the Scriptures, and making atonement (cf. p. 87,) for their
sins upon the Cross. ON THIS SUPPOSITION,--_Is not the publication of
this book an act of real hostility to GOD'S Truth; and one which
endangers the Faith and Salvation of Men?_ And is this hostility less
real, or the danger diminished, because the writers are, all but one,
Clergymen, some of them Tutors and Schoolmasters; because they wear the
dress, and use the language of friends, and threaten us with bitter
opposition if we do not regard them as such[242]?"

       *       *       *       *       *

With this I lay down my pen. My last words shall be simple and
affectionate, addressed solely to yourselves.

I trace these concluding lines,--(of a work which, but for _you_, would
never have been undertaken,)--in a _quite_ empty College; and in the
room where we have so often and so happily met on Sunday evenings. Can
you wonder if, at the conclusion of what has proved rather a heavy task,
(so _hateful_ to me is controversy,) my thoughts revert with
affectionate solicitude to yourselves, already scattered in all
directions; and to those evenings which more, I think, than any other
thing, have gilded my College life?... In thus sending you a written
farewell, and praying from my soul that GOD may bless and keep you all,
I cannot suppress the earnest entreaty that you would remember the best
words of counsel which may have at any time fallen from my lips: that
you would persevere in the daily study of the pure Book of Life; and
that you would read it, _not_ as feeling yourselves called upon to sit
in judgment on its adorable contents; but rather, as men who are
permitted to draw near; and invited _to listen_, and _to learn_, and _to
live_. And so farewell!... "Watch ye, stand fast in the Faith,"--nay,
take it in the original, which is far better:--Γρηγορεῖτε, στήκετε ἐν τῇ
πίστει ἀνδρίζεσθε, κραταιοῦσθε. πάντα ὑμῶν ἐν ἀγάπῃ γινέσθω. Ἡ χάρις
τοῦ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μεθ' ὑμῶν. ἡ ἀγάπη μου μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν.

 Your friend,
    J. W. B.

 ORIEL,
    _June 22nd_, 1861.

FOOTNOTES:

[19] I abstain from enumerating Dr. Temple's mistakes,--for such things
do not belong to the essence of a composition. And yet I must remark
that it is hardly creditable in a Doctor of Divinity to write as he
does. "In _all_ (!) the doctrinal disputes of the fourth and fifth
centuries, the decisive voice came from Rome. Every controversy was
finally settled by her opinion, because she alone possessed _the art of
framing formulas_," &c. (p. 16.) Would the learned writer favour us with
_a single warrant_ for this assertion?... At p. 9, Dr. Temple mistakes
for Micah's, words spoken 700 years before by Balaam. At p. 10, he says
that "Prayer, as a regular and necessary part of worship, first appears
in the later books of the Old Testament."--His account of the papacy is
contained in the following words:--"Law was the lesson which Rome was
intended to teach the world. Hence (?) the Bishop of Rome soon became
the Head of the Church. Rome was in fact the centre of the traditions
which had once governed the world; and their spirit still remained; and
the Roman Church developed into the papacy simply because a head was
wanted (!), and no better one could be found."--p. 16. At p. 10 we have
a truly puerile misconception of the meaning of 1 Cor. xv. 56, &c., &c.

[20] Deut. vi. 4.

[21] 1 Sam. xv. 22, where see the places in the margin.

[22] Hos. vi. 6, quoted by our LORD, St. Matth. ix. 13: xii. 7.

[23] Consider Ps. xxvi. 6: l. 13, 14: li. 16, 17: cxvi. 15: cxix. 108:
cxli. 2, &c.

[24] St. Matth. xvi. 4: xii. 39. Compare St. Mark viii. 38.

[25] St. James iv. 4.

[26] St. Matth. xxiii. 33.

[27] Ezek. xvi. 47-52.

[28] Is. i. 4, 6, 15.

[29] St. John viii. 9. "I cannot but speak my mind," (says Josephus,
after taking a survey of the extreme wickedness of his countrymen, in
connexion with the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem,) "and it is this:
I suppose that if the Romans had delayed to come against these sinners,
either the earth would have swallowed them up; or the city would have
been swept away by another Flood; or it would have been consumed, like a
second Sodom, by fire from Heaven."

[30] S. John xii. 38-40. "_They have blinded_ their eyes," &c. (See the
place in the LXX.:) sc. ὁ λαὸς οὗτος.

[31] "Had the revelation of CHRIST been delayed till now, assuredly it
would have been hard for us to recognize His Divinity.... We, of course,
have in our turn counterbalancing advantages. (!) If we have lost that
freshness of faith which would be the first (_sic_) to say to a poor
carpenter,--Thou art the CHRIST, the SON of the living GOD,--yet we
possess in the greater cultivation of our religious understanding, that
which perhaps we ought not to be willing to give in exchange (!) ...
They had not the same clearness of understanding as we; the same
recognition that it is GOD and not the Devil who rules the World; the
same power of discrimination between different kinds of truth.... Had
our LORD come later, He would have come to mankind already beginning to
stiffen into the fixedness of maturity.... The truth of His Divine
Nature would not have been recognized." (pp. 24-5.)--Is this meant for
bitter satire on the age we live in; or for disparagement of the
Incarnate WORD?... But in the face of such anticipations, the keenest
satire of all is contained in the author's claim to a "religious
understanding, cultivated" to a degree unknown to the best ages of the
Church; as well as to surpassing "clearness of understanding," and
"powers of discrimination." Lamentable in _any_ quarter, how deplorable
is such conceit in one who shews himself _unacquainted with the first
principles of Theological Science_; and who puts forth an Essay on the
Education of the World, which would have been discreditable to an
advanced school-boy!

[32] Quite ineffectual, at the very close of this unhappy composition,
as a set off to the compacted and often repeated asseverations of his
earlier pages, is the amiable author's plaintive plea for "even the
perverted use of the Bible;" adding,--"And meanwhile, how utterly
impossible it would be in the manhood of the world to imagine any other
instructor of mankind!" (p. 47.) It is one of the favourite devices of
these seven writers, side by side with their most objectionable
statements, to insert isolated passages of admitted truth,--and
occasionally even of considerable beauty: which however are _utterly
meaningless_ and out of place where they stand; and (like the sentence
above written,) powerless to undo the circumstantial wickedness of what
went before. I repeat, that the words above-written are meaningless
_where they stand_: for if Dr. Temple really means that it is "_utterly
impossible in the manhood of the world to IMAGINE any other instructor
of mankind_" than THE BIBLE,--what becomes of his Essay?

[33] _παρα_τηρεῖσθε: i.e. "ye _mis_observe," "keep _in a wrong way_."

[34] Gal. iv. 1-10.

[35] Gal. iii. 24, 25.

[36] Gal. v. 1.

[37] 2 St. John v. 10, 11.

[38] Rom. viii. 21.

[39] It is presumed that the article in the _Dict. of Antiquities_ will
be held unexceptionable authority as to the office of the
παιδαγωγός.--"Rex filio pædagogum constituit, et singulis diebus ad
eum invisit, interrogans eum: Num comedit filius meus? _num in scholam
abiit? num ex scholâ rediit_?"--Wetstein, in loc.--So Plato _Lysis_, p.
118.

[40] 1 St. Peter ii. 21. Comp. St. James v. 10.

[41] 1 Cor. xi. 1: iv. 16. Phil. iii. 17. 2 Thess. iii. 9. Heb. xiii. 7,
&c.

[42] 1 St. Pet. i. 11.

[43] 1 Tim. i. 10: iv. 6. Tit. i. 9: ii. 1. Comp. 2 St. John v. 10.

[44] 2 Tim. i. 13.

[45] 2 Tim. i. 13, 14: ii. 2. Also 1 Tim. vi. 20. On both places, Dr.
Wordsworth's _Notes_ may be consulted with advantage.

[46] 2 Tim. iv. 3.

[47] 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8, &c.

[48] Art. XX.

[49] Art. VIII.

[50] I allude especially to the terrible castigation he has individually
received at the hands of the Bishop of Exeter. See _the Times_, of March
4th, 1861.

[51] "And when the Angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to
destroy it, the LORD ... said to the Angel that destroyed the people,"
&c. "And the Angel of the LORD was by the threshing-place of Araunah the
Jebusite."--2 Sam. xxiv. 16.

"The Angel of the LORD stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan the
Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the Angel of the LORD
stand between the Earth and the Heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand
stretched out over Jerusalem."--1 Chron. xxi. 15, 16.

[52] Acts i. 20.

[53] _On the Creed_, Art. iv. p. 244, _notes_ (_u_) and (_x_).

[54] "It would take no great space," (says Dr. Pusey,) "to shew that the
rendering 'as a lion,' is unmeaning, without authority, against
authority; while the rendering 'they pierced' is borne out alike by
authority and language."

[55] Ver. 1,--St. John xii. 38. Rom. x. 16. Ver. 4,--St. Matth. viii.
17. Ver. 4 to 11,--1 St. Pet. ii. 24, 25. Ver. 7 and 8,--Acts viii. 32.
Ver. 12,--St. Mark xv. 28. St. Luke xxii. 37.

[56] Mal. iv. 5.

[57] St. Luke i. 17.

[58] As the Fathers generally teach. See Brown's _Ordo Sæclorum_,
pp. 702-3, &c., &c.

[59] And yet,--"I go to prepare _a place_ for you!"--St. John xiv. 2.

[60] See, for example, p. 60, (_lower half_,) p. 62, (_middle_,) &c.

[61] Comp. p. 45.

[62] Col. ii. 11, 12. Rom. ii. 29. Phil. iii. 3, &c.

[63] _Edinburgh Review_, (Ap. 1861,) p. 429.

[64] _Analogy_, P. II. ch. ii., _ad fin._

[65] _Analogy_, P. II. ch. iii., _ad init._

[66] Van Mildert's _Historical View of the Rise and Progress of
Infidelity_, &c. Serm. xxi., (ed. 1806,) vol. ii. pp. 313-17.

[67] "Columbus' prediction of the eclipse to the native islanders, was
as true an argument to them as if the event had really been
supernatural." p. 115.

[68] St. Mark viii. 19, 20.

[69] St. John ix.

[70] St. John xi. 44.

[71] Consider St. John iii. 2, (referring to ii. 23 and iv. 45.) So ix.
16: x. 21 and 38: xiv. 10, 11. Also xv. 24; and consider St Luke vii.
16: also 21, 22: St. Matth. xii. 22, 23: St. John vii. 31: xii. 17-19.

[72] St. John v. 44. Comp. vii. 17: viii. 12. St. Matth. v. 8. Ps. xix.
8: cxix. 100. Also, Ecclus. i. 26: xxi. 11.--"There is," (says an
excellent living writer,) "scarcely any doctrine or precept of our
SAVIOUR more distinctly and strongly stated, than that the capacity for
judging of, and for believing the Truths of Christianity, depends upon
Moral Goodness, and the practice of Virtue."--Let us hear our own Hooker
on this subject:--"We find by experience that although Faith be an
intellectual habit of the mind, and have her seat in the understanding,
yet an evil moral disposition obstinately wedded to the love of darkness
dampeth the very light of heavenly illumination, and permitted not the
Mind to see what doth shine before it."--_Eccl. Pol._, B. v.c. lxiii.
§ 2.

[73] St. John xi. 44.

[74] P. 113. The italics are in the original.

[75] See the _Quarterly Review_, (on Prof. Baden Powell's "Order of
Nature,")--for Oct. 1859, (No. 212,) pp. 420-3.

[76] p. 169.--"Priests have neither been, as some would represent, a set
of deliberate conspirators against the free thoughts of mankind; nor, on
the other hand," &c. _Ibid._--How partial becomes the judgment, when we
have to discuss the merits of our own order!

[77] _Ans._ Clearly in the relation of a blessing which has by all means
to be communicated to them.

[78] _Ans._ Certainly there is. Those which most obviously present
themselves are such as the following:--St. Matth. ix. 37, 38: xxviii.
19, 20. St. Luke xxiv. 47. Acts ii. 38, 39, &c.

[79] _Analogy_, P. II. c. vi.

[80] Rom. v. 12.

[81] 1 Cor. xv. 22.

[82] Eph. ii. 3.

[83] _Analogy_, P. II. c. v. note (d).

[84] Col. i. 23.--p. 155.

[85] See Nelson's _Life of Bp. Bull_, p. 245.

[86] See Nelson's _Life of Bp. Bull_, p. 242.

[87] "The horizon which his view embraced was _much narrower_ than St.
Paul's,"--who had enlarged his mind by foreign travel, (p. 168.)

In a note, we are informed that "at any rate his Gospel cannot, by
external evidence, be attached to the person (!) of St. John as its
author." "Many persons," (it is added,) "shrink from a _bonâ fide_
examination of the 'Gospel question,' because they imagine, that unless
the four Gospels are received as ... entirely the composition of the
persons whose names they bear, and without any admixture of legendary
matter or embellishment in their narratives, the only alternative is to
suppose a fraudulent design in those who did compose them." (p. 161.)
... May one who has _not_ shrunk from 'the Gospel question' be permitted
to regret that the Reverend writer has not specified the charges which
he thus vaguely brings against the Gospels? _What_, pray, is the
legendary matter; and _which_ are the embellishments?

In the same page we read of "the first, or genuine, epistle of St.
Peter." Is not his _second_ epistle genuine, then?

[88] See above, p. lviii.

[89] "Pleas for 'liberty of conscience' and 'freedom of opinion,'" (as
on excellent writer has recently pointed out,) "can have neither place
nor pretext, while there is liberty, for all who choose, to decline
joining the Church of England; _and freedom, for all who choose, to
leave her_."--Rev. C. Forster's 'Spinoza Redivivus,' (1861,) p. 6.

[90] In what part of the Bible, (one begs respectfully to inquire,) is
one called upon to "accept the story of an arresting of the Earth's
motion, or of a reversal of its motion?" ... Would it not be as well to
be truthful in one's references to the Bible?

[91] See below, p. 68.

[92] See Butler's _Analogy_, P. II. c. iii.

[93] _Quarterly Review_, Jan. 1861, p. 275.

[94] Take a few as a specimen:--"A great restraint is supposed to be
imposed upon the Clergy by reason of their subscription to the
Thirty-nine Articles. Yet it is more difficult than might be expected,
to define what is the extent of the legal obligation of those who sign
them; and in this case, the strictly legal obligation is the measure of
the moral one. Subscription may be thought even to be _inoperative upon
the conscience_ by reason of its vagueness. For the act of subscription
is enjoined, but its effect or meaning nowhere plainly laid down; and it
does not seem to amount to more than an acceptance of the Articles of
the Church as the formal law to which the subscriber is _in some sense_
subject. What that subjection amounts to, must be gathered elsewhere;
for it does not appear on the face of the subscription itself."--(p.
181. See down to page 185.) Can equivocation such as this be read
without a sense of humiliation and shame, as well as of disgust and
abhorrence?

[95] p. 180 to p. 190.

[96] Heading of the XXXIX Articles.

[97] The reader is referred to some remarks on Ideology towards the
close of Sermon VII., p. 243 to p. 251.

[98] "Unhappily, together with his _inauguration of Multitudinism_,
Constantine also inaugurated a principle essentially at variance with
it, the principle of _doctrinal limitation_." (p. 166.) ... "The
opportunity of reverting to the freedom of the Apostolic, and
immediately succeeding periods, was finally lost for many ages by the
sanction given by Constantine to the decisions of Nicæa." (_Ibid._) "At
all events, a principle at variance with a true Multitudinism was then
recognised." (_Ibid._)

How does it happen, by the way, that one writing B.D. after his name,
however bitter his animosity against the Nicene Creed may be, is not
aware that Creeds are co-eval with Christianity? Thus we find the Creed
of Carthage in the works of Cyprian, (A.D. 225,) and Tertullian,
(A.D. 210, 203): that of Lyons in the works of Irenæus, (A.D. 180.) [see
Heurtley's _Harmonia Symbolica_, pp. 7-20.] We recognize fragments of
the Creed in Ignatius, (A.D. 90.) We hear St. Paul himself
saying--ὑποτύπωσιν ἔχε ὑγιαινόντων λόγων, ὧν (i.e. _the words_
themselves!) παρ' ἐμοῦ ἤκουσας ... τὴν καλὴν παρακαταθήκην φύλαξον--2
Tim. i. 13, 14. A few more words on this subject will be found in the
notice of Mr. Jowett's Essay.

[99] It is really impossible to argue with a man who informs us that
"_previous to the time of the divided Kingdom_, the Jewish History
presents little which is thoroughly reliable:" (p. 170:)--that "the
greater probability seems on the side of the supposition, that the
Priesthood, with its distinct offices and charge, was constituted by
Royalty, and that _the higher pretensions of the priests were not
advanced till the reign of Josiah_:" (_Ibid._:)--that, "The negative
Theologian" demands "some positive elements in Christianity, on grounds
more sure to him than _the assumption of an objective 'faith once
delivered to the saints_,' which he cannot identify with the Creed of
any Church as yet known to him:" (pp. 174-5:)--a man who can remark
concerning the Bible, that,--"Those who are able to do so, ought to lead
the less educated to distinguish between the different kinds of words
which it contains, between _the dark patches of human passion and error
which form a partial crust upon it_, and the bright centre of spiritual
truth within." (p. 177.)

[100] _Quarterly Review_, (Jan. 1851,) No. 217, p. 259.

[101] A writer in the _Saturday Review_, (April 6, 1861,) in an
admirable Article on the importance of retaining the office of 'Dean' in
its integrity, (instead of suicidally merging it in the office of
'Bishop,') speaks of there being "no English Commentary on the New
Testament brought up to the level of modern Theological Science." [As if
"the level" had been rising of late!] "Butler and Paley are still our
text-books on the Evidences; and we are defending _old beliefs_ behind
wooden walls _against the rifled cannon and iron broadsides of modern
Philosophy_."--p. 337. What a strange misapprehension of the entire
question,--of the relation of Theological to Physical Science,--does
such a sentence betray!

[102] See below, p. 235.

[103] As the excellent Townson observed long since,--"The brightness of
countenance and raiment which dazzled and overcame the sight of His
Apostles when He was Transfigured on the Mount, was to Him but _a ray of
that glory in which He dwelt before the Worlds were made_."--Sermon on
"The manner of our SAVIOUR'S Teaching,"--_Works_, vol. i. p. 282.

[104] St. Matth. xvii. 2.

[105] St. Mark ix. 3.

[106] 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16.--If it be more philosophical to suppose that
the Light which shone upon the earth during the first three days
proceeded from the Sun, (the orb of which remained invisible,) and not
from any extraneous independent source,--I have no objection whatever to
such a supposition,--or indeed to any other which suffers the inspired
record to remain intact. I am by no means clear however that Philosophy
(begging her pardon,) does not entirely mistake her office, when she
pretends to explain the first chapter of Genesis. Hence, her constrained
language, and unnatural manner, when she desires to be respectful,--her
inconsequential remarks and perpetual blunders when she rather prefers
to be irreligious. She is simply out of her element, and is discoursing
of what _she does not understand_.--Theology, dealing with a physical
problem by the method of Theological Science; and Philosophy, applying
to a chapter in the Bible the physical method,--are alike at fault, and
alike ridiculous. This truth, however obvious, does not seem to be
generally understood.

But, (to return to the first three days of Creation,)--since the Author
of Revelation seems to design that I should understand that Sun, Moon,
and Stars not only did not come to view until the fourth day,--but also
that they were not re-invested with their immemorial function and office
until then,--I find no difficulty, _remembering with whom I have to do,
even with Him who sowed the vault of Heaven so thick with stars, each
one of which may be not a sun but a system_[107];--when, I say, I attend
to the emphatic nature of the inspired record, on the one hand, and to
GOD'S Omnipotence on the other,--I have no difficulty in supposing that
He embraced the Sun in a veil, for just so long a period as it seemed
Him good, and when He willed that it should re-appear, that He withdrew
the veil again. The _name_ for the operation just now alluded to belongs
to the province of Philosophy. Divinity is all the while thinking about
something infinitely better and higher.

[107] Herschel.

[108] Gen. i. 6.

[109] Ibid. 20.

[110] Job xxxvii. 18.

[111] Ps. civ. 2.

[112] Is. xl. 22.

[113] Job xxvi. 8.

[114] Prov. xxx. 4.

[115] See also Job ix. 8. Even in Job xxxvii. 18, the sky is said to be
"_spread out_." So Is. xlv. 12, &c.

[116] Job xxvi. 11.

[117] 2 Sam. xxii. 8.

[118] Ps. lxxviii. 23.

[119] Gen. vii. 11.

[120] Job ix. 6. Ps. lxxv. 3. See Blomfield's Glossary to Prom. Vinct.
v. 357.

[121] Comp. Is. xxiv. 18.

[122] See Is. xxiv. 18 and Mal. iii. 10.

[123] ἐκλείπειν τὴν ἕδραν. (Herod.) See Copleston's _Remains_, p. 107.

[124] _Eccl. Pol._ 1. iii. § 2.

[125] Gen. i. 26.

[126] "The difficulty," he says, (alluding to Gen. i. 1,) "lies in this,
that the heaven is distinctly said to have been formed ... on the second
day." (p. 226.) But this is the language of a man determined that there
_shall_ be a difficulty. "The Heavens and the Earth" clearly denote, (in
the simple phraseology of a primitive age,) the sum of all created
things; the great transaction which Nehemiah has so strikingly
expounded:--"Heaven, _the Heaven of Heavens, with all their host_,--the
Earth and all things that are therein;" including "the sea, with all
that is therein." (Neh. ix. 6.) Whereas "the firmament" of ver. 6,
(which GOD called "Heaven" in ver. 8,) _can_ only indicate the blue
vault immediately overhead, wherein fowls fly. (ver. 20.) If this be
_not_ the meaning of Gen. i. 1, one half of the phrase is
"proleptical,"--the other half not: for the creation of Earth is nowhere
recorded, if not in ver. 1.... But surely it is a waste of words to
discuss such "difficulties" as these.

[127] Consider especially Heb. iv. 9 and 10; and consider, (besides
Exod. xx. 11,) Deut. v. 15. See also Col. ii. 17.

[128] "There have been found within the area of these islands upwards of
15,000 species of once living things, _every one differing specifically
from those of the present Creation_. Agassiz states that, with the
exception of one small fossil fish, (discovered in the clay-stones of
Greenland,) _he has not found any creature of this class, in all the
Geological strata, identical with any fish now living_." (Pattison's
_The Earth and the World_, p. 27.)

[129] I allude to such passages as the following,--all of which are to
be found in Mr. Goodwin's Essay:--

"We are asked to believe that a vision of creation was presented to him
(Moses) by Divine power, for the purpose of enabling him to inform the
world of what he had seen; which vision inevitably led him to give a
description which has misled the world for centuries, and in which the
truth can now only with difficulty be recognized." (p. 247.) "The
theories [of Hugh Miller and of Dr. Buckland] assume that appearances
only, not facts, are described; and that, in riddles which would never
have been suspected to be such, had we not arrived at the truth from
other sources." (p. 249.) "For ages, this simple view of Creation
satisfied the wants of man, and formed a sufficient basis of theological
teaching:" but "modern research now shews it to be physically
untenable." (p. 253.)

"The writer asserts solemnly and unhesitatingly that for which he must
have known that he had no authority." But this was only because "the
early speculator was harassed by no such scruples" as "arise from our
modern habits of thought, and from the modesty of assertion (!) which
the spirit of true science has taught us." He therefore "asserted as
facts what he knew in reality only as probabilities.... He had seized
one great truth.... With regard to details, observation failed
him."--(pp. 252-3.)

[130] p. 329.

[131] pp. 307-309.

[132] Notice prefixed to _Essays and Reviews_.

[133] p. 255.

[134] Nos. 74, 76, 78, 81.

[135] I allude particularly to the late Hugh James Rose, B.D.

[136] Neh. iv. 17, 18.

[137] St. Luke xviii. 8.

[138] See Nelson's _Life of Bull_, p. 329, &c.

[139] See his admirable Preface.

[140] Newman's dedication of his 'Lectures on Romanism and popular
Protestantism.'

[141] See the 'Monitum' prefixed to Dr. Routh's _Testimonia De
Auctoritate S. Scripturæ Ante-Nicæna.--Reliqq. Sacræ_, vol. v. p. 335.

[142] "In 1781, the first Sunday School was established in England by
Robert Raikes, a publisher and bookseller in Gloucester."--National
Society's _Circular_.

[143] _Primary Charge_, at the end of his _Sermons_.

[144] Rev. M. Pattison, in _Essays and Reviews_, p. 307.

[145] pp. 338, 375, 420 top line, 428, &c.

[146] See all this very ably and interestingly explained in an article
reprinted from the 'Christian Remembrancer' (Jan. 1861,) _On certain
Characteristics of Holy Scripture_, by the Rev. J. G. Cazenove, p. 11,
&c.

[147] Nor is this a mere slip of Mr. Jowett's pen. At p. 372, he states
that "a majority of the Clergy throughout the world,"--(with whom he
associates the "instincts of many laymen, perhaps also individual
interest,")--are in favour of "_withholding the Truth_." But, he adds,
(with the indignant emphasis of Virtue when she is reproaching
Vice,)--"a higher expediency pleads that 'honesty is the best policy,'
and that truth alone 'makes free!'"--How would such insolence be treated
in the common intercourse of daily life?--(I will not pause to remark on
Mr. Jowett's wanton abuse of the Divine saying recorded in St. John
viii. 32,--repeated at p. 351.)

[148] I suppose that there may have been many inspired Psalmists; and
that perhaps the book of Judges was not all by one hand. With reference
to the two books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, see 1 Chron. xxix. 29,
30. 2 Chron. ix. 29: xi. 2: xii. 15, 5, 7: xiii. 22.

[149] By the Jews themselves they were reckoned as 22.

[150] "It is remarkable that the word Γραφή, which means simply
_Writing_, is reserved and appropriated in the New Testament (where it
occurs fifty times) to the _Sacred_ writings, i.e. to the _Holy
Scriptures_; and marks the separation of the _Scriptures_ from all
"common books," indeed from _all other writings_ in the
world."--Wordsworth 'On Inspiration,'--p. 85.

[151] St. Luke xvi. 17.

[152] οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή,--St. John x. 35.

[153] e.g. (i) _Long passages_:--

Judges i. 11-15 quotes Joshua xv. 15-19.--2 Sam. xxii. quotes Ps.
xviii.--1 Chron. xvi. quotes Ps. xcvi., and Ps. cv.--2 Kings xix. quotes
Is. xxxvii.--2 Kings xx. quotes Is. xxxviii., xxxix.

(ii) _One or two sentences_:--

Numb. xiv. 18 quotes Exod. xxxvi. 6, 7.--Ps. lxviii. 1 quotes Numb. x.
35.--Ps. lxviii. 7, 8 quotes Judges v. 4, 5.--Ps. cxviii. 14 quotes
Exod. xv. 2.--Prov. xxx. 5 quotes Ps. xviii. 30.--Joel ii. 13 quotes
Jonah iv. 2.--Isaiah xii. 2 quotes Exod. xv. 2.--Isaiah xiii. 6 quotes
Joel i. 15.--Isaiah li. 6 quotes Ps. cii. 25-7.--Isaiah lii. 10 quotes
Ps. xcviii. 2, 3.--Micah iv. 1, 2, 3 quotes Isaiah ii. 2, 3, 4.--Nahum
i. 15 quotes Isaiah lii. 7.--Zeph. iii. 19 quotes Micah iv. 6.--Habakkuk
ii. 14 quotes Isaiah xi. 9.--Jeremiah x. 13: li. 16 quotes Ps. cxxxv.
7.--Jeremiah xlviii. quotes Isaiah xv. 16.--Jeremiah xxvi. 18 quotes
Micah iii. 12.--1 Chron. xxix. 15 quotes Ps. xxxix. 12.

(iii) _Allusive references_.--(This would involve a prolonged reference
to the Hebrew Scriptures, which would be even out of place here.)

[154] See pp. 234-5.

[155] Rev. Ralph Churton's Sermon "On the Quotations in the Old
Testament," (1807,) published in Townson's _Works_, vol. i.
p. cxxxiv.,--where see the interesting note.

[156] Rev. Ralph Churton's Sermon, quoted in note (t, [our 155]), pp.
cxliv-v.

[157] E.g. Gen. xxviii. 11, 12: xxxii. 1-3. Exod. xxiv. 10.--St. Luke
xxii. 43-45. St. Matth. xxvii. 52, 53. St. Jude ver. 9.

[158] E.g. Jacob, Joseph, David.--St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John.

[159] E.g. Gen. viii. 9: xxxvii. 15-17: xlviii. 17, 18. Exod. ii.
6.--St. Luke viii. 55. St. John xiii. 4, 5: xxi.

[160] E.g. in Heb. viii. 8-12, where Jer. xxxi. 31-36 is quoted. See
Acts ii. 17-21, where Joel ii. 28-32 is quoted.

[161] It is supposed that the three well-known references to profane
writers, (Acts xvii. 28. 1 Cor. xv. 33. Tit. i. 12, [concerning which
see Jerome, _Opp._ i. 424: vii. 471,])--the place in St. Matthew,
(xxvii. 9,)--and St. James iv. 5,--are scarcely exceptions to the
statement in the text.

[162] See above,--(=4=).

[163] Only given by St. Matthew and St. Luke.

[164] Only found in St. Luke iii. 36.

[165] Only found in St. Matth. i. 5.

[166] Only found in Acts vii. 16.

[167] Only found in Acts vii. 23.

[168] St. James v. 17,--mentioned also by our LORD, St. Luke iv. 25; who
informs us that Jonah _was a sign_ to the Ninevites. This is only
revealed in St. Luke xi. 30.

[169] 2 Cor. xi. 3.

[170] St. Jude ver. 9.

[171] 2 Tim. iii. 8.

[172] See Heb. xi. 19. Consider Rom. iv. 19.

[173] Acts vii. 16.

[174] Compare Exod. ii. 2, 3 with Acts vii. 20. Consider Rev. ii. 14:
also Heb. xii. 21: also Heb. ix. 19, &c.

[175] _Sermons_, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, p. 185.

[176] Τί γάρ ἐστιν ὁ Νόμος; Εὐαγγέλιον προκατηγγελμένον· τί δὲ τὸ
Εὐαγγέλιον; Νόμος πεπληρώμενος. Justin: _Quæst._ ci. p. 456.

[177] Eadem sunt in Vetere et Novo: ibi obumbrata, hic revelata; ibi
præfigurata, hic manifesta. (Augustine: _Quæst._ xxxiii., in Num. § 1.
m. iii. p. 541.)--In Veteri Testamento est occultatio Novi: in Novo
Testamento est manifestatio Veteris. (_Id. De Catechiz. Rudibus_, §
8.--See also Quæst. lxxiii. in Exod.)

[178] See below, from the foot of p. 174 to the beginning of p. 176.

[179] Below, p. 108. The reader is requested to refer to the place.

[180] E.g. Gen. xi. 5-8: xviii. 17-21.

[181] E.g. Gen. vi. 6. 2 Sam. xi. 27.

[182] E.g. 2 Kings xix. 35. St. Matth. xxviii. 2, 3.

[183] Rev. i. 10, 11.

[184] _Analogy_, P. II. ch. vii.

[185] Butler's _Analogy_, P. II. ch. vii.

[186] Heb. viii. 1.

[187] St. Luke iv. 21.

[188] St. John v. 46.

[189] St. Luke xxiv. 27.

[190] St. Luke xxiv. 44.

[191] Dr. Wordsworth (Occasional Sermon 54,) _On the Inspiration of the
Old Testament_, (1859.)--p. 70.

[192] 2 Tim. ii. 2.

[193] See the middle of p. cxcvii.

[194] Photius, p. 195, ed. Bekker.--"Eos simul jungendos
censui,--Polycarpum, Irenæum, Hippolytum; cum Hippolytus discipulus
Irenæi fuisset, Irenæusque Polycarpum, Joannis Apostoli discipulum,
audivisset."--Routh, Preface to _Opuscula_, p. x.

[195] St. Luke xxiv. 27.

[196] St. John xiv. 26. The fulfilment of this promise repeatedly
occurs: as in St. John ii. 17, 22: xii. 16: xiii. 7: St. Luke xxiv. 8.
Consider St. John xx. 9.

[197] 1 Cor. xii., xiii., xiv., &c.

[198] St. Luke xxiv. 45.

[199] Acts ii. 4-21.

[200] See Mr. Jowett's Essay, p. 354.

[201] Ps. xcii. 5.

[202] Acts viii. 30, 31.--"'Revela,' inquit David, 'oculos meos, et
considerabo mirabilia de Lege Tuâ.' Si tantus Propheta tenebras
ignorantiæ confitetur, quâ nos putas parvulos, et pene lactantes,
inscitiæ nocte circumdari? Hoc autem velamen non solum in facie Moysi,
sed et in Evangelistis et in Apostolis positum est."--Hieronymus, _Ep._
lviii. vol. i. p. 323.

[203] Dr. Moberly, as before, pp. liii.-iv.

[204] _Minor Works_, vol. ii. p. 10.

[205] _Ibid._ p. 6.

[206] See Serm. I. pp. 10-11, 13, &c.

[207] See below, p. 142.

[208] From a Sermon by the Rev. F. Woodward, quoted below, at p.
249.--In illustration of the learned writer's concluding remark, take
this from the Creed of Lyons, contained in Irenæus (A.D. 180),--Καὶ εἰς
Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον, τὸ διὰ τῶν Προφητῶν κεκηρυχὸς τὰς οἰκονομίας, καὶ τὰς
ἐλεύσεις. In the Creed of Constantinople, we read, Τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον
... τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν Προφητῶν.

[209] The Creed of Lyons begins by describing itself as that which ἡ
μὲν Ἐκκλησία, καίπερ καθ' ὅλης τῆς οἰκουμένης ἕως περάτων τῆς γῆς
διεσπαρμένη, παρὰ δὲ τῶν Ἀποστόλων καὶ τῶν ἐκείνων μαθητῶν παραλαβοῦσα,
κ.τ.λ. Most refreshing of all, however, are the concluding words of
that Creed: so comfortable are they that I _cannot_ deny myself the
consolation of transcribing them here, where indeed they are very much
_ad rem_:--

Τοῦτο τὸ κήρυγμα παρειληφυῖα, καὶ ταύτην τὴν πίστιν, ὡς προέφαμεν, ἡ
ἐκκλησία, καίπερ ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ κόσμῳ διεσπαρμένη, ἐπιμελῶς φυλάσσει, ὡς ἕνα
οἶκον οἰκοῦσα· καὶ ὁμοίως πιστεύει τούτοις, ὡς μίαν ψυχὴν καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν
ἔχουσα καρδίαν· καὶ συμφώνως ταῦτα κηρύσσει, καὶ διδάσκει, καὶ
παραδίδωσιν, ὡς ἓν στόμα κεκτημένη. Καὶ γὰρ αἱ κατὰ τὸν κόσμον διάλεκτοι
ἀνόμοιαι, ἀλλ' ἡ δύναμις τῆς παραδόσεως μία καὶ ἡ αὐτή. Καὶ οὔτε αἱ ἐν
Γερμανίαις ἱδρυμέναι ἐκκλησίαι ἄλλως πεπιστεύκασιν, ἢ ἄλλως
παραδιδόασιν, οὔτε ἐν ταῖς Ἰβηρίαις, οὔτε ἐν Κελτοῖς, οὔτε κατὰ τὰς
ἀνατολὰς, οὔτε ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ, οὔτε ἐν Λιβύῃ, οὔτε αἱ κατὰ μέσα τοῦ κόσμου
ἱδρυμέναι. Ἀλλ' ὥσπερ ὁ ἥλιος, τὸ κτίσμα τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ κόσμῳ
εἷς καὶ ὁ αὐτὸς, οὕτω καὶ τὸ κήρυγμα τῆς ἀληθείας πανταχῇ φαίνει, καὶ
φωτίζει πάντας ἀνθρώπους τοὺς βουλομένους εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν.
Καὶ οὔτε ὁ πάνυ δυνατὸς ἐν λόγῳ τῶν ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις προεστώτων ἕτερα
τούτων ἐρεῖ, (οὐδεὶς γὰρ ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον,) οὔτε ὁ ἀσθενὴς ἐν τῷ λόγῳ
ἐλαττώσει τὴν παράδοσιν. Μιᾶς γὰρ καὶ τῆς αὐτῆς πίστεως οὔσης, οὔτε ὁ
πολὺ περὶ αὐτῆς δυνάμενος εἰπεῖν ἐπλεόνασεν, οὔτε ὁ τὸ ὀλίγον
ἠλαττόνησε.--See Heurtley's _Harmonia Symbolica_, p. 9.

[210] Abridged from Dr. Moberly, as before, pp. lii.-v.

[211] Καὶ ὅνπερ τρόπον ὁ τοῦ σινάπεως σπόρος, ἐν μικρῷ κόκκῳ, πολλοὺς
περιέχει τοὺς κλάδους, οὕτω καὶ ἡ Πίστις αὕτη, ἐν ὀλίγοις ῥήμασι,
πᾶσαν τὴν ἐν τῇ Παλαιᾷ καὶ Καινῇ τῆς εὐσεβείας γνῶσιν
ἐγκεκόλπισται.--Cyril. Hieros. Cat. v. § 12,--quoted by Heurtley.

[212] _Answer._ He certainly does not employ _the identical language_ of
the Nicene Council, or of the (so called) Athanasian Creed. But what
then?

[213] _Ans._ Passages of the Epistles "distributed in alternate clauses
between our Lord's Humanity and Divinity," begging Mr. Jowett's pardon,
is nonsense. But _no_ passage in St. Paul's Epistles which relates to
the Humanity, or to the Divinity of CHRIST, could be said to "lose its
meaning" by being unlocked by its own proper clue: or, if the statement
be complex, by being distributed under two heads.

[214] _Ans._ But not, I suppose, to _reconcile_ them? Why use inaccurate
language on so solemn a subject?

[215] _Ans._ Doubtless we have to suppose this!

[216] _Ans._ Not so. For "there is one Person of the FATHER, and another
of the SON."

[217] _Ans._ Doubtless we have to suppose this!

[218] _Ans_. But He did _not_ doubt!

[219] 1 St. John iv. 2, 3.--2 St. John ver. 7.

[220] Dr. Moberly, as before, p. xlvii.

[221] E.g. "We should observe how the popular explanations of Prophecy,
as in heathen (Thucyd. ii. 54,) so also in Christian times, had adapted
themselves to the circumstances of mankind." (The Reverend writer can
_never for a moment_ divest himself of his theory that Thucydides and
the Bible stand on the same footing!) "We might remark that in our own
country, and in the present generation especially, the interpretation of
Scripture had assumed an apologetic character, as though making an
effort to defend itself against some supposed inroad of Science and
Criticism." (p. 340.) ... Just as if any other attitude was _possible_
when one has to do with 'Essayists and Reviewers!'

[222] One would imagine that the Essayist and his critic were entirely
agreed. See below, p. 74,--"I refuse to accept any _theory_ whatsoever."
And p. 115,--"_Theory_ I have none."

[223] Had the following passage occurred sooner to my recollection, it
should have been sooner inserted:--"Are we to conduct the Interpretation
of Holy Scripture as we would that of any other writing? We are and we
are not. _So far_ as THE WORDS _are concerned, the mere words of
Scripture_ have the same office with those of all language written or
spoken in sincerity." They must be studied "by the same means and the
same rules which would guide us to the meaning of any other work; by a
knowledge of the languages in which the books were written, the Hebrew,
the Chaldee, the Greek, and of those other languages, as the Syriac and
Arabic, which may illustrate them; and of all the ordinary rules of
Grammar and Criticism, and the peculiar information respecting times and
circumstances, history and customs,--all the resources, in a word, of
the Interpretation of any work of any kind. _The Grammatical and
Historical interpretation of profane or sacred writings is the same_....
"All Scripture," meanwhile, "_is given by Inspiration of GOD_:" and this
at once introduces several important differences; which whoever neglects
may yet, with whatsoever advantages of learning and talent, fail to
discover the real meaning of the Word of GOD."--From Dr. Hawkins
(Provost of Oriel)'s _Inaugural Lecture_ as Dean Ireland's Professor,
delivered in 1847,--pp. 29-30.

It is but fair to Mr. Jowett to add that, _in terms_, he has very nearly
(not quite) said the self-same thing himself, at p. 337, (upper half the
page.) But it is the peculiar method of this most slippery writer, or
most illogical thinker, occasionally to grant almost all that heart can
desire, as far as _words_ go; but straightway to deny, or evacuate, or
explain away, _the thing_ which those words ought to signify.--Thus, at
p. 337, he volunteers the remark that "No one who has a Christian
feeling would place Classical on a level with Sacred Literature;" and at
p. 377, he observes that, "There are many respects in which Scripture is
unlike any other book." And yet, (as I have shown, p. cxliii. to p.
cl.,) Mr. Jowett _puts_ the Bible on a level with Sophocles and Plato;
and argues throughout as if Scripture were in _no_ essential respect
unlike any other book!

[224] "Had this writer reminded us that the New Testament Greek is a
Greek of different age from that of the classical writers; had he simply
warned us that we must not press our Attic Greek scholarship too far,
but study the Alexandrian Greek of the Septuagint, Philo, &c. in order
to ascertain the exact meaning of the words and phrases of the writers
of the New Testament;--still more, if, as the result of such study on
his own part, he had offered us some well-digested observations on the
use of tenses, articles, or particles in the sacred writings;--he would
have done some service. But this talk about 'excessive attention to the
article,' and 'particles being often mere excrescences of style,' is of
no effect except to expose the writer to ridicule. It sounds as if he
had been accustomed to lay down the law to an admiring audience of
'clever young men,' and had forgotten that there were still 'men in
Denmark' who understood Greek."--_Some Remarks on Essays and Reviews_,
prefixed to Dr. Moberly's 'Sermons on the Beatitudes.' (1861.) pp.
lxii.-iii.

[225] _Quarterly Review_, No. 217, p. 298.

[226] _Quarterly Review_, No. 217, pp. 265-6.

[227] St. Matth. ii .1, 22.

[228] St. Luke ii. 41.

[229] See Sermon VII., pp. 222-232.

[230] _Essays and Reviews_, p. 109.

[231] See Dr. Moberly, (as before,) p. lv.-lx.

[232] _Edinburgh Review_, (April, 1861,) p. 476.

[233] The Rev. H. B. Wilson says,--"If those who distinguish themselves
in Science and Literature cannot, in a scientific and literary age, be
effectually and cordially attached to the Church of their nation, they
must sooner or later be driven into a position of hostility to it."
(p. 198.) This is one of the many notes, if not of "concert and
comparison," at least of _intense sympathy_ between the Essayists and
Reviewers.

[234] _Quarterly Review_, No. 217, p. 266.

[235] See at pp. 351, 352, 357, 358, 361, 365, 367, 413, &c.

[236] _Quarterly Review_, as before, p. 282.

[237] Take a few instances:--Mr. Wilson and Mr. Jowett speak of the
Gospels as more or less accurately embodying a common _tradition_, pp.
161 and 346.--Dr. Temple and Mr. Jowett propose the heart and
conscience, as _the overruling principle_, pp. 42-5, and 410:--and
insist that the Bible is "a Spirit, not a Letter," pp. 36 and 357, 375,
425.--Dr. Temple and Dr. Williams regard the Bible as _the voice of
conscience_, pp. 45 and 78:--look for _a verifying faculty_ in the
individual, pp. 45 and 83:--dwell on the "interpolations" in Scripture,
pp. 47 and 78.--Mr. Wilson and Mr. Jowett insist on the meaning which
Scripture had _to those who first heard it_, as its true meaning, pp.
219, 223, 230, 232, and 338, 378:--on the necessity of _reconciling
Intellectual men to Scripture_, pp. 198 and 374.--Professor Powell and
Mr. Jowett are of one mind as to Miracles, pp. 109 and 349.--Dr. Temple
and Mr. Jowett delight in the same image of the Colossal Man, pp. 1-49
and 331, 387, 422.--Dr. Williams and Mr. Jowett coincide in their
estimate of the German Commentators, pp. 67 and 340.--Dr. Temple and Dr.
Williams are of one mind as to the past training of our Race, pp. 1-49,
and 51. They are generally agreed as to the untrustworthiness of
Genesis, and of the Scripture generally, the hopeless contradictions
between the Evangelists, &c., &c. They hold the same language about our
having outlived the Faith, ('Traditional Christianity,' as it is
called;) the impossibility of freedom of thought; the necessity of
providing some new Religious system; the effete nature of Creeds and
formularies of Belief; the advance in Natural Science as likely to prove
fatal to Theology, &c., &c.

[238] See St. John iii. 2: v. 36: x. 25, 37-8: xiv. 11: xv. 24: St. Luke
vii. 20-22, &c., &c.

[239] Creed of Lyons, A.D. 180; see above, p. clxxx., note.

[240] pp. cxciv.-v.

[241] See pp. 57 and 170.

[242] _Some Remarks, &c._, pp. xxiii.-xxv.



$Seven Sermons.$


SUBJECTS OF THE SERMONS.

  (_For a detailed account of the Contents of these Sermons,
    the Reader is referred to the beginning of the Volume._)

  I.--THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE RECOMMENDED; AND A METHOD OF
    STUDYING IT DESCRIBED                                            p. 1

  II.--NATURAL SCIENCE AND THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE                      p. 23

  III.--INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE.--GOSPEL DIFFICULTIES.--THE
    WORD OF GOD INFALLIBLE.--OTHER SCIENCES SUBORDINATE TO
    THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE                                             p. 53

  IV.--THE PLENARY INSPIRATION OF EVERY PART OF THE BIBLE,
    VINDICATED AND EXPLAINED.--NATURE OF INSPIRATION.--THE TEXT
    OF SCRIPTURE                                                    p. 91

  V.--INTERPRETATION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.--INSPIRED
    INTERPRETATION.--THE BIBLE IS NOT TO BE INTERPRETED LIKE ANY
    OTHER BOOK.--GOD, (NOT MAN,) THE REAL AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE      p. 139

  VI.--THE DOCTRINE OF ARBITRARY SCRIPTURAL ACCOMMODATION
    CONSIDERED                                                     p. 183

  VII.--THE MARVELS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE, MORAL AND
    PHYSICAL.--JAEL'S DEED DEFENDED.--MIRACLES VINDICATED          p. 221

       *       *       *       *       *

PRÆVENERUNT OCULI MEI AD TE DILUCULO, UT MEDITARER ELOQUIA TUA.

QUAM DULCIA FAUCIBUS MEIS ELOQUIA TUA: SUPER MEL ORI MEO.

LUCERNA PEDIBUS MEIS VERBUM TUUM, ET LUMEN SEMITIS MEIS.

ῼ ΚΑΛΩΣ ΠΟΙΕΙΤΕ ΠΡΟΣΕΧΟΝΤΕΣ, ΩΣ ΛΥΧΝῼ ΦΑΙΝΟΝΤΙ ΕΝ ΑΥΧΜΗΡῼ ΤΟΠῼ, ΕΩΣ ΟΥ
ΗΜΕΡΑ ΔΙΑΥΓΑΣῌ, ΚΑΙ ΦΩΣΦΟΡΟΣ ΑΝΑΤΕΙΛῌ ΕΝ ΤΑΙΣ ΚΑΡΔΙΑΙΣ ΥΜΩΝ.

DOMINE DEUS meus, ... sint castæ deliciæ meæ Scripturæ Tuæ. Nec fallar
in eis, nec fallam ex eis.--AUGUSTINUS, _Confessiones_, lib. xi. c. ii.
§ 3.

The Book of this Law we are neither able nor worthy to look into. That
little thereof which we darkly apprehend we admire: the rest with
religious ignorance we humbly and meekly adore.--HOOKER, _Eccl. Pol._,
B. I. ch. ii. § 5.

       *       *       *       *       *



SERMON I.[243]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE RECOMMENDED; AND A METHOD OF STUDYING IT
DESCRIBED.

       *       *       *       *       *

ST. JOHN vi. 68.

_LORD, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of Eternal Life._


It was probably in that synagogue which the faithful Centurion built at
Capernaum[244] that our SAVIOUR had been discoursing. At the end of His
discourse, it is related that "many of His Disciples went back, and
walked no more with Him." Thereupon, He asked the Twelve, "Will ye also
go away?" the very form of His inquiry (Μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς) implying the
answer which the Divine Speaker expected and desired. And to this
challenge of Love to Faith, St. Peter replied, not only on behalf of his
fellow-Apostles, but on behalf of all faithful men to the end of
time:--"LORD, to _whom_ shall we go? _Thou_ hast the words of Eternal
Life!"

You perceive that St. Peter's confession takes a peculiar form,--resting
the impossibility of unfaithfulness in the Apostles on the gracious
discourse of Him to whom they had been listening. "A hard saying," and
unpalatable, it had proved to many; but to his own taste it had seemed
"sweeter than honey and the honeycomb." So that while, to those others,
it had been an occasion of going back, and walking with CHRIST no
more,--to himself it had been a reason why he could never, as he felt,
be persuaded to forsake CHRIST. Nay, it was to himself, (and, as he
boldly assumed, to his fellow-Apostles,) a sufficient evidence that the
Speaker was none other than the SON of GOD. "And we believe, and are
sure, that Thou art the CHRIST, the SON of the living GOD!"

Here then, surely, a very solemn picture is set before us. The same
message proves, in the case of some, the savour of death unto death: in
the case of others, of life unto life. It is an image of what is still
taking place in the world. The Gospel, whether veiled in the Old
Testament, or unveiled in the New, is confessedly "a hard saying:"--to
some, their very crown and joy; to others, only an occasion of distress
and downfall. It was so, when proclaimed not by the tongue of men and of
angels, but by the lips "full of grace and truth" of the Incarnate WORD
Himself: and it is so still. The temper of mankind is still the same as
it was of old, and the instrument of man's trial is still the same.

Of the written Gospel, many of the self-same things are said in
Scripture which are said of Him by whom that Gospel was preached. Thus,
it is proclaimed to be "the power of GOD to salvation[245]." It is
described as "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart[246]." It is declared to be eternal,--a thing which "shall never
pass away[247]." "In the last day," it is prophesied that the words
which CHRIST has spoken "shall judge" men[248]. The very Name by which
St. John designates the Eternal SON, in the forefront of his
Gospel[249], is the appellation by which the Gospel is emphatically
known.--But even more remarkable are the analogies which subsist between
the written record of our LORD'S Life and Teaching, and the actual
person of our LORD. And proposing, as I now do, to say a few earnest
words to the younger men in recommendation of a more punctual,
methodical, as well as attentive study of the Bible, than, I am
persuaded, is practised by one young man in a thousand,--it may not
prove unavailing in awakening attention, if I advert, in passing, to
some of the circumstances whereby an even balance, (so to speak,) is
established between the opportunities of the men of this generation, and
of those who were blessed with the oral teaching of the Son of Man.

1. Thus, if the record has its difficulties, and its seeming
contradictions, so had _He_. It did not appear that "JESUS _of
Nazareth_" was born, (according to the prophet Micah's prediction,) at
_Bethlehem_[250]. His title perplexed even Nathanael[251].--He was
called the son of _Joseph_, even _by the Blessed Virgin[252]_. How then
could He be the SON of GOD? And how was the famous prophecy of Isaiah
fulfilled in Him[253]?--He grew up in a lowly estate. Once He is called
"the carpenter[254]." How then could He be of the Royal House of David?
And so, in many other respects, did He, in His own person, present the
self-same class of difficulties to the world's eye which His Gospel
presents to ours:--"the sixteenth of Tiberius,"--the two
genealogies,--"Cyrenius,"--"the days of Abiathar,"--"Jeremy the
prophet,"--and so on.

2. Somewhat less obvious, but not less true, is the unattractive aspect,
at first sight, of the Gospel. Verily there is, until we become
intimately acquainted with it, "no beauty that we should desire"
it.--The style, (full of interest, to those who have tried to understand
it a little,) is not, I suppose, what critics would call altogether a
good style.--The Greek is not what learned men call _pure_.--Many a
word, (brimfull of meaning to those who will give to the words of the
Gospel their best care,) reminds one, that neither did _He_ speak what,
in the capital of Jewry, was accounted a classical idiom. He employed
the accent of the despised Galilee.--The very reasoning, (until you give
it your heart's homage and best attention,) often seems to be either
inconsequential, or to contain a fallacy. Certain words of our LORD have
been even _cited_ as fallacious by a celebrated Divine whose writings we
are all familiar with[255]. Now, _His_ words were disregarded, cavilled
at, made light of, in just the same manner.

3. Most surprising of all is the analogy observable between the union of
the Divine and the human element in the Gospels,--and the strictly
parallel union, as it seems, of the two natures, the Divine and the
Human, in the person of our LORD.--As _He_ was perfect and faultless, so
do we deem _it_ infallible also, without spot or blemish of any kind. We
reject as monstrous any 'theory of Inspiration,' (as it is called,)
which imputes blunders to the work of the HOLY GHOST.--As, further, we
claim for our LORD'S recorded human actions mysterious significancy, so
do we seem warranted in looking for a mysterious purpose, a divine
meaning, in every expression of the written Word.--Lastly, although we
may, nay we must, admit such a Divine and such a human element, we must
altogether deny the possibility of separating the one from the other. We
cannot separate Scripture into human and Divine. Like the Incarnate
WORD, the Gospel is at once both human _and_ Divine, yet one and
indivisible. And the method of its inspiration is as great a difficulty
in its way, and as much beyond our ken, as the nature of the union of
the Godhead and the Manhood in the one person of CHRIST.

For whatever reason, and whether you please to accept the foregoing
remarks or not, it is a plain fact that the Gospel is now in the world,
fulfilling the same office towards mankind, which our Saviour CHRIST
Himself fulfilled, and experiencing the same treatment at the hands of
men in return. It is leavening society indeed, and remodelling the
world, even while it is practically overlooked by politicians or
experiencing evil treatment from them. It wins its way silently and
secretly, yet surely; and it works miracles here and there. Moreover, it
divides opinion; separating, as it will for ever separate, the light
from the darkness[256]. It is slighted, and overlooked, and neglected by
some; even while, by others, it is embraced with joy unspeakable. 'The
humble and meek' adore it; even while, by the proud and rebellious, it
is after a most strange fashion cavilled at, called in question, and
denied. We specify _the Gospel_, instinctively, as that part of the
Inspired Word which chiefly concerns ourselves, as Christian men; but
the entire deposit shares the same fate. I do not think I am delivering
a paradox when I say that the Bible is generally very little read. That
the amount of _study_ commonly bestowed upon it bears no proportion
whatever to its transcendent importance and paramount value, shall not
be any paradox at all; but a mere truism.

For I entreat you to consider, (trite and obvious as it may sound,)
_What_ have we, in the whole wide world, which may be put in competition
with that Book which contains GOD'S revelation of Himself to man? In its
early portions, how does it go back to the very birthday of Time, and
discourse of things which were done in the grey of that early morning!
How mysterious is the record,--so methodical, so particular, so unique;
preserving the very words which were syllabled in Paradise, and
describing transactions which no one but the HOLY GHOST is competent to
declare! Come lower down, and _where_ will you find more beautiful
narratives,--still fresh at the end of three and four thousand
years,--than those stories of Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, which wrap up
divinest teaching in all their ordinary details: where every word is
weighed in a heavenly balance, fraught with a divine purpose, and
intended for some glorious issue: where the very characters are
adumbrations of personages far greater than themselves; and where the
course of events is made to preach to us, at this distant day, of the
things which concern our peace! Is it a light thing again to know in
what terms Isaiah, and the rest of "the goodly fellowship," when they
opened their lips to speak in that remote age, foretold of the coming of
the Son of Man?... But all seems to grow pale before the Everlasting
Gospel, and the other writings of the New Testament. Surely we have
become too familiar with the providence which has preserved to us the
very words of the four Evangelists, if we can bend our thoughts in the
direction of the Gospel without a throb of joy and wonder not to be
described, at having so great a treasure placed within our easy reach.
Can it indeed be, that I may listen while the disciple whom JESUS loved
is discoursing of the miracles, and recalling the sayings of his LORD?
May I hear St. Peter himself address the early Church,--or know the
precise words of the message which St. Jude sent to the first
believers,--or be shown the Epistle which the LORD'S cousin addressed
"to the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad"? How does it happen that the
Book is not for ever in our hands which comes to us with such claims to
our undivided homage?

But, on the contrary, it has become the fashion in certain quarters, on
every imaginable pretext, to call in question the credibility of the
Bible. It seems to be the taste of the age to invent hazy difficulties
and dim objections to its statements. Inspiration, under a miserable
attempt to explain it, is openly explained away. And the theory, however
crude and preposterous, is tolerated: at least it escapes castigation.
It cannot fail but that the unlearned and thoughtless ones of this
generation will be growing up in a notion that these are open questions
after all, and that "Truth" is but a name,--not a thing worth
contending, aye _dying_ for, if need be! The reason is but too obvious.
It must be, partly, because we do not in reality prize the deposit
nearly so much as we suppose. Partly, because of the indifferentism
which is everywhere so prevalent. Partly too because, notwithstanding
our intellectual activity, we are not a really learned body. And partly,
it must be confessed, the reason is, because Theology has become so
nearly a prostrate study with us, and because men really able to do
battle for the Truth are somewhat hard to find. Nor is there any
reasonable prospect of improvement either; for those who go forth from
this place into the Ministry, go with such slender preparation, that it
would be truer to say that they go with none at all.

Now, it would be a mere waste of time, to inveigh for half an hour
against the indifferentism, or the spurious liberality, of the age: and
it would be a most unbecoming proceeding, (not to say a highly
distasteful one,) from this place to be suggesting remedies for an evil
which already lies very near the heart of every serious man among us;
and which, if discussed at all, must be discussed elsewhere. To say the
truth, while the neglect of Theology, and the low ebb of Theological
attainments in our Clergy, is generally recognized, the remedy for the
evil is by no means so clear. From this subject, then, I pass at once:
and I shall content myself with the far humbler task, of urging upon the
younger men present,--those especially who are destined for the
Ministry,--one act of preparation, one duty, about which, at all events,
there cannot be any difference of opinion: I mean the duty of applying
themselves, _now_, to the patient study of the Bible.

The thing is soon said; but the hint requires expanding a little, in
order that it may become of any practical use.--By the "study of the
Bible," I do not mean a chapter occasionally read with care: nor even a
chapter regularly conned over at night; when a convivial meeting has
blunted the edge of observation, or severe study has exhausted the
powers of the brain. The _devotional_ use of a portion of Holy
Scripture is quite a distinct affair. Still less would the practice
satisfy me of following the lessons in the College Chapel: and this for
reasons so obvious that I will not stop to point them out. Nor even is
the reading of the Bible in College Lecture, the thing I mean; for
reasons also which any acute person will readily ascertain for himself.
None of these methods of acquainting yourselves with the contents of the
Bible come up to the thing I contemplate, although each is good in its
way; and of course I am not speaking in disparagement of any.

No. The thing I would so strenuously urge upon you, is,--that, during
your undergraduate period, you should read the whole Bible consecutively
through, from one end to the other, _by_ yourself and _for_ yourself,
with consummate method, care, and attention. The fundamental conditions
of such a study of the Bible, in order to make it of any real use, are
these:--

1. First, that you should deliberately apportion to this solemn duty the
best and freshest and quietest half-hour in the whole day; and then,
that you should determine, let what will go undone, never to abridge
_that_ half-hour. You may sometimes be enabled to afford a little _more_
time to the chapter: but you will find it quite fatal ever to devote a
shorter period to it. And half an hour, if you employ it in right good
earnest, at present, must be thought enough.

2. Next, (except on Sundays and in Vacation, when you may safely double
your daily task and your daily time,) be persuaded to read each day
exactly one chapter. On no account attempt to go reading on; but rather
spend the moments which remain over, (they _cannot_ be many!) in
reviewing that day's portion; or referring to some of the places
indicated in the margin; or glancing over yesterday's chapter.

The effect of building up your Bible knowledge in this manner, bit by
bit, is what you would not anticipate. The whole acquires a solidity and
compactness not to be attained by any other method. You will find at the
end of many days, not only that the structure has attained to symmetry
and beauty,--but that the disposition of its several parts, in some
respects, has become intelligible also: while, (what is not of least
importance,) the foundation on which all the superstructure rests,
proves wondrous secure and strong.

3. Then, while you read,--safe from the risk of interruption, (as I
began by supposing,) and with every faculty intent on your task,--try,
as much as possible, to go over the words as if they were new to you;
and watch them, one by one, so that nothing may by any possibility
escape your notice. Do not slumber over a single word. Nothing can be
unimportant when it is the HOLY GHOST who speaketh. It is an excellent
practice to mark the expressions which strike you; for it is a method of
preserving the memory of what is sure else soon to pass away.

4. And next, be persuaded to read without extraneous helps of any kind;
except, of course, such help as a map, or the margin of your Bible,
supplies. Pray avoid Commentaries and notes. First, you cannot afford
time for them: and secondly, if you could, they would be as likely to
mislead you as not. But the real reason why you are so strenuously
advised to avoid them, is, because they will do more to nullify your
reading, than anything which could be imagined. Your object is to
obtain an insight into Holy Scripture, by acquiring the habit of reading
it with intelligence and care: _not_ to be saved trouble, and to be
shown what _other persons_ have thought about it.

5. But then, though you are entreated not to have recourse to the notes
of others, you are as strongly advised to make brief memoranda of your
own: and the briefer the better. Construct _your own_ table of the
Patriarchs,--_your own_ analysis of the Law,--_your own_ descent of the
Kings,--_your own_ enumeration of the Miracles. A pedigree full of
faults, made by yourself, will do you more good than the most accurate
table drawn up by another: but if you are at all attentive and clever,
_it will not be_ full of faults.--_You_ will perhaps make the parables
56 instead of 30: you will have gained 26 by your honest industry. Nay,
keep a record of your difficulties, if you please; or of anything which
strikes you, and which you would be sorry to forget. But, as a rule, it
is well to write little, and to give your time and thought to the record
before you.

6. Above all, is it indispensable that your reading of the Bible should
be strictly consecutive; and on no account may any one pretend to begin
such a study of that book as I am here recommending, except at _the
first Chapter of Genesis_. It is a great mistake, (though one of the
commonest of all,) for a man to imagine that he knows the beginning of
the Bible pretty well. I say it advisedly, that it would be easy to
write down twelve interesting questions on that first chapter, of which
none of the younger men present would be able to answer three,--and yet,
they should all be questions of such a sort that a labouring man's child
with an open Bible would be able infallibly to answer them every one.

7. It will follow from what has been offered, that you are invited to
read every book in the Bible in the order in which it actually
stands,--never, of course, skipping a chapter; much less a Book. In
every mere catalogue of names, be resolved to find edification. Feel
persuaded that details, seemingly the driest, are full of GOD. Remember
that the difference between every syllable of Scripture and all other
books in the world is, not a difference of _degree_, but of _kind_. All
books but one, are _human_: that one book is _Divine_!

Now, you will perceive that the kind of study of the Bible here
recommended, is somewhat different from what is commonly pursued. I
contemplate the continued exercise of a most curious and prying, as well
as a most vigilant and observing eye. _No_ difficulty is to be
neglected; _no_ peculiarity of expression is to be disregarded; _no_
minute detail is to be overlooked. The hint let fall in an earlier
chapter is to be compared with a hint let fall in the later place. Do
they tally or not? and what follows? The chronological details
spontaneously evolved by the narrative, are to be unerringly discovered
by the student _for himself_. The course of every journey is to be
attentively noted. Things omitted are to be spied out as carefully as
things set down; and whatever can possibly be gathered in the way of
necessary inference, is to be industriously ascertained. The imagination
is not to slumber either, because no pains are taken by the sacred
writer to move the feelings or melt the heart.

How _soon_ will any one who takes the trouble to read the Bible after
this fashion, be struck with a hundred things which he never knew
before,--indeed, which are not commonly known! How will he be for ever
eliciting unsuspected facts,--detecting undreamed of coincidences, but
which are as important as they are true,--accumulating materials of
value quite inestimable for future study in Divine things! However
unpromising a certain collection of references may be, he is careful to
extend it,--convinced, like a wise householder, that there will come an
use for it after many days. His whole aim is to _master thoroughly_ the
record which he has undertaken to study.

Let me not be misunderstood if it is added that the Bible should be
read,--I do not say _in the same manner_,--that is, in the same temper
and spirit,--but at least _with the same attention_, as is bestowed upon
a merely human work. In truth, it should be read with much more
attention. But _that_ diligence which a student commonly bestows on a
difficult moral treatise, or an obscure drama, or a perplexed
history,--analyzing it, comparing passage with passage, and learning a
great deal of it by heart,--I am quite at a loss to understand why a
student of the Bible should be a stranger to.--"I do much condemn,"
(says Lord Bacon), "I do much condemn that Interpretation of the
Scripture which is only after the manner as men use to interpret a
profane book." So do I. Scripture is to be approached and handled in
quite a different spirit from a common history. The mind, the heart
rather, must bow down before its revelations, in the most suppliant
fashion imaginable. The book should ever be approached with
prayer:--"LORD, open Thou mine eyes that I may see the wondrous things
of Thy Law!" The very printed pages should be handled with reverence,
in consideration of the message they contain. But what I am saying is,
that none of the methods which diligence and zeal have ever invented to
secure a complete mastery of the contents of any merely _human_
performance, may be overlooked by a student of _the Bible_.

To what has gone before I will add one caution, and will trouble you
with one only. It would be easy to multiply cautions: but I am talking
to highly intelligent men; and there is only one rock which I am really
fearful of your running against.

It was the advice of a great and good man, (to his clergy, I suspect,)
that they should read the Bible _with a special object_: and an
excellent recent writer has repeated the same advice; namely that men
should "read with a view to some particular inquiry, with purpose to
clear up some peculiar question of interest, which," (says he,) "you may
create for yourselves[257]." I entreat _you_ to do nothing of the kind.
Whatever advantages may result to an advanced student from adopting this
practice, to _you_ it _must_ be fraught with unmingled evil. You will be
tempted to overrate the importance of everything you discover which
suits your present purpose: you will disregard all that looks in a
different direction: you will be disappointed if you meet with nothing
_ad rem_: you will get a habit of slurring over many chapters, many
whole books of the Bible. A very little reflection will convince you
that it must be as I say. _Who_, for example, could be expected to find
delight and edification in the calendar of the Deluge, who had
determined to read Genesis with a view to discovering what knowledge
existed in the patriarchal age of a future life? No. Your wisdom will
be to divest your minds, as much as possible, of _any_ preconceived
notion as to what the Bible contains, or was intended to teach you. You
should wish to find there nothing so much as the authentic evidence of
_what_ Divine Wisdom hath seen fit to communicate to man. Read it
therefore, if you are wise, with unaffected curiosity: settling down
upon every flower, in order to find out, if you can, _where_ the honey
_is_: clinging to it rather, _until you have found_ the honey. Say to
yourself,--"It cannot be that all these details of months and days
should be given in vain[258]. I _must_ find out the reason of it." And,
at last, you will find,--what you will find.--"Very strange," (you will
learn to say to yourself,) "that the history of nearly 1600 years should
be curdled into one short chapter[259]; and yet that three verses of the
Bible should be devoted to the history of a man's losing his way in a
field, and then finding it again[260]!" The subject may be worth
thinking about. You are perhaps naturally disposed to take what you are
pleased to call "a common sense view" of the meaning of Holy Scripture;
and to interpret it after a very dry unlovely fashion of your own: to
evacuate its deeper sayings, and to doubt the mysterious significancy of
its historical details. You will speedily perceive, however, that the
Apostles and Evangelists of CHRIST,--as many as were moved by the HOLY
SPIRIT of GOD, and spoke not their own words but _His_,--that all these
are against you: and the effect of this discovery on an honest and good
heart, reading not in order to be confirmed in some preconceived
opinion, but with a sincere desire of enlightenment in Divine
things,--may be anticipated. Bishop Horsley relates that by a yet
simpler process he became disabused of a favourite fancy with which he
set out,--namely, that prophecy must of necessity carry a single
meaning[261].--The attitude of mind which I so strongly recommend you to
assume, (and it depends on an act of the Will, whether you assume it or
not,) is very exactly represented by the cry of the child
Samuel,--"Speak LORD, for Thy servant heareth!"

It seems right, in the fewest words, to state what we _do_,--and what we
do _not_,--expect to result from such a study of the Bible as this; in
other words, to assign the office of unassisted Biblical study. I would
not willingly have my meaning mistaken _here_.

It is not implied then, for a moment, that a man is either at liberty,
or able, to gather his own Religion for himself out of the Bible. The
very thought were monstrous. But it is a widely different thing for one
of yourselves to read his Bible patiently, and humbly, and laboriously,
through,--without prejudice or theory,--unmolested by critical notes,
undistracted by human comments, uninfluenced by party views:--all this,
I say, is a widely different thing from a man's inventing his own system
of Divinity. Members of the Catholic Church,--born in a Christian
country,--educated amid the choicest influences for good,--_you_ are by
no means so left to yourselves. THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER is your
sufficient safeguard. The framework of the Faith,--the conditions under
which you may lawfully speculate about Divine mysteries,--are all
prescribed for you: and within those limits you cannot well go wrong.

On the other hand, the outlines of _Moral Theology_, (as it may be
called), you are fully competent to detect for yourselves. GOD'S
strictness in punishing sin, as in the case of Moses[262];--the efficacy
of repentance, as in the case of Ahab[263];--the sure answer to prayer,
(to _forgotten_ prayer, it may be!) as in the case of
Zacharias[264];--the seemingly roundabout methods of GOD'S providence,
(as in the case of Abraham,) yet conducting inevitably to a blessed
issue at the last;--the rewards of obedience[265];--the faithfulness of
the Divine promises;--the boundless wealth of the Divine contrivance,
which, on man's repentance, is able to convert even a curse into a
blessing, as in the case of Levi[266];--the peace and joy surely in
reserve for those who fear GOD, as in the case of Joseph;--the extent to
which things seemingly trivial are noticed by the Ancient of Days, as
every page of the Bible shows;--these, and a hundred points like these,
not only a man can gather for himself out of the Book of God's Law, but
no one else can do the work for him. He _must_ discover all such matters
for himself.

And need I point out, for a minute, the immense advantage with which a
mind so stored with Divine knowledge will approach the Ministry; and
finally take in hand the actual oversight of the flock? It is really not
to be expressed. The Bishop's examination for Orders will become nothing
but an agreeable exercise, instead of an object of dread. You are quite
sure of a few approving words in _that_ quarter. But, (what is a
thousand times more important,) you yourself feel safe and strong. You
begin to read some treatise on Divinity; and you find yourself in some
degree competent to test the writer's statements, to endorse or to
suspect his conclusions, because you are familiar with the Rule of Faith
which he himself employed. It becomes your turn at last to instruct
others,--from the pulpit for example; and instead of timid truisms, and
vague generalities, you are able to draw a bold clear outline round
almost any department of Christian doctrine. You can explain with
authority.--You are not afraid to catechize before the congregation: for
although your Theological attainments are but slender after all, yet,
you know your Bible well; and even if an absurdly wrong answer is given
you, you know how to single out from the hank the golden thread of
Truth, and to display it before the eyes of men and Angels. And let me
tell you, by way of ending the subject, we should hear less about dull
sermons, and inattentive congregations, and badly filled churches,--as
well as about the astounding ignorance of many among the upper classes,
in Divine things,--if our younger Clergy knew the Bible a great deal
better than they do.--Aye, and we should not have so many unsound
remarks about Holy Scripture either,--so many mistaken views of
doctrine,--so many crude remarks about Inspiration,--made _by persons
who ought to know better_.

You will perceive that I am saying all this, (except the last few
words,) _at_ you, (the younger men present;) because in _you_ I see many
of the future Clergy of England. And I say it, because, (for the last
time,) I do entreat you, one and all, to follow the advice I have been
giving you; and to set about such a careful study of the Bible, _at
once_. Do not put it off for a single day. Begin it tomorrow morning.
You will then have mastered Genesis this term, finishing the last
chapter on Sunday the 10th of December; and on Monday, the 11th, you
will have to read the first chapter of Exodus. I am confident that you
will remember _this_ day and hour with gratitude to the end of your
lives, if you will but make the experiment and persevere.

And just one word to those who aspire, (and all _should_ aspire,) to
University honours. You will not find what I have been recommending any
hindrance to you at all. But even supposing you _do_, now and then, find
the inexorable daily half-hour stand in the way of something
else,--shall not the very thought of Him whose Voice you have
deliberately resolved to hear daily at that fixed time, make you full
amends? Shall you resolve to pluck so freely of the Tree of Knowledge,
and yet begrudge the approach once a day to the _Tree of Life_, which
grows in the midst of the Paradise of GOD? Shall ample time be found for
works of fiction,--for the Review, and the Magazine, and the
newspaper,--yet half an hour a day be deemed too much to be given to the
Word of GOD? What? room for everything and everybody; yet still "no room
in the Inn" for _CHRIST_!... I have, (I speak honestly,) I have far too
high an opinion of your instincts for good, to think it possible. You
have plenty of faults,--(_God_ knoweth!),--but I am very much deceived
indeed if there be not a spirit stirring among the young men of this
place, overflowing with promise; a real inclination, (obscured at times,
but still very energetic,) for whatever things are pure, and lovely, and
of good report.

Of course, it is implied by what goes before, that you will read _no_
work _of Divinity_ just at present. Be counselled, on no account, to
read any. Above all, shun the partial, ill-digested pamphlet,--and the
one-sided review,--and the controversial letter,--and the Essay which
seems to have been written in order to prove nothing. Be content, for
the next three years, to study no book of Divinity but the Bible.

And the study of _that_ Book, I repeat, you will find no hindrance, no
impediment, no burthen to you at all. On the contrary. It will render
you a very singular service,--let your classical and logical studies be
as severe as they will; (and they cannot well be too severe, too
engrossing,--for this is your golden opportunity which never will, never
_can_, come back again!) The undersong of "Siloa's brook that flows,
fast by the oracle of GOD," will many a time soothe and refresh your
else dry and weary spirit. What was begun as a task will soon come to be
regarded as a privilege. _That_ jealously-guarded half-hour will be
found to be the one green spot in the whole day,--like Gideon's fleece,
fresh with the dew of the early morning, when it is "dry upon all the
earth beside." Your secret study of that Book of Books, I say, will
render you a very singular service. The contrast between the Divine and
Human method will strike you with ever-recurring power. Unlike every
other History, the Bible removes the veil, and discovers the causes of
things,--including the First Great Cause of all, who dwelleth in Light
unapproachable, but who yet humbleth Himself to behold, and to controul,
and to overrule for good, the things which are done in Heaven and on
Earth. And thus, it is not too much to say that the Bible, to one who
reads its pages aright, is a certain clue to every other History,--as
well as a perpetual commentary on every other Book. It informs the
judgment, and cleanses the eye, throughout the whole department of
Morals: and as for History, what is it all, but the evidence of GOD in
the world,--"traces of _His_ iron rod, or of _His_ Shepherd's
staff[267]?"

Profoundly sensible am I, that these have been very unintellectual, and
somewhat common-place remarks: but I would rather, a hundred times, be
of use to the younger men present; I would rather, a hundred times,
succeed in persuading one of _them_, to adopt that method of reading the
Bible which I have been recommending;--than try to say something which
might be thought fine and clever.... Let me only, in conclusion,
faithfully remind them, that the _true_ office of the study of Divine
things is not, by any means, that which, for obvious reasons, I have
been rather dwelling and enlarging upon. It is _not_ merely to inform
the understanding, that Holy Scripture is to be read with such
consummate attention, and studied with such exceeding care. It is _not_
for the illustration of History, or in order that it may be made a test
of the value of other systems of Morals. _Not_, by any means, in order
to facilitate admission into Holy Orders, (for which only some of you
are destined;)--or to render a man's pulpit-addresses attractive and
agreeable;--or even to enable a parish priest to teach with confidence
and authority;--is he entreated now to "prevent the night watches," if
need be, that he may be occupied (like one of old time[268],) with GOD'S
Word. O no! It is,--in order that his inner life may be made
conformable to that outer Law[269]: that his aims may be ennobled, and
his motives purified, and his earthly hopes made consistent with the
winning of an imperishable crown! It is in order that when he wavers
between Right and Wrong, the unutterable Canon of GOD'S _Law_ may
suggest itself to him as a constraining motive. Its aim, and purpose,
and real function, is, that the fiery hour of temptation may find the
Christian soldier armed with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word
of GOD[270]:"--that the dark season of Adversity may find his soul
anchored on the Rock of Ages,--which alone can prove his soul's
sufficient strength and stay.... Of a truth, as Life goes on, Men will
find the blessedness of their Hope; if they have not found it out
already. Under every form of trial,--and under every strange
vicissitude;--in sickness,--and in perplexity,--and in bereavement,--and
in the hour of death;--"LORD,--to _whom_ shall we go? Thou,--_Thou_ hast
the words of Eternal Life!"

FOOTNOTES:

[243] Preached in Christ-Church Cathedral, Oct. 21st, 1860.

[244] τὴν συναγωγήν,--from which it would appear that there was but
_one_. See Bishop Middleton on St. Luke vii. 5.

[245] Rom. i. 16.

[246] Heb. iv. 12.

[247] St. Matth. xxiv. 35, &c.

[248] St. John xii. 48.

[249] St. John i. 1, &c.

[250] Ibid. vii. 40-43.

[251] Ibid. i. 45, 46.

[252] St. Luke ii. 48.

[253] Is. vii. 14.

[254] St. Mark vi. 3.

[255] Our Lord's words in St. John viii. 47 are so cited by Archbishop
Whately in the Appendix of his Logic.--(App. II. No. 12, p. 418.)

[256] Consider all such places as St. John xi. 45, 46.

[257] Blunt's _Duties of a Parish Priest_,--p. 81.

[258] Gen. vii. 4 to viii. 14.

[259] Ibid. v.

[260] Ibid. xxxvii. 15, 16, 17.

[261] See Appendix A.

[262] Deut. iii. 25, 26.

[263] 1 Kings xxi. 27-29.

[264] St. Luke i. 13.

[265] Jerem. xxxv. 18, 19.

[266] Comp. Gen. xlix. 5-7, with Exod. xxxii. 26-28, (alluded to in
Deut. xxxiii. 9,) and finally Numb. iii. 9 and 45, and Josh. xxi. 3-8.

[267] The Rev. C. Marriott's _Sermons_,--vol. I. p. 441.

[268] Ps. cxix. 148.

[269] Not so _Essays and Reviews_, pp. 36 and 45.

[270] Eph. vi. 17.



SERMON II.[271]

       *       *       *       *       *

NATURAL SCIENCE AND THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE.

       *       *       *       *       *

HEBREWS xi. 3.

_Through Faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of
GOD._

St. Paul, in a famous and familiar chapter of his Epistle to the
Hebrews, having declared "what Faith is," proceeds, (as the heading of
the chapter expresses it), to note "the worthy fruits thereof in the
Fathers of old time." The Book of Genesis was obviously in his hands, or
in his heart, while he wrote: for he appeals to the transactions there
recorded, in the very order, and often in the very words, of Moses. The
HOLY GHOST, I say, directs our attention to what is contained in the
ivth,--vth,--vith,--xiith,--xviith,--xxiind,--xxviith,--xlviiith,--and
lth chapters of Genesis. But He begins with a yet earlier chapter. _He
begins with the first._ Abel,--Enoch,--Noah,--Abraham,--Sarah,--Isaac,
--Jacob,--Joseph;--these stand forward as samples of God's faithful
ones. But with them, the HOLY GHOST proposes to associate _us_.
Moreover, He gives _us_ the place of honour. Before mentioning one of
_their_ acts of Faith, He mentions one of _ours_. We come first,--then
they. And the particular field in which _we_ shine out so
conspicuously,--the special province which is assigned to _us_,--that
portion of the inspired Narrative wherein _you and I_ are supposed to
shew a degree of undoubting faith which entitles us to rank with those
"Fathers of old time,"--is found to be _the first chapter of the Book of
Genesis_. "Through Faith _we_ understand that the worlds were framed by
the Word of God." An honourable place, and an honourable function truly!
I would to GOD that it might be as gratifying to every one of the
congregation, as it is to the preacher, to discover that _this_ is the
special stand-point which has been reserved for him and for them.

Since, however, it is impossible to forget that we have sometimes seen
heads, which are supposed to be very much indeed in advance of the age,
shaken ominously at the very chapter which the text bequeaths and
commends to the special acceptance of you and me,--I propose that, in
the very briefest manner, we now review the contents of that chapter; in
order that we may discover what is the special absurdity, or
impossibility, or improbability, or by whatever other name the thing is
to be called,--which makes it quite out of the question that you or I
should undertake the act of Faith here assigned us.

I read then, that "In the beginning, GOD created the Heaven and the
Earth:"--by which I understand, that, at some remote period,--which may
or may not baffle human Arithmetic[272],--it was the pleasure of GOD
the FATHER, GOD the SON, GOD the HOLY GHOST,--_three_ Persons, coeternal
and coequal,--_one_ GOD,--out of nothing, to create the entire Universe.
"All things that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and
invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or
powers: all things were created by Him[273];" and they were created out
of nothing. The word in the original does not indeed necessarily imply
as much: but since there is _no_ word in Hebrew, (any more than there is
in Greek, Latin, or English,) peculiarly expressive of the notion of
creating out of nothing, it need not excite our surprise that Moses does
not employ such a word to describe what God did "in the
beginning."--_Then_ it was, in the grey of that far distant morning I
mean, that all those glittering orbs which sow the vault of Heaven with
brightness and with beauty, flashed into sudden being. "Thou, even Thou,
art LORD alone: Thou hast made Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens, _with all
their host[274]_." Suns, the centres of systems, many of them so distant
from this globe of ours, that sun and system scarce shew so bright as a
single lesser star: suns, I say, with their marvellous equipage of
attendant bodies,--_our_ sun among the rest, with all those wandering
fires which speed their unwearied courses round it: suns, and planets
with their moons, bathed once and for ever in the fountain of that Light
which GOD inhabited from all Eternity, then marshalled themselves in
mysterious order, according to "the counsel of His will[275]:" yea, and
with their furniture, unimagined and unimaginable, went careering
through the untrodden realms of space, each on its several errand of
glory, because of obedience to its Maker's sovereign Law[276]. "By the
Word of the LORD," (as it is written,) "were the Heavens made; and all
the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth[277]!"

Now, it is reserved to the geologist,--(Nature's High-priest!)--to guess
at the condition of this Earth of ours throughout all the long period of
unchronicled ages which immediately succeeded the birthday of Time. It
is for _him_ to guess at the successive changes which this globe of ours
underwent; and the progressive cycles of Creation of which it was the
theatre; and the many strange races of creatures which, one after
another, moved upon its surface,--walking the dry, or inhabiting the
moist. _He_ shall guess; and _I_ will sit at his feet and listen, with
unfeigned gratitude, wonder, and delight, while he reports to me his
guesses: (for the really great man is eager to assure me that they are
no more.)--But when his tale of perplexity is ended, and the last 6,000
years of this world's History have to be discussed, the geologist's
function is at an end. I bid him, in GOD'S Name, be silent; for now it
is GOD that speaketh. If any question be moved as to how _that actual
system of things to which Man belongs_, began,--I bid him come down, and
take the learner's place; for now _I_ mean to assume his vacant chair.
_This_ time, there shall at least be no guess-work. GOD is now the
Speaker: and what GOD revealeth unto _me_, _that_ I promise faithfully
to report to _him_.

There was a time, then,--and it was certainly less than 6,000 years
ago,--when "the Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon
the face of the deep." What catastrophe it was which had caused that the
fountains of the abyss should be broken up, and the solid Earth
submerged, I am not concerned to explain:--nor how it had come to pass
that from a world of seas and continents, it had become a watery ball,
wrapped about with superincumbent vapour:--nor how the blessed sunlight
had suffered dire eclipse;--so that the Earth revolved in a horror of
great darkness. _My faith_ however is not troubled,--nor even
perplexed,--by the strangeness of these things. Shall I think it a mere
matter of course that one little flaw in a pipe shall, in a second of
time, transform the orderly well-compacted seats of a goodly Church to
one unsightly mass of shapeless and disordered ruin[278]; and shall I
pretend to stand aghast at the strangeness of a similar overthrow of
this Earth's furniture at the mere fiat of the Most High?... Behold, "He
measureth the waters in the hollow of His Hand, and weigheth the
mountains in scales[279]." What if the Creator of the earth and the sea
shall bid them of a sudden change places? Think you that they would
hesitate to obey Him? Or what if He "calleth for the waters of the Sea,
and _poureth them out upon the face of the Earth_[280]?"--Then further,
if I believe, (as I do believe,) that when the Jews crucified the LORD
of Glory "there was darkness over all the land" from the sixth hour unto
the ninth[281];--nay, that when "Moses stretched forth his hand toward
Heaven, there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt," even
darkness which might be felt, for three whole days[282]:--more than
_that_; if I believe, (as I _do_ believe,) the solemn prediction of my
LORD, that at the consummation of all things, "The Sun shall be
darkened, and the Moon shall not give her light, and the Stars shall
fall from Heaven[283]:"--shall it move me to incredulity, if God tells
me, that six thousand years ago it was His Divine pleasure that the same
phenomenon should prevail for a season? Surely,--(I say to
myself,)--surely this is He "which removeth the mountains, and they know
not: which shaketh the Earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof
tremble. _Which commandeth the Sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up
the Stars[284]!_"

1. But it was now GOD'S pleasure to bring Beauty out of Chaos, and to
establish a fresh order of things upon the surface of our Earth. And, as
the first step thereto, "the SPIRIT of GOD moved upon the face of the
waters." The Hebrew phrase implies no less than the tremulous brooding
as of a bird,--causing the dreary waste to heave and swell with coming
life. "And GOD said, Let there be Light. And there was Light." "He spake
and it was done[285]." From Himself, who is "the true Light," (not from
the Sun, which,--like the rest of the orbs of Heaven,--is but a lamp of
His kindling);--from Himself, I say, a ray of Light went forth; and
_that_ is why He was pleased to praise it. Look through the chapter, and
you will find that it is the only one of His creatures of which it is
specially said that "GOD saw that it was good[286]." ... Thus, one
hemisphere was illumined,--whereby "GOD divided the light from the
darkness;" and when the Earth had completed a single revolution, there
had been a Day and there had been a Night,--so named by the Word of
GOD: "and the evening and the morning were the first Day[287]." ... Do
you see any impossibility so far? I, certainly, see none. It does not
seem to me absurd that "the Light of the world[288]," "dwelling in the
light which no man can approach unto[289]," should cause "the light to
shine out of darkness[290]." We shall perhaps come upon the absurdity by
and by. Let us hasten forward.

2. "And GOD said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,
and let it divide the waters from the waters." The Hebrew word (_an
expansion_), and the context, shew plainly enough what is meant. The
atmosphere was now created,--whereupon the watery particles either
subsided into sea, or rose aloft in the form of clouds. "And the evening
and the morning were the second Day,"--which is the only day of which it
is not said that GOD saw that it was good.

3. "And GOD said, Let the waters under the Heaven be gathered together
unto one place, and let the dry land appear." Then it was that these
continents were upheaved,--other than those which had been continents
before; and the sea sank into the cavities which had been ordained for
its reception. _Then_, "GOD saw that it was good." The sentence of
approval which had been withheld from the work of yesterday, because
that work, (namely, of dividing the waters from the waters,) was
incomplete,--is freely bestowed to-day. And it may have been to teach us
that no incomplete work is "good," in GOD'S sight.--Next, the Creator
called into being every extant form of vegetable life. So that, instead
of a world of waters, which was all that was to be seen yesterday,--not
only cliffs, and mountains, and bays,--but green hills, and fertile
valleys, and grassy meadows had come to view,--with lakes, and rivers,
and fountains, and falls of water. Again it is written, concerning
Earth's green furniture, "GOD saw that it was good." "And the evening
and the morning were the third Day."

4. "And GOD said, Let there be Lights in the firmament of the Heaven to
divide the day from the night: and let them be for signs, and for
seasons, and for days, and for years." And so it was. Sun, moon, and
stars, came to view[291]; and this globe of ours, no longer illumined,
as, for three days, it had been, rejoiced in the sun's genial light by
day,--and by night in the splendours of the paler planet. And thus was
also gained an easy measure for marking time,--the succession of months
and years, as well as of days. "And GOD saw that it was good." "And the
evening and the morning were the fourth Day."

5. "And GOD said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
creature that hath life." Thus the inhabitants of the sea and of the air
were called into existence; and it was from the sea that GOD seems to
have commanded that they should derive their being. He saw that it was
good, and He blessed the fish and the winged fowl; "and the evening and
the morning were the fifth Day."

6. It remained only to provide for the dry land its occupants; and the
Earth was accordingly commanded to bring forth the living creature after
his kind,--beast and cattle and creeping thing. Unlike that first
Creation which was of all things out of nothing, the work of the six
days was a creation of new things out of old.--To the Creation of Man,
His crowning work, GOD is declared to have come with deliberation; as
well as to have announced His purpose with significant solemnity of
allusion. "Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness; and let
them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air, and over the cattle." "And the LORD GOD formed Man of the dust of
the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and Man
became a living soul."--Transferred to the Garden of GOD'S planting in
Eden, to dress it and to keep it, (for inactivity is no part of
bliss!)--and brought into solemn covenant with GOD,--to Adam, GOD brings
the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, of set purpose that
GOD may "see _what he will call them_:" a wondrous tribute, truly, to
the perfection of understanding in which Man had been created!... "And
the LORD GOD caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He
took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the
rib which the LORD GOD had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought
her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh
of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of
man. Therefore shall a Man leave his Father and his Mother, and shall
cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh." ... Man's creation
was the crowning wonder, to which all else had, in a manner, tended....
Truly when we think of him,--newly made in GOD'S image,--surveying this
world, yet fresh with the dew of its birth, and beautiful as it came
from the Hands of its Maker,--it seems scarcely the language of poetry
that then "the morning stars sang together and all the sons of GOD
shouted for joy[292]."

I have preferred thus to complete the history of Man's Creation; which
presents us with the primal institution of all,--that, namely, of
Marriage.--"On the seventh Day, GOD rested from all His work which He
had made; and blessed the seventh Day, and sanctified it; because that
in it He had rested from all His work."--This then is the other great
primæval institution; more ancient than the Fall,--the Law of the
Sabbath;--which in the sacred record is brought into such august
prominence. And never do we ponder over that record, without
apprehension at what may be the possible results of relaxing the
stringency of enactments which would seem to be, to our nature, as the
very twin pillars of the Temple,--its establishment and its
strength[293].

Now, on a review of all this wondrous History, I profess myself at a
loss to see what special note of impracticability it presents that I
should hesitate to embrace it, in the plain natural sense of the words,
with both the arms of my heart. That it is not such an account of the
manner of the Creation as you or I should have ourselves invented, or
anticipated, or on questionable testimony have felt disposed to
accept,--is very little to the purpose. Apart from Revelation, we could
really have known nothing at all about the works of the Days of the
first Great Week. Ejaculations therefore concerning the strangeness of
the record, and cavils at the phraseology in which it is propounded, are
simply irrelevant.

There exists however a vague suspicion after all that the beginning of
Genesis is a vision, or an allegory, or a parable,--or anything you
please, except true History. It is hard to imagine _why_. If there be a
book in the whole Bible which purports to be a plain historical
narrative of actual events, _that_ book is the book of Genesis. In
nine-tenths of its details, it is as _human_, and as matter of fact, as
any book of Biography or History that ever was penned. _Why_ the first
page of it is to be torn out, treated as a myth or an allegory, and in
short explained away,--I am utterly at a loss to discover. There is no
difference in the style. Long since has the theory that Genesis is
composed of distinguishable fragments, been exploded[294]. There is no
pretence for calling this first chapter poetry, and treating it by a
distinct set of canons. It is a pure _Revelation_, I admit: but I have
yet to learn why the revelation of things intelligible, where the method
of speech is not such as to challenge a figurative interpretation, is
not to be taken literally: unless indeed it has been discovered that a
narrative must of necessity be fabulous if the transactions referred to
are unusually remote and extraordinary. The events recorded are unique
in their character,--true. But this happens from the very necessity of
the case. The creation of a world, to the inhabitants of that world is
an unique event.

But we are assured that some of the statements in this first chapter of
Genesis are palpably untrue;--as when it is said that the Sun, Moon, and
Stars were created on the fourth Day,--which, it is urged, is a physical
impossibility: for what forces else sustained, and kept this world a
sphere? The phenomena of Geology again prove to demonstration, it is
said, that the structure of the earth is infinitely more ancient than
the Mosaic record states: and also that there must have been Light, and
sunshine too, at that remote epoch,--which fostered each various form of
animal and vegetable life.--Further, we are assured that it is
unphilosophical to speak of the creation of Light before the creation of
the Sun.--Then, the simplicity of the language is objected to:--"the
greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the
night:"--"dividing the light from the darkness:"--"waters above the
firmament:" and so forth. The very ascription of speech to GOD, gives
offence.--Again, some raw conceit of the advanced state of the human
intellect rejects with scorn the notion of Adam oracularly bestowing
names on GOD'S creatures. Finally, the creation of Eve, moulded by GOD
from the side of the Protoplast, is declared to savour so plainly of the
mythical, allegorical, or figurative; that the narrative must be allowed
to be altogether unworthy of such wits as ours.

But we have seen that _the creation_ of Sun, Moon, and Stars is _not_
assigned to the fourth day--but to "_the beginning_"--The antiquity of
this Earth we affirm to be a circumstance left wholly untouched by the
Mosaic record: or, if touched, it is rather confirmed; for, before
beginning to describe the work of the first Day, Moses describes the
state of "the Earth" by two Hebrew words of most rare occurrence[295],
which denote that it had become waste and empty: while "the deep" is
spoken of as being already in existence.--There is nothing at all
unphilosophical in speaking of Light as existing apart from the Sun.
Rather would it be unphilosophical to speak of the Sun as the source and
centre of Light.--I see nothing more childish again in the mention of
"the greater and the lesser light," than in the talk of "sun-rise" and
"sun-set,"--which is to this hour the language of the Observatory.--As
for attributing speech to GOD, I am content to remind you of Hooker's
explanation of the design of Moses therein, throughout the present
Chapter. "Was this only his intent," (he asks,) "to signify the infinite
greatness of GOD'S power by the easiness of His accomplishing such
effects without travail, pain, or labour? Surely it seemeth that Moses
had herein besides this a further purpose; namely, first to teach that
GOD did not work as a necessary, but a voluntary agent, intending
beforehand and decreeing with Himself that which did outwardly proceed
from Him; secondly, to shew that GOD did then institute a Law natural to
be observed by Creatures, and therefore according to the manner of laws,
the institution thereof is described, as being established by solemn
injunction. His commanding those things to be which are, and to be in
such sort as they are, to keep that tenure and course which they do,
importeth _the establishment of Nature's Law_.... And as it cometh to
pass in a kingdom rightly ordered, that after a Law is once published,
it presently takes effect far and wide, all states framing themselves
thereunto; even so let us think that it fareth in the natural course of
the world. Since the time that GOD did first proclaim the edicts of His
Law upon it, Heaven and Earth have hearkened unto His voice, and their
labour hath been to do His will[296]."--"_He spake the word_, and they
were made: He commanded and they were created. He hath made them fast
for ever and ever. _He hath given them a law which shall not be
broken[297]._"

Whether or no South overestimated Adam's knowledge, I will not pretend
to decide: but I am _convinced_ the truth lies more with him than with
certain modern wits, when he says concerning our first Father:--"He came
into the world a philosopher; which sufficiently appeared by his writing
the nature of things upon their names.... His understanding could almost
pierce into future contingents; his conjectures improving even to
prophecy, or the certainties of prediction. Till his Fall, he was
ignorant of nothing but sin.... There was then no struggling with
memory, no straining for invention. His faculties were ready upon the
first summons.... We may collect the excellency of the understanding
_then_, by the glorious remainders of it now: and guess at the
stateliness of the building by the magnificence of its ruins.... And
certainly that must _needs_ have been very glorious, the decays of which
are so admirable. He that is comely when old and decrepit, surely was
_very_ beautiful when he was young! An Aristotle was but the rubbish of
an Adam; and Athens but the rudiments of Paradise[298]."

And lastly, as for so much of the Divine narrative as concerns the
Creation of the first human pair, I am content to remind you of a
circumstance which in addressing believers ought to be of overwhelming
weight: namely, that our SAVIOUR and His Apostles, again and again,
refer to the narrative before us in a manner which precludes the notion
of its being anything but severest History. Our SAVIOUR CHRIST even
resyllables the words spoken by the Protoplast in Paradise; and therein
finds a sanction for the indissoluble nature of the marriage bond[299].

I take leave to add that even the respectful attempt to make Genesis
accommodate itself to the supposed requirements of Geology, by boldly
assuming that the days of Creation were each a thousand years
long,--seems inadmissible. Even were such an hypothesis allowed, nothing
would be gained: for _Geology_ does not by any means require us to
believe that after a thousand years of misty light, there came a
thousand years of ocean deposit: and again, a thousand years of moist
and dry, during which vegetable life alone prevailed: and then a
thousand years of sun, moon, and stars. The very notion seems
absurd[300].--But, what is more to the purpose, such an interpretation
seems to stultify the whole narrative. A _week_ is described. _Days_ are
spoken of,--each made up of an evening and a morning. GOD'S cessation
from the work of Creation on the Seventh Day is emphatically adduced as
the reason of the Fourth Commandment,--the mysterious precedent for
_our_ observance of one day of rest at the end of every six days of
toil,--"_for_ in six days" (it is declared,) "the LORD made Heaven and
Earth[301]." You may not play tricks with language plain as this, and
elongate a week until it shall more than embrace the span of all
recorded Time.

Neither am I able to see what would be gained by proposing to prolong
the Days of Creation indefinitely, so as to consider them as
representing vast and unequal periods; (though I am far from presuming
to speak of _any_ pious conjecture with disrespect.) My inveterate
objection to this scheme is again twofold. (1) The best-ascertained
requirements of Geology are _not satisfied_ by a _sixfold_ division of
phenomena corresponding with what is recorded in Genesis of the Six Days
of Creation. (2) This method does even greater violence to the letter of
the inspired narrative than the scheme of reconcilement last hinted at.

I dare not believe that what has been spoken will altogether meet the
requirements of minds of a certain stamp. A gentleman, who certainly
has the advantage of appearing in good company, has lately favoured the
world with the information that the first chapter of Genesis is the
uninspired speculation of a Hebrew astronomer, who was bent on giving
"the best and most probable account that could be then given of GOD'S
universe[302]." The Hebrew writer asserts indeed "solemnly and
unhesitatingly that for which he must have known that he had no
authority[303];" but we need not therefore "attribute to him wilful
misrepresentation, or consciousness of asserting that which he knew not
to be true[304]." If this "early speculator" "asserted as facts what he
knew in reality only as probabilities," it was because he was not
harassed by the scruples which result "from our modern habits of
thought, and from the modesty of assertion which the spirit of true
science has taught us[305]." The history of this important discovery and
of others of a similar nature, (which, by the way, are one and all
announced with the same "modesty of assertion" as what goes before,)
would appear to be this.--Natural science has lately woke up from her
long slumber of well nigh sixty ages; and with that immodesty for which
youth and inexperience have ever been proverbial, she is impatient to
measure her crude theories against the sure revelation of GOD'S Word.
Where the two differ, she assumes that of course the inspired Oracles
are wrong, and her own wild guesses right. She is even indecent in her
eagerness to invalidate the testimony of that Book which has been the
confidence and stay of GOD'S Servants in all ages. On any evidence, or
on none, she is prepared to hurl to the winds the august record of
Creation. Inconveniently enough for the enemies of GOD'S Word, every
advance in Geological Science does but serve to corroborate the record
that the Creation _of Man_ is not to be referred to a remoter period
than some six thousand years ago. But of this important fact we hear but
little. On the other hand, no trumpet is thought loud enough to bruit
about _a suspicion_ that Man may be a creature of yet remoter date.
Thus, fragments of burnt brick found fifty feet below the surface of the
banks of the Nile, were hailed as establishing Man's existence in Egypt
more than 13,000 years; until it was unhappily remembered that _burnt_
brick in Egypt belongs to the period of the Roman dominion.--More
recently, implements of chipped flint found, with some bones, in a bed
of gravel, have been eagerly appealed to as a sufficient indication that
the Creation of Man is to be referred to a period at least 10,000 years
more remote than is fixed by the Chronology of the Bible.... Brick and
flint! a precious fulcrum, truly, for a theory which is to upset the
World!

But I shall be told,--with that patronizing air of conscious
intellectual superiority which a certain class of gentlemen habitually
assume on such occasions,--that I mistake the case completely: that no
wish is entertained in any quarter to invalidate the truth of
Revelation, or to shake Men's confidence in the Bible as the Word of
GOD: that it has been the way of narrow-minded bigots in all ages, and
is so in this, to raise an outcry of the Bible being in danger, and so
to rouse the prejudices of mankind: that the error lies in claiming for
the Bible an office which it nowhere claims for itself, and which it was
never meant to fulfil: that the harmony between the Bible and Nature is
complete, but that it is not _such_ a harmony as is sometimes imagined:
that the Bible is not a scientific book, and was never meant to teach
Natural Science: that it was designed to inculcate moral goodness, and
is clearly full of unscientific statements, which it is the office of
Science to correct; and, if need be, to remove. All this, and much
beside, I shall be told. Such fallacious platitudes have been put forth
by men who are neither Divines nor Philosophers, _ad nauseam_, within
the last forty or fifty years.

Now, in reply, we have a few words to say. The profession of
faithfulness we hail with pleasure: the imputation of imbecility we
accept with unconcern. But when gentlemen tell us that the Bible was
never meant to teach Science; and that wherever its statements are
opposed to the clear inductions of reason, they must give way; and so
forth: we take the liberty of retaliating their charge. We inform them
that _they_ really mistake the case entirely. When they go on to tell us
that they believe in the truth of the Bible as sincerely as ourselves:
that its harmonies are complete, but not such as we imagine; and so
forth;--we venture to add that they really know not what they assert. In
plain language, they talk nonsense. Of a simple unbeliever we know at
least what to think. But what is to be thought of persons who disbelieve
just whatever they dislike, and yet profess to be just as hearty
believers as you or I?

That the Mosaic record of Creation has been thought at variance with
certain deductions of modern observation, is not surprising: seeing that
the deductions of each fresh period have been at variance with the
deductions of that which went before; and seeing that the theory of one
existing school is inconsistent with the theory of another.--That the
Bible is not, in any sense, _a scientific treatise_ again, is simply a
truism: (who ever supposed that it was?). Moses writes "the history of
the Human Race as regards Sin and Salvation: not a cosmical survey of
all the successive phenomena of the globe[306]." Further, that he
employs popular phraseology when speaking of natural phenomena, is a
statement altogether undeniable. But such remarks are a gross fallacy,
and a mere deceit, if it be meant that the statements in the Bible
partake of the imperfection of knowledge incident to a rude and
primitive state of society. To revive an old illustration,--Is a
philosopher therefore a child, because, in addressing children, he uses
language adapted to their age and capacity? GOD speaks in the First
Chapter of Genesis,--_hath_ spoken for three and thirty hundred
years,--as unto children: but there is no risk therefore that in what He
saith, He either hath deceived, or will deceive mankind.

You are never to forget the great fundamental position, that the Bible
claims to be the Word of GOD; and that _GOD'S Word can never contradict
or be contradicted by GOD'S works_. We therefore reject, _in limine_,
all insinuations about the "unscientific" character of the Bible. A
scientific man does not cease to be scientific because he does not
choose always to express himself scientifically. Again. A man of
universal Science does not forfeit his scientific reputation, if, in the
course of a _moral_ or _religious_ argument, his allusions to _natural_
phenomena are expressed in the ordinary language of mankind. Even so,
Almighty God, "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge[307],"--speaking to us by the mouth of His holy Prophets,
never, that I am aware, teaches them to speak a strictly scientific
language,--_except when the Science of Theology is being discoursed of_.
On other occasions, He suffers their language to be like yours or mine.
"Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon[308]:"--"The clouds drop down the
dew[309]:"--"The wind bloweth where it listeth[310]."--Not so when
_Theology_ is the subject. _Then_ the language becomes scientific.
"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the Kingdom of GOD[311]:"--"Take, eat, This is My Body[312]:"--"Before
Abraham was, I am[313]:"--"I and the FATHER are One[314]."

But there is this great difference between the cases supposed. A man of
universal scientific attainment will be less strong in one subject than
another: and in the course of his _Geological_ allusions, if
_Mechanical_ Science be his forte,--in the course of his _Metaphysical_
allusions, if _Mathematical_ Science be his proper department,--he may
easily err. Above all, the limits of the knowledge of unassisted Man
must infallibly be those of the age in which he lives. But, with the
Ancient of Days, it is not so. _He_ at least _cannot_ err. Nothing that
man has ever discovered by laborious induction was not known to Him from
the beginning: nothing that _He_ hath ever commissioned His servants to
deliver, will be found inconsistent with the anterior facts of History.
"He that _made_ the eye, shall _He_ not see[315]?" The records of
Creation then _cannot_ be incorrect. The course of Man's history _must_
be that which, speaking by the mouth of His Prophets, GOD hath
described.

"I never said the contrary," is the reply. "All I say is that you
interpret the records of Creation wrongly: and that you are disposed to
lay greater stress on the historical accuracy of the Bible than the
narrative will bear."

O but, sir, whoever you may be who censure me thus, let me in all
kindness warn you of the pit, at the very edge whereof you stand!

Far be it from such an one as the preacher to assume that he so
apprehends the First Chapter of Genesis, that if an Angel were to turn
interpreter, he might not convince me of more than one misapprehension
in matters of detail. But of this, at least, I am _quite_ certain; that
when I find it recorded that GOD took counsel about Man's Creation: and
made him in "His own image," and "breathed into his nostrils the breath
of life," whereby man became "a living soul:" and further, when I find
it stated that Adam bestowed names upon all creatures: and spake
oracularly of his spouse:--I am _certain_, I say, when I read such
things, that GOD intended me to believe that Man was created with a
Godlike understanding, and with the perfect fruition of the primæval
speech. Further, I boldly assert that he who could prove the
contradictory, would make the Bible, even as a Theological Book, nothing
worth, to you and me.

The same must be said of the Bible chronology. And here I will adopt the
words of one who is justly entitled to be listened to in this place; and
who must at least be allowed to be a competent judge of the matter, for
he made Chronology his province. Mr. Clinton says:--"Those who imagine
themselves at liberty to enlarge the time [which elapsed from the
Creation to the Deluge, and from the Deluge to the Birth of Abraham,] to
an indefinite amount,--mistake the nature of the question. The
uncertainty here is not an uncertainty arising from want of testimony:
(like that which occurs in the early chronology of Greece, and of many
other countries; when the times are uncertain because no evidence is
preserved.) ... The uncertainty here is of a peculiar character,
belonging to this particular case. The evidence exists, but in a double
form; and we have to decide which is the authentic and genuine copy. But
if the one is rejected, the other is established:" the difference
between the two being exactly 1,250 years.--Men are free to _reject_ the
evidence, to be sure; but we defy them to _explain it away_. The
chronological details of the Bible are as emphatically set down as
anything can be; and,--(with the exception of a few particulars, chiefly
in the Book of Kings, which are to the record what misprints are to a
printed book,)--they are entirely consistent; and hang perfectly well
together. Let us not be told, then, that we entertain groundless
apprehensions for the authority of GOD'S Word when we hear it proposed
to refer the Creation of Man to a period of unheard-of antiquity.
Destroy my confidence in the Bible as an historical record, and you
destroy my confidence in it altogether; for by far the largest part of
the Bible _is_ an historical record. If the Creation of Man,--the
longevity of the Patriarchs,--the account of the Deluge;--if _these_ be
not true histories, what is to be said of the lives of Abraham, of
Jacob, of Joseph, of Moses, of Joshua, of David,--of our _Saviour
Christ_ Himself?

But there is a scornful spirit abroad which is not content to
allegorize the earlier pages of the Bible,--to scoff at the story of the
Flood, to reject the outlines of Scripture Chronology;--but which would
dispute the most emphatic details of Revelation itself. Consistent, this
method is, at all events. Let it have the miserable praise which is so
richly its due. To logical consistency, it may at least lay claim. It
refuses to stop anywhere: as why should it stop? Faith is denied her
office, because Reason fails to see the reasonableness of Faith: and
accordingly, unbelief enters in with a flood-tide. Miracles, for
example, are now to be classed, (we learn,) among "the difficulties" of
Christianity[316]. It was to have been expected. (_Who_ foresees not
what must be the fate of such "difficulties" as these?) And will you
tell me that you may reject the miraculous transactions recorded in the
Old and New Testaments, and yet retain the narrative which contains
them? That were indeed absurd! Will you then reject one miracle and
retain another? Impossible! You can make no reservation, even in favour
of the Incarnation of our LORD,--the most adorable of all miracles, as
it is the very keystone of our Christian hope. Either, with the best and
wisest of all ages, you must believe _the whole_ of Holy Scripture; or,
with the narrow-minded infidel, you must _dis_believe the whole. There
is no middle course open to you.

Do we then undervalue the discoveries of Natural Science; or view with
jealousy the progress she has of late been making? GOD forbid! With
unfeigned joy we welcome her honest triumphs, as so many fresh evidences
of the wisdom, the power, the goodness of GOD. "Thou, LORD, hast made me
glad through Thy works[317]!" The very guesses of Geology are precious.
What are they but noble endeavours to unfold a page anterior to the
first page of the Bible; or rather, to discover what secrets are locked
up in the first verse of it? But when, instead of being a faithful
Servant, Natural Science affects the airs of an imperious
Mistress,--what can she hope to incur at the hands of Theology, but
displeasure and contempt? She forgets her proper place, and overlooks
her lawful function. She prates about the laws of Nature in the presence
of Him who, when He created the Universe, invented those very laws, and
impressed them on His irrational creatures.--Does it never humble her to
reflect that it was but yesterday she detected the fundamental Law of
Gravitation? Does she never blush with shame to consider that for well
nigh six thousand years men have been inquisitively walking this Earth's
surface; and yet, that, one hundred years ago, the provident notions
concerning fossil remains, and the Earth's structure, were such as
now-a-days would be pronounced incredibly ridiculous and absurd?

To conclude. The very phraseology with which men have presumed to
approach this entire question, is insolent and unphilosophical. The
popular phraseology of the day, I say, hardly covers, so as to conceal,
a lie. We constantly find SCIENCE and THEOLOGY opposed to one another:
just as if Theology were _not_ a Science! History forsooth, with all her
inaccuracy of observation, is a Science: and Geology, with all her weak
guesses, is a Science: and comparative Anatomy, with nothing but her
laborious inductions to boast of, is a Science: but Theology,--which is
based on the express revelation of the Eternal,--is some other thing!
What do you mean to tell us that Theology is, but the very queen of
Sciences? Would Aristotle have bestowed on Ethic the epithet
ἀρχιτεκτονική, think you, had he known of that θεῖος λόγος, which
his friend,--"not blind by choice, but destined not to see[318],"--felt
after yet found not? that "more excellent way," which you and I, by
GOD'S great mercy, possess? Go to! For popular purposes, if you will,
let the word "Science" stand for the knowledge of the phenomena of
Nature; somewhat as, in this place, the word stands for the theory of
Morals, and some of the phenomena of Mind: and so, let Science be
contrasted with THEOLOGY, without offence taken, because none is
intended. But let it never be forgotten that Theology is _the_ great
Science of all,--the only Science which really deserves the name. What
have other sciences to boast of which Theology has not? Antiquity,--such
as no other can, in any sense, lay claim to: a Literature,--which is
absolutely without a rival: a Terminology,--which reflects the very
image of all the ages: Professors,--of loftier wit, from the days of
Athanasius and Augustine, down to the days of our own Hooker and
Butler,--men of higher mark, intellectually and morally,--than adorn the
annals of any other Science since the World began: above all things, a
subject-matter, which is the grandest imagination can conceive; and a
foundation, which has all the breadth, and length, and depth and
height[319], which the Hands of GOD Himself could give it.

For subject-matter, what Science will you compare with this? All the
others in the world will not bring a man to the knowledge of GOD and of
CHRIST! They will not inform him of the will of GOD, although they may
teach him to observe His Works. "The Heavens declare the glory of
GOD,"--but, as Lord Bacon remarked long since, we do not read that they
declare His will. Neither do the other sciences of necessity lead to any
belief at all in the GOD of Revelation[320].

And, for that whereon they are built, what Science again will you
compare with this? Let the pretender to Geological skill,--(I say not
the true Geologist, for _he_ never offends!)--let the conceited
sciolist, I say, go dream a little longer over those implements of
chipped flint which have called him into such noisy activity,--and
discover, as he _will_ discover, that the assumed inference from the
gravel and the bones is fallacious after all[321].--Let the Historian go
spell a little longer over that moth-eaten record of dynasties which
never were, by means of which he proposes to set right the clock of
Time[322]. Let the Naturalist walk round the stuffed or bleached wonders
of his museum, and guess again[323]. Theological Science not so! _Her_
evidence is sure, for her Rule is GOD'S Word. No laborious Induction
here,--fallacious because imperfect; imperfect because human: but a
direct message from the presence-chamber of the LORD of Heaven and
Earth,--decisive because inspired; infallible because Divine. The
express Revelation of the Eternal is that whereon Theological Science
builds her fabric of imperishable Truth: _that_ fabric which, while
other modes change, shift, and at last become superseded, shines
out,--yea, and to the very end of Time will shine out,--unconscious of
decay, incapable of improvement, far, far beyond the reach of fashion: a
thing unchanged, because in its very nature unchangeable[324]!

O sirs,--we are constrained to be brief in this place. The field must
perforce be narrowed; and so, for this time, it must suffice to have
warned you against the men who resort to the armoury of Natural Science
for weapons wherewith to assail GOD'S Truth. Regard them as the enemies
of your peace; and learn to reject their specious, yet most
inconsequential reasonings, with the scorn which is properly their due.
Contempt and scorn GOD implanted in us, precisely that we might bestow
them on reasonings worthless in their texture, and foul in their object,
as these; which teach distrust of the earlier pages of GOD'S Word, on
the pretence that they are contradicted by the evidence of GOD'S Works.
Learn to abhor that spurious liberality which is liberal only with what
is _not its own_; and which reminds one of nothing so much as the
conduct of leprous persons who are said to be for ever seeking to
communicate and extend their own unhappy taint to others. I allude to
that sham liberality which under pretence of extending the common
standing ground of Christian men, is in reality attenuating it until it
proves incapable of bearing the weight of a single soul. There is room
on the Rock for all; but it is only on the Rock that we are safe. To
speak without a figure,--He who surrenders the first page of his Bible,
surrenders all. He knows not where to stop. Nay, you and I cannot in
any way _afford_ to surrender the beginning of Genesis; simply because
upon the truth of what is there recorded depends the whole scheme of
Man's salvation,--the need of that "second Man" which is "the LORD from
Heaven[325]." It is not too much to say that the beginning of Genesis is
the foundation on which all the rest of the Bible is built[326]. We may
not go over to those who would mutilate the Book of Life, or evacuate
any part of its message. It is they, on the contrary, who must come over
to us.--Much has it been the fashion of these last days, (I cannot
imagine why,) to vaunt the character and the Gospel of St. John, "the
disciple of Love," as he is called; as if it were secretly thought that
there is a latitudinarianism in Love which would wink at Doctrinal
obliquity; whereas _St. John is the Evangelist of Dogma_; and if there
be anything in the world which is _jealous_, that thing is _Love_.
Indifference to Truth, and laxity of Belief, are the growing
characteristics of the age. But you will find that St. John has about
four or five times as much about TRUTH as all the other three
Evangelists; while _the act_ of Faith receives as frequent mention in
his writings alone as in all the rest of the New Testament Canon put
together[327].

Let me end, as the manner of preachers is, by gathering out of what has
been spoken one brief practical consideration.--This whole visible frame
of things wherein we play our part, is hastening to decay. Everything we
behold,--ourselves included,--carries with it the prophecy of its own
speedy dissolution.--What, amid the wreck of worlds, will be our
confidence?... It is an inquiry worth making, in these the days of
health, and vigour, and security, and peace. O my soul, (learn to ask
yourselves,)--O my soul, when the Heavens shall depart, and the Earth
reel before the Second Advent of its Maker;--when the Sun puts on
mourning, and the very powers of Heaven are shaken;--what shall be _our_
confidence,--_our_ hope,--in that tremendous day? Whither shall we
betake ourselves, amid the overthrow of universal Nature, but to the
sure mercies of Him who "in the beginning created the Heaven and the
Earth?"--To those strong Hands, we intend, (GOD helping us!) with
unswerving confidence to commend our fainting spirits[328].... _Him_,
then, in life let us learn to reverence, on whom in death we propose so
implicitly to lean! And we only know Him in, and through, and by His
WORD. Nor can we in any surer way shew Him reverence or dishonour, than
by the manner in which we receive His message,--yea, by the spirit in
which we unfold this, the first page of it,--where stands recorded that
primæval act of Almighty power which is the ground of all our
confidence,--the very warrant for our own security.... "Blessed" of a
truth, in that day, will he be, "that hath the GOD of Jacob for his
help, and whose hope is in the LORD his GOD:--_who made the Heaven and
the Earth,--the Sea and all that therein is:--who keepeth His promise
for ever_[329]!"

FOOTNOTES:

[271] Preached in Christ-Church Cathedral, Nov. 11th, 1860.

[272] "The whole period, from the beginning of the primary fossiliferous
strata to the present day, _must be great beyond calculation_, and only
bear comparison with the astronomical cycles, as might naturally be
expected; the earth being without doubt of the same antiquity with the
other bodies of the solar system."--Mrs. Somerville's _Physical
Geography_.

[273] Col. i. 16.

[274] Neh. ix. 6.

[275] Eph. i. 11.

[276] Hooker's _Eccl. Pol._, B. I. c. iii. § 2.

[277] Ps. xxxiii. 6.

[278] Alluding to a catastrophe which had recently occurred at St.
Mary's Church, and which necessitated considerable repairs; in
consequence of which, the first four of these Sermons were preached in
the Cathedral.

[279] Is. xl. 12.

[280] Amos v. 8 and ix. 6.

[281] St. Matth. xxvii. 45.

[282] Exod. x. 21-23.

[283] St. Matth. xxiv. 29.

[284] Job ix. 5-7.

[285] Ps. xxxiii. 9.

[286] Gen. i. 4.

[287] "Can any one sensible of the value of words suppose," (asks Mr.
Goodwin,) "that nothing more is here described, or intended to be
described, than _the partial clearing away of a fog_?" (_Essays and
Reviews_, pp. 227-8.) No one,--we answer. But to the question, we
venture to rejoin another. To _whom_ does this philosopher suppose his
pleasantry likely to prove injurious? Is he making Moses ridiculous,
or--himself?

[288] St. John ix. 5, &c.

[289] 1 Tim. vi. 16.

[290] 2 Cor. iv. 6.

[291] "Whether the writer regarded them as already existing, and only
waiting to have a proper place assigned them, may be open to question."
(_E. and R._, p. 221.) We accept the alternative given us by Mr.
Goodwin.

[292] Job xxxviii. 7.

[293] Alluding to 1 Kings vii. 21.

[294] The test of _Elohim_ and _Jehovah_ has been, by the Germans
themselves, given up; "and for this plain reason,--that in many parts of
Genesis, [e.g. ch. xxviii. 16-22: xxxi.: xxxix., &c.] it is utterly
untenable; the names being so intermingled as to admit of no such
division." See the Appendix (C) to the Rev. Henry John Rose's _Hulsean
Lectures_ for 1833,--p. 233.

[295] Besides in Gen. i. 2, the expression (_tohu bohu_) recurs in Jer.
iv. 23 and Is. xxxiv. 11,--both times with clear reference to the
earlier place. Jeremiah in fact _quotes_ Genesis.

[296] _Eccl. Pol._, B. I. c. iii. § 2.

[297] Ps. cxlviii. 5, 6.

[298] South's _Sermons_, (Serm. II.)

[299] See St. Matth. xix. 4 to 6,--where Gen. i. 27 as well as Gen. ii.
24, are quoted by our SAVIOUR.

[300] "Holding," (says Hugh Miller,) "that the _six_ days of the Mosaic
account were not natural days, but lengthened periods, I find myself
called on, as a geologist, to account for but three out of the six. Of
the period during which light was created; of the period during which a
firmament was made to separate the waters from the waters; or of the
period during which the two great lights of the earth, with the other
heavenly bodies, became visible from the Earth's surface;--we need
expect to find no record in the rocks."--_Testimony_, &c., p. 134.--This
is ingenious, and is piously meant. But the first three days remain to
be accounted for _by somebody_, all the same. If the last three days
represent "lengthened periods," so, I suppose, do the _first_ three.

[301] Exod. xx. 11.

[302] _Essays and Reviews_, p. 252.

[303] _Ibid._

[304] _Id._ p. 253.

[305] _Id._ p. 252.

[306] Pattison's _The Earth and the World_, p. 99.

[307] Col. ii. 3.

[308] Josh. x. 12.

[309] Prov. iii. 20.

[310] St. John iii. 8.

[311] St. John iii. 5.

[312] St. Matth. xxvi. 26.

[313] St. John viii. 58.

[314] St. John x. 30.

[315] Ps. xciv. 9.

[316] On this subject, the reader is referred to Serm. VII.

[317] Ps. xcii. 4.

[318] Cowper.

[319] Eph. iii. 18.

[320] This paragraph is mostly copied from a Sermon (MS.) preached
before the University by the late Professor Hussey, Oct. 12, 1856.

[321] Professor Phillips refers me to a paper by Mr. Prestwich in the
_Proceedings of the Royal Society_, 1859, vol. x. No. 35, p. 58. Also in
the _Transactions of the R. S._ for 1860, p. 308.

[322] I allude to the supposed disclosures of Egyptian monuments.

[323] I allude to a recent work on the Origin of Species.

[324] The reader is requested to read what Bishop Pearson has most
eloquently written on this subject. It will be found in the Appendix
(B).

[325] 1 Cor. xv. 47.

[326] Ibid. xv. 22, &c.

[327] Πίστις _does not occur once_ in St. John's Gospel: πιστεύω
(which is found about thirty-five times, in all, in the first three
Gospels,) occurs about _one hundred times_, in the Gospel of St. John
alone.

[328] St. Luke xxiii. 46, (quoting Ps. xxxi. 5:) words which are alluded
to in 1 St. Pet. iv. 19.

[329] Ps. cxlvi. 5,--words quoted by the early Church of Jerusalem, Acts
iv. 24.



SERMON III.[330]

       *       *       *       *       *

INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE.--GOSPEL DIFFICULTIES.--THE WORD OF GOD
INFALLIBLE.--OTHER SCIENCES SUBORDINATE TO THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE.

       *       *       *       *       *

2 Tim. iii. 16.

     _All Scripture is given by inspiration of God._


But _that_ is not exactly what St. Paul says. The Greek for _that_,
would be πᾶσα Ἡ γραφή--not πᾶσα γραφὴ--θεόπνευστός. St. Paul does
not say that _the whole_ of Scripture, collectively, is inspired. More
than _that_: what he says is, that _every writing_,--every _several
book_ of those ἱερὰ γράμματα, or Holy Scriptures, in which Timothy had
been instructed from his childhood,--is inspired by God[331]. It _comes_
to very nearly the same thing; but it is _not_ quite the same thing. St.
Paul is careful to remind us that every Book in the Bible is an inspired
Book[332]. And this statement is not confined to one place.--Elsewhere,
he calls his message "the Word of GOD;" and says that it had been
received by the disciples not as the Word of Men, but as it is in truth,
the Word of GOD[333].--Elsewhere, "Which things also we speak, not in
the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the HOLY GHOST
teacheth[334]:"--where, if I at all understand the Apostle, (and he
speaks very plainly!) he says that _his words_ were inspired by the HOLY
GHOST.--Accordingly, St. Peter declares that the Epistles of his
"beloved brother Paul" are part of the Holy Scriptures[335];--Divinely
inspired, therefore, like all the rest.

But does not St. Paul himself in a certain place express a doubt--saying
"I _think_ that I have the Spirit of GOD[336]?" and does he not contrast
his own sayings with the Divine sayings, ("not I but the LORD[337]"),
clearly implying that his own were _not_ Divine? and does he not say
that he delivers certain things "by permission, and not of
commandment[338]," whereby he seems to insinuate a gradation of
authority in what he delivers?--No. Not one of these things does he do.
He says, indeed, of a certain hint to married persons that he offers it
"by way of _advice_ to them not by way of _precept_:" but _giving
advice_ to _men_ is a very different thing from _receiving permission_
from GOD. Again, "Unto the married," (he says,) "I command, yet not I
but the LORD,"--alluding to our LORD'S words, as set down by St.
Matthew, chap. xix. verse 6[339]; which is simply an historical allusion
to the Gospel.--So far from "_thinking_" he had the Spirit of GOD, (as
if it were an open question whether he had it or not,) he says the very
contrary. Δοκέω, in all such places, implies, not _doubt_ but
_certainty[340]_: (as when our LORD asks,---"Doth he thank that servant
because he did the things commanded him? οὐ δοκῶ,"--I fancy not
indeed[341]!) On St. Paul's lips, as every scholar knows, the phrase is
not one of doubt, but one of indignant, or at least emphatic
asseveration[342].--A man had need be very sure he _understands_ the
record, (let me just remark in passing,) before he presumes to criticize
it.

"_The Spirit of CHRIST_" is said by St. Peter to have been "_in the
prophets_[343]:" and in another place he declares that they "_spake as
they were moved by the HOLY GHOST_[344]." The HOLY GHOST accordingly is
said to have spoken the xlist Psalm "by the mouth of David[345]." The
xcvth Psalm is declared absolutely to be the utterance of the HOLY
GHOST[346]. Once, the cxth Psalm is ascribed simply to GOD[347]; and
once, to David speaking under the influence of _the HOLY GHOST_[348]. The
iind Psalm is described as the language of GOD the FATHER "by the mouth
of His Servant David[349]." "_Well spake the HOLY GHOST_ by Esaias the
Prophet unto our Fathers[350],"--was the exclamation of the Apostle
Paul, quoting the 9th and 10th verses of his vith chapter. When Jeremiah
speaks, the HOLY GHOST is declared, (not Jeremiah, _but the HOLY GHOST_)
to witness unto us[351]. The assertion is express that it was "GOD" who,
"_by the mouth of all His Prophets_," foretold the Death of CHRIST[352]:
"_the LORD GOD of Israel_" who, "_by the mouth of His holy Prophets of
old_," gave promise of CHRIST'S coming[353]. "_The HOLY GHOST
signified_" what the Mosaic Law enjoined[354]. "It is not ye that
speak, _but the HOLY GHOST_[355]"--was our SAVIOUR'S word of promise and
of consolation to the Twelve: and, on an earlier occasion,--"It is not
ye that speak; but the SPIRIT of your Father, _which speaketh in
you_[356]." And this promise became so famous, that St. Paul says the
Corinthians challenged him to _prove_ that CHRIST was speaking in
him[357].... But why multiply places? The use which our SAVIOUR makes in
the New Testament of the words of the Old,--from the writings of Moses
to the writings of Malachi,--would be simply nugatory unless those words
were much more than human. And the record of the Apostle is express and
emphatic:--"All Scripture--every Book of the Bible,--is given _by
Inspiration of GOD_."--In the face of such testimony, by the way, we
deem it not a little extraordinary to be assured (by an individual who
has acquired considerable notoriety within the last few months) that
"for any of the higher or supernatural views of Inspiration there is no
foundation in the Gospels or Epistles[358]."

Strange to say, there is a marvellous indisposition in Man to admit the
notion of such a heaven-sent message. Not to dispute with those who deny
Inspiration altogether, (for that would be endless,) there are
many,--and, we fear, a daily increasing number of persons,--who,
admitting Inspiration in terms, yet so mutilate the notion of it, that
their admission becomes a practical lie. "St. Paul was inspired, no
doubt. So was Shakspeare." He who says this, intending no quibble,
declares that in his belief St. Paul was _not inspired at all_.

But this is a monstrous case, with which I will not waste your time. Far
more numerous are they, who, admitting that the Authors of the Bible
were inspired in quite a different sense from Homer and Dante, are yet
for modifying and qualifying this admission after so many strange and
arbitrary fashions, that the residuum of their belief is really worth
very little. One man has a mental reservation of exclusion in favour of
the two Books of Chronicles, or the Book of Esther, or of
Daniel.--Another, is content to eliminate from the Bible those passages
which seem to him to run counter to the decrees of physical
Science;--the History of the Six Days of Creation,--of the Flood,--of
the destruction of Sodom,--and of Joshua's address to Sun and
Moon.--Another regards it as self-evident that nothing is trustworthy
which savours supremely of the marvellous;--as the Temptation of our
first Parents,--the Manna in the Wilderness,--Balaam reproved by the
dumb ass,--and the history of Jonah.--There are others who cannot
tolerate the Miracles of the Old and the New Testament. The more timid,
explain away as much of them as they dare. What remains, troubles them.
The more logical sweep them away altogether. A miracle (they say) cannot
be true because it implies a violation of the fixed and immutable laws
of Nature.

And then,--(so strangely constituted are some men's minds,)--there are
not a few persons who, without exactly denying the inspiration of the
Bible in any of its more marvellous portions,--(for _that_ would be an
inconvenient proceeding,)--are yet content to regard much of it as a
kind of inspired myth. This is a class of ally (?) with whom one really
knows not how to deal. The man does not reason. He assumes his right to
disbelieve, and yet will not allow that he is an unbeliever. The world
is singularly indulgent toward persons of this unphilosophical,
illogical, presumptuous class.

Now, I shall have something to say to all these different kinds of
objectors, on some subsequent occasion. But I shall be rendering the
younger men a far more important service if to-day I address my remarks
to a different class of objectors altogether: _that_ far larger body, I
mean, who without at all desiring to impugn the Inspiration of GOD'S
Oracles, yet make no secret of their belief that the Bible is full of
inaccuracies and misstatements. These men ascribe a truly liberal amount
of human infirmity to the Authors of the several Books of the
Bible;--slips of memory, misconceptions, imperfect intelligence, partial
illumination, and so forth;--and, under one or other of those heads,
include whatever they are themselves disposed to reject. The writers who
come in for the largest share of this indulgence, are the Evangelists;
because the Historians of our LORD'S life, having happily left us four
versions of the same story, and often three versions of the same
transaction, the evidence whereby _they_ may be convicted of error is in
the hands of all. Truly, mankind has not been slow to avail itself of
the opportunity. You will seldom hear a Gospel difficulty discussed,
without a quiet assumption on the part of the Reverend gentleman that
_he_ knows all about the matter in question, but that the Evangelist did
_not_. His usual method is, calmly to inform us that it is useless to
look for strict consistency in matters of minute detail; that _general
agreement_ between the four Evangelists there does exist, and _that_
ought to be enough. The inevitable inference from his manner of handling
the Gospels, is, that if his actual thoughts could find candid
expression, we should hear him address their blessed authors somewhat as
follows:--"You are four highly respectable characters, no doubt; and you
_mean_ well. But it cannot be expected that persons of your condition in
life should have described so many intricate transactions so minutely
without making blunders. I do not say it unkindly. I often make blunders
myself,--_I_, who have a "clearness of understanding," "a power of
discrimination between different kinds of Truth[359]" unknown to the
Apostolic Age!" ... Of course the preacher does not _say_ all this. He
has too keen a sense of "the dignity of the pulpit." And so he puts it
somewhat thus:--"While we are disposed to recognize substantial
agreement, and general conformity in respect of details, among the
synoptical witnesses, in their leading external outlines, we are yet
constrained to withhold our unqualified acceptance of any theory of
Inspiration which should claim for these compilers exemption from the
oscitancy, and generally from the infirmities of humanity." ... This
sounds fine, you know; and is thought an ingenious way of wrapping up
the charge which the Reverend preacher brings against the
Evangelists;--of having, in plain terms,--_made blunders_.

It will be convenient that we should narrow the ground to this single
issue: for the time is short. And in the remarks I am about to offer, I
shall not imitate the example of those preachers who dress out an easy
thought in a superfluity of inflated language, only in order that its
deformity may escape detection. Be not surprised if I speak to you this
morning in uncommonly plain English; for I am determined that the
simplest person present shall understand at least what _I_ mean. The
dignity of the Blessed Evangelists, who walked with JESUS, and whom
JESUS loved,--the dignity of that Gospel which I believe to be
penetrated through and through with the Holy Spirit of GOD,--for _that_,
I confess to a most unbounded jealousy. As for the "dignity of the
pulpit,"--I hate the very phrase! It has been made too often the shield
of impiety and the cloak of dulness.

To begin, then,--Is it, I would ask you, a reasonable anticipation that
the narrative of one inspired by GOD would prove full of
inconsistencies, misstatements, slips of memory:--or indeed, that it
should contain _any_ misstatements, _any_ inaccuracies at all? What then
is the difference between an inspired and an uninspired writing,--the
Word of GOD and the Word of Man?

The answer which I shall receive, is obvious. As a matter of fact (it is
replied) there _are_ these inaccuracies: that is, the same transaction
is described by two or more writers, and their accounts prove
inconsistent. Thus, St. Matthew begins his account of the healing of the
blind at Jericho, with the words,--"And as they were _going out_ of
Jericho:" but St. Luke, "While He was _drawing nigh_ to Jericho."--There
_are_ these slips of memory; as when St. Matthew ascribes to "Jeremy the
prophet" words which are found in the prophet Zechariah.--There _are_
these misstatements, as where the Census of the Nativity is said to
have taken place under the presidentship of Cyrenius.--And these are but
samples of a mighty class of difficulties, (it is urged:)--the two
Genealogies; the Call of the four Disciples; the healing of the
Centurion's servant; the title on the Cross; the history of the
Resurrection:--and again, "the sixteenth of Tiberius;" "the days of
Abiathar;" with many others.--Let me then briefly discuss the three
examples first cited,--which really came spontaneously. Each is the type
of a class; and the answer to one is, in reality, applicable to all the
rest. I humbly ask for your patience and attention; promising that I
will abuse neither, though I must tax both.

The great fundamental truth to be first laid down, is _this_--that the
Gospels are not _four_--but _one_. The Ancients knew this very well.
Εὐαγγελισταὶ μὲν τέσσαρες,--Εὐαγγέλιον δὲ ἕν--says Origen[360]: "the
Gospel-_writers_ are four,--but the _Gospel_ is one." And the ancients
recorded this mighty verity four times over on the first page of the
Gospel, lest it should ever be forgotten; and there it stands to this
day:--the Gospel,--the _one_ Gospel κατὰ,--_according to_--St.
Matthew,--_according to_ St. Mark,--_according to_ St. Luke,--_according
to_ St. John. Like that river which went out of Eden to water the
Garden,--it was by the HOLY GHOST "parted, and became into four
heads."--The Gospels therefore, (to call them by their common name,) are
not to be regarded as four witnesses, or rather as four culprits,
brought up on a charge of fraud. Rather are they Angelic voices singing
in sweetest harmony, but after a method of Heavenly counterpoint which
must be studied before it can be understood of Men.

And next,--There is one great principle, and one only, which needs to be
borne in mind for the effectual reconciliation of _every discrepancy_
which the four narratives present: namely, that you should approach them
in exactly the same spirit in which you approach the statement of any
man of honour of your acquaintance. Whether the Apostles of the
LAMB,--men whom we believe to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit of
the Everlasting GOD,--are not entitled to far higher respect, far higher
consideration, at our hands,--I leave _you_ to decide. As one whose joy
and crown it has been to weigh every word in the Gospel in hair-scales,
I am prepared to risk the issue. Be only as fair to the four Evangelists
as you are to one another; and I am quite confident about the result.

I appeal to the experience of every thoughtful man among you who has at
all given his mind to the subject of evidence, whether it be not the
fact,--(1st) That when two or more persons are giving true versions of
the same incident, their accounts will sometimes differ so considerably,
that it will seem at first sight as if they could not possibly be
reconciled: and yet (2ndly), That a single word of explanation, the
discovery of one minute circumstance,--perfectly natural when we hear it
stated, yet most unlikely and unlooked-for,--will often suffice to
remove the difficulty which before seemed unsurmountable; and further,
that when this has been done, the entire consistency of the several
accounts becomes apparent; while the harmony which is established is
often of the most beautiful nature. (3rdly) That when (for whatever
reason) two or more versions of the same incident are _not_ correct, no
ingenuity can ever possibly reconcile them, _as they stand_. They lean
apart in hopeless divergence. In other words, they _contradict_ one
another.

Now, these principles are fully admitted in daily life. If your friend
comes to you with ever so improbable a tale, the last thing which enters
into your mind is to disbelieve him. Is he in earnest? Yes, on his
honour. Is he sure he is not mistaken? _That_ very doubt of yours
requires an apology: but your friend says,--"I am as sure as I am of my
existence." "Give it me under your hand and seal then." Your friend
begins to suspect your sanity; but the matter being of some importance,
he complies. "It must be so then," you exclaim, "though I _cannot_
understand it.".... I only wish that men would be as fair to the
Evangelists as they are to their friends!

You are requested to observe,--for really you _must_ admit,--that _any_
possible solution of a difficulty, however _improbable_ it may seem, any
_possible_ explanation of the story of a competent witness, is enough
logically and morally to exempt that man from the imputation of an
incorrect statement. The illustration which first presents itself may
require an apology; but the dignity of the pulpit shall not outweigh the
dignity of _His_ Gospel after whose blessed Name this House is
called[361]: and I can think of nothing as apposite as what follows.

It is a conceivable case, that, hereafter, three persons of known
truthfulness should meet, in a Court of Justice at the Antipodes; where
the entire difficulty should turn on a question of time. The case is
conceivable, that the first should be heard to declare that at Oxford,
on such a day, of such a year, he had seen such an one standing before
Carfax Church while the clock _was striking one_:--that the second
should declare that he also, on the same day of the same year, had seen
the same person passing by St. Mary's, when the clock of _that_ Church
was also striking one:--that the third should stand up and assert,--"I
also saw the same person on that same day, but it was on the steps _of
the Cathedral_ I met him; and I also remember hearing the clock at that
moment strike one."--Now I can conceive that the result of such evidence
would be adverted upon in some such way as the following:--"While we are
disposed to recognize the substantial agreement, and general conformity
in respect of details, among the synoptical witnesses, in their leading
external outlines, we are yet constrained,"--and the rest of the
impertinence we had before. Whereas you and I know perfectly that the
three clocks in question were, till lately, _kept five minutes apart_: a
sufficient interval, (I beg you to observe in passing,) for the
individual in question to have been seen _by you_ walking in an easterly
direction; and _by me_ due west; and by a third person, due east again.
Highly improbable circumstances, I freely grant, every one of them; and
yet, by the hypothesis, all perfectly _true_! Meantime, it is
conceivable that Judge and jury would have the indecency openly to tax
the three men I spoke of with inexactitude in their statements: and it
is conceivable that those three honest men--(the _only_ true men, it
might be, in the Colony, after all,)--would carry to their grave the
imputation of untruth. Here and there, a generous heart would be found
to say to them,--_I_ share not in the vulgar cry against you! _I_
nothing doubt that it all fell out precisely as you assert. Either, the
clocks in Oxford went wrong that day;--or there had been some trick
played with the clocks;--any how, _I_ believe _you_, for I have evidence
that you are marvellously exact in all your little statements; and you
cannot have been mistaken in a plain matter like this. I have heard too
that you are not the ordinary men you seem.... The men make no answer.
_They_ care nothing for _your opinion_, and _my opinion_. The rashness
of mankind may astonish the Angels perhaps; but the Apostles and
Evangelists of CHRIST are already safe within the veil!

The difficulty supposed is not an imaginary one. St. John says that when
Pilate sat in judgment on the LORD of Glory, "it was about the sixth
hour[362]." But since St. Mark says that at the third hour they
crucified Him[363],--the two statements seem inconsistent. The
ancients,--(giants at interpretation, babes in criticism,)--_altered the
text_. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, A.D. 300, says that he had seen it
in the very autograph of St. John[364]. A learned man of our own,
however, a hundred years ago, ascertained that, in the Patriarchate of
Ephesus, the hours were not computed after the Jewish method: but,
(strange to say,) exactly _after our own English method_[365]. And yet,
not so strange either; for the Gospel first came to us from there.--You
see at a glance that all the four mentions of time of day in St.
John[366], which used to occasion so much difficulty, become beautifully
intelligible at once.

To come then to the three samples of difficulty propounded a moment ago.
And first, for the blind men of Jericho.

I. The difficulty lies all on the surface. Listen to a plain tale.

Our SAVIOUR, attended by His Disciples and followed by a vast concourse
of persons, had reached the outskirts of Jericho. A certain blind man
was sitting by the roadside begging. He heard the noise of a passing
crowd, and inquired what it meant? He was told that Jesus of Nazareth
was passing by. He rose at once,--hastened down the main street through
which, in due time, CHRIST perforce must come; joined another blind man,
(named Bartimæus,--a well-known character, who, like himself, was
accustomed to sit and beg by the road side;) and the two companions in
suffering, having stationed themselves at the exit of Jericho, waited
till the Great Physician should appear.

The crowd begins to approach; and the two blind men implore the Son of
David to have pity on them. So importunate is their suit, that the
foremost of the passers-by rebuke them. The men grow more urgent. Our
SAVIOUR pauses, and orders that they shall be called. At this gracious
summons, both draw near; the more remarkable applicant flinging his
outer garment from him as he rises from his seat; but both, when they
appear in our SAVIOUR'S presence, making the same request. The Holy One,
touched with compassion, laid His Hands upon their eyes, and grants
their prayer: whereupon they both follow Him in the way.

Well, (you will ask,)--what then?--"What then?" I answer. _Then_ there
is no difficulty in the three accounts about which you spoke so
unbecomingly a moment ago. Assume this plain, and not at all improbable
version of the incident, to be true, and you will find that no
difficulty remains whatever. Every recorded circumstance is accounted
for, and fits in exactly with it. I wish there were time to enlarge on
some of the details, and to make some remarks on the manner of the
Evangelists in relating events: but there _is_ no time.
Besides,--without a huge copy of the Gospel open before us all, I could
not hope to make my meaning understood.

For of course you are to believe that he who would understand the Gospel
must first _study_ it. You must ascertain, by some crucial test,
confirmed by a large and careful induction, what the character of a
narrative purporting to be inspired, _is_. You have no right first to
assume exactly _what_ Inspiration shall result in, and then to deny that
there is Inspiration because you fail to discover your assumed
result[367]. That were foolish.

I shall perhaps be thought to lay myself open to the
rejoinder,--"Neither have _you_ any right to assume that Inspiration
will result in Infallibility." But the retort is without real point. I
do but assert that, just as every man of honour claims to be believed
until he has been convicted of a falsehood,--inspired Prophets,
Evangelists, and Apostles have a right to our entire confidence in the
scrupulous accuracy of every word they deliver, until it can be _shewn_
that they have once made a mistake.

If you will take the trouble to compare any of the cases,--in Genesis
for example,--where a conversation is first set down, and then reported
by one of the speakers,--you will find that it is deemed allowable to
omit or to add clauses, even when the discourse is related in the first
person[368]. Something before inserted, is withheld: or something before
withheld, is inserted. No discourse was probably ever set down, word for
word, as it was delivered. In sacred, as in profane writings, the exact
_substance_, or rather, the real _purport_, of what was spoken, very
reasonably stands for what was _actually_ spoken. The difference is
this;--that a narrative, by man abridged, _may_ convey a wrong
impression: whereas an inspired abridgement of any history soever
_cannot_ mislead.

Other characteristics of an inspired narrative,--the lesser Laws of the
Divine Harmony, as they may be called,--will be discovered by the
attentive reader. For example, that intervening circumstances are often
passed over, without any notice taken of them whatever: while yet it is
singular how often the Evangelist shews himself conscious of what he
omits by some very minute allusion to it[369]. This must suffice
however. It would require a whole sermon, a whole volume rather, to
enumerate all the features of the Evangelical method.

II. The next sample of difficulty will not occupy us long. St. Matthew
is charged with a bad memory, because he ascribes to "Jeremy the
prophet[370]" words which are said to be found in Zechariah.--Strange
that men should be heard to differ about a plain matter of fact! _I_
have never been able to find these words in Zechariah yet!... There are
words _something like them_,--but not those very words, by any
means,--in Zech. xi. 12. Why then is St. Matthew to be taxed with a bad
memory? Are there not other prophecies quoted in the New Testament not
to be found in the Old? Yes[371]. Is not the self-same prophecy
sometimes found in two different prophets,--as in Isaiah and Nahum?
Yes[372]. Are not some prophetic passages _common to Jeremiah and
Zechariah?_ Yes[373]. The Jews even had a saying that the Spirit of the
one was in the other. _Where_ then remains a pretence for supposing that
St. Matthew was troubled with a bad memory?

III. So, it is generally assumed that St. Luke made a mistake when he
said that the census of the Nativity was made when Cyrenius was
President of Syria,--because not Cyrenius but _Varus_ is known to have
been President about that time.--Now, there are three fair
conjectures,--each of which is sufficient to meet this difficulty: but
instead of developing them, I will simply remind you of a minute
circumstance in Jewish story which shews how dangerous it is to press a
general fact against a particular statement.--In the year 4 B.C.,
Matthias was undeniably the Jewish High-priest. Now, if St. Luke,
describing the events of a certain day in September, B.C. 4, had
recorded that the High-priest's name was _Joseph_, you would have
thought him guilty of a misstatement: but the error would have been all
your own,--for it has been discovered that a person bearing that name
held the office of High-priest for _one single day_,--namely, the 10th
of Tisri.... "A very unlikely circumstance!" you will exclaim. O
yes,--_a very unlikely circumstance indeed_: but, you will have the
kindness to observe that _that_ is not exactly the point in question.

Why then are difficulties of this, or of any kind, permitted in the
Gospel at all? it may be asked.--I answer,--that they may prove
instruments of probation to you and to me. The sensualist has _his_
trials; and the ambitious man, _his_. The difficulties in Holy
Scripture,--which are numerous, and diverse, and considerable,--are
admirable tests of the moral, the spiritual, the intellectual temper of
Man[374]. Experience shews moreover that some of the minutest
discrepancies of all, if they be but of a character almost hopeless, are
more potent to create perplexity in minds of a certain constitution,
than the gravest doubts which ever burthened the soul of Speculation.

I have confined myself to one class of objections, for an obvious
reason. Difficulties which arise out of the _matter_ of Scripture, as it
is emphatically embodied in quotations from the Old Testament made in
the New, must be separately considered in one or more Sermons on
_Interpretation_. I must be content to-day with repudiating, in the most
unqualified way, the notion that a mistake of _any kind whatever_ is
consistent with the texture of a narrative inspired by the Holy Spirit
of GOD. The allusion in St. Stephen's speech to "the sepulchre that
Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor, the son" (not
_the father_, but _the son_) "of Sychem," is a good example of confusion
apparently existing in an inspired speaker; but, in reality, only in the
writings of those who have sat in judgment upon his words[375].

To keep to the case of the Evangelists,--I appeal to your sense of
fairness, whether it be not reasonable to assume, that until those
blessed writers have been convicted of _one_ single inaccuracy of
statement, their narratives ought to be accounted faultless, like Him
whose Life they record;--like Him by whose Spirit they are inspired. I
would to Heaven that men would have the decency to suspect themselves,
and one another, rather than the Evangelists,--of mistake; or at least,
before they venture publicly to impugn the Authors of the Everlasting
Gospel, that they would be at the pains to weigh the evidence with the
care _that_ evidence deserves, but which I am _sure_ that sermon-writers
and essayists do not bestow. Let them spend the long summer days of many
a Long Vacation--from early morning until twilight,--dissecting every
syllable of the blessed pages; and then they will learn to adore instead
of to cavil. They will deem them absolutely faultless, instead of daring
to charge all their own pitiful misconceptions, and weak
misapprehensions, and miserable blunders, upon _them_.--They will be
inclined, rather, to challenge the world to establish one blot in what
they love so well; and would gladly stake all upon the issue of a
conflict before a fair tribunal,--if submission might follow upon
defeat.

As for mistakes of the paltry kind last noticed--(the days of Abiathar,
the sixteenth of Tiberius, and so forth,)--I wonder the glaring
absurdity of charging them against Evangelists, does not strike any
modest man of sane mind. To suppose that St. Matthew quoted the wrong
prophet, or that St. Luke did not know the regnal years of the reigning
Emperor; that St. Stephen confused Abraham with Jacob, and Sychem with
Hebron;--all this is really so _grossly_ absurd, that I can hardly
condescend to discuss the question. It is like maintaining that Sir
Isaac Newton, after discovering the Law of Gravitation, and calculating
the pathway of a planet, persisted in saying that two and two make five:
or that Columbus, after discovering America, despaired of finding the
way to his own door. It is simply ridiculous!--Admirable as a subject
for men to exercise their wits upon,--as instruments of _cavil_,
objections like these are about as formidable as a child's sword of
lathe in the day of battle.

I hear some one say,--It seems to trouble _you_ very much that inspired
writers should be thought capable of making mistakes; but it does not
trouble _me_,--Very likely not. It does not trouble _you_, perhaps, to
see stone after stone, buttress after buttress, foundation after
foundation, removed from the walls of Zion, until the whole structure
trembles and totters, and is pronounced insecure. Your boasted unconcern
is very little to the purpose, unless we may also know how dear to you
the safety of Zion is. But if you make indignant answer,--(as would to
Heaven you may!)--that your care for GOD'S honour, your jealousy for
God's oracles, is every whit as great as our own,--_then_ we tell you
that, on _your_ wretched premises, men more logical than yourself will
make shipwreck of their peace, and endanger their very souls. There is
no stopping,--no knowing where to stop,--in this downward course. Once
admit the principle of fallibility into the inspired Word, and the whole
becomes a bruised and rotten reed. If St. Paul a little, why not St.
Paul much? If Moses in some places, why not in many? You will doubt our
LORD'S infallibility next!... It might not trouble _you_, to find your
own familiar friend telling you a lie, every now and then: but I trust
this whole congregation will share the preacher's infirmity, while he
confesses that it would trouble _him_ so exceedingly that after one
established falsehood, he would feel unable ever to trust that friend
implicitly again.

Do you mean to say then, (I shall be asked,) that you maintain the
theory of Verbal Inspiration?--I answer, I refuse to accept any _theory_
whatsoever[376]. But I believe that the Bible is the Word of GOD--and I
believe that GOD'S Word must be absolutely infallible. I shall therefore
believe the Bible to be absolutely infallible,--until I am convinced of
the contrary. "_Theories of Inspiration_," (as they are called,) are the
growth of an unbelieving age: and it is enough to disgust any one with
the term, to find how it has been understood in some quarters. A
well-known living editor of the Gospel[377], says,--"According to the
Verbal-Inspiration Theory, each Evangelist has recorded the exact words
of the Inscription on the Cross;--not _the general sense_, but _the
Inscription itself_;--not a letter less nor more. This is absolutely
necessary to the theory." The advocates of the theory (he proceeds) "may
here find an _undoubted_ example of the absurdity of their view.... Let
us bear this in mind when the narrative of words spoken, or of events,
differs in a similar manner."--It is certainly very kind of the learned
writer thus to apprize us of the danger of accepting a theory, which, so
explained, we certainly never heard of before,--and trust we may never
hear of again.

But if, instead of the "Theory of Verbal Inspiration," I am asked
whether I believe _the words_ of the Bible to be inspired,--I answer, To
be sure I do,--every one of them: and every syllable likewise. Do not
_you?_--_Where_,--(if it be a fair question,)--Where do you, in your
wisdom, stop? The _book_, you allow _is_ inspired. How about the
chapters? How about the verses? Do you stop at the verses, and not go on
to the words? Or perhaps you enjoy a special tradition on this subject,
and hold that Inspiration is a general, vague kind of thing,--here more,
there less: strong, (to speak plainly,) where you make no objection to
what is stated,--weak, when it runs counter to some fancy of your
own.--O Sir, but this "general vague kind of thing" will not suffice to
anchor the fainting soul upon, in the day of trouble, and in the hour of
death! "Here _more_, there _less_," will not satisfy a parched and weary
spirit, athirst for the water of Life, and craving the shadow of the
great Rock. What security can _you_ offer _me_, that the promise which
has sustained me so long occurs in the "more," and not in the "less?"
How am I to know that your Bible is _my_ Bible: in other words, what
proof is there that either of us possesses the Word of GOD,--the
authentic utterance of GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT,--_at all_?

And do you not feel, that this "will o' the wisp" phantom of your brain,
can prove no guide to either of us in the pilgrimage of life? Perceive
you not that the unworthy spirit in which you approach the Book of GOD'S
Law must effectually prevent you from getting any wisdom from it? Why,
the pages which you look so coldly and carnally at, are written within
and without, and burn from end to end with unutterable meaning! While
you are quarrelling about the title on the Cross, you are missing the
common salvation! You keep us, Sunday after Sunday, disputing outside
the gates of Paradise, instead of bidding us enter in, and eat of the
delicious fruit! While _you_ are persisting that there is no beauty in
the garden, (because you choose to be deaf as well as blind,)--the
shadows are lengthening out, and the glory is departing, and the angels
are getting weary of harping upon their harps!

No, Sirs! The Bible (be persuaded) is the very utterance of the
Eternal;--as much GOD'S Word, as if high Heaven were open, and we heard
GOD speaking to us with human voice. Every book of it, is inspired
alike; and is inspired entirely. Inspiration is not a difference of
degree, but of kind. The Apocryphal books are not one atom more inspired
than Bacon's Essays. But the Bible, from the Alpha to the Omega of it,
is filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit of GOD: the Books of it,
and the sentences of it, and the words of it, and the syllables of
it,--aye, and the very letters of it. "Nihil in Scripturis est otiosum,"
(said the great Casaubon): "non dictio, non dictionis forma, non
syllaba, non littera." ... The difficulty which attends quotations, I
must explain another day. It is _not_ a difficulty.--The seeming paradox
of calling a pedigree inspired, is only seeming.--The _text_ of Holy
Scripture has nothing at all to do with the question. Is a dead poet
responsible for the clumsiness of him who transcribes his copy, or for
the carelessness of the apprentice in the printer's attic?--Least of all
do we overlook the personality of the human writers, when we so speak.
The styles of Daniel,--of St. John,--of St. Paul,--of St. James,--differ
as much as the sounds emitted by organ pipes of wholly diverse
construction. But those human instruments were fabricated, one and all,
by the Hands of the same Divine Artist: and I have yet to learn that
when the same man builds an organ, fills it with breath, and performs
upon it a piece of his own composition with matchless skill,--I have yet
to learn that any part of the honour, any part of the praise, any part
of the glory of the performance is to be withheld from _him!_ ... The
illustration is at least as old as Christianity itself. Pray take it in
the noble words of Hooker.--"They neither spoke nor wrote one word of
their own: but uttered syllable by syllable as the Spirit put it into
their mouths; no otherwise than the harp or the lute doth give a sound
according to the discretion of his hands that holdeth and striketh it
with skill. The difference is only this: an instrument, whether it be
pipe or harp, maketh a distinction in the times and sounds, which
distinction is well perceived of the hearer, the instrument itself
understanding not what is piped or harped. The prophets and holy men of
GOD not so. 'I opened my mouth,' saith Ezekiel, 'and GOD reached me a
scroll, saying, Son of Man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels
with this I give thee. I ate it, and it was sweet in my mouth as
honey,' saith the prophet[378]. Yea, sweeter, I am persuaded, than
either honey or the honeycomb. For herein, they were not like harps or
lutes, but they felt, they felt the power and strength of their own
words. When they spake of our peace, every corner of their hearts was
filled with joy. When they prophesied of mourning, lamentations, and
woes, to fall upon us, they wept in the bitterness and indignation of
spirit, the Arm of the LORD being mighty and strong upon them[379]."

To conclude. The first time I enjoyed this privilege, I urged the
younger men to a diligent and painful daily study of the Bible. On the
next occasion, opening the Bible at the first page, I attempted to
define the provinces of Theological and of Physical Science. All that
was then offered may be summed up in one brief formula:--_GOD'S works
CANNOT contradict GOD'S Word_. I adverted to the method of would-be
geologists, (a class all apart from the grave and learned few who give
their days and nights to a truly noble branch of study,)--because from
_them_ the most malignant attacks have proceeded: and I took my stand on
the first chapter of Genesis, because the enemies of GOD'S Truth have
made that chapter their favourite point of attack. But my argument was
not directed more against Geology than against any other of the physical
Sciences. They are all alike the handmaids of _Theological_ Science.
Geology, however, singularly honoured by the Creator in that He hath
bequeathed for her inspection so many marvels of primæval
Time,--evidences of how He was working in this remote planet before the
Creation of Man;--Geology, I say, it especially behoves to be humble:
partly, because she is the youngest of all the sciences; and partly,
because the weak guesses of her childhood are yet in the memory of us
all. If indeed she would _inherit the Earth_, let her remember that she
asks for the blessing which CHRIST hath promised to none but _the
meek_[380].

We altogether repudiated, then, the contrast which is often implied
between Theology and Science; as if Theology were _not_ a Science, but
some other thing. Theological Science we declared to be the noblest of
the Sciences,--the very Queen and Mistress of them all. And yet, supreme
as she is, she not only admits, but desires, and thankfully accepts the
ministerial offices of the other Sciences; all of which, like dutiful
servants in a household, have it in their power to render her most
important acts of homage. Language, for example, carries the keys of the
casket wherein she keeps her treasures; and for that reason Theology
hath promoted Language to great honour. History, and Geography, and
Chronology, have each had their respective tasks assigned them. It is
for Astronomy to make answer if question be raised of the date of
Paschal full Moon, or of Eclipse. Let the physiologist explain, if he
can, Scriptural allusions to the vegetable and animal kingdoms. How
precious are the guesses of Geology, as she tries to fathom the Ocean of
unrecorded Time!--_Who_ would desire the silence of the Professor of
_any_ department of physical Science? Morals also have their place and
their function assigned them; and a thrice blessed place,--a most holy
function is theirs! Why should not Moral Science have an office even in
the Court of Theology? Was not Morality the Schoolmaster of the sons of
Japheth, what time there was dew on the fleece only, but it was dry upon
all the earth beside? What are Morals else but the echoes of the voice
of GOD yet lingering in the Hall of Conscience, or rather in the
Chambers of Memory?.... Her function therefore is to bear willing
witness to the Goodness, the Wisdom, the Justice of the Eternal: and her
place,--the loftiest which can be imagined for a creature,--is somewhere
beneath the footstool of Almighty GOD.

But when, instead of the submissive manners of a well-ordered Court,
symptoms of insolence and insubordination are witnessed on every
side,--then, the least and humblest takes leave, (time, and place, and
occasion serving,) to speak out fearlessly on behalf of that which he
loves with an unworthy, but a most undivided heart.--When Language
impugns those Oracles which she was hired to decypher,--and pretends to
doubt the Inspiration of that Book of which, confessedly, she barely
understands the Grammar:--when History and Chronology cry out that the
annals of Theology are false, and her record of Time a fable; that the
Deluge, for instance, is an old wives' story, and the economy of times
and seasons a human fabrication:--when Astronomical and Mechanical
Science strut up to the Throne whereon sits the Ancient of Days,--prate
to _Him_, (the first Author of Law,) about the "supremacy of Law,"--and
tell Him to His face that His miracles are things impossible:--when
Physiology insinuates that Mankind cannot be descended from one primæval
pair; and that the lives of the Patriarchs cannot be such as they are
recorded to have been:--when the pretender to Natural Philosophy
gravely assures us that we ought not to pray for fair weather, because
the weather depends _not_ upon "arbitrary changes in the will of GOD,"
_but_ upon laws as fixed and certain "as the laws of
gravitation[381],"--which, mark you, Sirs, is no longer a dry verbal
speculation, but is nothing less than an invasion of that inner chamber
where you or I have retired to pour out the fulness of an aching heart,
in prayer that GOD would prolong, if it may be, the life of the dearest
thing we have on earth; and rudely to bid us rise from our knees and be
silent, for that the health of Man depends not on the will of GOD, but
on fixed physiological laws:--lastly, when the pretender to Geological
skill denies the authenticity of the First Chapter of Genesis; which is
to deny the Inspiration of all the rest; and therefore of the whole
Bible;--and thus to rob Life's weary pilgrim of that rod and staff
concerning which he has many a time exclaimed,--"they _comfort_
me!":--whenever, as now, such things are spoken and printed,--not in a
corner, and by insignificant persons, and in ambiguous language,--but in
plain English, by clergymen and scholars in authority, openly in the
face of GOD'S sun;--then it is high time, even for the humblest and
least among you,--if no man of mark will speak up, and speak out, for
GOD'S Truth,--to deliver a plain message with that freedom which
Englishmen hold to be a part of their birthright. It should breed no
offence, I say, if the most unworthy of GOD'S servants, here, before you
all,--before these younger men especially, who have been drawn hither by
the fame of your piety and your learning,--and who have been entrusted
to your guardianship through the precious years of early manhood, with a
well-grounded confidence that you would give them to eat not only of the
Tree of Knowledge, but also largely of the fruit of the Tree of
Life:--in this Holy House too where he received his commission[382], and
vowed before GOD and Man, that he would "be ready," (the LORD being his
helper,) "with all faithful diligence to drive away all erroneous and
strange doctrines contrary to GOD's Word:"--before _such_ an audience,
and in such a place, it must and _shall_ be lawful for me solemnly to
denounce as false and deadly,--full of nothing but pernicious
consequence,--that system of practical Infidelity which enjoys such
unhappy popularity at this hour; which, under the mask of Science, and
under the specious name of Progress, is spreading like a fatal contagion
through the length and breadth of the land; and which, if suffered to go
unchastised and unchecked, will end by shaking both the Altar and the
Throne!.... Look well to it, Sirs, if you care for the safety of the Ark
of GOD. For my part,--like one of old time whose words I am not worthy
to take upon my lips,--"I cannot hold my peace: because thou hast heard,
O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war[383]!"

The case is not altered,--rather is it made worse,--if this hostility to
GOD's Truth proceeds from persons bearing Orders in the English Church.
("O my soul, come not thou into their secret!") The case is not altered:
for the requirements of Physical Science are still the plea; and
_Divines_, in _no_ sense, these men are, however unsuccessful they may
prove in establishing their claim to the title of _philosophers_ either.
Nay, Sirs,--suffer one of yourselves to ask you, whether these
disgraceful developments are not the lawful result of your own
incredible system, of sending forth, year by year, men to be teachers
and professors of Divinity,--to whom you have yet never imparted _any
Theological training whatever_[384].

You are requested to observe, that not only cannot GOD's Works
contradict GOD's Word,--simply because they are twin utterances of one
and the same Divine Intelligence;--but also the deductions of Physical
Science cannot possibly run counter to the decrees of
Theology[385],--simply because they are respectively in a wholly diverse
subject-matter. Had Theology even _once_ delivered a Geological decree,
or pretended even _once_ to pronounce upon any Astronomical problem;
then, indeed, there would be reason why her disciples should watch with
alarm the rapid advance of Physical Science,--instead of hailing it, as
they do, with wonder and delight. Then, indeed, we should be constrained
to admit that the day might be coming when Theology would have to
reconsider the platform whereon she stands; and possibly to "give way."
But it is an undeniable fact that there exist _no_ Theological dogmas on
matters Geological,--no, _not one!_ Theology cannot retreat from ground
on which she has never set foot. She cannot retract, what she has never
advanced, or recal the words which she has never spoken. The decrees of
Theology are all confined to the Science of Theology,--and with _that_
subject-matter, the other Sciences have simply _no concern_. Their
office _there_, as I have again and again explained, is simply
ministerial; and when they enter the presence chamber of the great King,
they are bid not to draw too nigh. "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet;
for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground!"

And how about Moral Science,--whom we beheld, a moment since, shrouded
in her mantle, beneath the footstool of the ALMIGHTY;--afraid to look up
into His awful Face,--and not presuming to speak, unless called upon to
bear her solemn witness to what she learned of Him "in the
beginning?"--Must we imagine _her_ too rising from her lowly seat, and
presuming to sit in judgment upon the Author of her Being? Are we to
picture her arraigning the Goodness of Him who commanded Abraham to slay
his son;--or the Justice of Him who sent Saul to destroy the
Amalekites;--or the Mercy of Him who inspired certain of David's
Psalms;--or the Wisdom of Him who made the everlasting Gospel the
mysterious four-fold thing it is?--Then, were she to do so, we should
perforce exclaim,--This judgment of thine cannot possibly be just! For
the echo _must_ resemble the voice which woke it! Other spirits must
have been intruding here; and the unholy din of their voices must have
drowned the clear, yet still and small utterance of ALMIGHTY GOD within
thy breast!.... In other words, if there _be_ antagonism, Ethics,--not
Theology, _but_ (_that which calls itself_) _Moral Science_,--must
instantly and hopelessly give way.

For doubtless, that inference of ours as to what had happened, would be
a true inference.--It _will_ be the fact, I fear, before the end of all
things; for it seems to be implied,--(a more heart-sickening sentence in
all Scripture, I know not!),--that when the Son of Man cometh, He will
not find the Faith on the Earth[386]. And if not _the Faith_ (τὴν
πίστιν),--what then? _The Moral Sense?_ Hardly! for where was the Moral
Sense when she _let go_ the Faith?--It was the fact, (if I read the
record rightly,) eighteen centuries ago: for children had then forgotten
their duty to their Parents; and the sanctity of Marriage was unknown;
and (O prime note of a darkened conscience!) men not only _did_ things
worthy of Death, but "_had pleasure in them that did them_." Read the
first chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and say what was
_then_ the condition of the Moral Sense in man. Tell me, while your
cheek is yet burning, whether you think Moral Science was _then_
competent to sit in judgment on a Revelation sent from the GOD of
Purity, until GOD's own SON had republished the sanctions of the Moral
Law, and informed Man's conscience afresh!... No Sirs. We are told
expressly, that "as they did not like to retain GOD in their knowledge,
GOD gave them over to a reprobate mind,"--"gave them up unto vile
affections." And why? Hear the Apostle! It was because "when they knew
GOD, they glorified Him not as GOD; neither were thankful:"--hence, they
were suffered to become vain in their imaginations, and, "_their foolish
heart was darkened!_"--In other words, the candle of the LORD, the light
of conscience within them, was well nigh _put out_.

This will explain the reason why, when "THE WORD was made flesh and
dwelt among us," He so frequently delivered precepts,--yea, preached
whole Sermons,--on what would now-a-days be called mere "Morality." He
was _republishing the Moral Law_. He was graving afresh those letters
which had been wellnigh worn out through tract of Time, and the wear and
tear of Man's ungoverned lusts.--Hence, to this hour, when question is
raised of Right and Wrong,--the appeal is made, by the common consent of
Christian men, _not_ to the inner consciousness of the creature, but to
the Creator's external Revelation of His mind and will. Let abler men
explain to us what we mean when we talk about Immutable Morality. I am
by no means sure that I understand myself. Sure only am I that it will
carry us a very little way. Aristotle would never have made the average
moral sense of mankind his standard, had _he_ known of a λόγος
θεόπνευστος. The principles of Morality do indeed seem to be fixed and
eternal;--ἀεί ποτε ζῇ ταῦτα:--but it is no longer true, οὐδεὶς οἶδεν
ἐξ ὅτου 'φάνη. Ever since the Gospel came into the world, _general
opinion_ has ceased to be the standard of Truth: for the Bible has
simply superseded it; and put forth a standard to which "general
opinion" itself must bow. "_I_ am the Way, _the Truth_, and the Life."
So spake the Eternal SON while yet on Earth. And He foresaw that there
would come a day when the world would still ask, with Pilate, "What is
Truth?" Accordingly, we heard his solemn reply in this Morning's Second
Lesson--"THY WORD,"--"THY WORD is Truth." ... "GOD made two great
lights," I grant you: but what I maintain is, that He made "_the greater
Light_ to rule _the Day_."

And therefore are we very bold to assert that it is all too late for
men _now_ to vaunt the authority of the Moral Sense, as a thing to be
set up against the fixed and immutable Revelation of GOD'S mind and
will. "The sufficiency of Natural Religion is a paradox of modern
invention, and the boast of it comes with an ill grace, and under great
suspicions, so late in the day of trial[387]." Aye, it comes all too
late. Here in England, (GOD be praised!) the moral sense is indeed
strong. Is it _as_ strong, think you, among those continental nations
which are under the spiritual yoke of Rome? Is it as strong among the
Hindoos? Is it as strong among the savage inhabitants of central
Australia?... Perceive you not that if Moral Science speaks with a loud
and clear voice in Christian lands, it is because there the Moral Sense
has been in those lands informed afresh by Revelation? "That the
principles of Natural Religion have come to be so far understood and
admitted, may fairly be taken for one of the effects of the
Gospel[388]." The echoes of the voice of GOD are now so distinct, only
because GOD hath suffered His awful voice to be heard on earth again:
and if among ourselves those echoes are the loudest and the clearest, is
it not because among ourselves the Bible is read the most?

"The fact" (says the thoughtful writer already quoted,)--"the fact is
not to be denied; the Religion of Nature _has_ had the opportunity of
rekindling her faded taper by the Gospel light,--whether furtively or
unconsciously availed of. Let her not dissemble the obligation, and make
a boast of the splendour, as though it were originally her own; or had
always, in her hands, been sufficient for the illumination of the
World."--"It is not to be imagined that men fail to profit by the light
that has been shed upon them, though they have not always the integrity
to own the source from which it comes; or though they may turn their
back upon it, whilst it fills the very atmosphere in which they move,
with glory[389]."

I say, therefore, that it is _all too late_ to vaunt the supremacy of
Conscience as opposed to Revelation,--Moral as opposed to Theological
Science. Moral Science owes all its renewed strength and vigour to
Theology. And so, were Moral Science to dare call in question, (as she
sometimes _has_ done, and may dare to do again!), the Morality of the
Bible,--we should find her monstrous image nowhere so fitly as in that
of the man whose withered hand CHRIST healed in the Synagogue,--if the
same man had proved such a wretch, as straightway to lift up his arm
with intention to smite his Benefactor and his GOD.

Physical Science therefore, (for the last time!)--_all_ the other
Sciences,--Moral Science not excepted,--are the handmaids of Theological
Science: and Morality, to which we omitted before to assign an office,
we have stationed somewhere beneath the footstool, which is before the
Throne, of the Most High.--But this day's Sermon,--(and with these words
I conclude, sorry to have felt obliged to detain you so long!)--_this_
Day's Sermon has had for its object to remind you, that THE BIBLE is
none other than _the voice of Him that sitteth upon the Throne_! Every
Book of it,--every Chapter of it,--every Verse of it,--every word of
it,--every syllable of it,--(_where_ are we to _stop_?)--every letter of
it--is the direct utterance of the Most High!--Πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος.
"Well spake the HOLY GHOST, by the mouth of" the many blessed Men who
wrote it.--The Bible is none other than _the Word of GOD_: not some part
of it, more, some part of it, less; but all alike, the utterance of Him
who sitteth upon the Throne;--absolute,--faultless,--unerring,--supreme!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μίαν κεραίαν οὐ πιστεύω κενὴν εἶναι θείων
    μαθημάτων.

ORIGENES, Comment. in S. Matth. tom. xvi. c. 12. p. 734.

    Ταῦτά μοι εἴρηται ... πρὸς σύστασιν τοῦ μηδὲν μέχρι συλλαβῆς ἀργόν τι
    εἶναι τῶν θεοπνεύστων ῥημάτων.

BASILIUS, in Hex. Hom. vi. c. 11. tom. i. p. 61 c.

     Scripturæ quidem perfectæ sunt, quippe a VERBO DEI, et SPIRITU ejus
     dictæ.

IRENÆUS, Contr. Hær. lib. ii. c. xxviii. 2.

    Μηδεμία ὑπεναντίωσις ἤ ἀτοπία ἐν τοῖς θείοις λόγοις.

METHODIUS, Tyrius Episcopus, ap. Routh Reliqq. t. v. p. 351.

    Ἔστι γὰρ ἐν τοῖς τῶν Γραφῶν ῥήμασιν ὁ Κύριος.

ATHANASIUS, ad Marcellinum.

    Ὅσα ἡ θεία γραφὴ λέγει, τοῦ Πνεύματός εἰσι τοῦ Ἁγίου φωναί.

GREGORIUS NYSSEN, Contr. Eunom. Orat. vi.

     Cedamus igitur et consentiamus auctoritati Sanctæ Scripturæ, quæ
     nescit falli nec fallere.

AUGUSTINUS, De Peccator. Merit. lib. i. c. 22.

FOOTNOTES:

[330] Preached in Christ-Church Cathedral, 25th Nov. 1860.

[331] Πᾶσαι αἱ θεόπνευστοι γραφαί,--as it is worded in the Epistle
sent by the Council of Antioch in the case of Paul of Samosata, A.D.
269. (Routh _Reliqq._ iii. 292.) See Middleton _on the Greek Article_,
(Rose's ed.) _in loc._ And so, in effect, Wordsworth and Ellicott.--It
is right to add that it has been contended that πᾶσα γραφή = "the
whole of Scripture." See Lee _on Inspiration_, p. 263, (note.) So
Athanasius seems to have taken it: Πᾶσα ἡ καθ' ἡμᾶς γραφὴ, παλαιά τε
καὶ καινὴ, θεόπνευστος ἐστι. (_Ep. ad Marcell._ i. 982.)

[332] That θεόπνευστος is the predicate, seems sufficiently obvious.
So Athanasius, in the passage above quoted. So Gregory of Nyssa: διὰ
τοῦτο πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος λέγεται, διὰ τὸ τῆς θείας ἐμπνεύσεως
εἶναι διδασκαλίαν. (_Contr. Eunom._ Orat. VI. ii. 605.) Amphilochius,
Bishop of Iconium, quotes the place in the same way.--Basil also,
saying--Πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος καὶ ὠφέλιμος, διὰ τοῦτο συγγραφεῖσα παρὰ
τοῦ Πνεύματος, (_Hom. in Psalm._ I. i. 90,)--clearly adopts the
construction assumed in the text.--Ambrose (_De Spir. Sancto_, lib. II.
c. 16. ii. 688,) says,--"In Scriptura Divina, θεόπνευστος omnis ex hoc
dicitur, quod Deus inspiret quæ locutus est Spiritus." (The above are
from Lee _on Inspiration_, which see, pp. 260, 493, 599.)--Tertullian
(quoted by Tisch.) says, "Legimus omnem Scripturam ædificationi habilem,
divinitus inspirari."--A few modern scholars have suggested that
θέοπν. may be an epithet, not a predicate. The _doctrine_ will remain
the same either way; for the meaning of the place can only be, "Every
Scripture, _being_ inspired, is also _profitable_," &c. This is Origen's
view: but his criticism is not in point, inasmuch as he read the text
differently, (omitting the καί.) Lee aptly compares the construction
of πᾶν κτίσμα Θεοῦ καλὸν, καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον. (1 Tim. iv. 4.)

[333] Thess. ii. 13.

[334] 1 Cor. ii. 13.

[335] 2 St. Pet. iii. 16,--where see Wordsworth.

[336] 1 Cor. vii. 40.

[337] 1 Cor. vii. 10.

[338] 1 Cor. vii. 6. (Τοῦτο δὲ λέγω κατὰ συγγνώμην, οὐ κατ' ἐπιταγήν.)

[339] St. Matth. xix. 6 (= St. Mark x. 9:) and the following
places,--St. Matth. v. 32: xix. 9 ( St. Mark x. 11, 12.): St. Luke xvi.
18.

[340] Montfaucon, _præf. ad Euseb. Comm. in Psalm._, cap. x. See also
Æsch. Prom. V. v. 289.

[341] St. Luke xvii. 9. So St. Mark x. 42. St. Luke viii. 18. St. John
v. 39.

[342] Comp. 1 Cor. iv. 9: Gal. ii. 9: Heb. iv. 1.

[343] Τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ.--1 St. Pet. i. 11.

[344] ὑπὸ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου φερόμενοι ἐλάλησαν οἱ ἅγιοι Θεοῦ
ἄνθρωποι.--2 St. Pet. i. 21. (_lit._ "impelled,"--like a ship before
the wind.)

[345] προεῖπε τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον διὰ στόματος Δαβὶδ.--Acts i. 16.

[346] καθὼς λέγει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον.--Heb. iii. 7.

[347] ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ.--Heb. v. 10.

[348] Δαβὶδ εἶπεν ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι τῷ Ἁγίῳ.--St. Mark xii. 36.

[349] ὁ Θεὸς ὁ ποιήσας τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ
πάντα τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς, ὁ διὰ στόματος Δαβὶδ τοῦ παιδός σου εἰπών.--Acts
iv. 24, 25.

[350] τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον ἐλάλησε διὰ Ἡσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου.--Acts
xxviii. 25.

[351] μαρτυρεῖ δὲ ἡμῖν καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον--Heb. x. 15, quoting
Jer. xxxi. 33, 34.

[352] ὁ δὲ Θεὸς ... προκατήγγειλε διὰ στόματος πάντων τῶν προφητῶν
αὐτοῦ παθεῖν τὸν Χριστὸν.--Acts iii. 18.

[353] Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ ... ἐλάλησε διὰ στόματος τῶν ἁγίων τῶν
ἀπ' αἰῶνος προφητῶν αὐτοῦ.--St. Luke i. 68, 70.

[354] τοῦτο δηλοῦντος τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου.--Heb. ix. 8.

[355] οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες, ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον.--St.
Mark xiii. 11.

[356] οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες, ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ
λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν.--St. Matth. x. 20.

[357] ἐπεὶ δοκιμὴν ζητεῖτε τοῦ ἐν ἐμοὶ λαλοῦντος Χριστοῦ.--2 Cor.
xiii. 3.

[358] Rev. B. Jowett, in _E. and R._,--p. 345. Yet see Acts iii. 18, 21.

[359] Dr. Temple, in _Essays and Reviews_, p. 25.

[360] _Contra Marcion_, sect. I. p. 9.

[361] See the first foot-note, p. 53. [Our 330]

[362] St. John xix. 14.

[363] St. Mark xv. 25.

[364] The passage may be seen in John Bois' _Vet. Interpretis cum Bezâ
aliisque recentioribus collatio_, (1655,) p. 333.

[365] See a Dissertation by Dr. Townson at the end of his admirable book
on the Gospels.

[366] Viz. St. John i. 39: iv. 6, 52: xix. 14.

[367] And yet, we hear it asserted that we cannot "suppose the Spirit of
absolute Truth" "to suggest accounts _only to be reconciled in the way
of hypothesis and conjecture_."--_E. and R._, p. 179.

[368] E.g. Gen. xxiv. 2-8, compared with ver. 37-41; and again, ver.
12-14, compared with ver. 42-44. Again, Gen. xlii. 10-13, compared with
ver. 31, 32: and again, ver. 14-16, compared with ver. 33, 34. Again,
Gen. xlii. 36-8, compared with xliv. 27-29, &c., &c., &c.

[369] Instances of this will be very familiar to every attentive student
of the Gospels. Thus St. Matth. xxvi. 68 implies acquaintance with a
minute circumstance which is stated in St. Luke xxii. 64:--St. Matth. x.
13 _implies_ what is _expressed_ in St. Luke x. 5, &c., &c., &c.

[370] St. Matth. xxvii. 9.

[371] E.g. St. Jude ver. 14, 15.

[372] Is. lii. 7, and Nahum i. 15.--Is. ii. 2, 3, 4, and Micah iv. 1, 2,
3.--Micah iv. 6, and Zeph. iii. 19.--Is. xi. 9, and Hab. ii. 14.--Micah
iii. 12, and Jer. xxvi. 18, &c., &c.

[373] E.g. Jer. xxiii. 5 and Zech. vi. 13.

[374] See Appendix (C).

[375] See Appendix (D).

[376] See Appendix (E).

[377] The Rev. H. Alford, Dean of Canterbury.

[378] Ezek. iii. 2, 3.

[379] Hooker, _Serm._ v. § 4. (_Works_, vol. iii. p. 663.)

[380] St. Matth. v. 5.

[381] Professor Kingsley's Sermon,--"_Why should we pray for fair
Weather?_"

[382] See at the foot of p. 53, note (a). [Our 330]

[383] Jer. iv. 19.

[384] The complaint is a very old one. See Pearson's _Minor Works_, vol.
i. pp. 429-30.

[385] It becomes necessary to explain, that on the Sunday after the
delivery of the foregoing Sermon, a Sermon was preached _directly
contravening its teaching_. Next week, it became the present writer's
duty to address the same auditory,--which will explain as much of what
follows in the present Sermon, (including something at p. 79,) as may
seem to require explanation. It was impossible to proceed with the
argument, until what had been advanced of a directly opposite tendency
had been thus disposed of.

[386] St. Luke xviii. 8.

[387] Davison's _Discourses on Prophecy_,--p. 7.

[388] _Ibid._

[389] Davison's _Discourses on Prophecy_,--p. 8.--The following passage
is from Bp. Horsley's _Primary Charge to the Clergy of Rochester_,
(1796,):--"The question in this case is not abstract,--what Reason _may
have_ the ability to do. The question is upon a matter of fact,--_what
she did_. Were these things, in point of fact, man's own discovery?--The
sacred history is explicit that they were not. And notwithstanding the
many useful lessons of Morality we find in the writings of the heathen
sages,--the many eloquent discourses upon providence, and the
immortality of the soul,--the many subtile disquisitions upon the great
questions of necessity and moral freedom, upon fate and chance,--I am
persuaded, that had it not been for the early communications of the
Creator with mankind, Man never would have raised the conceptions of his
mind to the idea of a God; he never would have dreamt of the immaterial
principle within himself; and he never would have formed any general
notions of Right and Wrong in the abstract; he would have had no
Religion, perhaps no Morality.... The prudent dispensers of the Word
will resort to Revelation for his first principles, as well as for more
mysterious truths. He will not trust to philosophy for any discoveries.
He will suffer philosophy to be nothing more than his assistant in the
study of the inspired Word. She must herself be instructed by those
lively oracles before she can be qualified to take part in the
instruction of men. To lay the foundation of Revelation upon any
previous discoveries of Reason, is in fact to make Reason the superior
teacher. It is not improbable, that Idolatry itself had its first
beginning in an early adoration of this phantom of Natural
Religion,--the idol, in later ages, of impolitic metaphysical
Divines."--_Charges_, pp. 50, 51.--Bp. Butler says the same thing, but
more briefly, in his _Analogy_, P. II., c. ii.: also P. I., c. vi.



SERMON IV.[390]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PLENARY INSPIRATION OF EVERY PART OF THE BIBLE, VINDICATED AND
EXPLAINED.--NATURE OF INSPIRATION.--THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE.

       *       *       *       *       *

ST. JOHN xvii. 17.

_Thy Word is Truth._


I thankfully avail myself of the opportunity which, unexpected and
unsolicited, so soon presents itself, to proceed with the subject which
was engaging our attention when I last occupied this place.

Let me remind you of the nature of the present inquiry, and of the
progress which we have already made.

Taking Holy Scripture for our subject, and urging, as best we knew how,
its paramount claims on the daily attention of the younger men,--who at
present are our hope and ornament; to be hereafter, as we confidently
believe, our very crown and joy;--even while we held in our hands that
volume which our Fathers were content to call the volume of Inspiration,
we were constrained to recollect that its claim to be inspired has of
late years been repeatedly called in question. It has even become the
fashion to cavil at almost everything which the Bible contains. We are
grown so exceedingly wise, have made so many strange discoveries, and
have become so clear-sighted, that the more advanced among us are kindly
bent on disabusing the minds of their less gifted brethren of that most
venerable delusion of all,--(for it is coeval with Christianity,)--that
the Bible is in any special sense the Word of GOD. I do not say that
Theologians talk thus. But pretenders to Natural Science, knowing
nothing whatever of Divinity, and therefore intruding into a realm of
which they do not understand so much as the language;--together with,
(sad to relate!) men bearing a commission in the Church of CHRIST, (and
who ought therefore to be building up, where they are seeking to
destroy,)--are employing the powers which GOD has given them, in this
direction. It becomes indispensable, in consequence, that we should say
somewhat on behalf of those Oracles which have been so vigorously
impugned; and it should not seem strange if we oppose to such
destructive dogmatism, the most uncompromising severity of counter
statement.

The objections which have been raised against the Bible, although they
have been industriously gleaned from various quarters, will all be most
effectually met, I am persuaded, by getting men to acquaint themselves
with the contents of the deposit itself. And yet, inasmuch as it is the
nature of doubts, when once injected into the mind, to fester and to
spread; inasmuch also as the bold confidence of plausible assertion,
especially when recommended by men of reputation, and set off with some
ability and skill, is apt to impose on youth and inexperience;--we seem
reduced to a kind of necessity, to examine; and, as far as the limits of
a sermon will allow, to refute; the charges which have been so
industriously brought forward against the Bible.

The favourite objections of the day come partly from without,--partly
from within. The classification is not exact, but it may serve to assist
the memory. One class of objections is, in a manner, destructive,--for
it results in entire disbelief of the Bible:--the other class,
suggesting imperfections, results in a low and disparaging estimate of
its contents. When exception is taken against certain portions of Holy
Scripture, on the ground of discoveries in Physical Science,--of the
dictates of the Moral Sense,--of the supremacy of mechanical Laws,--and
the like,--we consider that the supposed difficulties come _from
without_. As much as we care to say on this class of objections has
either been already offered, or must be reserved for a subsequent
occasion[391].--When doubts are insinuated, arising out of the
subject-matter of the Bible, we consider the difficulties to proceed
_from within_. The apparent contradictions of the Evangelists, are of
this nature. Supposed errors or misstatements, come under the same head.
Very imperfectly, yet sufficiently for our immediate purpose, we have
touched upon both subjects. Those portions of the Old Testament which
savour in the highest degree of the marvellous, must be reserved for
separate consideration[392]. To-day I propose to speak of another kind
of objection; but which arises, like the others, out of the
subject-matter of the Bible. Moreover, it is the kind of difficulty
which most readily presents itself to any who listened with unwilling
ears to my last discourse. Some here present may remember my repeated
and unequivocal assertion that Holy Scripture is inspired from the Alpha
to the Omega of it;--not some parts more, some parts less, but all
equally, and all to overflowing;--that we hold it to be, not generally
inspired, but particularly; that we see not how with logical consistency
we can avoid believing the words as well as the sentences of it; the
syllables as well as the words; the letters as well as the syllables;
every "jot" and every "tittle" of it, (to use our LORD'S expression,) to
be divinely inspired:--and further, that until the contrary has been
_proved_, we shall maintain that no misapprehension or misstatement, no
error or blot of any kind, can possibly exist within its pages:--that we
hold the Bible to be as much the Word of GOD, as if GOD spoke to us
therein with human lips;--and that, as the very utterance of the HOLY
GHOST, we cannot _but_ think that it must be absolute, faultless,
unerring, supreme.

I. To this, it has been objected as follows:--

You cannot possibly mean what you say. You will not pretend to assert
that the list of the Dukes of Edom[393], is as much inspired,--inspired
in _the same sense_,--as the Gospel of St. John.--To which I make
answer, that I believe one to be just as much inspired as the other: and
before I leave off, I will endeavour to bring my hearers to the same
opinion. In the meantime, it is only fair to the objector, to hear him
out: to follow his guidance; and to see whither he would lead us. It
will be quite competent for us _then_ to retrace our steps; to point out
"a more excellent way;" and to entreat him, with all a brother's
earnestness, to reconsider the matter, and to follow _us_.

The objection may, I believe, be fairly stated as follows.--It is
unreasonable to consider any part of Holy Scripture inspired which the
author was competent to write without the aid of Inspiration. Just as
you would not multiply miracles needlessly, and ascribe to special
Divine interference results which might be otherwise accounted for, so
neither ought you to call in the aid of Inspiration where it may clearly
be dispensed with. A genealogy,--a catalogue of names, whether of places
or persons,--whatever may reasonably be suspected to have been an
extract from public Archives;--nothing of this sort need you, nor
indeed, properly speaking, _can_ you, call "inspired." More than that.
All mere narratives of ordinary transactions,--or indeed of transactions
extraordinary;--whatever, in short, a writer, having first beheld it
with his eyes, appears to have simply described with his pen, it is
unreasonable to regard as the work of Inspiration. For it is plain to
common sense,--(so at least I have heard it said,) that there is much,
both in the Old and in the New Testament, the delivery of which required
no other than the ordinary gifts of men:--actual observation, good
memory, high intellect, clearness of statement, honesty of purpose. Look
at the preface to St. Luke's Gospel. It seems only to convey that the
author of it believed himself to be bringing out a superior edition of a
narrative which had already been attempted by many. I would apply, (it
is said,) to the whole of the Old Testament the same observations which
I apply to the New. There are parts which evidently required nothing but
opportunity of experience, or research, and the ordinary qualities of a
trustworthy historian.--This then is the way the case is put. There is
no intentional irreverence on the part of the objector: no conscious
hostility to GOD'S Truth. Very much the reverse. But having once
assumed that the catalogue of the Dukes of Edom is not to be regarded as
an inspired document, he has logical consistency enough to perceive that
he cannot exactly stop _there_. And so, he carries his speculations a
little further. He tries to take (what he calls) a "common sense" view
of the question. He says that he thinks it a dangerous proceeding on the
part of the preacher to insist on the infallibility of Apostles and
Evangelists. Meanwhile, I suspect that he is not by any means without a
suspicion that he is on a platform beset with _far greater dangers_,
himself. He has walked a little this way, and that way; and his "common
sense" has shewn him that there is an ugly precipice on every side. Nay;
he perceives that the ground trembles, and cracks, and shakes,--and even
yawns beneath his feet.

For I request you to observe, that there is absolutely no middle state
between Inspiration and non-inspiration. If a writing be inspired, it is
Divine: if it be not inspired, it is human. It is absurd to shirk the
alternative. _Some_ parts of the Bible, it is allowed, _are_ inspired;
other parts, it is contended, are _not_. Let it be conceded then, for
the moment, that the catalogue of the Dukes of Edom is _not_ an inspired
writing; and let it be ejected from the Bible accordingly. We must by
strict parity of reasoning, eject the xth chapter of Genesis, which
enumerates the descendants of Japheth, of Ham, and of Shem, with the
countries which they severally occupied,--that truly venerable record
and outline of the primæval settlement of the nations! The ten
Patriarchs before, and the ten after Noah: the many enumerations
contained in the Book of Numbers: much of the two Books of Chronicles:
together with the Genealogies of our SAVIOUR as given by St. Matthew and
St. Luke.

It is clear that the history of the Flood,--very much of it at
least,--is of the same nature: a kind of calendar as it were, and record
of dates.

But we may go on faster, and use the knife far more freely. Every thing
in the Pentateuch of which Moses had been an eye or ear-witness, and
which he set down from his own personal knowledge, may be eliminated
from the Bible, as not inspired. According to the principle already
enunciated by yourself, I call upon you to excise from the Book of GOD'S
Law, Exodus, and Leviticus, and Numbers, and Deuteronomy: those passages
only excepted which are prophetical,--as the xxxiiird of Deuteronomy.
Joshua must go of course: for if the son of Nun did not write the Book
which goes under his name,--(as the wise men in Germany say, or used to
say, he did not[394],)--of course the narrative is not authentic; and if
he _did_, _you_ say that it ought not to be regarded as inspired. Judges
and Ruth cannot hope to stand; for they are mere stories,--narratives of
events which any contemporary author who enjoyed "actual observation,
good memory, high intellect, clearness of statement, and honesty of
purpose," was abundantly qualified--(according to _your_ view of the
matter)--to commit to writing. The Books of Samuel and of Kings cannot
be claimed as the work of Inspiration, of course. Chronicles we have got
rid of already. No imaginable plea can be invented for the Books of
Ezra, of Nehemiah, and of Esther; those writings having evidently
required nothing (to use your own phrase) but "opportunity of experience
or research, and the ordinary qualities of a trustworthy historian." The
prophetical books you spare; natural piety suggesting that since
"Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of GOD
spake as they were moved by the HOLY GHOST[395];"--the writings of
Isaiah and the rest, must be retained as inspired. We expunge those
portions only which are simply historical and moral; since to these, by
the hypothesis, the spirit of Inspiration cannot be thought to have
extended.

We come now to the New Testament; and two of the Gospels are found to be
mutilated already, by the elimination of one chapter of St. Matthew and
one of St. Luke. But on the principle that personal observation, a good
memory, honesty of purpose, and so forth, are the only requirements
necessary, we may proceed to carry forward the work of excision with
spirit, so that we be but careful to use discernment. For example, we
may begin with the Call of St. Matthew, and the Feast which he made to
our LORD in his own house. _Who_ so competent to relate this, as the
Evangelist himself? Whenever, in short, the Twelve were present, St.
Matthew, (as one of the Twelve,) may be assumed to have written from
personal observation; and _that_ portion of his narrative is to be
rejected accordingly as uninspired.

It is painful to anticipate what will be the fate of St. John's Gospel,
on this principle,--together with most of the Divine Discourses therein
recorded. Not, to be sure, that we shall lose the conversation with
Nicodemus, nor that with the woman of Samaria; because St. John was not
present when either of those conversations took place: but all, from the
xivth to the xviith chapter inclusive; as well as the discourse in the
vith chapter, must of course be dismissed. The matter of these
discourses, it will be urged,--(with more of logical consistency, alas!
than of essential truth,)--might have been faithfully handed down by St.
John without any extraordinary gift. He was bound to our LORD by more
than ordinary affection. He was ever nearest to Him. Is it not
conceivable, (we are asked,) that these two causes, aided by a retentive
memory, would at least _enable_ him to give us the record which he has
given?

Quite superfluous must it be to state that the Acts of the Apostles,
under the expurgatory process which now engages our attention, will
cease to be regarded as an inspired Book; and therefore must be at once
disconnected from the confessedly inspired portions of Holy
Scripture.--St. Paul's Epistles, you say, on the contrary, are probably
inspired, and therefore are probably to be spared.... And I really think
we need go no further. If your own handling of Holy Scripture,--your own
method, by yourself applied,--be not a _reductio ad absurdum_, I know of
nothing in the world which is.... Look only at that handful of mutilated
pages in the hands of one who is supposed to be the impersonation of
"common sense;" turn the tattered and mangled leaves over and over,
which _you_ are pleased to call the Volume of Inspiration; and get all
the comfort and help out of it you can. But be not surprised to hear
that you are exposing yourself to the ridicule of the sane part of
Mankind,--even while haply you are acting a part which makes the Angels
weep.... How much of the Bible will remain, when _Science_, (Physical,
Moral, Historical,) has further done _her_ work, I forbear now to
inquire: but I shrewdly suspect that she will leave you very little
beyond the back and the covers.

Let us not be told, (as we doubtless shall,) that the human parts of
Scripture need not be _ejected_ from the Canon because they are human:
that they may be allowed to stand with the rest, although uninspired;
and the like. About this, _we_ at least are competent judges. We are now
bent on discovering how much of Holy Scripture is _the Word of GOD_; and
we refuse, for the moment, to regard as such, and to retain, a single
passage which, being (as you say) uninspired, is simply _the word of
Man_.

II. Let me now be permitted to lay before you a somewhat different view
of the office of Inspiration. Since the illumination of Science, falsely
so called, and the process of Common Sense, would seem to have resulted
in the extinction of the deposit, I ask your patience while I try to
shew, that common sense, informed by a somewhat loftier Theological
Instinct, may give such an account of the matter as will enable us to
preserve every word of the deposit entire.

You call my attention to the catalogue of the Dukes of Edom, and tell me
that it required no supernatural aid to enable Moses to write it. How,
may I ask, do you ascertain that fact? No specimens of the documentary
evidence of the land of Seir in the days of Moses, are known now to
exist on the earth's surface. You therefore know absolutely nothing
whatever about the matter of which you speak so confidently.

But, that we may grapple with the question fairly, let us come down from
an age concerning which neither of us knows anything beyond what the
Bible teaches, to a period with which all are familiar, and to documents
of which we know at least a little. It will suit your purpose far better
that you should instance the two Genealogies of our LORD,--of which you
also say that it is impossible to maintain that they exhibit the work of
Inspiration in the same sense as when some lofty statement of Christian
doctrine comes before us. Indeed, you deny that they are inspired at
all. I, on my side, am willing to admit that it is quite possible,--even
probable,--that the first and the third Evangelist had access to extant
documents of which they respectively availed themselves, when they
recorded our LORD'S descent.

But, do you not perceive that the great underlying fallacy in all you
have been saying, is your own wholly gratuitous assumption that you are
a competent judge of what _did_,--what did _not_,--require supernatural
aid to deliver? that whatever _seems_ as if it might have been written
without Inspiration, _was_ therefore written without it?--I see so many
practical inconveniences, or rather I see such glaring absurdity,
resulting from the supposition that Inspiration goes and comes before an
authentic document, that I am constrained to think that you are
altogether mistaken in the office which you assign to Inspiration,--in
the kind of notion which you seem to entertain concerning its nature.

An Evangelist, if you please, is inspired. It becomes necessary to
introduce a genealogy. Following the Divine guidance, (the nature of
which, neither you nor I know anything at all about,) he applies in a
certain quarter, and obtains access to a certain document. Or he repairs
to a well-known repository of public archives, and out of the whole
collection he is guided to make choice of one particular writing. He
proceeds to transcribe it,--omitting names (dropping three generations
for instance,)--or inserting names (the second Cainan for example,)--or,
if you please, neither omitting nor inserting anything. The document,
(suppose,) requires no correction whatever.--Well but, this man was
inspired a moment ago, in what he was writing; and no reason has been
shewn why he should not be inspired still. He has adopted a document, by
incorporating it into his narrative. By transcribing it, he has made it
his own. I am at a loss to see that its claim to be an inspired writing,
from that moment forward, is in any respect inferior to the rest of the
narrative in which it stands.

You are requested to remember that when we call the Bible an inspired
book, we mean nothing more than that the words of it are the very
utterance of the HOLY SPIRIT;--that the Book is as much the Word of GOD
as if high Heaven were open, and we heard GOD speaking to us with human
voice. All I am contending for _now_, is, that this is at least as true
of one part of the Gospel as of another: that if it be true of anything
in the Gospel, it is at least _as_ true of the Genealogy of CHRIST. The
_subject-matter_ indeed is different; but it is a mere confusion of
thought to infer therefrom a different degree of _Inspiration_. Let me
try and make this plainer by a few familiar illustrations.

1. When the Sovereign reads a speech from the Throne, does she speak the
words of it in any _different sense_ from the words of a speech which
she has herself composed?--Nay, are words of investiture, mere words of
form and state, in any _less degree spoken_, than words of confidence,
and private friendship?

2. Again. The substance of paper and the substance of gold, are widely
different. And yet, when paper has been subjected to a certain process,
and stamped with a certain impress, there is practically _no difference
whatever_ between the value of what was, a moment ago, absolutely
worthless, and an ingot of the purest gold.

3. Consider how the case stands with a merely human author. An historian
has occasion to introduce into his narrative the descent of a House, or
the preamble of an Act, or any other lifeless thing. Does his
responsibility cease when he comes to it, and recommence immediately
afterwards? Is he not responsible just to the same extent for _that_, as
for every other part of his story?

That he did not _compose it himself_, is certain: but _neither did he
compose the sayings which he has recorded of great men_.--True also is
it that the edification to be derived from the pedigree is not so
great,--certainly, not so obvious,--as from certain of the events which
he describes. But it is nevertheless henceforth an integral part of his
history. He sought for it,--and he found it: he weighed it,--and he
approved of it: he transcribed it,--and he interwove it into his
narrative. In a word, he adopted; and by adopting, he _made it his own_.
Henceforth, it will be quoted as authentic, because it is found to have
satisfied _him_.

The utmost praise which can be accorded to any creature is, that it
thoroughly fulfils the office whereunto God sends it. A genealogy is not
intended to make men wise unto Salvation: the threats and promises of
GOD'S Law are not intended to acquaint men with the descent of David's
Son. But because _their offices_ are different, it does not follow that
_their origin_ shall not he the same! Is a shoe-latchet in any sense
less an article manufactured by Man, than a watch? Is the Archangel
Michael, burning with glory, and intent on some celestial enterprise,
with twelve legions of glittering seraphs in his train;--is such a host
as _that_, one atom more a creation of the ALMIGHTY than the handful of
yellow leaves which flutter unheeded on the blast?

None of these figures present a strict parallel; and yet, successively,
they seem to set forth different aspects of the same case, with
sufficient vividness and truth.... So bent am I on conveying to your
minds the strong sense of certainty, the clear definite view, which I
cherish for myself on this subject, that I take leave to add yet another
illustration.

4. If I commission a Servant to deliver a message,--is not the message
which he delivers _mine_? If I give him words to deliver,--are not _the
words_ which he delivers _mine_? So obvious a proposition is no matter
of opinion. You _cannot_ deny it. Nor,--(to apply the illustration to
the matter in hand,)--nor _do_ you deny it, probably, so far as
_Prophecy_, (in the popular sense of the term,) is concerned: but you
begin to doubt, it seems, when any other function of the prophetic
office is in question. "Any other function," I say; for, (as all men
ought to be aware,) a prophet,--(_navē_ in Hebrew, προφήτης in
Greek,)--does not, by any means, of necessity imply one who describes
_future_ events. Πρό does not denote futurity of time, but
vicariousness of office. The προ-φήτης is one who speaketh πρό, "on
behalf of," "in the person of," GOD; whether declaring things
past,--(as when Moses describes the Creation of the World, the Fall of
Man, the Patriarchal Age): things present,--(as when St. Luke, "having
had perfect understanding of all things from the very first," writes of
them "in order"): things future,--(as when David, and Isaiah, and the
rest of the goodly fellowship, "testified beforehand the sufferings of
CHRIST, and the glory that should follow[396].") This is no arbitrary
statement, but a well-known fact, which modern unbelievers and ancient
heathen writers have declared with sufficient plainness[397]. So long
then as the message which the Servant delivers is prophetic, you do not
object to the notion that it is GOD'S message; nay, that the words
spoken are GOD'S words. You begin to doubt, it seems, when a collection
of genealogies, (as the two Books of Chronicles;) or when a story like
that contained in the Book of Esther is concerned.

But what is this but very trifling, and mere childishness? The message
_may_ be mine, it seems, if it be of a lofty character: it may _not_ be
mine if it be of a homely, ordinary kind!--I send a message by my
Servant, and he delivers it faithfully: but whether it _is_ to be called
my message, or is _not_ to be called my message, is to depend entirely
on the subject-matter!... Thus, if a King, refusing to appear in person,
should issue a reprieve to prisoners under sentence of Death, a
proclamation of Peace or of War, an address to the representatives of
the constitution, (Clergy, Lords, and Commons,) in parliament
assembled,--the message would be _his_. But if, on the contrary, he were
only to send a few homely words, the expression of some wish or
intention which has nothing that seems particularly royal in it,--then,
the message would _cease_ to be his!... I protest that as I am unable to
see the reasonableness of such a method of regarding things human, so am
I at a loss to understand why men should so regard things Divine.

5. This entire matter may be usefully illustrated by having recourse to
an analogy which was established on a former occasion: namely, the
analogy between the _Written_ and the _Incarnate_ Word[398]. That our
LORD JESUS CHRIST is at once very GOD and very Man, we all fully admit;
although _the manner_ of the union of GODHEAD and Manhood in His one
Person we confess ourselves quite unable to comprehend. Even so, that
there is a human as well as a Divine element in Holy Scripture,--_who_
so blind as to overlook? _who_ so weak as to deny? And yet, to dissect
out that human element,--_who_ (but a fool) so rash as to attempt?... To
apply this to the matter before us. _Certain parts_ of Holy Scripture
you think, (for reasons to yourself best known,) are not to be looked
upon as inspired in the same sense as the rest of the volume. Just as
reasonably might you try to persuade me that our SAVIOUR was not _in the
same sense_ our SAVIOUR when He ate and drank at the Pharisees' board,
as when He cast out devils and raised the dead. Was He not equally the
Incarnate WORD at every stage of His earthly career; from the time that
He was laid in the manger, until the instant when He expired upon the
Cross? The degradation which He endured in Pilate's judgment-hall did
not affect the reality of the great truth that the GODHEAD was
indissolubly joined to the Manhood in His Person. He was not less very
GOD as well as very Man when some one spat upon Him, than at His
Transfiguration and at His Ascension into Heaven!... Why then should the
mean aspect and lowly office of certain parts of
Scripture,--(genealogical details and the narrative of what we think
ordinary occurrences,)--be supposed to disentitle those parts to the
praise of being _as fully inspired as any thing in the whole compass of
the Bible?_

I may remind you, in passing, that the narrative of Scripture, even in
its humblest, and (to all appearance) most human parts, has a perpetual
note of Divinity set upon it. The historical portions are throughout
interspersed with indications that the writer is beholding the
transactions which he records, from a Divine, (not a human,) point of
view. GOD is invariably, (sooner or later,) mentioned as the Agent; or
there is some reference made to GOD; or to GOD'S Word. As Butler
expresses it,--"The general design of Scripture ... may be said to be,
to give us an account of the world, in this one single view,--_as GOD'S
world_: by which it appears essentially distinguished from all other
books, so far as I have found, except such as are copied from it[399]."

I entreat you therefore to disabuse your minds of the very weak,--aye
and very fatal,--notion that the catalogue of the Dukes of Edom is
_less_, or _in any different sense_, inspired, from the rest of the
narrative in which it stands. We may not multiply miracles needlessly,
it is true; but neither may we deny the miraculous character of certain
transactions, (as the two Draughts of Fishes,) which, apart from the
recorded attendant circumstances, would not have been deemed
miraculous.--In truth, however, Holy Scripture, in one sense, is a
miracle from end to end; and if we may not multiply miracles needlessly,
certainly we are not at liberty to dismiss the recorded details of a
single miracle, as of no account.--Consider also, I entreat you, whether
it is credible that Inspiration should be a thing of such a nature, that
it comes and goes,--is here and is gone,--once and again in the course
of a single page. What? does it vanish, like lightning, when the
Evangelist's pen has to record the title on the Cross,--to re-appear the
instant afterwards?

This allusion to the title on the Cross of our Blessed LORD, variously
given by each of the four Evangelists, reminds me of the singular
perversity of mankind when this subject of Inspiration is being treated
of; and to this, I now particularly desire to invite your
attention.--When a document is simply transcribed by the Evangelist, or
may be _supposed_ to have been merely transferred to his pages, men
assert that so purely mechanical an act precludes the notion that
Inspiration has had any share in the transaction. Be it so!--Behold now,
four inspired writers exhibiting the brief title on our LORD'S Cross
with considerable verbal diversity; and you will hear the same critics
open-mouthed against the Evangelists' claim to Inspiration, for exactly
the opposite reason!--It is just so of places quoted from the Old
Testament in the New. Faithful transcription, (we are told,) is in the
power of all. What note of an inspired author have we here? But the
places are _not_ faithfully transcribed. On the contrary. They exhibit
every possible degree of deflection from the original standard. And lo,
the Apostles of CHRIST are thought not to have quite understood
Greek,--to have mistaken the sense of the Hebrew,--and to have been the
victims of a most capricious memory.--For the last time. Certain
narrative portions of Holy Scripture, (it is assumed,) could have been
written without the aid of Inspiration; and therefore it is
unphilosophical, (we are told,) to assign to them a divine original. But
the marvellous parts of Holy Scripture, which seem to claim a loftier
original than man's unaided wit,--_these_ you view with suspicion, or
you deny!... "Whereunto shall I liken the men of this generation?"

Before dismissing the subject, I must ask you to observe, that this
arbitrary, irreverent method of approaching Holy Scripture, is
absolutely fatal; and can result in nothing but general unbelief. It
confessedly leaves the individual reader to decide what parts of the
Bible he thinks could, what parts could not, have been written without
Divine assistance;--a point on which I am bold to say that he is not
competent even to form an opinion. In other words, it constitutes every
man the judge of how much of the Bible he will retain,--how much he will
reject. To put the case yet more plainly, it makes every man a GOD to
himself, and the maker of his own Bible.--For, mark you, the exceptions
taken against a genealogy, or a catalogue of names, are just as
applicable to the account of our LORD'S Discourses as given by St. John.
Once convince me that the function of Inspiration ceases when a
genealogy has to be set down,--because (say you) it requires no
Inspiration to enable an Evangelist to copy _written_ words;--and I
shall have no difficulty in convincing myself that St. John's Gospel,
from the xivth to the xviith chapters inclusive, is not
inspired,--because I cannot _but_ infer that then neither can it require
Inspiration to enable an Evangelist to copy _spoken_ words.--The
original fallacy, I repeat,--the πρῶτον ψεῦδος,--consists in your
supposing yourself a competent judge of the nature and office of
Inspiration; concerning which, in reality, you know nothing. You can but
reverently examine the phenomena of the Book of Inspiration; remembering
that you have everything to learn.

The Bible, it cannot be too often repeated, too clearly borne in
mind,--the Bible must stand or fall,--or rather, be received or
rejected,--_as a whole_. A Divinity hath over-ruled it, that those many
Books of which it is composed should come to be spoken of collectively
as if they were one Book. As it was formerly called ἡ γραφή--"the
Scripture,"--so is it happily called "the Bible"--(the Book)--_now_.
"Moses--the Prophets--and the Psalms," was the recognized analysis of
the volume of the Old Testament. The Gospels, the Epistles, and the
Apocalypse, exhibits the sum of the contents of the New.--There is no
disjoining the Law from the Gospel. There is no disconnecting one Book
from its fellows. There is no eliminating one chapter from the rest.
There is no taking exception against one set of passages, or supposing
that Inspiration has anywhere forgotten her office, or discharged it
imperfectly. All the Books of the Bible must stand or fall together.
"Nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it[400]." It is a
fabric hard as adamant; and the gates of Hell will assuredly never
prevail against it. But remove in thought a single stone; and in
thought, that goodly work of Lawgivers and Judges--Kings and
Prophets--Evangelists and Apostles,--collapses into a shapeless and
unmeaning ruin[401].

Nor may it occasion perplexity, or breed mistrust in any thoughtful mind
to find this Book of GOD'S Law so complex in its character,--so various
in its contents,--so fruitful in its difficulties. Might it not, on the
contrary, have been expected beforehand, that some analogy would have
been recognizable between the general complexion of GOD'S Works and of
GOD'S Word? While I behold the creatures of GOD so various,--their
functions so marvellous,--their nature so little understood,--the very
purpose of their creation so great a mystery;--shall I think it strange
that _that_ Book which is but another expression of GOD'S Mind and Will,
proves diverse in texture, and difficult of interpretation?--Shall I
grow rebellious against the message, because the history of it is hid in
the long night of ages; say rather, in the counsels of GOD'S inscrutable
will? or shall I be incredulous that it comes from Heaven, because I see
the fingers of a Man's hand writing upon the plaister of the wall? or
shall I despise those parts of it of which I cannot detect the medicinal
value? As there are riddles in Nature, so are there riddles in Grace.
Anomalies too, it may be, are discoverable in both worlds.--Give me
leave to add, that as the microscope reveals unsuspected wonders in the
one, so does minute examination bring to light undreamed of perfections
in the other also; unimagined proofs of divine wisdom, and skill.... But
beyond all things, there is perhaps this further thing which it behoves
us to consider:--that the field of either is very vast; the
subject-matter very complex: and as, in one, many Professors are
needed,--(for the Animal kingdom and the Vegetable kingdom are realms
apart: the analysis of substances, and the structure of the Earth demand
the undivided attention of different minds;)--so does it fare with the
other also. The languages of Scripture are in themselves a mighty study;
and the collation of the Text is the portion of a long life. The Law of
Moses would abundantly engross the time of one who should undertake to
explain its depths; as the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST would assuredly fill
to overflowing the soul of another who should desire to appreciate its
perfections. The Prophetic writings are a distinct field of labour. The
same may well be said of the Epistles of St. Paul. It would be easy to
multiply departments--; for I have said nothing yet of Sacred History;
and above all, of Sacred Exegesis. But enough has been stated to
introduce the remark that considering how slenderly one man is able to
labour in all these various provinces, it behoves each one of us to be
humble; and certainly to be a vast deal more mistrustful of ourselves
than some of us unhappily seem to be; especially when the errand on
which we propose to come abroad is the assailing of the authenticity, or
the morality, or the integrity, or the Inspiration, of any part of the
Bible. Our own amazing ignorance,--our many infirmities,--our faculties
limited on every side,--might well keep us humble in the presence of
Him whose knowledge is infinite;--whose attributes are all
perfections;--whose very Name is ALMIGHTY!--Shall we, on the contrary,
presume to sit in judgment upon His Word, which claims to be none other
than the authentic record of His Providence,--the Revelation of His very
mind and will?... Truly, in this behalf, beyond all others, we seem to
stand in need of the solemn warning: "Dangerous it were for the feeble
brain of Man to wade far into the doings of the Most High: whom although
to know be life, and joy to make mention of His Name; yet our soundest
knowledge is to know that we know Him not as indeed He is, neither can
know Him. And our safest eloquence concerning Him is our silence, when
we confess without confession that His glory is inexplicable; His
greatness above our capacity and reach. He is above, and we upon earth:
therefore it behoveth our words to be wary and few[402]."

And this brings me naturally back to the subject of my first Sermon from
this place; and enables me to conclude, as I began, with an earnest
entreaty to the younger men present, that,--whatever their future
destination in life may be,--but especially if the Ministry is to be
their high privilege, (and the blessedness of _that_ choice they can
have no idea of, until they prove it by experience!);--an entreaty, I
say, that they would _now_ be assiduous, and earnest, and regular, and
punctual, and devout, in their daily study of one chapter of the
Bible.--And while you read the Bible, read it believing that you are
reading an inspired Book:--not a Book inspired in parts only, but a Book
inspired in _every_ part:--not a Book unequally inspired, but all
inspired equally:--not a Book generally inspired,--the substance indeed
given by the Spirit, but the words left to the option of the writers;
but the words of it, as well as the matter of it, all--all given by GOD.
As it is written,--"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by _every
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD_."

I illustrated sufficiently, last time, in what way fulness of
Inspiration is consistent with the expression of individual character:
even while I availed myself of the ancient illustration that an inspired
writer is like an instrument in the harper's hand[403]. I did not, of
course, "intend thereby to affirm that the Writers of Holy Scripture
were _constrained_ to write, without any volition or consciousness on
their part.... ALMIGHTY GOD, while He _inspired_ the Writers of
Scripture, did not impair their moral and intellectual faculties, nor
destroy their personal identity[404]." Let me not be told therefore that
this is to advocate a mechanical theory of Interpretation. Theory I have
none[405]. The Bible comes to me as the Word of GOD; and, _as the Word
of GOD_, (the LORD being my helper!) I will receive it. I should as soon
think of holding a theory of Providence and Freewill, as of holding a
theory of Inspiration. I _believe_ in Providence. I _know_ that I am a
free agent. And that is enough for me.--The case of Inspiration seems
strictly parallel. I _believe_ in the Divine origin of the Bible. I
_see_ that the writers of the several books wrote like men.... _That_
outer circle of causation, which, leaving each individual will entirely
free, so controuls without coercing, so overrules without occasioning,
the actions of men,--that all things shall work together for good in the
end, and the great designs of GOD'S Providence find free
accomplishment;--all this, far, far transcends your and my powers of
comprehension. It is as much beyond us as Heaven is higher than the
Earth. And, in like manner, we must be content to own that
Inspiration,--the analysis of which is so favourite a problem with this
inquisitive age,--is far, far above us likewise. To St. Luke "it seemed
good" to write a Gospel; and doubtless he held high communing on the
subject,--which may, or may not, have sounded like ordinary human
converse,--with St. Paul. St. Mark in like sort, beyond a question,
enjoyed the help of St. Peter, while he wrote his Gospel. But St. Peter
and St. Mark, and St. Paul and St. Luke, were all alike,--however
unconsciously,--held by the Ancient of Days within the hollow of His
palm; and, as Augustine says,--"Whatsoever He willed that _we_ should
read concerning His acts and sayings,--_that_ He commissioned the
Evangelists to write,--as though it had been _Himself_ that wrote
it[406]."--The guidance was remote, I grant you. The mechanism which
moved the pens of those blessed writers was far above out of their
sight; and complex beyond anything which the mind of man can imagine;
(so that the publican lisped of "gold, and silver, and brass[407];"--and
the companion of St. Peter, at Rome, wrote Latin words in Greek
letters[408];--and the Physician of Antioch withheld the statement that
the woman who had spent all that she had in consulting many physicians,
"was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse[409];"--and the beloved
disciple perhaps indulged his own personal love while he recalled so
largely the discourses of his LORD:)--but, for all that, the long
sequence of cause and effect existed; and the other end of that golden
chain which terminated in the man, and the pen, and the ink, and the
paper,--the other end of it, I say, was held fast within the Hand of
GOD.--The method of Inspiration is but another of the many thousand
marvels which on every side surround me; one of the many things I cannot
fully understand, much less pretend to explain. But I may at least
believe it in silence, and adore[410].

And,--(forgive me for keeping you so long; but I _cannot_ let you go
until I have emptied my heart a little more on this great, and most
concerning subject;)--mark you, Sirs, however reluctant some of you may
be to admit that you agree with me, you _do_ agree with me,--almost to a
man. For, what mean your reasonings on Holy Scripture,--your sermons,
and your dissertations, and your catechizings,--your formulæ of belief,
and your definitions of Faith,--except you believe in a vast deal more
than _the substance_ of Holy Scripture? How can you pretend to expound a
text, unless you hold _the words_ of that text to be inspired? What
inferences can you venture to draw from words, the Divinity of which you
dare not affirm? O, to what endless, hopeless scepticism are you
pointing the way! What a variety of most unanswerable questionings will
you provoke! How can you hope ever to convince or convict, if you begin
by acquainting your adversary that it is only for the substantial verity
of Scripture that you claim Inspiration; the verbal details being quite
a different matter! See you not that you put into his hands a weapon
with which he will infallibly slay _yourself?_ Did the Bishops and
Doctors of the Church, when they met in solemn Council,--did _they_ hold
such a theory concerning Holy Scripture, think you, as that the matter
of it alone is Divine,--the language human? More briefly, that _the
words_ of Scripture are _not inspired?_ What then mean their weighty
definitions of Doctrine;--GOD the FATHER, "Maker of Heaven and
Earth,"--GOD the SON, "by whom all things were made:"--the SON, "Θεὸς
ἐκ Θεοῦ,"--"being of _one substance_ with the FATHER:"--"incarnate by
the HOLY GHOST of the Virgin Mary:"--who "descended into Hell"--"whose
kingdom shall have no end:"--the HOLY GHOST, "τὸ Κύριον καὶ τὸ
ξωοποίον," "who proceeded from the FATHER and the SON?"--What means
every article of that Creed to which you and I have given our unfeigned
assent, and which Athanasius would have gladly subscribed to,--the most
precious jewel in the Church's casket!--Nay, what means St. Paul's
commentary on the history of Melchizedek, if the very words _omitted_
from Holy Scripture are not a _Divine_ omission?

You will perhaps be told hereafter, (I am speaking now to the younger
men,) that quite fatal to this view of the question, is the state of the
Text of Scripture: that no one can maintain that the words of Scripture
are inspired, because no one can tell for certain what the words of
Scripture _are_; or something to that effect. Now I will not stop to
expose the falsity of this charge against the text of Scripture; (which
is implied to be a very corrupt text, whereas, on the contrary, it is
the best ascertained text of any ancient writing in the world.) Rather
let me remind you, once and for ever, how to refute this silly
sophism,--the transparent fallacy of which one would have thought
unworthy of exposure before men of trained understandings; but that one
hears it urged so often and so confidently. See you not that the state
of the text of the Bible has no more to do with the Inspiration of the
Bible, than the stains on yonder windows have to do with the light of
GOD'S Sun? Let me illustrate the matter,--(though it surely cannot need
illustration!)--by supposing the question raised whether Livy did or did
not write the history which goes under his name. _You_, (suppose,) are
persuaded that he _did_,--_I_, that he did _not_. So far, we should both
understand, and perhaps respect one another. But what if I were to go on
to condemn your opinion as untenable, because of the corrupt state of
Livy's _text?_ Would you not reply that I mistook the question entirely:
that _you_ were speaking of the _authorship of the work_,--not about the
_fate of the copies!_ ... Suppose, however, I were to contend that Livy
may indeed have furnished the matter of his history, but that the form
of expression must needs have been supplied by some one else; _still_ on
the same ground of the corrupt state of the historian's text. What would
you think of me _then?_--a man who not only confounded two things
utterly dissimilar,--(the authorship of a book, and the amount of care
with which it had been transcribed and printed;)--but who was for
distinguishing the mind of the writer from the expression of that mind;
the _thoughts_, from the _words_ which are essential to their
transmission! A hopelessly illogical person, surely!

O no, Sirs! Banish the fancy at once and for ever from your minds. You
cannot thus dissect Inspiration into substance and form. It is a mere
delusion of these last days,--prated of from man to man, until
respectable persons begin to give in to the fallacy; and persuade
themselves that they themselves believe it. They hope thus to avoid the
danger which is supposed to attach to hearty belief in the Bible as the
very Word of GOD; as well as to secure for themselves a side-door, (so
to speak,) by which to escape, whenever they are inconveniently hard
pressed. How much more faithful, to leave GOD to take care of His own!
How much more manly, to be prepared sometimes to confess ignorance!...
As for _thoughts_ being inspired, apart from the _words_ which give them
expression,--you might as well talk of a tune without notes, or a sum
without figures. No such dream can abide the daylight for a moment. No
such theory of Inspiration, (for a theory it _is_, and a most audacious
one too!), is even intelligible. It is as illogical as it is worthless;
and cannot be too sternly put down. The philosophical mind of Greece,
(far better taught!), knew of only one word for both Reason and the
expression of it. Lodged within the chambers of the brain, or put forth
into living energy,--it was still, with them, the Λόγος.--I invite
you, as the only intelligible view of the matter,--your only
alternative, unless you resolve to run the risk of the most irrational
rationalism,--to take this high view of Inspiration: to believe,
concerning the Bible, that it is in the most literal sense imaginable,
verily and indeed, _the Word_ of GOD.

And do you,--(for I am still addressing myself to the younger
men,)--learn to put away from your souls that vile indifferentism which
is becoming the curse of this shallow and unlearned age. Be as forgiving
as you please of indignities offered to yourselves; but do not be
ashamed to be very jealous for the honour of the LORD of Hosts; and to
resent any dishonour offered to Him, with a fiery indignation utterly
unlike anything you could possibly feel for a personal wrong. Attend
ever so little to the circumstance, and you will perceive that every
form of fashionable impiety is one and the same vile thing in the
essence of it: still Antichrist, disguise it how you will. We were
reminded last Sunday that the sensualist, by following the gratification
of his own unholy desires, in bold defiance of GOD'S known Law, is in
reality setting himself up in the place of GOD, and becoming a GOD unto
himself[411]. The same is true of the Idolatry of Human Reason; and of
Physical Science: as well as of that misinformed Moral Sense which finds
in the Atonement of our LORD nothing but a stone of stumbling and a
snare. It is true of Popish error also;--for what else is this but a
setting up of the Human above the Divine,--(Tradition, the worship of
the Blessed Virgin, the casuistry of the Confessional, and the
like,)--and so, once more substituting the creature for the
Creator?--What again is the fashionable intellectual sin of the day, but
the self-same detestable offence, under quite a different disguise? The
idea of Law,--(_that_ old idea which is declared to be only now
emerging into supremacy in Science,)--takes the hideous shape of
rebellion against its Maker; and pronounces, now Miracles, now Prophecy,
now Inspiration itself, to be a thing impossible; or is content to
insinuate that the disclosures of Revelation are at least untrue. What
is this, I say, but another form of the self-same iniquity,--a setting
up of the creature before the Creator who is blessed for evermore; a
substitution of some created thing in the place of GOD!

The true antidote to all such forms of impiety, believe me, is not
controversy of any sort; but the childlike study of the Bible, each one
for himself,--not without prayer.--Humble must we be, as well as
assiduous; for the powers of the mind as well as the affections of the
heart should be prostrated before the Bible, or a man will derive little
profit from his study of it. Humble, I repeat, for mysteries,
(remember), are revealed unto the meek[412]; and the fear of the LORD is
the beginning of Wisdom[413]; and he that would understand more than the
Ancients must keep GOD'S precepts[414]; and it is the commandments of
the LORD which give light unto the eyes[415].--The dutiful student of
the Bible is permitted to see the mist melt away from many a speculative
difficulty; and is many a time reminded of that saying of his LORD,--"Do
ye not therefore err, _because ye know not the Scriptures_, neither the
power of GOD[416]?" ... The humble and attentive reader of the Bible
becomes impressed at last with a sense of its Divinity, analogous I
suppose to the conviction of Eleven of the Apostles that the Man they
walked with was none other than the SON of GOD. _That_ similarity of
allusion,--_that_ sameness of imagery,--_that_ oneness of
design,--_that_ uniformity of sentiment,--_that_ ever-recurring
anticipation of the Gospel message;--_all_ goes to produce a secret and
sure conviction that every writer, under whatever variety of
circumstances, had access to but one Treasury,--drew from but one and
the same Well of living water. Marks of purpose, shewn in the choice or
collocation of single words, often strike an attentive reader; which,
singly, might be thought fortuitous; but which, collectively, can only
be accounted for on a very different principle. The beautiful structure
of the Gospels strikes him especially; and he could as soon believe that
a song harmonized for four Angel voices had been the result of accident,
as that the Evangelists had achieved their task without special aid,
throughout, from Heaven. A lock of very complicated mechanism, which
four keys of most peculiar structure will open simultaneously,--must
have been as evidently made for them, as they for it.

It is almost treason, in truth, to the Majesty of Heaven to discuss the
Bible on the low ground which I have been hitherto forced to occupy. It
is quite monstrous, in the first University of the most favoured of
Christian lands, that a man should be compelled thus to lift up his
voice in defence of the very Inspiration of GOD'S Word. O that Divine
narrative, which is for ever rending aside the veil, and disclosing to
us the counsels of the presence-chamber of the ALMIGHTY!--O those human
characters, beset with all the infirmities of our fallen nature,--whose
words and actions yet are shadows of things heavenly and eternal!--O
that majestic retinue of types which, from the very birthday of recorded
Time, heralded the approach of the King of Glory!--O that scarlet
thread which runs through all the seemingly tangled web of Scripture, to
terminate only in the cross of CHRIST!--How do the features of the
Gospel struggle into sight through the veil of the Law! How do the holy
and humble men of heart ever and anon break out into speech, as it were,
before the time;--as if they felt the burden of silence too great to be
endured!... Whence is it that we dare to handle the pages of GOD'S Book
as if they were a common thing,--doubting, questioning, cavilling,
disbelieving, denying? Why choose for ourselves the soldiers' part, who
buffeted, reviled, smote, spat upon Him?... O my friends, far, far be
all this from you and from me! Never imagine, because this day we have
thus spoken, that such discussions are congenial to us; or that we deem
them the proper theme for addresses from the pulpit; although the
coincidence of this day's Collect seems, for once, to lend a kind of
sanction to our present endeavours. Look through the whole range of
patristic homilies, and you will not find _one_ of the kind, with which,
unhappily, our ears are grown so familiar in this place,--ingenious
attempts to evacuate Holy Writ of its fulness, on the one hand;--or
apologies of some sort for its Divinity and Inspiration, on the other.
You will take, if you are wise, far, far higher ground, in your private
study of its pages; remembering that "the most generous faith is
invariably the truest;"--nor ever stoop so low as _we_ have been this
day doing. Waste not thy precious time in cavil about the structure of
the casket which contains thy treasure; but unlock it once with the Key
of Faith, and make thyself rich indeed.--Already,--(as we were last week
reminded),--already the Judge standeth at the door; and assuredly, thou
and I, (to whom GOD hath entrusted so much!) shall have to render a very
strict account of the use we have made of the Bible,--when we shall
stand face to face with its undoubted Author. The season of the year
reminds us, as with a trumpet, of that tremendous hour when the veil
will be withdrawn from our eyes,--and the office of Faith will be
ended,--and we shall be confronted with One who hath "a vesture dipped
in blood, and whose Name is called THE WORD OF GOD." ... "I _have heard
of Thee_," (we shall, every one of us, exclaim),--"I _have heard of
Thee_, by the hearing of the ear; but _now_,--mine eye _seeth_
Thee[417]!"


SUPPLEMENT TO SERMON IV


There is yet another view of the nature and office of
Inspiration,--another 'Theory' as it would perhaps aspire to be
called,--which limits _the extent_ of the Divine help and guidance which
the writers, confessedly inspired, may be supposed to have enjoyed.
According to this view, it is admitted that Inspiration was, from first
to last, a continuous influence; exerted equally throughout: but then,
it has been suggested that perhaps _its office_ was not to protect a
Writer against a certain class of errors. The office of the Bible, (it
is argued,) is to make men wise unto Salvation. It does not follow that
Inspiration, because it guided a sacred writer so long as he wrote of
Christian Doctrine, so as to make what he wrote unerringly true, should
have protected him against slips of memory; preserved him from
inaccuracies of statement; from inconclusive reasonings; from incorrect
quotations; from mistaken inferences; from scientific errors.--This is
what is said: and because this is a view of the question which is
observed to recommend itself occasionally to candid, and even to
reverential minds, it seems to deserve distinct and careful
consideration.

But I must preface all I have to reply by remarking that "a Book cannot
[properly] be said to be inspired, or to carry with it the authority of
being GOD'S Word, if only _portions_ come from Him, and there exists no
plain and infallible sign to indicate _which_ those portions are; and
if the same Writer may give us in one verse of the Bible a revelation
from the MOST HIGH, and in the next verse a blunder of his own. How can
we be certain, that the very texts, upon which we rest our doctrines and
hopes, are not the _uninspired_ portions? What can be the meaning or
nature of an Inspiration to teach Truth, which does not guarantee its
recipient from error?"--So far a living sceptical writer.

1. Now, the first thing which strikes one in this theory, is its extreme
vagueness. We hardly know what we have to consider; for nothing is
definitely stated. Neither are we informed how many of the phenomena of
Inspiration, this view is intended to explain. Again, does the theory
apply equally to the Old Testament and to the New? If it does apply
equally to the Old Testament, (and I can see no possible reason why it
should _not_,) then, I apprehend this theory will be found _practically_
to run up into, and to identify itself with, that last described[418].
For a guidance _which has failed to guide_, has been no guidance at all;
and since whole chapters of the Old Testament will occur to every one's
memory which may be thought to have no connexion whatever with
'Christian Doctrine,'--to conduce wondrous little to the 'making men
wise unto Salvation,'--it will follow that Inspiration is, according to
this theory, in effect, of the nature already described,--namely, a
quality which can never be predicated of any passage of Scripture with
entire certainty. The larger part of the Old Testament in fact, by this
theory, is exhibited in the light of a common book; having no pretension
to be regarded as part of the Inspired Canon.

But if this theory simply shirks the question of the Old Testament,
then, those who are inclined to accept it, are bound to explain why
there should be one theory of Inspiration applicable to the Old
Testament, and another for the New:--in which difficulty, I must
candidly profess that I am not able to render any assistance at all. It
is clearly not allowable to overlook the intimate connexion which
subsists between the two great divisions of Holy Scripture; the habitual
references of the Writers of the New Testament to the writers of the
Old,--Moses, David, Isaiah, and the rest;--or rather, _to the utterance
of the_ HOLY GHOST, _speaking by the mouth of those writers_. Whatever
may have been the Inspiration of the Authors of the New Testament must
be assumed to have been that of the Authors of the Old Testament also.

2. But further,--(to confine our remarks to the Scriptures of the New
Testament; which, it is manifest, the view under consideration specially
contemplates;)--however plausible in the abstract a theory may sound,
which would account for a Chronological difficulty,--the insertion of
what seems to be a wrong name,--a quotation made with singular
license,--an unscientific statement,--the apparent inconsistency of two
or more accounts of one and the same transaction, in respect of lesser
details,--a (supposed) inconclusive remark, or specimen of reasoning
which seems to be fallacious;--on the supposition that it is not the
office of Inspiration to enlighten the understanding on points like
these, or to preserve the pen from error;--however plausible, I say,
this theory, abstractedly considered, may appear;--it will be found that
it will not bear the searching test of a practical application.

It would indeed be a great advantage to the cause of Truth, and a great
help to individual minds, as well as wonderfully promote the arriving at
a sound conclusion in this perilous department of speculative
Divinity,--if, instead of putting up with a vague theory, (like the
present,) regardless of its logical bearings and necessary issues;--men
would compel themselves to apply their view to the actual phenomena of
Holy Scripture: to carry it out to its legitimate consequences, and
steadily to contemplate the result. I venture to predict that the theory
which we are now considering, when submitted to such a test, would be
found not only inconvenient, but absolutely untenable. The inconsistency
and absurdity which results from it, can, I think, easily be made to
appear.

For if any one who is disposed to regard it with favour,--instead of
idly, (as is the way with nine-tenths of mankind,) repeating the formula
in terms more or less vague and indefinite; and straightway wincing,
falling back on generalities, and in a word shirking the point, the
instant it is proposed to bring the question to a definite issue;--if a
favourer of the present theory I say, instead of so acting, would take
up a copy of the New Testament, and proceed, with a pen in his hand, to
_apply_ the theory, by running his pen through the places, (and they
_must_ be capable of individual specification!), which he suspects of
being external to the influence of Inspiration;--or, if you please,
which he thinks have been penned without that Divine help which makes
what is written infallible;--I venture to predict that such an one will
speedily admit that his erasures are either so very few, or so very
many, as to be fatal to the theory of which they are the expression.

If they be confined to "the fifteenth year of Tiberius[419]; to the
names of the second Cainan[420], Cyrenius[421], Abiathar[422], 'Jeremy
the prophet[423];'" to "the sixth hour[424]," and so on;--no great
inconvenience truly will result. But the instant you go a step further,
the difficulty begins. Many of the quotations from the Old Testament may
be made to correspond with the Hebrew, doubtless, without sensible
inconvenience: but there are others which refuse the process. However,
let it be supposed that all such indications of imperfect memory, or
misapprehension of the sense of the Hebrew Scriptures, have been
removed; and here and there, that an irrelevant clause in the reasoning
has been lopped off, or an unscientific remark expunged.--After all this
has been done, I venture to say that the result will be the reverse of
satisfactory, even to the theorist himself. He will infallibly exclaim
secretly,--I seem to have gained wondrous little by this corrective
process. Was it worth while, in order to achieve _this_, to tamper with
the Divine Oracles? The great body of Scripture remains after all, in
all its strangeness, all its perplexing individuality. Meanwhile, piety
and wisdom modestly suggest,--Is it reasonable to think that Evangelists
and Apostles should have stumbled, like children, before dates, and
names, and quotations from their own Scriptures? Surely if _this_ be all
that can be objected against the Bible, the very slenderness of the
charge becomes its sufficient refutation!... _The erasures are so few,
in fact, that they refute the theory._

But if, on the other hand, the pen be freely used, then the result will
be fatal to the theory, _because it will be fatal to the record_. If
an 'Essayist and Reviewer' were to reduce the Gospels to consistency,
according to _his_ view of consistency, the Gospels would scarcely be
recognizable. If he were to reject from St. Paul's writings every
instance of what _he_ thinks fanciful exposition, illogical reasoning,
inexact quotation, and mistaken inference; the result would be
altogether unmanageable. For any one who attends to the matter will
perceive that such things run into the very staple of the Apostle's
argument; and therefore cannot be detached without destroying the whole.
The householder's reason for not removing the tares, ("lest while ye
gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them[425],") applies
exactly. If St. Paul's exposition of Melchizedek be fanciful and
untrustworthy, then does the proof of the superiority of our SAVIOUR'S
Priesthood over that of Aaron, fall to the ground. If his handling of
the story of Sarah and Hagar be an uninspired allegory, then does his
argumentation respecting the rejection of the Jews and the calling of
the Gentiles disappear. If the furniture of the Temple, and the
provisions of the Jewish ritual, were not dictated by the SPIRIT of
GOD[426], then will the Epistle wherein it is found be reduced to
proportions which make it meaningless. If Deuteronomy xxv. 4 has no
reference to the Christian Ministry, then the entire context (in two of
St. Paul's Epistles) must go at once[427].... It is useless to multiply
such instances. Any one familiar with the writings of St. Paul will know
the truth of what has been offered; and will admit that the erasures
required by the theory before us will become so numerous as to
prove,--(to a devout mind at least, or indeed to any one of sense and
candour,)--that the theory is altogether untenable.

It cannot escape observation, therefore, that however plausible this
view of Inspiration may sound, as long as some few petty historical,
chronological, and scientific inaccuracies are all that have to be
accounted for;--the theory (unhappily) proves worthless when it comes to
be practically applied; inasmuch as in the writings of St. Paul, for
example, there is little or nothing of the kind just specified, to be
condoned. Erroneous dates, unscientific statements, wrong names, and the
like, form no part of the staple of the New Testament. Such instances
may be counted on one's fingers; and are to be sufficiently explained to
render any special theory of Inspiration in order to meet them, quite a
gratuitous exercise of ingenuity.

3. On the other hand, if a wider class of phenomena is to be dealt with
by this theory, the reader is requested to observe that we involve
ourselves in a gross contradiction; for we forsake the very principle on
which it pretends to be built. The theory set out by reminding us that
"the office of the Bible is to make men wise unto Salvation,"--not to
teach physical Science, nor to deal with facts in chronology and the
like: and the plea was allowed. But the theory which was devised to
account for one class of phenomena is now most unwarrantably applied to
account for another. We have travelled into a widely different
subject-matter,--namely, _Divinity proper!_ Let it therefore be
respectfully asked,--If the Inspiration which the Apostles enjoyed did
not preserve them against unsound inferences in respect of _Holy
Scripture_; and illogical, inconclusive argumentation in _things
Divine_;--pray, of what use was it? We have not been reviewing a set of
_Geological_ mistakes on the part of the great Apostle. To Physical
Science, he has scarcely so much as a single allusion. He deals with
_Christian Doctrine_; with _Divinity_, properly so called; and _with
that only_. Pray, was not Inspiration a sufficient guide to him,
_there_?

4. It is high time also to remind the reader that although the office of
the Bible, confessedly, is "to make men wise unto Salvation," it does
not by any means follow that _that_ is its _only_ office. In other
words, we have no right to assume that we know all the possible ends for
which the Bible was designed; and to lay it down, as if it were an
ascertained fact, that it was _not_ designed to enlighten men in matters
of Chronology, History, and the like; seeing, on the one hand, that all
the evidence we are able to adduce in support of such an opinion, does
not establish so much as a faint presumption that any part of Scripture
is uninspired; and seeing that, on the other, as a plain matter of fact,
historical details constitute so large a part of the contents of the
Bible; and that the sacred volume is _the sole depository_ of the
History and Chronology of the World for by far the largest portion of
the interval since that World's Creation.

5. In passing, it may also be reasonably declared, that it is to take a
very derogatory view of the result of the HOLY SPIRIT's influence, to
suppose that imperfections and inaccuracies can freely abound,--nay, can
exist at all,--in a Revelation which the same HOLY SPIRIT is believed to
have inspired. They ought surely to be _demonstrated_ to exist, before
we are called upon to listen to the apologies which have been invented
to account for their existence!

6. Let me also advert to a dilemma which seems hardly ever to obtain
from a certain class of critics the attention it deserves. If a writing
be not inspired, _it is of no absolute authority_. If a part of a
writing be not inspired, that part is of no absolute authority. If a
single word in the text of Holy Scripture be even uncertain,--(as, for
example, whether we are to read ΟΣ or ΘΕΟΣ in 1 Tim. iii.
16,)--_that word becomes without absolute authority_. We cannot venture
to adduce it _in proof_ of anything. Without therefore, in the remotest
degree, desiring to discourage the application of a _true_ theory of
Inspiration to the phenomena of Holy Scripture, through fear of the
necessary consequences,--may we not call attention to the manifest
awkwardness of a theory which no one knows how to apply, and about the
application of which no two men will ever be agreed?--the issue of the
discussion being, in every case, neither more nor less than
this,--whether the portion of Scripture under consideration is Human,
and therefore _of no absolute authority_; or Divine, and therefore
_infallible_!

7. A far more important consideration remains to be offered, and with
this I shall conclude. Although, when St. Paul appears to reason
inconclusively, some of us do not hesitate to refer the Apostle's
(supposed) imperfect logic to his personal infirmity,--yet, common piety
revolts against the proposal to apply the same solution to the same
phenomenon when it is observed to occur in the Discourses of our Blessed
LORD Himself. It seems to have been providentially ordained, however,
that the discourses of CHRIST Himself should supply examples of every
one of those difficulties which it is thought lawful to account
for,--when an Apostle or an Evangelist is the speaker,--on the
hypothesis of partial, imperfect, or suspended Inspiration. Now, since
_I_, at least, shall not be permitted to be either vague or general, I
proceed to subjoin the proof of what has been thus advanced:--

=1=. The well-known difficulty about "the days of Abiathar," _is found
in one of our LORD'S discourses_[428]. Here then is a case of what, if
an Evangelist or an Apostle had been the author of the statement, would
have been called an historical inaccuracy.

=2=. However unworthy of scientific attention the Mosaic account of the
descent of Mankind from a single pair may be deemed,--the universality
of 'the Noachian Deluge,'--the destruction of the Cities of the
plain,--the fate of Lot's wife,--Jonah in the fish's belly,--and so
forth;--to all these (supposed) unscientific statements our Blessed LORD
commits Himself unequivocally[429].

=3=. When the Holy One inferred the Resurrection of the Dead from the
words spoken to Moses "in the bush[430];"--when He proved that CHRIST is
not the son of David, because "David in spirit calls Him
'LORD[431];'"--and when He shewed from a clause in the 6th verse of the
lxxxiind Psalm, ("I said ye are gods,") that it was not unlawful for
Himself to claim the title of SON of GOD[432];--I humbly think that the
argumentation is of such a nature as would not produce conviction in
captious minds cast in a modern mould[433]. I desire not to dwell
longer upon this subject; and only hope in what I have ventured to say
concerning some of the recorded sayings of Him to whose creative Power
and Goodness I am indebted for the exercise of my own reason,--I have
not written amiss. But the point of what I am urging is, that I defy any
one to bring a charge of faulty logic against passages in St. Paul's
Epistles which might not, _with the same show of reason_, be brought
against certain of our LORD's recorded sayings.

=4=. When the Chief Priests and Scribes remonstrated with our LORD
because of the children crying in the Temple; and asked Him,--"Hearest
Thou what these say?" He replied,--"Yea, have ye never read, 'Out of the
mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise[434]?'" ...
Now, this quotation from the viiith Psalm is what an 'Essayist or
Reviewer' would have pronounced irrelevant.

=5=. It seems clear from Gen. ii. 24, that _Adam_ was the author of the
words, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother," &c. And
yet, our LORD (in St. Matth. xix. 4, 5,) as unmistakeably seems to make
GOD the Speaker. An Evangelist or an Apostle would be thought here to
have made a slip of memory.

=6=. In St. John viii. 47, the following words occur. "He that is of God
heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of
God." This passage (as already pointed out[435],) has been adduced by
one who now occupies an Archiepiscopal throne, as containing a logical
fallacy.

Many more examples might be adduced: but these will suffice. It is plain
that when the like phenomena are observed in the writings of Apostles
and Evangelists, we need not, in order to account for them, have
recourse to any theory of partial or imperfect Inspiration; since
nothing of the kind is supposed necessary when they occur in the
Discourses of our LORD.--As much as I care to offer on the subject of
_Inspired Reasoning_ will be found in the course of the Sixth of these
Sermons, where the Doctrine of 'Accommodation' is considered.

       *       *       *       *       *

     To say that the Scriptures, and the things contained in them, can
     have no other or farther meaning than those persons thought or had,
     who first recited or wrote them; is evidently saying, that those
     persons were the original, proper, and sole Authors of those Books,
     i.e. _that they are not inspired_: which is absurd, whilst the
     authority of those Books is under examination; i.e. till you have
     determined they are of no Divine authority at all. Till this be
     determined, it must in all reason be supposed, (not indeed that
     they have, for this is taking for granted that they are inspired;
     but) that they may have, some farther meaning than what the
     compilers saw or understood.

BISHOP BUTLER, _Analogy_, P. II. ch. vii.

     As the Literal sense is, as it were, the main stream or river, so
     the Moral sense chiefly, and sometimes the Allegorical or Typical,
     are they whereof the Church hath most use: not that I wish men to
     be bold in allegories, or indulgent or light in allusions; but that
     I do much condemn that Interpretation of the Scripture _which is
     only after the manner as men use to interpret a profane book_.

LORD BACON, _Advancement of Learning_.

     The Book of this Law we are neither able nor worthy to open and
     look into. That little thereof which we darkly apprehend, we
     admire; the rest, with religious ignorance we humbly and meekly
     adore.

HOOKER, _Eccl. Pol._ B. I. c. ii. § 5.

     OPEN THOU MINE EYES THAT I MAY SEE THE WONDROUS THINGS OF THY LAW!

     ΟΥ ΛΟΓΟΣ ἈΝΘΡΩΠΩΝ, ἈΛΛΑ ΚΑΘΩΣ ἘΣΤΙΝ ἈΛΗΘΩΣ ΛΟΓΟΣ ΘΕΟΥ.

FOOTNOTES:

[390] Preached in Christ-Church Cathedral, Dec. 9th, 1860.

[391] See Sermon VII.

[392] Ibid.

[393] Gen. xxxvi.

[394] See the Hulsean Lectures for 1833, (_The Law of Moses viewed in
connexion with the History and character of the Jews, with a defence of
the Book of Joshua_, &c.) by Henry John Rose, B.D.

[395] 2 St. Peter i. 21.

[396] 1 St. Peter i. 11.

[397] "With the idea of a Prophet," (says Gesenius in his Hebrew
Lexicon, on the noun,) "there was this necessarily attached; that he
spoke not his own words, but those which he had divinely received; (see
Philo, t. iv. p. 116, ed. Pfeifferi,--προφήτης γὰρ ἴδιον μὲν οὐδὲν
ἀποφθέγγεται, ἀλλότρια δὲ πάντα ὑπηχοῦντος ἑτέρου); and that he was the
messenger of GOD, and the declarer of His will. This is clear from a
passage of peculiar authority in this matter, (Ex. vii. 1,)--where GOD
says to Moses,--'I have made thee a god to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy
brother _shall be thy prophet_.'" ... Elsewhere, (speaking of the Hebrew
verb, 'to prophesy,') Gesenius has the following remarkable
statement:--"The _passive forms_, Niphal and Hithpael, are used in this
verb; from the Divine Prophets having been _supposed to be moved rather
by another's powers than their own_." (Just as if the Oracles of GOD
were not express on the subject! viz. "No prophecy ever came by the will
of Man; but, [because they were] borne along (φερόμενοι) by the HOLY
GHOST, spake those holy men of GOD."--2 St. Pet. i. 21.)

Προφήτης, in fact, means 'an interpreter' rather than 'a prophet,'
(for which, in our popular sense, the Greek is rather μάντις:) hence
the use of the words προφήτης, προφητεύω, προφητεία in the New
Testament, e.g. 1 Thess. v. 20. 1 Cor. xi. 4: xii. 10. Rom. xii. 6,
(where see Wordsworth.) See also 1 Cor. xiv. 1, 3, 4, 5, &c.: in all
which places, the προφήτης was what we should rather now call _a
preacher_. But then, the expounding of GOD'S Word is the special
function of the preacher's office from which he takes this name.--The
reader is referred to Blomfield's Glossary, _Agam._ v. 399, and to
Liddell and Scott's _Lexicon_; (in both of which, some important
references are given:) also to Trench's _Synonyms of the New Testament_,
pp. 22-26.

[398] See above, pp. 2-5.--The reader will find an interesting passage
based on this analogy, in the Appendix (F).

[399] _Analogy_, P. II. c. vii.--The same thing has been more fully
expressed in a volume of Sermons which deserves to be far better known
than it is:--"I suppose that if there is one portion of the Old
Testament which a discriminator would set aside as less needing to be
reckoned inspired than other parts, it is the Historical; the books
which are strictly narrative. Now it may seem to have been
providentially ordered, in the purpose of meeting this view, that these
books are made to bear on them most peculiarly the stamp and the claim
of Inspiration. For they do not profess to be so much the account of
what Man did, as what GOD did in ruling men, and guiding human events.
They are a history of a providential course of events, and, (which is
the point,) as seen from the providential point of view. They are a
history written not on Earth, but above the skies. Events are spoken of
therefore in this view. A man's obduracy is recorded thus,--'GOD
hardened his heart.' A king numbers his people; it is recorded as a
thing suggested in the spiritual world. In fact, the historic volume of
the Old Testament is a history of the secret springs of things; it is a
narrative of things which none but GOD ALMIGHTY could know; not Man's
Word therefore at all, but GOD'S."--_Sermons_, by the Rev. C. P. Eden,
pp. 153-155. Several other extracts from the same suggestive volume of a
very excellent Divine, will be found in the Appendix.

[400] Eccl. iii. 14. So Deut. iv. 2: xii. 32. Rev. xxii. 19.

[401] See the Appendix (G).

[402] Hooker's _Eccl. Pol._, B. 1. c. ii. § 2

[403] See above, p. 77.

[404] _The Inspiration of the Bible, five Lectures_, by Chr. Wordsworth,
D.D. 1861,--p. 5.

[405] For some remarks on Theories of Inspiration, see the Appendix (H.)

[406] "Quicquid Ille de Suis factis et dictis nos legere voluit, hoc
scribendum illis tanquam Suis manibus imperavit."

[407] St. Matth. x. 9.

[408] E.g. κεντυρίων: σπεκουλάτωρ: ξέστης.

[409] Comp. St. Luke viii. 43, with St. Mark v. 26.

[410] The reader will be grateful for a beautiful and highly suggestive
passage from Eden's _Sermons_, in the Appendix (I.)

[411] Alluding to a sermon preached by the Provost of Queen's.

[412] Ecclus. iii. 19.

[413] Ps. cxi. 10. Prov. ix. 10.

[414] Ps. cxix. 100.

[415] Ps. xix. 8.

[416] St. Mark xii. 24.

[417] Job xlii. 5.

[418] See above, p. 95-99.

[419] St. Luke iii. 1.

[420] Ibid. iii. 36.

[421] Ibid. ii. 2.

[422] St. Mark ii. 26.

[423] St. Matth. xxvii. 9.

[424] St. John xix. 14.

[425] St. Matth. xiii. 29.

[426] Heb. ix. 8.

[427] 1 Cor. ix. 9 and 1 Tim. v. 18.

[428] St. Mark ii. 26.

[429] All will be found more fully insisted upon at the beginning of the
VIIth Sermon.

[430] St. Luke xx. 37-8.

[431] St. Matth. xxii. 41-6.

[432] St. John x. 34-6.

[433] 'Essayists and Reviewers' would reply, that in the first instance,
the supposed inference has no connexion with the premisses:--that in the
second, (1) it has to be proved that the person intended in Psalm cx. is
CHRIST; and (2) it does not follow, because David calls him "lord," that
the person so spoken of is not his "son:"--that in the third instance,
'gods' is used in Psalm lxxxii. of _earthly_ rulers; whereas, when our
SAVIOUR called Himself "the SON of GOD," He claimed to be "_of one
substance with the FATHER,--GOD of GOD_."

[434] St. Matth. xxi. 16.

[435] See above, p. 4.



SERMON V.[436]

       *       *       *       *       *

INTERPRETATION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.--INSPIRED INTERPRETATION.--THE BIBLE
IS NOT TO BE INTERPRETED LIKE ANY OTHER BOOK.--GOD, (NOT MAN,) THE REAL
AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

ST. MATTHEW iv. 4.

     _It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
     word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God._


It is impossible to preserve exact method in Sermons like these,
uncertain in number, and delivered at irregular intervals. It shall only
be stated that, having already spoken at considerable length, of the
INSPIRATION of Holy Scripture;--not, one part more, one part less, but
every part equally inspired throughout; not general, (whatever the exact
notion may be of a book _generally_ inspired,) but particular, by which
I mean that _every word_ is none other than the utterance of the Holy
Ghost[437]: having, moreover, explained the reasonableness,--(the
logical necessity, as it seems,)--of giving such an account of the
Bible;--I propose to-day to proceed to the subject of INTERPRETATION.
Really, it has become the fashion of a School of unbelief which has
lately emerged into infamous notoriety, to deal with both these
questions in so insolent a style of dogmatism, that the preacher is
compelled to halt _in limine_; and to explain that he begs that no
offence may be taken at the account which he has just given of the
Bible; for that really he means no more than Bp. Pearson meant when he
said that "_the Scripture phrase_" is "_the Language of the HOLY
GHOST_[438]:"--that he desires to say no other thing than what _He_
said, by whose Spirit, (as St. Peter declares[439],) the prophets
prophesied;--the preacher, I say, wishes to explain that he desires to
mean no other thing than our LORD JESUS CHRIST Himself meant, when He
spoke of "_every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD_."

I. INTERPRETATION, then, in the largest sense of the term, I take to
denote the discovery of the method and meaning of Holy Scripture.--I
exclude those critical labours which merely aim at establishing a
correct text.--I exclude also the learning which merely investigates the
grammatical force of single words. True, that even to translate is often
to interpret; but this results only from the imperfection of
language,--which can seldom represent the words of one idiom by the
words of another, without at the same time parting with the
associations which belong to the old words, and importing those which
are inseparable from the new.--Moreover, except occasionally, it is
presumed that the lore of the Antiquary, Geographer, and so forth, does
not aspire to the dignity of Interpretation.--To be brief,--whatever
simply puts us on a level with ordinary hearers of ancient days; does no
more than inform us what custom, locality, or date is intended by the
sacred writer; (things which once were obvious, and which _ought not_ to
be any difficulty now;)--all this, I say, seems external to the province
of Interpretation; the purpose of which is to discover _the method_ and
_the meaning_ of Holy Writ. And I find that every extant specimen of
this sacred Science is either (1) what GOD hath Himself revealed; or
(2) what the Church hath with authority delivered; or (3) what
individuals have thought themselves competent to declare.

Of these three authorities concerning the sense of Scripture, it is
evident that the last-named is entitled to least notice. So unimportant
indeed is it, as scarcely to be of any weight at all. What one
individual asserts, on his own unsupported authority, another individual
may, with as much or as little authority, deny; and _who_ is to decide?

But the authority indicated in the second place, clearly challenges very
different attention. When, for example, our own Hooker declares,
concerning the 5th verse of the iiird chapter of St. John, that "of all
the ancients _there is not one to be named_ that ever did otherwise
expound or allege this place than as implying external Baptism[440]," we
perceive at once that such consent, on the part of men in whose ears the
echoes of the Apostolic Age had not yet quite ceased to vibrate; and
who were themselves professors of that Divine Science which takes
cognizance of the subject-matter in hand:--such general consent of
Antiquity, I say, on a point of Interpretation, must evidently be held
to be decisive.

"Religio mihi est, eritque, contra torrentem omnium Patrum, Sanctas
Scripturas interpretari; nisi quando me argumenta cogunt
evidentissima,--quod nunquam eventurum credo[441]." So spake one who had
read the Fathers with no common care, and who turned his reading to no
common account. "I persuade myself," he says, "that you will learn the
modesty of submitting your judgment to that of the Catholic Doctors,
where they are found generally to concur in the interpretation of a text
of Scripture, how absurd soever that interpretation may, at first
appearance, seem to be. For upon a diligent search you will find, that
_aliquid latet quod non patet_,--'there is a mystery in the bottom:' and
that which at first view seemed even ridiculous, will afterwards appear
to be a most certain truth[442]." "No man can oppose Catholic consent,
but he will at last be found to oppose both the Divine Oracles and Sound
Reason[443]."

The distinction thus drawn between individual opinion and the collective
voice of the Church, was far better understood anciently than at
present. The interpretation of a Council, especially if oecumenical,
was accounted decisive. Even the generally consentient voice of Doctors
and Fathers, as far as it could be ascertained, was held to be of the
same authoritative kind. An interesting illustration occurs. Than
Eusebius, Bishop of Cæsarea, few Fathers of the fourth century were more
learned in Holy Scripture. He, commenting upon "the Captain of the
LORD'S Host," mentioned in the vth chapter of the Book of Joshua,
delivers it as his opinion that it was the same Personage who spoke to
Moses 'in the Bush;' viz. the Eternal SON[444]. On which opinion, a
learned man of the same age, in a scholion of singular beauty which has
come down to us, remarks as follows:--"Aye, but the Church, O most holy
Eusebius, holds a view on this subject altogether at variance with
thine[445]." He goes on to allege reasons why the ἀρχιστράτηγος of
Joshua must be held to have been not an _uncreated_, but a _created_
Angel; the Archangel Michael, in fact. We will not now go into that
matter. You are but requested to observe, how profoundly unimportant the
opinion of a very learned individual was held to be, by one in whose
ears the Patristic "torrent" was yet sounding; although Justin Martyr is
known to have been of the same mind with Eusebius.--And thus much for
individual views as to the meaning of Holy Scripture; as contrasted with
the decisions of Councils and Fathers. To judge from the signs of the
Age, we have exactly reversed the ancient estimate; and expect that more
respect will be shewn to our own private fancies, than to a general
consensus of Divines, ancient and modern. It seems to have been
discovered that the supreme guide of Life is the individual
conscience,--"without appeal--except to himself[446]!"

II. Before descending, however, to the _business_ of Interpretation,
there is clearly one preliminary question to be settled: namely, _the
principle_ on which Interpretation is to be conducted. And this is all
that can be discussed to-day. To seek for that principle in the
contradictory pages of solitary theorists, would of course be hopeless,
as well as absurd. To elicit it from Patristic Commentaries, would
obviously leave a door open for cavil. The ancient Fathers, (allowing
that they often speak with consentient voice,) singly, were but
fallible men,--however famous, as professors of Theological Science,
they may have been. _This_, however, I venture to assume without any
hesitation whatever,--that if, instead of either of these two ways of
ascertaining how Holy Scripture ought to be handled, we can be so
fortunate as to discover from the Inspired Writers themselves what
_their_ method was with respect to the Word of GOD,--in such case, I
say, we shall be in a position of entire certainty[447]. We shall then
have full warrant for disregarding the dicta of modern sciolists on this
great subject;--however arrogant their dogmatism, however confident
their unsupported asseverations.

I desire to be very clearly understood. My position is this. All
Christian men allow that the Apostles and Evangelists of our LORD were
inspired. Before such an audience as the present, I will not condescend
even to _allude_ to the absolute claim of our SAVIOUR CHRIST, who, as
the Son of Man, enjoyed the gift of the Spirit without measure; who, as
very GOD, "in the beginning created the Heaven and the Earth,"--(for,
"In the beginning was THE WORD; and THE WORD was with GOD; and THE WORD
was GOD.... All things were made by Him, and without Him was not
anything made that was made[448]:")--I will not, I say, for every
utterance of our _SAVIOUR CHRIST_ pause even, to claim the entire
reverence of our hearts,--the prostrate homage of our understandings....
Well then. If we _can_ but discover what the mind and method of these
several speakers and writers was, with regard to the Interpretation of
Holy Scripture; on what principle, and with what sentiments, _they_
bandied the Book of GOD'S Law; we shall have discovered the thing of
which we are in search. For the _Author_ of a book must perforce be
allowed to be the best judge of the method and intention of that
book:--the HOLY SPIRIT _must_ be allowed to be the best authority as to
His own meaning!

Now this method,--(of which, as I will presently remind you, we possess
a great many specimens,)--proves to be very extraordinary. It altogether
establishes the fact that the Bible _is not to be interpreted "like
any other book."_ That it _could_ not be so interpreted, might have been
confidently anticipated beforehand, from the very fact of its Divine
origin[449]. What I mean,--Since, "by the mouth of David," the HOLY
GHOST is expressly declared by CHRIST and by St. Peter to have "spoken;"
and since the Psalms collectively are described by St. Paul as the
utterance of the HOLY GHOST; since Jeremiah's witness is said to be the
witness of the HOLY GHOST; and the HOLY GHOST is actually said to have
spoken by Isaiah; while the Spirit of CHRIST Himself, (St. Peter says,)
dwelt in the Prophets:--in a word, since "holy men of GOD spake _as they
were moved by_ the HOLY GHOST," and the provisions of the Mosaic Law are
to the same HOLY GHOST by St. Paul emphatically ascribed[450];--stubborn
_facts_, you are requested to observe, which Essayists may prudently
suppress but which no Sophistry on earth can either evade or
deny:--seeing, I say, that Holy Scripture is declared by inspired men
to be the utterance of the Eternal God, it was to have been expected
beforehand that its texture would bear witness to its Divine origin; and
that, to interpret it "like any other book," would be to forget its
extraordinary character. Interpret Sophocles and Plato, if you will,
like any other book, for a very plain reason; but beware how you apply
your purely human notions to the utterance of the Ancient of Days; for
that utterance, enshrined in one particular volume, clearly makes that
one volume essentially unlike any other volume in the world.

You are particularly requested to observe, further,--that singular pains
have been taken to mystify this entire subject. It has been a favourite
device to multiply difficulties,--real or imaginary,--and so, to create
a miserable sense of the dangers which fairly hem the subject in,--in
order to render more palatable a desperate escape from them all. Thus,
we are told of the risks to which Grammatical nicety, and Rhetorical
accommodation expose us; and again, the snares into which the Logical
method may betray. Metaphysical aid, we are assured, mystifies; and even
Learning, (would to Heaven we had a little more of it!) obscures the
sense[451]. Might we just take the liberty of suggesting that the study
of the exploded works of German unbelievers, (of which Germany herself,
thank GOD! is beginning to be ashamed,) on the part of men of very
moderate intellectual powers, however wise in their own conceit; and
with no previous Theological knowledge to guide them,--is another yet
more fruitful avenue to error?... Next, we are threatened with the
manifold inconveniences which would ensue from the discovery that there
is more than one sense in Holy Scripture,--(_that_ one sense being
assumed to be, _not_ the sense intended by its Divine Author, but the
sense which the first hearers may be supposed to have put upon it[452].)
"If words may have more than one meaning," (it is not very logically
argued,) "they may have _any_ meaning[453]." We are told a great deal
about "the growth of ideas;" and of human prejudices; and of "the
disturbing influence of Theological terms."--But all this kind of thing,
it will be perceived at once, is altogether foreign to the matter in
hand. _Ought Scripture to be interpreted like any other book,--or not_?
_That_ is the real question! _Has Scripture only one meaning_, or _more_?
_That_ is the point in dispute! Above all, _What is the true principle of
Scripture Interpretation_? _That_ is the only thing we have to discover!

Now, as for _how_ the principles of Divine Interpretation are to be
discovered, it is undeniable that there can be no surer way than by
discovering _what is the method of the HOLY GHOST_; by inquiring, what
is the method of our SAVIOUR CHRIST, and of His Evangelists, and of His
Apostles?

1. Surely it is needless to remind an audience like the present, _what_
that method is! Turn the first page of St. Matthew's Gospel, and weigh
well the three famous cases of Interpretation which there encounter
you[454]:--namely, the assurance that Hosea's words, "Out of Egypt have
I called my son[455];"--that Jeremiah's declaration concerning the tears
of Rachel[456];--and that the many prophetic utterances concerning "the
Branch[457];"--found fulfilment, each, in CHRIST. The first,--when, at
Jehovah's bidding, He was carried up out of Egypt into Palestine; the
second,--when the bereaved mothers of Bethlehem wept for their murdered
offspring; the third,--when CHRIST, being bred up in Nazareth, was
called a "Nazarene,"--the root of which, etymologically, denotes "a
branch."--But look further, and your surprise will increase at
discovering how extraordinary the Divine method is. When our Saviour
cast out evil spirits and healed the sick, St. Matthew declares that He
fulfilled that prophecy of Isaiah, "Himself took our infirmities and
bare our sicknesses[458];" the language of the prophet in fact being,
"Surely He hath borne our _griefs_ and carried our _sorrows_[459];"
which, as far as the words go, is rather a different thing.

2. But it is St. Paul who affords us the largest induction of instances.
When he would establish the right of the Clergy to have due provision
made for them, he finds his warrant in a most unexpected place of
Scripture. "Say I these things as a man? or saith not the Law the same
also? For it is written in the Law of Moses, 'Thou shalt not muzzle the
mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.' Doth GOD care for the oxen
here alluded to[460]? (μὴ τῶν βοῶν μέλει τῷ Θεῷ;) or saith He it
altogether for our sakes? _For our sakes_, no doubt, this is
written[461]." I remind you of the entire passage, because it is so very
express.--Elsewhere, St. Paul adduces a few verses from the viiith
Psalm, the primary and more obvious meaning of which appears to assert
nothing more than the supremacy of Man's present nature over the
inferior races of animals; ("all sheep and oxen, yea and all the beasts
of the field[462].") The application of it, in a prophetic sense, to the
supreme dominion of our Redeemer over all created beings in Heaven and
Earth, is certainly not one which would naturally suggest itself to us;
yet is it for this purpose, and this only, that St. Paul adduces it; and
as confirmatory of the universal sovereignty of CHRIST, the place in
question is three times quoted by the same Apostle[463].--Elsewhere,
when he would warn persons who have been partakers of both Sacraments,
of the danger of final rejection, he cites the example of the Fathers of
Israel in the Wilderness. "The waters of the Red Sea were a wall unto
them, on their right hand and on their left[464]," and the watery Cloud
covered them above; whereby it came to pass that "all our Fathers were
under the Cloud, and all passed through the Sea; and were all therefore
_baptized_ unto Moses in the Cloud and in the Sea." Moreover, he
declares that they "did all eat the same spiritual meat;" (alluding to
the Manna;) "and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank
of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and _that Rock was
CHRIST_[465]." ... Our SAVIOUR'S emphatic application to Himself (in the
vith of St. John) of the Manna, "the bread which came down from
Heaven,"--none can forget[466].

3. But St. Paul further largely interprets the ordinances of the Mosaic
Law. Thus, the provision that the High-priest alone should enter, once a
year, into the Holy of Holies, not without blood, he interprets as
follows;--"the HOLY GHOST this signifying,"--("the _HOLY GHOST this
signifying!_)--that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made
manifest, while as the first Tabernacle was yet standing[467]." He
explains further that "CHRIST being come an High-Priest of good things
to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, ... by His own Blood
entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal Redemption
for us[468]."--The Veil of the Temple, (he says,) typified CHRIST'S
flesh[469]; and St. Paul intimates that he could further have spoken
particularly of the Golden Censer, and the Ark of the Covenant, and the
Pot of Manna, and Aaron's rod, and the Tables of the Covenant, and the
Cherubims of Glory[470].--Again, he says, that "the bodies of those
beasts whose blood is brought into the Sanctuary by the High Priest for
Sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might
sanctify the people with His own Blood, _suffered without the
gate_[471]."--_Who_ is not familiar with the same Apostle's declaration
that the words of our father Adam relative to Marriage, are expressive
of a great mystery, and set forth symbolically the union of CHRIST and
His Church; "For we are members of His Body,--of His Flesh and of His
Bones[472]?"--St. Peter is at least as remarkable in his Interpretations
as St. Paul; for he says of the Ark "wherein eight souls were saved by
water,"--"The like figure whereunto, even Baptism, doth also now save
us[473]."

Now these samples of _Inspired Interpretation_ would be abundantly
sufficient for our present purpose. But before I proceed to make any use
of them, it is right to draw attention to a phenomenon, even more
extraordinary.

4. It is found then, that besides vindicating for the Scriptures of the
Old Testament this unsuspected depth and fulness of prophetic and
typical meaning, the very Narrative itself teems to overflowing with
mysterious purpose. You have but to weigh well what the HOLY SPIRIT hath
delivered concerning Abraham and Melchizedek, Hagar and Sarah,--to
perceive that the texture of the Historical Narrative itself is of
supernatural fabric. All are familiar with what I allude to; but I
_must_ remind you of it, in detail. The Apostle is bent on shewing the
superiority of our SAVIOUR'S Priesthood to that of Aaron. How does he
proceed? He lays his finger, unhesitatingly, on a verse in the cxth
Psalm, ("Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of
Melchizedek;")--declares with authority that it is CHRIST whom the
prophet there alludes to,--or rather, whom GOD apostrophizes,--(for
_that_ is what St. Paul actually _says_; προσαγορευθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ
Θεοῦ[474]: although David undeniably wrote the Psalm;)--and proceeds,
without more ado, to draw out minutely the characteristics of our
SAVIOUR'S Priesthood, from the very brief narrative contained in the
xivth Chapter of Genesis. Do but hear him!

The compound name "Melchi-zedek," being interpreted, denotes "King of
Righteousness:" while "King of Salem" denotes "King of Peace." These
titles, (it is implied,) are emphatically appropriate to CHRIST our
King; to Him who "is our Righteousness," and the very "Prince of Peace."
It happens that nothing is said in Genesis about the parentage of
Melchizedek, nor about the family from which he sprang: not a word as to
when he was born, or when he died. From this _silence_ of Scripture, St.
Paul collects the typical adumbration of One who, as very GOD, was
_without_ human parentage,--had _no_ earthly lineage;--"was before all
things," GOD from all eternity,--having _indeed_ "neither beginning of
days nor end of life."--Did not Abraham give to Melchizedek a tithe of
the spoils? Consider then, (St. Paul says,) how great an one Melchizedek
must have been! Nay, consider that the descendants of Levi are commanded
to take tithe of their brethren, although all are sprung from Abraham
alike; but here is one, altogether of a different family, taking tithes
of _Abraham_,--aye and _blessing_ Abraham too;--(δεδεκάτωκε,
εὐλόγηκε, "_hath_ tithed," "_hath_ blessed,"--the effect of the act
_remaining_ for ever in CHRIST typified by Melchizedek.)--This
mysterious King of Salem and Priest of the Most High GOD not only tithes
but blesses Abraham, who had received from ALMIGHTY GOD the promises,
which included all blessedness, earthly and heavenly. Now, this implies
Melchizedek's superiority,--for, of course, the less is blessed of the
greater.--Men who receive tithe here below are mortal; but the very
silence of Scripture respecting Melchizedek's death, symbolically
teaches that HE whom Melchizedek typified, yet liveth.--And indeed, (so
to speak,) the tribe of Levi who take tithes, _paid_ tithes to
Melchizedek in the person of their great progenitor; because Levi was as
yet in the loins of his father Abraham when Melchizedek met him[475]....
I do not ask your pardon for thus leading you in detail over one
unusually minute specimen of Divine Interpretation. I know well that
there are many persons to whom the Divine method is highly distasteful;
and who think their own method of Interpretation infinitely better. But,
unfortunately for those persons, the question in hand is not a question
of taste, but a dry _matter of fact_. We have to discover what is _the
Divine method_ of Interpretation, and no other thing. Its improbability
and its inconvenience,--its difficulty, and its strangeness,--its
seeming inconclusiveness, (apart from the authority on which it rests,)
and its certain uniqueness, (notwithstanding the many injunctions we
have met with that we must interpret the Bible like any other
book[476],)--all these considerations are all together irrelevant, and
beside the question. St. Paul himself admits that the Discourse now
before us is πολὺς καὶ δυσερμήνευτος,--long and of difficult
interpretation[477].--Some will perhaps be found to inquire how it
happens that while so many remote points of analogy are adduced, so
obviously typical a circumstance as Melchizedek's _bringing forth_
"_bread and wine_[478]" obtains no notice from the Apostle? I
answer,--For the same reason that Isaac is nowhere spoken of, nowhere so
much as hinted at, in the Bible, as being a type of CHRIST. A blind man
may see it. It requires no Revelation from Heaven to teach such things
as _that!_ But the typical foreshadowing of the superiority of our
SAVIOUR'S Priesthood over that of Aaron, in the story of Melchizedek,
would infallibly have escaped mankind altogether, unless it had been
thus specially revealed.

Some there may be so utterly wanting in Theological instinct, or so
depraved of taste; so utterly unused to the study of GOD'S Word, or so
unobservant of the characteristic method of it,--as to imagine that
there is something trifling in the specimens of Interpretation before
us. I am only concerned to maintain that they are Divine. You may think
what you please about them. They are the teaching of the HOLY GHOST.
Nay, if unfortunately any persons here present should think themselves
wiser than GOD, I would request them to observe that, singularly enough,
GOD has connected with this very exposition a short address _to
themselves_. It runs as follows:--"Concerning Melchizedek, we have to
deliver a long and difficult interpretation; difficult, however, _only
because ye have become dull of hearing_[479]." (The fault, you observe,
is _yours_. Whereas GOD made your spiritual senses sharp and quick, you
have blunted their edge, and are become stupid and obtuse. It
follows:)--"For when, by reason of the length of time that ye have
professed Christianity, ye ought to be Teachers," (pray mark
_that!_)--"ye have need that some one should teach _you_ the first
Principles of the Oracles of GOD; and ye have become such as have need
of milk, and not of solid food. For every one that useth milk, is
without experience in the Word of Righteousness; for he is an infant.
But solid food (στερεὰ τροφή) is for them that are of full age[480]."
Where you are requested to observe that a specimen of Interpretation
_you_ think trifling, the HOLY GHOST calls "_solid food_;" and
yourselves, who in your own conceit represent the World's Manhood[481],
He calls νηπίους,--"_babes_." ... This discrepancy of opinion strikes
me as rather curious.

5. The time would fail, were we to enter as particularly into the Divine
Interpretation elsewhere given of another story, apparently as little
fraught with mystery as any in the Bible. _Who_ would ever have imagined
that the brief narrative of Hagar's dismissal from the house of Abraham
at Sarah's instance, was the ἀλληγορία of so Divine a thing as St.
Paul declares;--the two Mothers setting forth the two Covenants, (one,
bearing children unto bondage,--the other, the free Mother of us all:
Sinai symbolized by _that_, the heavenly Jerusalem by _this_:) and even
Ishmael's mockery not being without mysterious meaning?--Such however
is the Divine Interpretation.--Elsewhere, when St. Paul desires to
contrast the method of the Gospel with the method of the Law,--(_this_,
glorious; _that_, with the same glorious features concealed;)--and also
to illustrate the present unbelief of the Jewish nation;--the Apostle
finds a prophetic emblem of their blindness in the veiled countenance of
their great Lawgiver, as described in the xxxivth chapter of Exodus. The
mystical intention of that veil, (he says,) was to symbolize the
nation's inability to look steadfastly to the end of the dispensation,
and to recognize MESSIAH. Nay, to this hour, while they read their
Scriptures, that veil (he says) is upon their hearts. And yet, even as
Moses, when he returned to GOD, is related to have taken off the veil
from his face, so (St. Paul says) will it fare with the Jews, when
_they_ convert and turn themselves to CHRIST. The veil will be
withdrawn[482].--Now, I gather from all this, and many a hint of the
like kind,--that the whole of Scripture is of the same marvellous
texture, the Old Testament and the New, alike,--whether we have the eyes
to see it or not.

6. But I cannot dismiss the typical character of the Scripture
narrative, until I have reminded you of one striking intimation of it
which you might easily overlook. "O fools and slow of heart," was our
LORD'S reproof to Cleophas and his companion on the evening of the first
Easter: "Ought not CHRIST to have suffered these things, and to enter
into His Glory? And _beginning at Moses_ and all the Prophets, He
expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning
Himself[483]." In like manner, St. Paul at Rome expounded to the
unbelieving Jews, "persuading them concerning JESUS both _out of the Law
of Moses_ and out of the Prophets, from morning till evening[484]." The
same thing is repeated elsewhere[485]: but the most express declaration
is that of our LORD Himself to the Jews:--"Had ye believed Moses, ye
would have believed Me; _for he wrote of Me_[486]," Moses therefore
_wrote concerning_ CHRIST. CHRIST Himself says so. But _where?_ Shew me
the places in the Pentateuch which prove that CHRIST was "to suffer
these things" and then to "enter into glory?" You cannot do it; unless
indeed in Isaac's Sacrifice you are content to find the adumbration of
the scene on Calvary. You cannot do it; unless in Joseph's betrayal for
twenty pieces of silver, (the deed of another Judas!) and his letting
down into the pit without water, you recognize the image of the death of
One by the blood of whose Covenant the prisoners of hope were set
free[487]. You cannot do it; unless in the same Joseph's exaltation to
the supreme power of Egypt, (when they "cried before him, Bow the
knee!") you behold MESSIAH'S session at the Right Hand of GOD. You
cannot do it; unless you notice how "Joseph, who was ordained to save
his Brethren from death, who would have slain _him_, did represent the
SON of GOD, who was slain by us and yet dying saved us[488]." You cannot
do it; unless in the Paschal Lamb, and the wave-sheaf, you discern
things Heavenly, and of eternal moment. You cannot do it; unless you
remember "that as, in order to consecrate the Harvest by offering to GOD
the first-fruits of it, a sheaf was lifted up and waved; as well as a
Lamb offered on that day by the priest to GOD; so MESSIAH, that
immaculate Lamb which was to die, that Priest which dying was to offer
up Himself to GOD, was upon the same day lifted up and raised from the
dead; or rather shook and lifted up, and presented Himself to GOD, and
so was accepted for us all; that so our dust might be sanctified, our
corruption hallowed, our mortality consecrated to eternity." Many who
hear me will perceive that I have been quoting from Bp. Pearson; and
will be constrained to admit that Isaac and Joseph,--the wave-sheaf and
the Paschal Lamb,--may well be types of CHRIST; and that, thus lightly
touched, there can be little objection to tracing in such histories and
provisions of the Law, the main outlines of the Life and Death and
Resurrection of our REDEEMER. But remember, we have handled wondrous
little of the patriarchal History and of the Law; and that little,
wondrous cursorily; more, as it seems to me, in the manner of children
in a Sunday-school, than as Divines in the first University of
Europe!... Now, _St. Paul_ entertained _his_ audience "from morning
until evening." Had he nothing to say about Paradise, think you, and the
mysterious parallel between the first and second Adam? nothing to say
about the Ark of Noah, and the waters of the Flood? What of the history
of the patriarch Jacob, and of Joseph "at the second time made known to
his brethren?" What of Moses, and the miracles of the Exode? What of the
many minute provisions, (all of them, no doubt, significant!) of the
Mosaic Law? What of Esau's posterity and Balaam's prophecies,--the Cloud
and the Flame,--the Manna and the Quails,--the riven Rock and Jordan
driven back?...

I have already said enough to feel at liberty to gather out of it all,
the two chief propositions concerning Holy Scripture, which it is my
business this morning to establish. And first, I assert that it may be
regarded as a fundamental rule, that the Bible _is not to be interpreted
like any other book_. This I gather infallibly from the plain fact, that
_the inspired Writers themselves_ habitually interpret it _as no other
book either is, or can be interpreted_.

Next, I assert without fear of contradiction that inspired
Interpretation, whatever varieties of method it may exhibit, is yet
uniform and unequivocal in this one result; namely, that it proves Holy
Scripture to be of far deeper significancy than at first sight
appears[489]. By no imaginable artifice of Rhetoric or sophistry of
evasion,--by no possible vehemence of denial or plausibility of counter
assertion,--can it be rendered probable that Scripture has invariably
one only meaning; and _that_ meaning, the most obvious and easy to those
who first heard or read it.

I would not be misunderstood by this audience, nor do I fear that I
shall be. I am not denying (GOD forbid!) the literal sense of Scripture.
Rather am I, above all, contending for it. We may _never_ play tricks
with the letter. Those Six Days of Creation, depend upon it, were _six
days_: and the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge, and the Serpent,
were the very things they are called,--and no other things. So of every
other part of the Bible. The Temptation of our LORD was as matter of
fact a transaction as one of His walks by the sea of Galilee. _In what
form_ the Tempter came to Him, hath not been revealed. _After what
fashion_ the Prince of the power of the air contrived the dazzling
panorama "in a moment of time[490]," I do not pretend to understand. The
literal sense of what has been revealed, is, for all that, to be
depended on. All is sincere History: _nothing_ is ever
allegory,--_nothing_ may ever be evacuated or explained away! We have
our LORD'S own word for it. The speech in Paradise, and what happened at
the time of the Flood; the fate of Lot's wife, and what befel the cities
of the plain; the conduct of David (when he ate the shew-bread), and the
visit to Solomon of the Queen of Sheba; the history of the widow of
Sarepta, and of Naaman the Syrian:--all these stories of the Old
Testament are by our LORD Himself appealed to as veritable History[491].

But I am proving that Scripture itself, literally understood, compels us
to believe that _under_ the letter of Scripture, (which _of course_ is
to be _interpreted_ literally,) there lies a deeper and sometimes a far
less obvious meaning; occasionally a meaning so improbable, (as men
account improbability,) that, but for the finger of GOD pointing it out,
we could never by possibility have discerned it; so extraordinary, that
when it is shewn us, it needs an effort of the heart and of the mind to
embrace it fully.

Cases of literal Interpretation are indeed of constant occurrence in
Scripture; but the principle on which they depend is obvious, and
common to all writings alike. I do not doubt, for a moment, that the
history of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, (which we heard read this
morning,) is a _bonâ fide_ narrative,--_truer_ and _more_ authentic in
details, than is to be found in any other book of History.--Neither do I
doubt that the obvious teaching, (the _moral_ Interpretation as it may
be called,) of that incident, is the proper one: viz. that even for the
most fiery of fleshly trials, GOD'S grace is sufficient:--that Joseph's
safety lay in refusing even to _be_ with her, joined to his holy fear of
sinning _against GOD_:--that lust is ever cruel, and will hunt for the
precious life[492]:--finally, that the way of purity, though it may lead
at first to sorrow, will infallibly conduct to blessedness at the last.
Considerations like these, which are obvious and easy, are also
unquestionably _true_; and especially precious, (_who_ ever doubted it?)
as helps to personal holiness.--But still, there may underlie this
narrative, for aught I see to the contrary, a mystical signification.
Potiphar's wife may, (as the best and wisest of ancient and modern
Divines have thought,) symbolize the Power of Darkness; and Joseph, our
Divine LORD. The garment Joseph left in the woman's hand, may represent
that fleshly garment of which the true Joseph divested
Himself,--(ἀπεκδυσάμενος as St. Paul speaks in a very remarkable
place,)--the mortal body which Satan apprehended (his sole triumph!) and
by which he was ensnared, when a greater than Joseph gat Him out from an
adulterous world[493]. Joseph in the prison, and CHRIST in the grave:
Joseph exalted, and CHRIST Ascended: Joseph at last feeding the families
of the World, and CHRIST becoming the Bread of Life to all:--let it not
occasion offence, Brethren, if I confess that, for aught I see to the
contrary, some such hidden teaching as this, may underlie the plain
historical narrative; and in no way interfere with a literal
interpretation.

III. From the two foregoing negative positions, however, (which almost
need an apology, such obvious truisms are they,) I eagerly pass on to
something better and higher.

1. And first, I boldly declare that the clue to all that has been
advanced concerning the marvellous method of Holy Writ is supplied by
the single consideration that the Bible is _the Word of GOD_,--that Holy
Scripture, from the Alpha to the Omega of it, is the language of the
HOLY GHOST. Incomprehensible and unmanageable on any other
hypothesis,--all the disclosures of inspired Interpretation, by the
hearty reception of this one revealed truth, are rendered perfectly
intelligible and clear. The HOLY SPIRIT may surely be assumed competent
to interpret what the HOLY SPIRIT has already delivered! His
disclosures therefore are beyond the reach of censure; however
marvellous they may happen to be. But they are all a hopeless riddle to
those who have blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts.

Thus, to advert for a moment to the prophetic character (as it may be
called) of the historical parts of Scripture,--What is it which moves
secret unbelief, and prompts a reference to the human devices of
Allegory and Accommodation[494]? It is the profound conviction that no
merely human narrative could be handled as St. Paul handles Genesis,
except by indulging in rhetorical license, and giving to Fancy a very
free rein. But disabuse your mind of this lurking suspicion, so
derogatory to the honour of Him by whose Spirit the Bible is
inspired,--cease to suspect that the narrative of Scripture is a merely
human narrative,--and how different becomes the problem! Why should the
HOLY GHOST have spoken less by the mouth of Moses, than by the mouth of
David and Isaiah, Jeremiah and the rest of the prophets? But if _He_
speaks in Genesis, then are the words of Genesis _His_;--and every word
of the narrative "_proceedeth_" (as our LORD phrases it,) "_out of the
mouth of GOD_."

I am constrained to be thus express and emphatic, because it has been
lately "_laid down that Scripture has one meaning_;--the meaning which
it had to the mind of the Prophet or Evangelist who first uttered or
wrote,--to the hearers or readers who first received it[495]." The
original sense of Scripture, (says this writer,) is "the meaning of the
words as they first struck on the ears, or flashed before the eyes, of
those who heard and read them[496]." Now, I will not pause to remark on
the complicated fallacy involved in this. For (1), Why should a hearer's
first impression of a speaker's meaning be assumed _to be_ that
speaker's meaning[497]? And (2), Why may not Prophets and Evangelists
have _intended_ secondary meanings[498]? But I do not dwell on this, for
it does not touch the point. Let us hear the voice of one who adorned
this place many years before the present controversy arose, and who has
exactly anticipated the question now at issue. "Observe how this matter
really is," says Bp. Butler. "If one knew a person to be _the sole
Author_ of a book; and were certainly assured, or satisfied to any
degree, that one knew the whole of what he intended in it; one should be
assured or satisfied to such degree, that one knew the whole meaning of
that book: for _the meaning of a book is nothing but the meaning of the
Author_. But if one knew a person to have compiled a Book out of memoirs
_which he received from Another, of vastly superior knowledge in the
subject of it_; especially if it were a Book full of great intricacies
and difficulties; it would in no wise follow that one knew the whole
meaning of the Book, from knowing the whole meaning of the compilers:
for the original memoirs, (i.e. the Author of them,) might have, (and
there would be no degree of presumption, in many cases, against
supposing Him to have,) some farther meaning than the compiler saw. To
say then, that the Scriptures, and the things contained in them, can
have no other or farther meaning than those persons thought or had, who
first recited or wrote them; is evidently saying, _that those persons
were the original, proper, and sole authors of those books_, i.e. THAT
THEY ARE NOT INSPIRED: which is absurd, whilst the authority of these
books is under examination; i.e. till you have determined they are of no
divine authority at all. Till this be determined, it must in all reason
be supposed,--not indeed that they _have_, (for this is taking for
granted that they are inspired;) but,--that they _may_ have, some
farther meaning than what the compilers saw or understood[499]."--So far
Bp. Butler.

2. Now, if GOD be in effect the Speaker, why need we hesitate to believe
that He has so framed the stories, that they shall be throughout
adumbrations of the things which concern our peace[500]? Let some
garment be shewn me of merely human manufacture, and however costly it
may prove, I look for nothing in it beyond the known properties of any
other earthly fabric. But give me the assurance that, on the contrary,
it was woven by Divine hands, and fashioned in a Heavenly loom, and do I
not straightway expect to find it a mystery and a marvel of Art? It is
even so with the language of Holy Writ. It is all framed and fashioned
after a Diviner model than men are able to imagine. It is instinct with
sublimest meanings. It is penetrated, through and through, with the
Spirit of the Most High GOD. It is of so celestial a texture, that, to
the eye of the soundest Reason, informed by the purest Faith, it
reveals, (when the Spirit of its Divine Author shines upon it,) the
glorious outlines of an imperishable Life!

3. The strong root of bitterness out of which springs unbelief in this
supernatural character of the historical parts of the Bible, is an
unworthy notion of GOD'S Power. Because _human_ histories are perforce
barren and lifeless, it is assumed that the Book of GOD'S Law must be a
dead thing also. And then, the conceit of self-relying Reason glides in,
(like a serpent,) and remonstrates as follows:--"Yea, can GOD have
sanctioned a method of such subtlety and pliability as will make His own
Scriptures mean _anything_[501]? Is it not rather, an exploded fashion,
which the age has outgrown,--_that_ fashion of supposing that there is
sometimes a double sense in Prophecy, and that the Gospel is symbolized
in the Law? Were then the worthies of the Old Testament puppets in GOD'S
Hands, acting parts?--now, typifying remote personages; now, exhibiting
future transactions; now, symbolizing national events? Is it credible?
Not so! Accept one of two alternatives, and never dream of a third.
Believe either that the Evangelists, the Apostles, our SAVIOUR CHRIST
Himself,--partaking of the ignorance of their age, and speaking
according to the modes of thought then prevalent, were mistaken in their
interpretations of Holy Scripture; or else, deny boldly that there are
interpretations at all. Assume that they are mere allegory and
accommodation! Something must be allowed for the backwardness of the
Past;--and 'the time has come when it is no longer possible to ignore
the results of criticism[502].' A change of method 'is not so much a
matter of expediency as of necessity. The original meaning of
Scripture' is at last 'beginning to be understood[503].' Be persuaded,
and make it thy business to persuade others, that the Bible _is but a
common Book!_"

4. To all of which, we make summary answer:--Passing by thy
self-congratulation on the enlightenment of the age,--of which, except
in certain departments of physical Science, _we_ see _no_ evidence;--the
whole of thy argument concerning Holy Scripture amounts to this;--that
it would be very distasteful _to thee_, to find that it contained any
sense beyond that which lies on the surface. Types, intended by the
Author of Scripture _to be_ types: Prophecy with sometimes more than a
single application: historical events foreshadowing remote
transactions:--all these _thou_ deniest, because _thou_ dislikest.
Observe, however, that while _thou_ art urging thine own private
opinion, _we_ are dealing with a revealed fact. _Thou_ talkest about a
probability, but _we_ are establishing a proof. "It is written" that
Scripture _is_ thus significant, _is_ thus mysterious in its historical
outlines. And thou canst not explain away one syllable, though thou
shouldest deny "_every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD_."

5. Let us, however, examine the question merely by the light of unaided
reason.--Consider then! If GOD made this world the particular kind of
world which He is found to have made it, in order that it might in due
time preach to mankind about Himself, and about His providence:--if He
contrived beforehand the germination of seeds, the growth of plants, the
analogies of animal life; all, evidently, in order that they might
furnish illustrations of His teaching; and that so, great Nature's self
might prove one vast Parable in His Hands:--_why_ may not the same GOD,
by His Eternal Spirit, have so overruled the utterance of the human
agents whom He employed to write the Bible, that their historical
narratives, however little their authors meant or suspected it, should
embody the outline of things heavenly; and, while they convey a true
picture of actual events, should _also_ after a most mysterious fashion,
yield, in the Hands of His own informing Spirit, celestial Doctrine
also?

6. For let me remind you,--The very actions of men,--the complicated
transactions of our common lives,--are thus overruled by God's
Providence; and, without restraint, are so controlled that they shall
subserve to the ulterior purposes of His will,--after a fashion which
altogether defies analysis. Beyond this inner circle of comprehensible
causation,--external to the immediate sphere of cause and effect which
courts our daily scrutiny,--there is an outer circle, which rounds our
lives; and (as I said) overrules all we do; fashioning, by virtue of a
supreme fiat which is altogether beyond our comprehension, all our ends.
_Why_ then, I ask, may not the Bible be, what it purports to be,--the
authentic record of transactions which the marvellous skill of Him who
governeth all things in Heaven and Earth did so overrule, that they
should become foreshadowings of chief transactions in the Kingdom of
CHRIST? Shall prophecy, in the ordinary sense of the term, be admitted
by all,--and yet a _prophetic transaction_ be deemed impossible with
GOD? If Isaiah may prophesy of one "red in His apparel," after "treading
the winepress alone[504];" may describe Him as "despised and rejected of
men;" "a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief;" "wounded for our
transgressions and bruised for our iniquities;" "brought as a lamb to
the slaughter," and "making intercession for the transgressors;" and at
last destined to find "His grave with the wicked, yet with the rich in
His death[505]:"--if this may be _in words_ described minutely, and move
no doubt; shall we close our eyes that we may not see,--or seeing shall
we fail to recognize,--in the person of such an one as David, a
divinely-intended type of MESSIAH? What! when he who was born in
Bethlehem, overcomes the Philistine at the end of forty days, and takes
from him the armour wherein he trusted;--when he,--a prophet, priest,
and king,--is persecuted by his enemies, and betrayed by his own
familiar friend; when _he_ at last passes over the brook Kidron and
ascends Olivet, sorrowing as he goes;--yea, when he utters words which
our REDEEMER resyllables with _His_ dying breath[506];--wilt thou refuse
to discern in the person of David, the lineaments of David's Son? and
sneer at _us_, who herein have been better taught than thou; although
thou hast no better reason to give for thy unbelief than that the view
of Holy Scripture which the Church Catholic hath held in all ages, seems
to thee a thing impossible?

7. Take once more, if thou wilt, the analogy of Nature; and thence infer
what is _probable_ concerning things Divine. Is it observed that _the
works_ of GOD are thus single in their office; or are they, on the
contrary, manifold in their virtues and uses? Than the metal Iron, what
substance more serviceable for every ordinary mechanical purpose of
daily life? Yet, ask the physician which of the metals _he_ could least
afford to forego as an instrument of cure: and he will tell thee that
_he_ finds Iron the fullest of healing virtues also. Shall then plants
and animals, yea, and the whole of the Animal Kingdom, be admitted to
subserve to manifold, and at first sight unsuspected uses,--so that the
wisest are ready to confess that the function of most remains to this
hour a secret:--and shall we be reluctant to allow that the _Word of
GOD_--"the Tree of Life," whereof "the leaves are for the healing of the
nations,"--may also be thus various in its purpose; fraught with other
teaching besides that which on its very surface meets the careless eye?

8. To speak without a figure,--It is not of course to be supposed that
the inspired writers knew all the wondrous qualities of the message they
delivered, or of the narrative they were divinely guided to indite.
Altogether a distinct question _this_; although the two have been
sometimes confused together[507]. Nay, Revelation itself comes in to
help us here. St. Peter, in express words, declares that concerning the
mystery of Redemption "the prophets _inquired and searched diligently_;
... searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of CHRIST which
was in them did signify, when it,"--(not _they_, observe, but
_It_)--"testified beforehand the sufferings of CHRIST, and the glory
that should follow." That "not unto, themselves, but unto _us_ they did
minister,"--thus much, indeed, _was_ revealed to them; but no more. The
rest, to this hour, the very "Angels desire to look into!"

9. But between the words which a man delivers _being_ full of Divine
significancy, and _himself knowing_ the full scope and purport of those
words,--there is surely a mighty difference! When Caiaphas foretold the
universal efficacy of CHRIST'S Death, _who_ less than Caiaphas suspected
the far-reaching truth of the words which fell from his unholy lips?
_He_ knew nothing about the triumphs of the Cross; and yet he could
prophesy very accurately concerning them. "This spake he not of
himself," (says the Evangelist,) "but being high-priest that year, he
prophesied that JESUS should die for that nation; and not for that
nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children
of GOD that were scattered abroad[508]." ... It may safely be assumed
that the sacred writers no more knew the force and power of their own
words, than those Priests who lived and moved amid the shadows of the
Mosaic Ritual were able to discern therein, the substance of things
eternal in the Heavens. And yet we believe concerning those ritual types
that "they were a concealed prophetic evidence, the force of which was
made apparent by the presence of the Gospel[509]." I am prone to suspect
that the burning vehemence of their own language must many a time have
moved the Prophets of old to deepest astonishment; and that when there
broke from them words of more than mortal power,--or images of unearthly
grandeur,--or the outlines of a grief more than human; when they spake
of a betrayal for thirty pieces of silver[510], of blows and
spitting[511], and of pierced hands and feet[512]; of parted garments
and lots cast upon a vesture[513];--they must have felt, they must have
felt the awfulness of the message they were commissioned to deliver; and
longed, yea yearned unutterably to see and to hear the things which were
reserved to be witnessed in the days of the Son of Man!

10. Enough, however, of all this. In reply to _à priori_ objections, I
have been content to argue the question as if the Bible were a
newly-discovered Book without a history; whereas the consentient
writings of all the Fathers and Doctors of every age, in every portion
of the Christian Church, is an overwhelming _fact_! Rather have I
reasoned as if the Bible were a book altogether silent concerning
itself. But the plain truth, as I have fully shewn, is the very reverse.
Scripture is _full_ of interpretations of Scripture;--and the constant
method of Scripture in such interpretations, is spiritual or
mystical;--and this witness of Scripture is the strongest proof possible
that the principle involved is correct. Meanwhile, the great underlying
truth which I now desire, more than any other to bring before you, is
this:--that it is the HOLY GHOST who, in the New Testament, interprets
what the same HOLY GHOST had delivered in the Old. This, believe me, is
the true key, the only intelligible solution, to all those difficulties
respecting places of the Old Testament, whether interpreted, or only
quoted, in the New, which have so exercised the ingenuity of learned
men. We are always to remember, in a word, that the _true_ Author of
either Testament,--the _real_ Author of every part of the Bible, is (not
Man, but) GOD!

IV. Such then, (to conclude,) is _the Divine method of Interpretation_.
We are not concerned now to classify, and sort it out under different
heads. _To apply_, even to a small extent, the principles we have been
labouring to establish, would not only lead us much too far, but would
constrain us to travel out of our proper subject and prescribed
province. Our purpose has only been, to vindicate the profundity, or
rather _the fulness_ of Holy Writ[514]; and to shew that under the
obvious and literal meaning of the words, there lies concealed a more
recondite, and a profounder sense: call that sense mystical, or
spiritual, or Christian, or what you will. Unerringly to elicit that
hidden sense is the sublime privilege of inspired Writers; and they do
it by allusion, by quotation, by the importation of a short phrase[515],
by the adoption of a single word[516],--to an extent which no one would
suspect who had not carefully studied the subject. How that method of
theirs is to be _applied by ourselves_, it is impossible, I repeat, for
me even to hint at in a single discourse. But _this_, I will say; and
with _this_ I dismiss the subject;--that Interpretation would be a
hopeless task, but for the solemn circumstance that the whole of the
Bible is inspired by one and the self-same Spirit; so that one part may
always be safely compared with any other part of it, you please. Nay,
by no other method can you hope to understand the Bible, than by such a
laborious comparison of its several parts. "Non nisi ex Scripturâ
Scripturam potes interpretari." The more you study the Book, the more
you will feel convinced that its many authors all resorted to one and
the same Fountain of Inspiration. They all use the same imagery; they
all speak the same language; they all mean the same thing. St. John the
Divine, in the Book of Revelation, shuts up the Canon by reproducing the
combined imagery of all the ancient prophets,--by declaring that the
Song of Moses and of the LAMB is sung by the redeemed in Heaven,--by
marvellous words about "the Tree of Life," which is "in the midst of the
Paradise of GOD." The Inspired writers of either Testament all draw from
the same Treasury, and therefore all say the same things. The Heavenly
Jerusalem, (with her gates of pearl and streets of gold,) is the home of
the spirit of each one of them[517]; JESUS CHRIST, and He Crucified, is
the abiding theme of them all. And O, how their words do sometimes teem,
and their phrases swell, almost to bursting, with their blessed
argument[518]! You shall be troubled with only one example of what I
mean.--Moses having described the interview between Melchizedek and
Abraham, the mighty secret of MESSIAH'S priesthood which therein lay
enshrined was curtained all so close, that neither Angels nor Men could
possibly discern it. Must it then remain a mystery for 2000 years? Not
so! Midway between the day of Abraham and the day of CHRIST,--just
midway,--David, speaking by the HOLY GHOST,--(of _that_, our LORD
Himself assures us[519],)--David, I say, when a thousand years had
rolled by, utters the cxth Psalm; and in the fulness of his prophetic
fervour, the great secret bursts unexpectedly into light! A thousand
years had passed since Abraham returned from 'the slaughter of the
Kings.' It wanted yet a thousand years to the date of our SAVIOUR'S
Birth. And lo, midway, a voice is heard, shouting to Him across the gulf
of Ages,--"_Thou_ art a Priest for ever _after the order of
Melchizedek_!"

"And let not Reason be alarmed. Her vocation is not gone. Yea rather, I
know not if Human Intellect ever had a loftier problem presented to her
than to follow out that deep Analogy which has been noticed above; and
to learn, (if it may be called Reason's learning,) how to deal with Holy
Scripture as Apostles and Evangelists deal with it. Let not Reason be
alarmed. She is only asked to listen, and to discern the nature and laws
of Sacred Study. She is asked but to discern the evidence which there is
of her being in a world which she imperfectly understands.... The
student of the Bible is advised so to address himself to the study of
that Book, so to deal with its language, as one should deal with THE
WORD OF GOD,--the measure of whose import is in the infinite, not in
the finite World.--Surely, by these things the LORD tries the spirits of
us all; tries other men by other means, but tries the intellectual man
by the Word of GOD[520], and watches him as he reads it; hardens the
obdurate; blinds the self-blinded; but pours into the humble mind the
riches of His divine Wisdom like showers into a valley; making it soft
with the drops of rain and blessing the increase of it[521]."

V. Friends and brethren, it is not without reluctance that on a Sunday
in Lent, when penitential thoughts should rather occupy us,--and in this
place too, where the promotion of practical piety should rather be our
aim,--I have so addressed you. But indeed, I seem to have no choice. It
is idle crying "peace, peace," when there is _no_ peace. If the
Inspiration of Holy Scripture be a deceit, and the Divine meaning of
Holy Scripture a superstition,--then, farewell to all our hopes in Life
and in Death; farewell to peace in days of despondency and gloom. Our
faith is gone, and our teaching becomes a hollow heartless thing. Since,
under the name of freedom of discussion, unbounded licentiousness of
speculation is openly the fashion of the age, we are constrained to give
a reason for the hope which is in us; and to defend, without compromise
or hesitation, that Bible, which is the great bulwark of the Faith. It
shall not be said that we can condemn, but that we make no answer. It
must be seen that we put forth in reply the ancient Truths; and it will
be felt that before the majesty of those ancient Truths, the arts of the
enemy will prove weak and unavailing,--rather, will stand revealed in
all their native deformity. If English Clergymen, coming abroad in the
cast-off clothes of German unbelief[522], and decked out with the
exploded sophisms of the last century, are to declare openly that the
faith of our Fathers is already looked upon among ourselves as 'a kind
of fossil of the Past,'--then is it high time that voices should be
heard vindicating _that_ ancient method of our Fathers; and boldly
proclaiming that this imputation against the Clergy of England is a
disreputable untruth. The Church of England, (GOD be praised!) hath
_not_ left her first love; hath _not_ given up her ancient method;
Christianity is _not_ 'a difficulty to the highest minds.' The Christian
Religion embraces, as much as ever it did, "the thought of men upon the
Earth." "All the tendencies of Knowledge" are _not_ "opposed to it." The
Gospel is still immeasurably before the age. Intellect has not
gone,--the loftiest order of well-trained intellects will never go,--the
other way[523]. It is, on the contrary, none but a very shallow wit
which errs. Had it confined its speculations to the cloister, or come
abroad with sorrow and shame, we should have pitied in silence, and in
silence also have lamented. But when it comes insultingly abroad, and
sets up a claim to intellectual superiority even while it denies the
most sacred truths;--_then_ pity gives way before indignation and
disgust. Crown the whole with the iniquity of imputing these views
generally to the more thoughtful of the English Clergy[524],--and we are
constrained openly to resent the grievous wrong. We declare it to be an
unfounded calumny; a calumny which, in the name of the whole Church, I
solemnly repel before GOD,--and His Holy Angels,--and _you_!

Vain, utterly vain,--worthless, utterly worthless,--must any
superstructure of intellectual, moral, or religious training be, which
is built up on the doctrine that the Bible is to be interpreted like any
other Book; in other words, that the Bible _is_ a common Book; in other
words, that _Inspiration is a fable and a dream_. We have no fear
whatever that _your_ high instincts, (with all your faults!),--_your_
English manliness,--will, to any extent be led astray, by sophistry
worthless as that which we have been exposing. But we know you look to
your appointed Teachers from this place, (as well you may,) for advice,
and support, and encouragement, in your better aspirations;--and let
_me_, at least, in plain language, warn you that novelties in Religion
never _can_ be true. "Philosophia," says the great Bishop Pearson
speaking of Physical Science; "Philosophia quotidie progressu: Theologia
nisi _regressu_ non crescit[525]." "Ask for the old paths!" ... The
faith, remember, was ἅπαξ,--_once for all_,--delivered to the Saints.
There will be no new deposit. There can be no new doctrines. There has
been no fresh Revelation,--no new principle of guidance vouchsafed to
man. A new method of interpreting Scripture is _quite_ impossible. And
the true method,--the only _true_ method--_must_ be that which was
adopted by our SAVIOUR, by His Evangelists, and by His Apostles: a
method which _they_ taught to their first disciples, and which those
early Bishops and Doctors handed on in turn to the generation which came
after them. That method, by GOD'S great goodness, has descended in an
unbroken stream, even to ourselves; who have described it this morning,
feebly indeed and unworthily,--yet, in the main, as it would have been
described at _any_ time, by _any_ of the glorious company of the
Apostles, the goodly fellowship of the Prophets, the noble army of
Martyrs,--by any of the Doctors and Fathers of the Holy Church
throughout the world! O let it be our great concern,--yours and
mine,--to preserve with undiminished lustre the whole deposit of
Heaven-descended teaching which is the Church's treasure!... Like
runners in a certain ancient race of which we all have read, let it be
_our_ pride and joy,--yours and mine,--to grasp the torch of Truth with
a strong unwavering hand; to run joyously with it so long as the days of
this earthly race shall last; and dying, to hand it on to another, who,
with strength renewed like the eagle's, may again,--swiftly, steadily,
exultingly,--run with it, till he fails!... _So_, when the Judge of
quick and dead appeareth,--_so_ let Him find _you_ occupied,--O young
men, (many of you, my friends,) who are already the hope of half the
English Church! So faithfully may _we_, Brethren and Fathers, one and
all, be found employed, when He cometh,--whose answer to the Tempter is
emphatically _the_ text of the present solemn season, as well as a
mighty voucher for the Divine origin, and sustaining efficacy of that
Book concerning which I have been detaining you so long,--"It is
written, Man shall not live by bread alone; but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD!"

     Ut verum fatear, semper existimavi, allusiones istas, (ad quas
     confugiunt quidam tanquam ad sacrum suæ ignorantiæ asylum,)
     plerumque nihil aliud esse, quam Sacræ Scripturæ abusiones
     manifestas.

BISHOP BULL, _Harmonia Apostolica_, cap. xi. sect. 3.

     There would be no need to scruple the term, if it were not meant to
     imply that this Accommodation was arbitrary on the part of the
     Evangelist; or that the mind of THE SPIRIT that spoke by the
     Prophet does not most fully include this application.

DR. W. H. MILL.

FOOTNOTES:

[436] Preached at St. Mary-the-Virgin, on the Third Sunday in Lent,
March 3rd, 1861.

[437] "It cannot be said that this, [viz. that _the Bible is the Word of
God_,] is always remembered. It cannot be said that they who write
respecting the Bible, even Christian writers who are looked up to,
always appear to have been in that frame of mind while contemplating the
statements of the Sacred Volume, which they, the same men, would have
been in if they had been listening _for a voice out of a cloud_; a word
reaching them which was simply, and in that sense, the Word of GOD. Yet
the Sacred Volume comes to us with no less claims than as conveying such
a message; and on every feature of it, it carries that claim. It
professes to be this,--an account of what went on in the secret
council-chamber of the MOST HIGH."--Eden's _Sermons_, pp. 150-1.

[438] _Exposition of the Creed_, Art. II. ("Our LORD,")--vol. i. p. 183.

[439] 1 St. Peter i. 11.

[440] _Eccl. Pol._, B. v. c. lix. § 3.

[441] Bp. Bull, _Defensio Fid. Nic._ I. i. 9, (_Works_, vol. v. i. p.
22.)

[442] Disc. v. _The state of Man before the Fall._ Bull's Works, vol.
ii. p. 99.

[443] "DEUS novit cordis mei secreta: in dogmatis theologicis a
novaturiendi prurigine (quam etiam supremi Judicis tribunal insiliens
fidenter mihi tribuit theologiæ professor) adeo alienus sum, ut
quæcunque catholicorum Patrum et veterum episcoporum consensu comprobata
sunt, etiamsi meum ingeniolum ea non assequatur, tamen omni reverentia
amplexurus sim. Nimirum non paucis experimentis monitus didiceram, cum
adhuc juvenis Harmoniam scriberem, (quod mihi jam confirmata ætate
persuasissimum est,) _neminem catholico consensui repugnare posse,
quin is_ (utcunque ipsi aliquantisper adblandiri videantur sacræ
Scripturæ loca nonnulla perperam intellecta, et levicularum
ratiuncularum phantasmata) _tandem et Divinis Oraculis et sanæ rationi
repugnasse deprehendatur_."--Bp. Bull's _Works_, vol. iv. p. 313.

[444] In days of unbelief, one is tempted to add a note even on a
Theological truism like that in the text,--"Esto igitur, inquies; fuerit
Deus, qui in Veteri Testamento, sive per Angelum, sive sub angelicâ
repræsentatione sanctis viris apparuit et locutus est; at quâ demum
ratione adducti crediderunt doctores, fuisse DEI FILIUM? Respondeo:
_Ratione, ni fallor, optimâ, quam ex traditione Apostolicâ
edidicerant_."--_Def. Fid. Nicæn._ I. i. 12. Bp. Bull's Works, vol. v.
i. p. 27.

[445] Ἀλλ' ἡ ἐκκλησία, ὦ ἁγιώτατε Εὐσέβιε, ἑτέρως τὰ περὶ τούτου
νομίζει καὶ οὐχ ὡς σύ. τὸν μὲν γὰρ ἐν τῇ βάτῳ φανέντα τῷ Μωϋσῇ
θεολογεῖ· τὸν δὲ ἐν Ἱεριχῷ τῷ μετ' αὐτὸν ὀφθέντα, τὸν τῶν Ἑβραίων
ἐπιστασίαν λαχόντα, μάχαιραν ἐσπασμένον, καὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ λῦσαι προστάττοντα
τὸ ὑπόδημα, τοῦτον δέ γε τὸν ἀρχάγγελον ὑπείληφε Μιχαήλ,
κ. τ. λ.--The entire passage may be seen in the best annotated editions of
Eusebius, (lib. I. c. ii. § 17.) since that of Valesius, who first
introduced it to notice. But to read it in a truly valuable context,
reference should be made to Dr. Mill's _Christian Advocate's_ publication
for 1841, p. 92. The note alluded to has been reprinted in Dr. Lee's
Discourses _On Inspiration_, p. 535.

[446] _Essays and Reviews_, p. 31.

[447] See Appendix (J).

[448] St. John i. 1-3.

[449] So Bp. Butler, in a passage which will be found below, at
p. 165-6.--Very different is the judgment of Professor Jowett, who is of
opinion that "it will be a further assistance in the consideration of
this subject, to observe that _the Interpretation of Scripture has
nothing to do with any opinion respecting its origin_."--_Essays and
Reviews_, p. 350.

[450] See above, pp. 55-57.

[451] Professor Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, pp. 393-402. He
adds,--"Discussions respecting the use of the Greek article, have gone
far beyond the line of utility. There seem to be reasons for doubting
whether any considerable light can be thrown on the New Testament from
inquiry into the language.... Minute corrections of tenses or particles
are no good." (p. 393.) And this, from a Regius Professor of Greek!

[452] See below, pp. 164-5.

[453] _Essays and Reviews_, p. 372.

[454] St. Matth. ii. 15:17, 18:23.

[455] Hos. xi. 1.

[456] Jer. xxxi. 15.

[457] e.g. Is. xi. 1. Also Zech. iii. 8: vi. 12. Jer. xxiii. 5 and
xxxiii. 15.

[458] St. Matth. viii. 17.

[459] Is. liii. 4.

[460] For consider Exod. ix. 19, Jonah iv. 11, &c.

[461] 1 Cor. ix. 8-10, quoting Dent. xxv. 4. See also 1 Tim. v. 18.--"It
seems providentially appointed that texts of the Old Testament should be
called out into Christian meaning which are the very texts we might have
dismissed into a transitory interest. 'Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that
treadeth out the corn.' 'Humane provision!', modern observation might
say. 'Is it for oxen God careth? is an Apostle's interpretation of the
same text; 'or saith He it altogether _for our sakes?_'.... It is a law,
we find, prospectively set down for the Christian Church."--Eden's
_Sermons_, p. 189.

[462] Ps. viii. 7.

[463] Heb. ii. 6-8. 1 Cor. xv. 25, and Eph. i. 22.--See Shuttleworth's
_Paraphrase_ of the first place cited, p. 394.

[464] Exod. xiv. 22, 29.

[465] 1 Cor. x. 1-4.

[466] St. John vi. 32-58.

[467] Hebr. ix. 6-9.

[468] Ibid. v. 11, 12.

[469] Διὰ τοῦ καταπετάσματος, τουτέστι τῆς σαρκὸς αὑτοῦ. Hebr. x. 20.

[470] Hebr. ix. 2-5.

[471] Hebr. xiii. 11, 12.

[472] Eph. v. 30-32.

[473] ᾭ καὶ ἡμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σώζει βάπτισμα. 1 St. Pet. iii. 21.

[474] Hebr. v. 10.

[475] Hebr. vii. 1-10. The student in Divinity will find it well worth
his while to inquire for a Latin Dissertation by the late learned Dr. W.
H. Mill on this subject.

[476] _Essays and Reviews_, pp. 338, 375, 377, 419-20, 426, 428, 429,
&c. The advice is Professor Jowett's.

[477] Hebr. v. 11.

[478] Gen. xiv. 18.

[479] Νωθροὶ γεγόνατε ταῖς ἀκοαῖς.--Hebr. v. 11.

[480] Hebr. v. 12-14.

[481] Dr. Temple in _Essays and Reviews_.

[482] 2 Cor. iii. 12-16.--Take notice that in allusion to the place,
Exod. xxxiv. 34, (ἡνίκα δ' ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο Μωϋσῆς ἔναντι Κυρίου λαλεῖν
αὐτῷ, περιῃρεῖτο τὸ κάλυμμα,) St. Paul says,--ἡνίκα δ' ἂν ἐπιστρέψῃ
πρὸς Κύριον, περιαιρεῖται τὸ κάλυμμα. The expression is altered in
order to bring out more clearly the allegorical meaning.

[483] St. Luke xxiv. 25-27.

[484] Acts xxviii. 23.

[485] Acts xxvi. 22, 23.

[486] St. John v. 46, 47.

[487] Zech. ix. 11, 12.

[488] Bp. Pearson.

[489] Consider St. John ii. 17, 22: xii. 16. St. Luke xxiv. 8, 45. Acts
xi. 16.

[490] Ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου.--St. Luke iv. 5.

[491] St. Matth. xix. 5. St. Luke xvii. 27 and 32. St. Matth. xi. 23:
xii. 4 and 42. St. Luke iv. 25-27.

[492] Prov. vi. 26. Consider v. 9. Eccl. vii. 26. Gen. xxxix. 20. 2 Sam.
xi. 15. St. Mark vi. 25.

[493] The learned reader,--(and the unlearned reader too, who will bear
in mind that ἀπεκδυσάμενος, [in the E. V. 'having spoiled,'] certainly
means 'having stripped off from himself,')--is invited to consider with
attention those words of Col. ii. 15:--ἀπεκδυσάμενος τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς
ἐξουσίας, ἐδειγμάτισεν ἐν παρρησίᾳ, θριαμβεύσας αὐτοὺς [not αὐτάς,
observe;] ἐν αὐτῷ [sc. τῷ σταυρῷ. See by all means Pearson _on the
Creed_, Art. v. note (_l_): (ed. Burton, vol. ii. p. 217-8.) Cf. Eph.
ii. 16. Consider St. Luke xi. 22.] To complete the teaching of the
passage, the reader is invited to study also, in connexion with what
goes before, 1 Cor. ii. 6-8; taking notice, that οἱ ἄρχοντες τοῦ αἰῶνος
τούτου are not, (as the marginal references suggest,) the powers of the
visible, but of the _invisible_ World. See St. John xii. 31: xiv. 30:
xvi. 11, and Ephes. ii. 2: vi 12.--See Ignatius _Ep. ad Ephes._ c. xix.,
(with the notes in Jacobson's ed.) See also Dr. Mill _on the
Temptation_, p. 165.

[494] See Sermon VI.

[495] Professor Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, p. 378.

[496] Professor Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, p. 338.

[497] Consider St. John xii. 16: x. 6: xi. 13. St. Luke xviii. 34. St.
Matth. xvi. 11, 12. St. John viii. 27, &c., &c.

[498] See St. John xi. 49-52: vi:. 37-39.

[499] _Analogy_, Part ii. ch. vii.

[500] Augustine, speaking of the New Testament, says,--"Factum quidem
est, et ita ut narratur, impletum; sed tamen etiam ipsa, quæ a DOMINO
facta sunt, aliquid significantia erant,--quasi verba (si dici potest)
visibilia, et aliquid significantia."--_Opp._, tom. v. p. 421 F.

[501] _Essays and Reviews_, pp. 368, 372.

[502] Professor Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, p. 374.

[503] Professor Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, p. 418.

[504] Is. lxiii. 2, 3.

[505] Is. liii.

[506] Comp. Ps. xxxi. 5 with St. Luke xxiii. 46.

[507] By Professor Jowett for example. "The time will come when educated
men will no more be able to believe that the words of Hos. xi. 1 _were
intended by the prophet_ to refer to the return of Joseph and Mary from
Egypt, than," &c.--_E. and R._, p. 418. _When_ did "educated men" ever
believe anything of the kind?

[508] St. John xi. 50. Comp. xviii. 14.

[509] Davison on _Prophecy_, p. 192.

[510] Zech. xi. 12, 13.

[511] Is. l. 6.

[512] Ps. xxii. 16. Zech. xiii. 13.

[513] Ps. xxii. 18.

[514] "Adoro Scripturæ plenitudinem."--Tertullian _adv. Hermog._, c. 22.

[515] Comp. St. Matth. ii. 20, with the LXX Version of Exod. iv. 19: St.
Matth. iii. 4, with the same version of 2 Kings i. 8: St. Matth. xxvi.
38 with Ps. xlii. 5. St. Luke i. 37, with Gen. xviii. 14,--i. 48, with 1
Sam. i. 11, and with Gen. xxx. 13,--i. 50, with Ps. ciii. 17. St. John
i. 52, with Gen. xxviii. 12,--&c., &c.

[516] A few examples may prove suggestive to a thoughtful
reader:--ἔξοδος, in St. Luke ix. 31 and in 1 St. Pet. i.
15:--ἀποκαταστήσει, in St. Matth. xvii. 11, (cf. Mal. iv. 5):
σιτομέτριον, in St. Luke xii. 42, (cf. Gen. xlvii. 12): παράδεισος,
in St. Luke xxiii. 43. The reference is of course always to the
_Septuagint_ version.

[517] Ps. xlvi. 4: xlviii. 1, 8: lxxxvii. 3. Is. lii. 1: lx. 14. Ezek.
xlviii. Ephes. ii. 19, 20. Phil. iii. 20. Gal. iv. 26. Hebr. xi. 10:
xii. 22: xiii. 14. Rev. xxi. 2, 10: iii. 12, &c.

[518] "Scriptores θεόπνευστοι, de typo disserentes, divinius quiddam
ex inopinato pati solent, et ad antitypum vehementiore Spiritus afflatu
rapi et elevari. Assertionis hujusce veritas inde constat, quod verba
quædam haud expectata sæpius inferant, quæ MESSIÆ vel solum vel aptius
quam Illius typo congruant."--Spencer _De Legg. Hebr._, vol. ii. p.
1035. Consider such places as Ps. ii. 6, 7: xli. 9, 10: xlv. 10, 11:
lxi. 6: lxxii. 5, 7, 11, 16, 17: lxxxix. 29. Gen. xlix. 18. Is. lxi. 1,
2, 3. Zech. vi. 11, 12.

[519] St. Mark xii. 36.

[520] "And their manner of treating this subject when laid before them,
shews what is in their heart, and is an exertion of it." Bp. Butler's
_Analogy_, P. II. ch. vi.--See Appendix (C).

[521] Eden's _Sermons_, pp. 192-5.

[522] "With the exception of the still-imperfect science of Geology,"
(says Dr. Pusey,) "the Essays and Reviews contain nothing with which
those acquainted with the writings of unbelievers in Germany have not
been familiar these thirty years." Even the Apologist for the volume in
question assures us that one who "had looked ever so cursorily through
the works of Herder, Schleiermacher, Lücke, Neander, De Wette, Ewald,
&c., would see that the greater part of the passages which have given so
much cause for exultation or for offence in this volume, have their
counterpart in those distinguished Theologians."--_Edinb. Rev._, Ap.
1861, p. 480.

[523] Rev. B. Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, pp. 374-5.

[524] Rev. B. Jowett in _Essays and Reviews_, pp. 372, (_bottom_,) 340,
374, &c.

[525] _Minor Works_, vol. ii. pp. 9-10.--"In Christianity, there can be
no concerning truth which is not ancient; and _whatsoever is truly new
is certainly false_."--Epistle Dedicatory prefixed to Pearson _on the
Creed_, p. x.



SERMON VI.[526]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DOCTRINE OF ARBITRARY SCRIPTURAL ACCOMMODATION CONSIDERED.

       *       *       *       *       *

ROMANS x. 6-9.

_"But the Righteousness which is of Faith speaketh on this wise,--'Say
not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven?' (that is, to bring
CHRIST down from above:) or, 'Who shall descend into the deep?' (that
is, to bring up CHRIST again from the dead.) But what saith it? 'The
word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thine heart:' that is, the
word of Faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the LORD JESUS, and shalt believe in thine heart that GOD hath
raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."_


It is quite marvellous in how many different ways different classes of
professing Christians have contrived to nullify the value of their
admission that the Bible is _inspired_. Some would distinguish the
inspiration of the Historical Book from that of those which we call
Prophetical. Others profess to lay their finger on what are _the proper
subjects_ of Inspiration, and what are not. Some are for a general
superintending guidance which yet did not effectually guide; while
others represent the sacred Writers as subject, in what they delivered,
to the conditions of knowledge in the age where their lot was cast. The
view of Inspiration which Scripture itself gives us,--namely, that God
_is therein speaking by human lips_[527]; so that 'holy men of GOD'
delivered themselves as they were 'impelled,' 'borne along,' or 'lifted
up,' (φερόμενοι) _by the HOLY GHOST_[528];--_this_ plain account of
the matter, I say, which converts 'all Scripture' into something
'_breathed into by GOD_,' (θεόπνευστος,)[529]--men are singularly slow
to acknowledge. The methods which they have devised in order to escape
from so plain a revealed Truth, are 'Legion.'

Second to none of the enemies of Holy Writ, practically, are they who
deny its depth and fulness. It is only another, and a more ingenious
way, of denying the Inspiration of the Bible, to evacuate its more
mysterious statements. Those who are for eluding the secondary intention
of Prophecy, the obviously mystical teaching of Types, the allegorical
character of many a sacred Narrative,--are no less dangerous enemies of
GOD's Word than those who frame unworthy theories in order to dwarf
Inspiration to the standard of their own conceptions of its nature and
office. I say, it is only another way of denying the Inspiration of
Scripture, to deny what is sometimes called its mystical, sometimes its
typical, sometimes its allegorical sense.... And thus,--what with the
arbitrary decrees of our own unsupported opinion, or the self-sufficient
exercise of our own supposed discernment;--what with our insolent
mistrust; or our shortsighted folly and presumption; or, lastly, our
coldness and deadness of heart,--our slender appetite for Divine things,
which makes us yearn back after Earth, at the very open gate of
Heaven;--in one way or other, I repeat, we contrive to evacuate our own
admission that the Bible is an inspired Book: we fasten discredit on
its every page: we become profane men, like Esau: we despise our
birthright.

But the most subtle enemy of all remains yet to be noticed. It is he,
who,--finding the plain Word of GOD against him: finding himself refuted
in his endeavour to fix one intention only on the words of the HOLY
GHOST, and _that_ intention, the most obvious and literal one; finding
himself refuted even by the express revelation of the same HOLY GHOST,
elsewhere delivered;--bends himself straightway to resist, and explain
away, that later revelation of what was the earlier meaning. It is a
marvellous thing but so it is, that the very man who contended so
stoutly a moment ago for the literal meaning of Scripture, _now_
refuses, and denies it. Anything but _that_! If he allows that St.
Matthew, or St. Paul,--yea, or even our Blessed LORD Himself,--are to be
_literally_ understood; are severally to be taken to _mean_ what they
_say_;--then, Moses and David,--narrative, law, and psalm,--besides
their literal meaning, have, at least _sometimes_,--and they _may_ have
_always_,--a mystical meaning also. _Under_ the evident, palpable
signification of the words, there lies concealed something grander, and
deeper, and broader; high as Heaven,--deep as Hell.

And this supposition is so monstrous an one; seems so derogatory to
their notions of the mind of GOD;--it is deemed so improbable a thing,
that the words of Him, whose ways are not like Man's ways, should span
the present and the future, at a grasp;--that He whose "thoughts are
very deep," should, with language thereto corresponding, be setting
forth CHRIST and His Redemption, while He tells of Patriarchs and
Lawgivers,--Judges and Kings,--priests and prophets of the LORD:--I
say, it is deemed so incredible a thing that Moses should have written
concerning CHRIST, (though our SAVIOUR CHRIST Himself declares that
Moses did write concerning Him)[530]; or that the occasional expressions
of the Prophets should really contain the far-reaching allusions which
in the New Testament are assigned to them; that the men I speak of,--men
of learning (sometimes), and of piety too,--will condescend to every
imaginable artifice in order to escape the cogency of the Divine
statement. St. Paul--was infected with the Hebrew method of
interpretation. (It is of course _assumed_ that this method was
essentially erroneous! It is overlooked that our LORD had recourse to
it, as well as St. Paul! It is either forgotten, or denied, that the
HOLY GHOST, speaking by the mouth of St. Paul, acquiesced in every
instance of such interpretation on the part of His chosen vessel!) ...
As for St. Matthew, he addressed his Gospel to the Jews, and therefore
reasoned as a Jew would. (St. Matthew's Gospel was not of course
intended for the Christian Church! The blessed Evangelist was also
deeply learned,--it is of course reasonable to suppose,--in the sacred
hermeneutics of the Hebrew Schools!) ... The other Sacred Writers, it is
pretended, all wrote according to the prejudices of the age in which
they lived.--In all these cases, it is contended that _merely in the way
of Accommodation_, is the language of the Old Testament cited in the
New. What was said of one thing is transferred to quite another,--to
suit the purpose of the later writer; to illustrate his reasoning, to
adorn or to enforce his statements.... And this brings me to a question
of so much importance, that I pause to make a few remarks upon it. In
the present discourse, it shall suffice to remark on the doctrine of
_Scriptural_ ACCOMMODATION; for which it is presumed that the text,
(selected not without reference to the present Sacred Season,) affords
ample scope, as well as supplies a fair occasion.

Now, it is not to the _term_ "Accommodation," that we entertain any
dislike; but to the _notion_ which it seems intended to convey; and to
the _principle_ which we believe that it actually embodies. That the
HOLY SPIRIT in the New Testament sometimes accommodates to His purpose a
quotation in the Old,--is very often a mere matter of fact. In all those
places, for instance, where St. Paul inverts the clauses of a place
cited,--there is a manifest accommodation of Scripture, in the strictest
sense of the word. When two, three, or more texts, widely disconnected
in the Old Testament, are continuously exhibited in the New,--a species
of accommodation has, of course, been employed. The same may be said
when a change of construction is discoverable. Again, there is
accommodation, of course, when narrative,--legal enactment,--or
prophecy, is _so exhibited_ that the point of its hidden teaching shall
become apparent. Nay, in a certain sense of the word, there is
"accommodation," as often as a prophecy, however plain, is applied to
the historical event which it purports to foretel. The prophecy may be
said,--(with no great propriety indeed, but still, intelligibly,)--to
have been accommodated to its fulfilment.--Occasionally, a general
promise is made particular,--as in Hebrews xiii. 6; and perhaps _this_
might be called an accommodation of the text to the needs of an
individual believer. Yet is it plain that in all these cases
'_application_' or '_adaptation_' would be a better word.

But such ways of adducing Holy Scripture, we suspect, are not by any
means what is _meant_ by 'Accommodation;' and they do not certainly
correspond with the notion which the term is calculated to convey. The
place in the Old Covenant, seems, (from the term employed,) to have been
forced, against its conscience, as it were, to bear witness in behalf of
the New. It has been wrenched away from its natural bearing and
intention; and made to accommodate itself,--and, on the part of the
writer, quite arbitrarily,--to a purpose, with which it has, in reality,
no manner of connexion. This, I say, is the notion which the term
"Accommodation" seems to convey.

I am supposing, of course,--(as the opposite school is, of course,
supposing,)--_not_ an _illustration_,--which obviously _any_ writer,
whether ordinary or inspired, has a right to introduce at will; but a
case where the cogency of the argument depends entirely on the place
cited. A sudden and unforeseen requirement arose;--nothing entirely fit
and applicable occurred to the memory: but by an arbitrary handling of
the ancient Oracles of GOD,--(altogether illogical and inconclusive
indeed, yet entitled to a certain measure of respectful consideration at
our hands, and certainly having a strong claim on our indulgence,)--the
later writer saw that he should be able to substantiate his position, or
to strengthen his argument, or to prove his point. And he did not
hesitate to do so. It is surprising that his hearers or his readers
should have accepted his statements, and admitted his reasoning;--very!
But they _did_. And it is for us, the heirs of the wisdom of all the
ages, to detect the time-honoured fallacy and to expose it.--This, I
say, is the notion which the term "Accommodation" seems calculated to
convey; and it is to be feared, _does_ very often represent.

And the introduction of this principle, as already explained, I cannot
but regard as the most insidious device of all. It admits fully all that
we have elsewhere laboured to establish. It freely grants that Apostles
and Evangelists were inspired. But then, it denies that much of what
they deliver in the way of interpretation of Scripture, is to be
regarded as _real_ interpretation. By a taste for Allegory; by
Rhetorical license; on _any_ principle, it seems, _but one_, is the
Divine method to be accounted for; and the plain facts of the case to be
obscured, or explained away.

Now I _altogether reject_ this principle of arbitrary "Accommodation." I
hold it to be a mere dream and delusion. And I reject it on the
following grounds:--

1. It is evidently a mere excuse for Human ignorance,--a transparent
deceit. Men do not see how to explain, or account for, the apparent
license of the Divine method; and so they have invented this method of
escape. Most cordially do I subscribe to the opinion expressed by Bishop
Bull, in his discussion of the very text which we are now about to
consider:--"Atque, ut verum fatear, semper existimavi, allusiones istas,
(ad quas confugiunt quidam tanquam ad sacrum suæ ignorantiæ asylum,)
plerumque aliud nihil esse, quam sacræ Scripturæ abusiones
manifestas[531]."

2. The "theory of Accommodation," (as it is called,) is attended with
this fatal inconvenience,--that, (like certain other expedients which
have been invented to get over difficulties in Religion,) it altogether
fails of its object. For even if we should grant, (for argument's
sake,) that some quotations from the Old Testament _can_ be explained
on this principle,--so long as there remain others which defy it
altogether, nothing is gained by the proposed expedient. Thus, so long
as attention is directed to certain of the places in St. Paul's writings
already referred to[532], there is certainly _no absurdity_ in adducing
them as instances of Rhetorical license. But how can it be pretended
that the text whereby St. Paul establishes, (on two distinct occasions,)
the right of the Christian Ministry to a liberal maintenance,--with what
propriety can it be thought that Deut. xxv. 4 lends itself to such a
theory? Those words _seem_,--and, apart from Revelation, might without
hesitation have been declared,--to have _nothing at all to do with the
matter_[533]! To talk of the "accommodation" of words so eminently
unaccommodating, is unreasonable, and even absurd.

3. But, allowing the advocates of this theory all they can possibly
require, the result of their endeavours is but to make the Sacred
writers ridiculous after all. For it attributes to them a method, which,
if it be a _mere_ exhibition of human fancy, often seems to be but a
species of ingenious trifling,--scarcely entitled to serious attention
at our hands. There is no alternative, in short, between certain of the
expositions which we meet with, being Divine,--and therefore worthy of
all acceptation; or Human,--and therefore entitled to no absolute
deference whatever.

4. On the other hand, learned research has hitherto invariably tended to
shew that the meaning claimed for Scripture by an Apostle or
Evangelist, _does_ actually exist there. Thus, it has been admirably
demonstrated that the Evangelical meaning attributed by St. Matthew, (in
the first chapters of his Gospel,) to certain places in the ancient
Prophetical Scriptures of the Jewish people, derives nothing but
corroboration from the inquiries of Piety and Learning[534].... It is
proposed on the present occasion, without pretending to bring to the
question any such helps as these, to examine the portion of Holy
Scripture already under our notice, with a view to ascertaining what
light it will throw on the main question at issue. To this task, I now
address myself.

St. Paul's words, from the 6th to the 9th verse (inclusive) of the xth
chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, present probably, as fair an
example as could be desired of what is sometimes called "Accommodation."
To say the truth, I know not an instance of what, _in any uninspired
writing_, I should have been myself more inclined to stigmatize as such.
The Apostle begins an affectionate remonstrance with his countrymen by
declaring that they "did not understand the Righteousness of GOD;" (that
is, the Divine method whereby GOD wills that we shall be made righteous,
by faith _in CHRIST_;) but desired to set up (στῆσαι) a righteousness
of their own, on the worthless foundation of their own Works[535].
"For," (he proceeds; with plain reference to _what_ "the Righteousness
of GOD" _is_;)--"_For_ CHRIST is the end" (aim, or object,) "of the
Law[536] to every one who hath faith" in CHRIST. St. Paul straightway
proceeds, (as his manner is,) to establish this latter proposition. How
does he do it? "_For_," (he begins again,)--"Moses describes the nature
of the righteousness which proceeds from the Law, when he declares [in
Leviticus xviii. 5,] that '_The man who hath done_ the deeds commanded
by the Law, shall live thereby.'--But concerning the Righteousness which
proceeds from Faith,"--[it was called before, 'the Righteousness of
GOD,']--"Moses writes as follows[537]:--'Say not in thine heart, Who
shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring CHRIST down:) or, Who shall
descend into the deep? (that is, to bring CHRIST up from the dead.) But
what saith it? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart:
that is, the word of faith, which we preach: because if thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the LORD JESUS, and shalt believe in thine heart
that GOD raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Here then is a quotation from the xxxth chapter of the Book of
Deuteronomy,--a quotation introduced in the way of argument, in support
of a proposition: the remarkable circumstance being, that St. Paul
adduces the words of Moses with extraordinary license. For first, he
omits as many of the Prophet's words as make little for his purpose,
while he introduces a very remarkable alteration in some of the words
which he retains: amounting to a substitution of one sentence for
another. And next, there is one single word, which he expands into an
important phrase; and _that_ merely to suit his own argument. But the
strangest thing of all is the interpretation which he delivers of words,
which as we have just seen, are partly his own,--partly, the words of
Moses: by which interpretation, the most strikingly _Christian_
character is fastened upon sayings pronounced by the ancient Lawgiver in
the land of Moab, to the Jewish people.--We do further, for our own
part, most freely admit, that the place,--as it stands in the Old
Testament,--neither at first, nor at second sight, seems to have any
such meaning as the Apostle assigns to it. I will remind you of the
words in Deuteronomy, by reading the entire passage:--"This commandment
which I command thee this day, ... is not hidden from thee, neither is
it far off. It is not in Heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go
up for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do
it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go
over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do
it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart,
that thou mayest do it." ... Now, I say, one of ourselves might read
this passage in the Book of Deuteronomy over a hundred times, and never
suspect that Moses, when he so wrote, was writing concerning faith in
CHRIST: and yet we have the sure testimony of the HOLY SPIRIT to the
fact that he _was_.--The inquiry, "Who shall ascend into Heaven?",
signifies, we are told, "Who shall ascend,--_to bring down CHRIST from
above_?"--And just so, the other clause, "Who shall descend into the
deep?", is declared to be an incomplete expression: the full phrase
being,--"Who shall descend,--_to bring up CHRIST[538] from the dead_."
... Now we never desire to see a non-natural sense fastened on the
Inspired Word. With Hooker, we "hold it for a most infallible rule in
expositions of sacred Scripture, that, where a literal construction will
stand, the furthest from the letter is commonly the worst." We contend
therefore that whereas we have here the explicit assurance that Moses
wrote of none other than CHRIST,--though his words do not bear upon them
any evidence of the fact,--it is a mere trifling with holy things, to
call the fact in question.

Here, however, we shall be reminded that the great Apostle,--though
professing to quote,--confessedly argues in part from _his_ own
language, which is _not_ the language of Moses. Moses says,--"Who shall
go _over the sea_ for us?" (τίς διαπεράσει ἡμῖν εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς
θάλασσης;) And since the version of the LXX is what the Author of the
Epistle to the Romans follows in this place, it is reasonable to expect
that he would adhere to that version, or at least to the sense of that
version, in the exhibition of so important a clause as the present.
Whereas, instead of "Who shall go _over the sea_," we find St. Paul
writing,--"Who shall _go down into the deep?_" (Τίς καταβήσεται εἰς τὴν
ἄβυσσον;)--language evidently highly suggestive of the mysterious
transaction to which the same St. Paul says it contains a
reference[539]; but certainly _not_ the language of Moses. And we shall
be reminded that this is not merely phraseology rescued from vagueness,
and made definite; but it is the actual substitution of one thought for
another. This is what will be said; and if it be followed up by the
assertion that here, therefore, we have a clear example of Scriptural
Accommodation, it might seem, at first sight, impossible to deny the
fact.

For our own parts, we are inclined to meet the present difficulty, and
every similar one, in quite another spirit; and dispose of the
objection, somewhat in the following way. The same GOD who gave us the
Scriptures of the Old Testament, gave us the New Testament also. The
Bible is _one_. He who inspired the Law, inspired the Gospel. The HOLY
GHOST pleads with us in both alike.--Surely, therefore, He who spake of
old time by the Prophets, may be allowed, when, in the last days, He
speaks by the Apostles of CHRIST,--to explain His earlier meaning, if He
will. Surely, He may tell the Israel of GOD,--if He pleases,--what He
meant by the language He held of old time to Israel after the flesh!
Yea, and if it seemeth good to Him to call in the wealth of His ancient
treasury, in order to recoin it that He may the more enrich us
thereby:--if it pleases Him to take His ancient speeches back again into
His mouth, in order that He may syllable them anew,--making them sweeter
than honey to our lips, yea, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb;--what
is _Man_ that he should reply against GOD? What should be our posture,
at witnessing such a spectacle, but one of Adoration? What, our becoming
language, but praise?

It is easy to anticipate the answer that will be made to all this. We
shall be told that we are, in some sort, begging the question. The
Bible is an Inspired Book, indeed: but _what is Inspiration_?--Moses
wrote the Book called "Deuteronomy:" St. Paul wrote the Epistle to the
Romans. And St. Paul,--quoting a passage out of the older record,--has
substituted a sentiment of his own for a sentiment contained in the
writings of Moses. He does the same thing in other places; and
elsewhere, as here, he proceeds to reason upon the data he has so
obtained. _This_, it will be said, is the phenomenon which we have to
deal with.

But, we reply, it is manifest that he who so argues,--with all his
apparent good sense, and fairness,--is entirely committed to a theory
concerning Inspiration; and _that_ a very unworthy one. The Bible comes
to us as an Inspired Book; claiming to be the very Word of GOD. The Holy
Church throughout all the World, doth acknowledge it to be so. Surely,
therefore, it is for _us_ to study its contents by the light of this
previous fact.--But quite contrary is the method of our opponents. They
treat the Bible as if it were an ordinary Book. They submit its contents
to the same irreverent handling as they would the productions of a
merely human intellect. They not only reason _about_ its claims from its
contents,--but they would even pronounce _upon_ its claims, from the
same evidence. They dare to sit in judgment upon it. Hence their lax
notions on the subject of Inspiration. They first run riot among
statements which are too hard for them; and when they have perplexed
themselves with these, till the field is strewed with doubts, and the
limits of unbelief and mistrust have become extended on every
side,--Inspiration, like an ill-defined boundary-line on a map, is
suffered faintly to hem in, and enclose the utmost verge of the unhappy
domain.--Whereas, we maintain that a belief in the Bible, as an Inspired
Book, should, at the outset, prescribe a limit to human speculations.

Let this belief encircle us exactly, and entirely; and define, at once,
the area within which all our reasonings must be taught to marshal
themselves, and to find their full development. In brief, our opponents
meet our remonstrance by another; but, as we contend, an unreasonable
one;--at least, as proceeding from men who, no less than ourselves,
allow freely the Inspiration of Scripture. _We_ say,--The Bible is the
word of GOD. Fill your heart with this conviction, and then humbly
address yourself to the study of its pages.--It is argued on the other
side,--The pages of the Bible are full of perplexing statements. They
evolve strange phenomena, interminably. Convince yourself of this; and
then make up your mind, if you can, about the Inspiration of the
Bible[540].... I shall have occasion, by and by, to explain more in
detail the spirit in which the Divine Logic,--_Inspired reasoning_ as it
may be called,--is to be approached. For the moment, I am content to
waive the question; and to be St. Paul's apologist, almost as if I had
met with his words in an uninspired book.

Solemnly protesting, then, that the ground we have just occupied is the
only _true_ ground on which to take our stand; but withdrawing from it
because we do not fear the appeal to unassisted Reason, even in matters
of Faith,--so that the proper limits and conditions of inquiry be but
observed;--we proceed to inquire whether,--apart from Revelation,--there
be not good ground for believing that the words of the ancient Hebrew
Lawgiver and Prophet contain and mean the very thing which the Christian
Apostle _says_ they do.--We change our language at this stage of the
inquiry. We no longer assert, (as before we did,) that the HOLY GHOST
speaking by the mouth of Moses, _must have meant_, what the same HOLY
GHOST, speaking by the mouth of St. Paul, declares that He _did_ mean.
We are willing to study the sacred text solely by the light which grave
criticism and patient learning have thrown upon it.--Our inquiry now, is
this;--Although the words in Deuteronomy, read over attentively by
ourselves, suggest no such Christian meaning as we find affixed to them
in the Epistle to the Romans,--is there no reason, traditional or
otherwise, for supposing that they _do_ envelope that meaning; yea, so
teem and swell with it, that the germ of the flower may be actually
detected in the yet unopened bud?... I proceed to this inquiry.

1. And first, it is obvious, to any one reading the xxixth and xxxth
chapters of the last Book of Moses, that they contain _another
Covenant_, beside that of Horeb. This is expressly stated in the first
verse of the xxixth chapter:--"These are the words of the Covenant which
the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land
of Moab, _beside the Covenant which He made with them in Horeb_[541]."
Not to stand too stiffly thereupon, however[542], let it be at least
freely allowed that even if we choose to regard this chapter and the
next as a _renewal_ only of the Covenant made in Horeb, it is a
_distinct_ renewal;--both in respect of time and of place. Of time,--for
whereas the Covenant of Sinai belongs to the _first_ of the forty years
of wandering, the Covenant of Moab belongs to the _last_. Of place,--for
whereas the other was made at the furthest limit of the people's
wanderings, _this_ belongs to their nearest approach to Canaan.--And I
confidently ask, After _such_ an announcement, and at a moment like
_that_,--the forty years of typical wandering ended, and the earthly
type of the heavenly inheritance full in view, Jordan alone intercepting
the vision of their Rest;--shall we wonder, if here and there a ray of
coming glory shall be found to flash through the language of the dying
patriarch? if some traces shall be discernible, even in the language of
Moses, of the dayspring of the Gospel of CHRIST?

2. We find that it contains not a few sayings in support of such a
presumption. The 10th verse opens the covenant, and in the following
solemn language:--"Ye stand, this day, all of you, before the LORD your
GOD: the Captains of your tribes, your Elders, and your officers, with
all the men of Israel;--your little ones, your wives, and the stranger
that is in thy camp,--from the hewer of thy wood, to the drawer of thy
water." And what was the _intention_ of this solemn standing before the
LORD? Even--"that thou shouldest enter into Covenant with the LORD thy
GOD, and enter into His oath, which the LORD thy GOD maketh with thee
this day."--The purport of the Covenant thus to be made, was, that GOD
might establish Israel that day for a people unto Himself, and that He
might be unto them a GOD,--(an expression elsewhere appropriated by the
Great Apostle to the Christian Church[543],)--as He had ... sworn unto
their fathers, _to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob_. So that we have
here the renewal of the _Evangelical Covenant_ made with Abraham, and
renewed to Isaac and Jacob,--which is clearly distinguished in Scripture
from the _Legal_ Covenant, made with their children 430 years after; and
which is declared ineffectual to disannul the earlier one, confirmed
before by GOD, and pointing entirely to CHRIST[544]. That earlier
Evangelical Covenant then, it was, which was renewed in the land of
Moab;--in the course of renewing which, the words of the text occur.

3. And that it was indeed the Evangelical, (not the Legal Covenant,)
which is here spoken of, is abundantly confirmed by the subsequent
language of the passage: for Moses proceeds,--"Neither with you only do
I make this Covenant and this oath; but with him that standeth here this
day with us before the LORD our GOD, and _also with him that is not here
with us this day_[545]:" meaning, (as the ancient Targum expounds the
place,) "_with every generation that shall rise up unto the world's
end_." It was the same Covenant, therefore, which is made with
_ourselves_; "for the promise is unto" us, and to our "children, and to
all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our GOD shall
call[546]:" "_not_ according to the Covenant which GOD made with the
Fathers of Israel in the day that He took them by the hand to bring them
out of the Land of Egypt[547]."

Yet more remarkably perhaps is this established by the language of the
ensuing chapter: for GOD therein promises that _Circumcision of the
heart_ whereby men should be enabled to love the LORD their GOD with
_all their heart_ and with _all their soul_. Now this seems clearly to
intimate not legal but Evangelical obedience,--the result of the free
outpouring of the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD; of which, in the Law, (properly so
called,) we find no promise whatever. Here then we discover another
anticipation of something which belongs to the times of the Gospel.

And this Evangelical complexion is to be recognized in the entire
contents of the xxixth and xxxth chapters. They contain no single
mention of ceremonial rites or observances,--of which the Law is, for
the most part, full. But free obedience and perfect love are inculcated
as the condition of blessedness: while hearty repentance is made the
sole condition of forgiveness of sin.

In connexion with this, I may call your attention to a curious
coincidence,--if indeed it be not something more. On the sincere
repentance of the people, it is promised "that then the LORD thy GOD
will turn thy captivity;" which the Targum of Jonathan
paraphrases,--"His WORD will receive with delight thy repentance:" while
the Septuagint even more remarkably renders the words--"will heal thy
sins;" that is,--"will be thy JESUS." Moses proceeds,--"and gather thee
from all the nations whither the LORD thy GOD hath called thee." And
what is this but one of the very places, if it be not _the very place_,
to which St. John alludes when he declares that Caiaphas prophesied that
JESUS should die for that nation; and not for that nation only; but that
He should gather together in one, the children of GOD that were
scattered abroad[548]?

4. Nor is it, finally, a little remarkable that, by the general consent
of the Hebrew Doctors, this xxxth chapter has ever been held to have
reference to the times of MESSIAH. The restoration spoken, is referred
by them to the restoration to be effected by CHRIST: while the promises
it contains are connected with those prophetic intimations which clearly
point to the days of the Gospel[549]. So much, then, for the evidence,
_apart from Revelation_, which the general complexion of the place in
Deuteronomy affords to the reasonableness of the meaning affixed to it
by the voice of the later Scriptures. Before we proceed to examine a
little in detail the words of the text, we may be surely allowed to
remind ourselves of the Testimony which St. Paul bears to the
Evangelical character of what is here delivered. He asserts, in the most
direct and emphatic manner, that it is the Righteousness which is by
Faith which here speaks[550]. He is contrasting the spirit of the Law,
with that of the Gospel. He is setting the requirements of the one
against those of the other. To exhibit the former,--he quotes from
Leviticus. To enable us to judge of the latter,--he quotes this very
place in Deuteronomy. Having shewn the justification under the
Law,--which is by entire fulfilment of every enjoined work;--the Apostle
describes the Righteousness of the Gospel,--which is by Faith in CHRIST.
And he discovers its voice in the present chapter: nay, he calls our
attention to its language; and, lest the intention of it should escape
us, he proceeds to supply us, not only with an interpretation of it, but
with a paraphrase as well.

Enough has been said, I trust, to render this proceeding on the part of
the Apostle no matter of surprise Let us see whether the particulars of
his interpretation are altogether novel and unprecedented either.--The
words of Moses which we have to consider, it will be remembered, are
these:--The "commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden
from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in Heaven, that thou
shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us,
that we may hear it and do it? Neither is it beyond the Sea, that thou
shouldest say, Who shall go over the Sea for us, and bring it unto us,
that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in
thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it[551]."

Now, that all this denotes something close at hand and easy,--in place
of something supposed to be remote and difficult,--is obvious. The whole
of the earlier part of it, St. Paul affirms to be tantamount to the
following injunction,--"Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into
Heaven, to bring CHRIST down; or who descend into the abyss, to bring
CHRIST up from the dead." Concerning which words of caution, we have to
remark that there seems to have been no intention whatever on the part
of the Apostle, to warn _his readers_ against requiring a renewed
Revelation of CHRIST in the flesh, or a second Resurrection of the
Eternal SON from the dead. He is illustrating the nature of Legal and
Evangelical Righteousness, by the language of the Jewish Law. He
contrasts the two, in their respective requirements; finding the voice
of both in the writings of Moses: of the former,--in connexion with the
covenant of Sinai; of the latter,--in connexion with the covenant which
the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the
land of Moab, _besides_ the former Covenant. With characteristic fire
and earnestness, glancing, as usual, at every side of the question
before him,--having, a little way back, explained himself, without
explanation, when he inserted that remarkable parenthetical clause,
τέλος γὰρ νόμου ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ[552],--"for _CHRIST_ is the object of the
Law;"--in order now to shew how thoroughly this is the case,--how full
the Law is of _Him_, in whom alone it finds its perfect scope, end, and
completion,--he explains that the very phrase "Who shall ascend up into
Heaven?" pointed to nothing less than _the Incarnation_ of CHRIST: that,
"Who shall go over the Sea?" contained a wondrous far-sighted
allusion,--(not the less real because unsuspected,)--even to the
_Resurrection_ of our LORD from death. So true is it, "that both in the
Old and New Testament Everlasting Life is offered to Mankind by CHRIST,
who is the only Mediator between GOD and Man, being both GOD and Man.
Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did
look only for transitory promises[553]."

Moses then here warns the ancient people of GOD against an evil heart of
unbelief. "Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend up into Heaven?" for
such words on the part of Man would imply disbelief in the doctrine that
the SON of GOD should hereafter take upon Him human flesh. (Since "no
man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even
the Son of Man which is in Heaven[554].") "Neither say, Who shall
descend into the deep?" for such words on human lips must imply
disbelief in MESSIAH'S Descent into Hell, and Resurrection from the
Dead.--The mystery of Redemption might not be impatiently demanded; but
must be looked for in faith, until the fulness of time should come, and
the whole mystery of godliness should be revealed to the wondering eyes
of Men and Angels[555].

We shall perhaps be asked, whether it is credible that Moses can have
had any conception that such a meaning as St. Paul here ascribes to his
words, did really underlie them? To which we answer, first, that it is
by no means incredible[556]. And next, that whether Moses knew the full
meaning of the language he was commissioned to deliver, or not,--seems,
(as already explained[557],) to be an entirely separate question: the
only question before us, being, _whether his language contained that
meaning_, or not.... To what extent the Prophets,--who, (we know,)
studied their own prophecies[558],--were ever permitted to fathom their
depth, is a mere matter of speculation[559]; delightful indeed, but in
the present case quite irrelevant. In the meantime, we know for certain
that _Moses prophesied of CHRIST_[560].

And next, if it be said that really this is only a proverbial
expression,--a Hebrew phrase to denote something passing difficult, and
hard of attainment:--(as when, in the Book of Proverbs, it is
asked,--"Who hath ascended up into Heaven, or who hath
descended[561]?")--we answer, we see no ground whatever for supposing
that in the place just quoted, it _is_ a proverb, and no more,--although
from its use in the Talmud, the expression would certainly appear to
have become, at last, proverbial[562]. _If_ a proverb, however, it seems
to have been a sacred one; nor can any place be appealed to where it
occurs, nearly of the antiquity of _this_, in the writings of Moses. To
pretend therefore to explain away a certain mode of expression, in the
place where it _first_ stands on record,--and where it is declared to
have a deep and mysterious meaning,--simply because, _subsequently_, it
was (to all appearance) used _without_ any such pregnancy of
signification,--is, manifestly illogical.

Nay, there is good ground for presuming, that the very place last
quoted, contains a reference to the Eternal SON: for Agur proceeds to
ask,--"What is His Name, and _what is His Son's Name_, if thou canst
tell[563]?" ... But the reference is far more obvious when the same
expressions occur in the Book of Baruch. "Who hath gone up into Heaven,
and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds? Who hath gone over
the sea, and found her[564]?" For _Wisdom_ is there spoken of; and
Wisdom, as we remember, is one of the names of CHRIST,--the name by
which He is discoursed of, in the Book of Proverbs.

The uninspired evidence which completes the connexion of this place of
Deuteronomy with the second Person in the Blessed Trinity, is the
traditional interpretation assigned to it by the Hebrew Commentators.
The Targum of Jerusalem expounds the latter clause as follows:--"Neither
is the Law beyond the Great Sea, that thou shouldest say, O that we had
one _like Jonas the prophet_ that might go down to the bottom of the
Great Sea, and bring it to us." So that the very Jewish Doctors
themselves here become our instructors; and teach us that a greater than
Jonas must be here,--even while they guide our eyes to that especial
type of our SAVIOUR CHRIST in His Descent into Hell, and Rising again
from the dead. I say, the very Jewish Doctors themselves here contribute
their testimony; and yield a most unsuspicious witness to the inspired
exegesis of the Apostle: for, "as Jonas was three days and three nights
in the whale's belly,"--so, (they clearly mean to say), so should it be
with the man whom Moses here indicateth: and so,--(these are the words
of CHRIST Himself),--so was "_the Son of Man_ three days and three
nights in the heart of the Earth[565]."

You will of course notice the facility with which the Jews themselves,
interpreting their own Scriptures, have here exchanged the notions of
going "_over_ the sea,"--("_beyond_ the sea," as it is in the
Hebrew,)--and "_going down to the bottom_" of the sea. St. Paul seems,
in this place, to have "accommodated" the words of Moses: but we cannot
fail to perceive that the Hebrew text must cry aloud for such supposed
"accommodation;" yea, cry aloud, even in the uncircumcised ears of the
Jewish people; that their own Commentators, as if divinely guided by the
good hand of GOD, should bear their own independent witness to the
correctness of the Apostolic interpretation.

Nor may I fail to call your attention to the term employed by St. Paul
to denote the Sea:--a term, surely divinely chosen. He had just before,
(in the 6th and 7th verses,) employed the Version of the LXX: he was
about to use it again in the 8th verse: but in this, (the 7th,) he
departs from it. Instead of,--Τίς διαπέρασει ἡμῖν εἰς τὸ πέραν
τῆς _θαλάσσης_; he writes,--Τίς καταβήσεται εἰς
τὴν _ἄβυσσον_. The term ἄβυσσος,--which is applicable to the
deep places of the Earth, _and_ to the depth of the Sea, with equal
propriety;--(being a more indifferent term even than our own expression
"the deep");--affords a memorable example of the fulness and pregnancy
of language on inspired lips. Adhering to the letter of the text he
quotes, the Apostle, by changing _the word_ expressive of that literal
sense, embraces the whole spiritual breadth and fulness of the
passage:--reminding us of Him, by the blood of whose covenant were sent
forth the prisoners of hope out of the pit _wherein is no
water_[566],--even before he names Him; our SAVIOUR CHRIST!

I must also remind you, that there are many expressions used by our
LORD, or used concerning Him by His Apostles, which help to shew, that,
to have come down from Heaven,--and to have been brought up from the
deep of the Earth again,--may be regarded as the mysterious summary of
the SAVIOUR'S Mission[567].--"No man hath _ascended up_ to Heaven,"
(saith our LORD,) "but He that _came down_ from Heaven[568]." "I am the
living Bread which _came down_ from Heaven.... Doth this offend you?
What and if ye shall see the Son of Man _ascend up_ where He was
before[569]?" In another place,--"I came forth from the FATHER and am
come into the World: again I leave the World, and go to the
FATHER[570]."--But the most remarkable place remains: "Now, that He
_ascended_, what is it but that He also _descended first_ into the
lowest parts of the Earth? He that _descended_, is the same also that
_ascended up_ far above all Heavens[571]." I say, this brief
summary,--given by CHRIST Himself, or by those who had seen Him,--of the
mystery of His manifestation in the flesh,--throws light on the language
of the Hebrew lawgiver. It shews that the language of Moses to Israel,
in the plains of Moab, fairly embraced the two great truths which Faith
even now can but be exhorted to lay fast hold upon, and to
appropriate:--"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth that JESUS is the
LORD,"--that is, confess that the man Jesus is the uncreated, Incarnate
JEHOVAH; "and believe with thy heart that GOD raised Him up from the
dead,--thou shalt be saved." ... Such is the form which the exhortation
_now_ assumes. More darkly, of old time,--(as was fitting,)--was the
same thing spoken: and, because reference was then made to an event not
yet accomplished, the impatience of Unbelief is there repressed,--rather
than the ardour of Faith stimulated. "Say not in thy heart who shall
ascend into Heaven? or, who shall go down into the deep place?" ... But
shall we deal so faithlessly with the Divine Oracles of the Old
Testament, as to deny them the deeper meaning assigned to them in the
New, because they speak darkly? Let us, from a review of all that has
been humbly offered,--let us at least admit that there is good
independent ground for believing that when Moses spake of ascending into
Heaven,--it was with reference to the future coming of CHRIST:--when he
made mention of descending into the Deep,--the Resurrection of the
SAVIOUR of the World was, in reality, the thing he spake of.--Let us
allow that _here_, at least, there is nothing in the language of the New
Testament, which, when studied by the light of unassisted Reason, does
not appear to have been fully included, contemplated, intended by the
language of the Old:--that the accommodation has not been
arbitrary;--say rather, that _here_ at least there has been _no
accommodation at all_!

But I am impatient to leave this low rationalistic ground, and take my
stand again, on the vantage ground of Faith. The position, I trust, has
been established, that even in the case of words which seem least
promising,--least likely to enfold the deeply mysterious meaning claimed
for them by an Apostle,--the result of patient inquiry and research is
to shew that such a meaning really _does_ exist there, to the fullest
extent. We have discovered, from mere grounds of Reason, apart from
Revelation, that what St. Paul has cited in this place from Deuteronomy,
may very well contain all that he says it contains. But, were nothing of
the kind discoverable;--were it a most hopeless endeavour to reconcile
the meaning evolved by the inspired Apostle, with the text he professes
to interpret,--the claims of the sacred exegesis would remain wholly
unimpaired. We should still say that _this_, because it is an _inspired_
Commentary, is entitled to our fullest acceptance. We have, anyhow, the
HOLY SPIRIT interpreting Himself. He surely must be the best judge of
His own Divine meaning. He does but enrich the Treasury of Truth, even
by His apparent departures from the original Hebrew verity. Shall not
the HOLY GHOST, the Comforter, be allowed to speak comfort to His people
in whatever way seemeth best to Himself? Is it not lawful for Him to do
what He will with His own? Is thine eye evil, because He is very good?

Yes, it cannot be too emphatically insisted on, that the success which
may attend investigations of this nature, is not to be admitted for a
moment as the measure of the soundness of the principle on which they
proceed. The reasoning whereby Newton shewed that the diamond is a
combustible substance would have been no whit invalidated had the
diamond resisted to this hour every chemical attempt to reduce it to
carbon. We do not,--(what need to say?)--we do not discourage the
endeavour to enucleate the deep Christian significancy of passages for
which Inspired writers claim such sublime meaning. Rather do we think
that Human Reason could not find a worthier field for the employment of
her powers[572], than this. But we are strenuous to insist that the full
and sufficient, and only irrefragable proof that a mighty Christian
meaning does actually underlie the unpromising utterance of one of GOD'S
ancient Saints, is,--_that an Inspired Writer declares it to exist
there_.

There is no _accommodation_ therefore, when an inspired writer adduces
Scripture. Human language _will_ sometimes require to be "accommodated:"
Divine language, never! May not the HOLY SPIRIT lay His finger on
whatever parts of His ancient utterance He sees fit? may He not invert
clauses, and (in order to bring out His meaning better) even alter
words? If He tells thee that the prophetic allusion of Isaiah to "our
griefs" and "our sorrows" comprehends "our infirmities" and "our
sicknesses" in its span[573],--is it for _thee_ to discredit His
assertion? If He is pleased to intimate that the providential
arrangement whereby CHRIST, though born at Bethlehem, grew up at
Nazareth,--had for its object the fulfilment of many a detached and
seemingly disconnected prophecy[574],--shall the unexpectedness of His
disclosure excite ridicule in such an one as thyself? When He tells thee
that besides the immediate scope of certain well-known words of Hosea
and of Jeremiah, there was the ulterior aim He indicates; if behind
Israel after the flesh, He shews thee the Anointed SON[575],--if behind
those captive Jews of the tribe of Benjamin whom Nebuzar-Adan led past
their mother's grave on their way to Babylon, He points to the
slaughtered infant of Bethlehem; assuring thee that when He spake by the
mouth of Jeremiah concerning the nearer event that remoter one was full
before Him also; and that the solemn and affecting utterance of the
Prophet was divinely intended by Himself to cover both[576];--wilt thou,
when He discourses to thee thus, presume to talk to Him of
"_accommodation?_" Is it not enough for thee to have cavilled at the
first page of the _Old_ Testament on "scientific" grounds? Must thou,
for Theological considerations, dispute the first page of the _New_
Testament also?

Scripture then, whether in its Historical or its more obviously
prophetic parts, has this depth of meaning for which I have been
contending. We must perforce believe it, for it is a matter of express
Revelation. We cannot pretend to deny the probability,--much less the
possibility of it; for we really _can_ know nothing of the matter except
from an attentive study of Scripture itself. And the witness of
Scripture, as we have seen, is ample, emphatic, and express.--Our LORD,
being indignantly asked by the Jews if He heard what the children,
crying in the Temple, said of Him,--made answer by quoting the 2nd verse
of the viiith Psalm: "Yea, have ye never read, 'Out of the mouth of
babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise'[577]?"--Pray was this
"accommodation," or what was it? It was deemed a sufficient answer, at
all events, by the Anointed JEHOVAH; whatever men may think!... When the
Sadducees, disbelieving in the Resurrection of the Body, assailed our
LORD with a speculative difficulty, He told them that they erred because
they did not understand the Scriptures. "Now that the dead _are_ raised,
even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the LORD, the GOD of
Abraham, and the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob. For He is not a
GOD of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him[578]." How, by
the popular method,--how, by any of the new lights which have lately
been let in on Holy Scripture,--was the Resurrection of the dead to have
been proved by the words which the SECOND PERSON in the Trinity spake to
Moses "in the Bush?" And yet we behold _that_ same Divine Personage in
the days of His humiliation, proposing from those words, uttered by
Himself 1500 years before, to _establish_ the doctrine in dispute!...
Only once more. "In the last day, that great day of the Feast [of
Tabernacles,] JESUS stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him
come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me,--_as the Scripture hath
said, 'Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water_[579]!'"--But
_where_ does the Scripture say _that_? You will look a long while to
find it. You will never find it at all if you adhere to the method which
of late has been declared to be the method most in fashion. You will
never even understand what our Blessed LORD _means_, unless you attend
to the hint which immediately follows,--and which the Divine Author of
the Gospel would not surfer us to be without,--namely, that, "This spake
He of the SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him should receive:"--by
which is meant, that as many of the Prophets as discoursed in dark
phrase of that free outpouring of the SPIRIT which was to mark MESSIAH'S
Reign, did, _in effect_, say the thing which He here attributes to them.

Inspired Reasoning, wherever found, may fitly obtain a few words of
distinct notice here; but I shall perhaps speak more becomingly, as well
as prove more intelligible, if,--(without further allusion to the
sayings of that Almighty One "in whom are hid all the treasures of
Wisdom and Knowledge[580];" sayings which it seems a species of impiety
to approach except in adoration;)--I confine my remarks to the logical
processes observable in the inspired writings of some of His servants,
the Evangelists and Apostles of THE LAMB.

The difficulty which has been occasionally felt in respect of the
argumentative parts of St. Paul's Epistles, is considerable, and may not
be overlooked. His definitions, his inferences, his entire method of
handling Scripture, gives offence to a certain class of minds. His
reasoning seems inconsequential. There appears to be a want of logical
order and consistency in much that he delivers. But,--can it require to
be stated?--the fault is entirely our own. "The radical fallacy of any
attempt to analyze the reasoning of Scripture by the ordinary Laws of
Logic" requires to be pointed out. And the root of it all is our
assumption that an inspired Apostle must perforce argue like any other
uninspired man.

But, in the first place, it is to be recollected that he did not collect
the meaning and bearing of the Old Testament Scriptures from induction,
and study _only_. He was,--by the hypothesis,--an _inspired Writer_. The
same HOLY SPIRIT who taught the authors of the Old Testament what to
deliver, taught _him_, in turn, how to explain their words. By direct
Revelation, he perceived the intention of a text, and at once bore
witness to it. Thus St. Paul says of our LORD,--"He is not ashamed to
call them brethren, saying,--'I will declare Thy Name unto My brethren,
in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee.' And
again,--'I will put my trust in Him.' And again,--'Behold I and the
children which GOD hath given Me[581].'" Now, "the Apostles quoted such
places as these from the Psalms and Isaiah, not as they were gathered by
any certain reason, but as revealed to them by the HOLY SPIRIT, to be
principally spoken of CHRIST. This understanding the mysteries of GOD in
the Old Testament, being a special gift of the HOLY GHOST[582],--of the
truth of which interpretations, the same SPIRIT, without any necessary
demonstration thereof, bore witness also to their auditors and converts;
and by miracles manifested the persons thus expounding them herein to be
infallible[583]."

To quote the language of a thoughtful writer of more recent
date,--"Inspired teaching,--explain it how we may,--seems comparatively
indifferent to (what seems to us so peculiarly important) close logical
connexion, and the intellectual symmetry of doctrines.... The necessity
of confuting gainsayers, at times forced one of the greatest of CHRIST'S
inspired servants, St. Paul, to prosecute continuous argument; yet even
with him, how abrupt are the transitions, how intricate the connexion,
how much is conveyed _by assumptions such as Inspiration alone can
make_, without any violation of the canons of reasoning,--FOR WITH IT
ALONE ASSERTION IS ARGUMENT.... The same may be said of some passages of
St. John, supposed to have been similarly occasioned. Inspiration has
ever left to human Reason the filling up of its outlines, the careful
connexion of its more isolated truths. The two are, as the lightning of
Heaven, brilliant, penetrating, far-flashing, abrupt,--compared with the
feebler but _continuous_ illumination of some earthly beacon[584]."

"In a train of inspired Seasoning," (as the same writer elsewhere
remarks,) "each new premiss may have been supernaturally communicated;
and thus, in point of fact, the inspired reasoner but connects the
different threads of the Divine Counsels; exemplifies how 'deep
answereth to deep' in the mysteries of Revelation; and presents, in one
connected train of argument, those words of GOD which had been uttered
'at sundry times and in divers manners[585]'"

To conclude.--There is no such thing as inconsequential Reasoning to be
met with in the writings of St. Paul[586]--no such thing as arbitrary
Accommodation of the Old Testament Scriptures, in the New:--though not a
few have thought it; and the language of many more writers, Papist as
well as Protestant, is calculated to convey the same mischievous
impression[587]. The hypothesis is as unworthy of ourselves,--with our
boasted critical resources and many appliances of varied learning,--as
it is derogatory to the Sacred Oracles to which it is applied. It is a
deadly blow, aimed at the very Inspiration of Scripture itself; for it
pretends to discover a human element only, where we have a right to
expect a Divine one: an irresponsible _dictum_, when we listened for the
voice of the SPIRIT; the hand of man, where we depended on finding the
very Finger of GOD! We come to the blessed pages, for Divinity, and we
are put off with Rhetoric. We come for bread, and the critics we speak
of offer us a stone.

I will not detain you any longer. No apology can be needed for the
subject which has been engaging our attention[588]. Those who watch "the
signs of the times" attentively, will bear me witness that _unbelief_ is
one fearful note of the coming age. The self-same principle, working in
different classes of minds, produces results diametrically different:
but it is still the same principle which is at work. Unbelief is no less
the cause why so many have forsaken the Church of their Fathers, to run
after the blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits of the Church of
Rome,--than it is the parent of that shallow Rationalism which unhappily
is now so popular among us.... Intimations of what is to be hereafter,
may be every now and then detected. At intervals, hoarse sounds, from a
distance, are known to smite upon the listening ear; signals of the
coming danger,--sure harbingers of the approaching storm.--Holy
Scripture is the stronghold against which the Enemy will make his
assault, assuredly: nor can we employ ourselves better than by building
one another up in reverence for its Inspired Oracles: opposing to the
crafts of the Evil One the simplicity of a child-like faith; and
resolutely refusing to see less than GOD, in GOD'S Word!

This must be the preacher's apology for disputing where he would rather
adore; for discussing the Revelations of Scripture, instead of _feeding_
upon them; especially at this holy Season when the Apostle's exhortation
finds an echo in all our services:--the mouth, engaged in the constant
confession that JESUS is the LORD,--the heart, filled with the thought
of Him, who as at this time died for our sins, and rose again for our
Justification.

GOD grant us grace,--at this and every other time,--so to put away the
leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve Him in
pureness of living and truth: through the merits of the same His SON,
JESUS CHRIST our LORD!

FOOTNOTES:

[526] Preached at St. Mary-the-Virgin, April 27, 1851.

[527] See above, pp. 55-7.

[528] 2 St. Pet. i. 21.

[529] See above, pp. 53-4.

[530] See above, pp. 157-160.

[531] _Harm. Apost._ Diss. Post., cap. xi. § 3.

[532] See above, pp. 152-7.

[533] Consider again the Divine exposition, (in 1 St. John v. 6,) of St.
John xix. 34.

[534] See Dr. Mill's _Christian Advocate's_ publication for 1844, _The
Historical Character of the circumstances of our LORD's Nativity
vindicated against some recent mythical interpreters_,--especially p.
402 to p. 434.

[535] Cf. Phil. iii. 7-9.

[536] Consider St. John vi. 46, and all similar places.

[537] On the words, Ἡ δὲ ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοσύνη οὕτω λέγει,--Theodoret
remarks:--Ἀντὶ τοῦ, περὶ δὲ τῆς ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοσύνης, οὕτως λέγει· οὐ
γὰρ ἡ δικαιοσύνη ταῦτα λέγει, ἀλλὰ διὰ Μωσέως, ὁ τῶν ὅλων Θεὸς, περὶ
τοῦ νόμου ταῦτα εἴρηκε· διδάσκων Ἰουδαίους ὡς δίχα πόνων τὴν τῶν
πρακτέων διδασκαλίαν ἐδέξαντο.--Theodoret, _Cat._, p. 374.

[538] Our E. V., following the translations since Cranmer's, here
inserts the word "again,"--which is certainly not implied by the Greek.

[539] The expression is, of course, wholly dissimilar from that in Ps.
cvii. 23,--οἱ καταβαίνοντες εἰς θάλασσαν ἐν πλοίοις, κ. τ. λ.

[540] I cannot forbear transcribing the following passage in an
elaborate apology which has recently appeared for _Essays and
Reviews_:--"Among the many proposals which are floating about for Essays
and Counter-essays to vindicate the Doctrines supposed to be combated in
this volume, let us be allowed to suggest this one:--'The Nature of
Biblical Inspiration, as tested by a careful examination of the
Septuagint Version with special reference to the sanction given to it by
the Apostles, and to its variations, by way of addition or omission,
from the revised Text of the Canonical Scriptures.' The conclusions of
such an investigation would be worth a hundred eager declarations on one
side or the other, and would be absolutely decisive of the chief
questions at issue." (_Edinburgh Review_, April, 1861, p. 483.).... Now
I scruple not to affirm that a well-informed, and faithful student of
the Scriptures would covet no better portion for himself than liberty to
accept, in the most public manner possible, such a challenge as the
foregoing.

[541] See the valuable exposition of the text, by Bp. Bull, in the
Appendix (K),--to which I am very largely indebted.

[542] Opposed to Bp. Bull in his opinion, on this matter, seem
Ainsworth, Patrick, Parker (_Biblioth. Bibl._), Cornelius à Lapide, the
_Critici Sacri_, &c. I cannot but think that the truth is with the
first-named Commentator.

[543] See 2 Cor. vi. 16, (quoting Lev. xxvi. 12), where see Wordsworth's
note. Heb. viii. 6-13, especially ver. 10, (quoting Jer. xxxi. 33. Comp.
Jer. xxiv. 7: xxx. 22: xxxi. 1: xxxii. 38.) Compare Rom. ix. 25, 26,
(also 1 St. Pet. ii. 10,) with Hos. ii. 23: i. 10. See also Ezek. xi.
20: xiv. 11: xxxvi. 28: xxxvii. 27; and Zech. viii. 8: xiii. 9. Lastly,
consider Rev. xxi. 3; where "the types of the itinerant Tabernacle in
the Wilderness, the figurative ritual and festal joys of the Feast of
Tabernacles, celebrated in the literal Jerusalem, are consummated in the
Heavenly Jerusalem." (Wordsworth.) See also Rev. vii. 15, with the
annotation of the same Commentator.

[544] προκεκυρωμένην ... εἰς Χριστόν. Gal. iii. 17.

[545] Deut. xxix. 14, 15.

[546] Acts ii. 39: Compare iii. 25.

[547] Jer. xxxi. 32. Consider verses 33-4 quoted in Heb. x. 16, 17. See
above, note (t, [our 544]).

[548] St. John xi. 49-52.

[549] "Diligenter observandum est, ex consensu Hebræorum, caput hoc ad
regnum CHRISTI pertinere. Unde etiam Bachai dicit, hoc loco promissionem
esse quod sub Rege MESSIAH omnibus qui de federe sunt, circumcisio
cordis contingat, citans Joelem, ii. 28."--Fagius, (in the _Critici
Sacri_,) on Deut. xxx. 11.

[550] "Apostolus dicit hoc esse verbum fidei, quod ad Novum Testamentum
pertinet. Quæ ergo scripta sunt in libro legis hujus in figurâ dicta
sunt, pertinentia ad Novum Testamentum."--Augustinus, in Nic. Lyra, _ad
loc._

[551] Deut. xxx. 11-14.

[552] Rom. x. 4.

[553] Art. vii.

[554] St. John iii. 13.

[555] 1 Tim. iii. 16.

[556] The reader is invited to consider Acts ii. 24 to 31,--attending
particularly to what St. Peter says in ver. 30-1. "Even without this
key," (says Dr. M'Caul,) "the Rabbis interpreted Psalm xvi. of the
Resurrection."

[557] See above, pp. 171-2.

[558] St. Pet. i. 11.

[559] "Though I think it clear that the Prophets did not understand the
full meaning of their predictions; it is another question how far they
thought they did, and in what sense they understood them."--Butler's
_Analogy_, P. II. ch. vii.

[560] See Acts xxvi. 22, 23: xxviii. 23. St. John i. 46: v. 46. St. Luke
xxiv. 27, &c.

[561] Prov. xxx. 4.

[562] e.g. "Si quis dixerit mulieri, Si adscenderis in firmamentum, aut
descenderis in abyssum, eris mihi desponsata,--hæc conditio frustranea
est."--_Nasir_ ix. 2, apud Wetstein, (in Rom. x. 6.)

[563] "The whole passage (Prov. xxx. 2-5,) may be thus
paraphrased:--With my limited understanding I cannot attain the
knowledge of GOD; _for to know GOD, is to know Him who is omnipresent,
filling Heaven and Earth_; it is to know Him who is omnipotent, ruling
over the winds and the waters, the most unstable of all elements; it is
to know Him who created all things; it is to know His Name, and the name
of His SON. But this knowledge can be attained only by Revelation: and
he that would attain to it even from Revelation, must not pass over any
one word as insignificant, for every word is purified like silver:
neither must he add to Revelation, or he will be sure to go
astray."--From the Appendix (pp. 46-7) to a Sermon by Dr. M'Caul, on
_The Eternal Sonship of the Messiah_, 1838. (Interesting and precious as
this paraphrase is, I humbly suspect that the words _in italics_ contain
a vast deal more than the learned writer indicates.)

[564] Baruch iii. 29.

[565] St. Matth. xii. 20.

[566] Zech. ix. 11.

[567] Consider Ps. cxxxix. 7. Amos ix. 2, 3.

[568] St. John iii. 13.

[569] Ibid. vi. 33, 38, 51, 62.

[570] Ibid. xvi. 28.

[571] Ephes. iv. 9, 10.

[572] See above, pp. 176-7.

[573] St. Matth. viii. 17.

[574] St. Matth. ii. 23. See above, p. 149.

[575] Ibid. ii. 15.

[576] St. Matth. ii. 18.

[577] Ibid. xxi. 16.

[578] St. Luke xx. 37.

[579] St. John vii. 37, 38.

[580] Col. ii. 3.

[581] Heb. ii. 12, 13; quoting Ps. xxi. 23 and Is. viii. 17.

[582] 1 Cor. xii., xiii., xiv.

[583] Pseudo-Fell's _Paraphrase and Annotations_ on the New Testament,
(Jacobson's ed.), _in loc._

[584] Professor Archer Butler, quoted in Professor Lee's _Discourses on
Inspiration_, pp. 415-6.

[585] _Ibid._, p. 586.

[586] See above, pp. 132-7

[587] See the Appendix, (L).

[588] In the earlier part of the present Sermon many passages have been
re-written. What follows stands exactly as it was preached in 1851.



SERMON VII.[589]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MARVELS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE,--MORAL AND PHYSICAL.--JAEL'S DEED
DEFENDED.--MIRACLES VINDICATED.

       *       *       *       *       *

ST. MARK xii. 24.

_Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither
the power of God._


On a certain occasion, the Son of Man was asked what was thought a hard
question by those who, in His day, professed "the negative
Theology[590]." There was a moral and there was physical marvel to be
solved. Both difficulties were met by a single sentence. The Sadducean
judgment had gone astray from the Truth, (πλανᾶσθε our SAVIOUR said,)
from a twofold cause: (1) The men did not understand those very
Scriptures to which they appealed so confidently: and, (2) They had an
unworthy notion of GOD'S power.--There are plenty of Sadducees at the
present day among ourselves. They are as fond as ever of finding
difficulties in the self-same Scriptures. They are to be met, I am
persuaded, exactly as of old; by shewing that their error is still the
fruit of their ignorance of Scripture; the consequence of their unworthy
conceptions of GOD. I propose to illustrate this on the present
occasion. My subject, (one certainly not unsuited to the day,) is _the
Marvels of Scripture_,--whether Moral or Physical. I would fain have
discussed them apart; but I shall not have another opportunity. I must
handle the whole subject therefore within the limits of a single Sermon:
and by consequence I must be extremely brief.

Now, I venture to assume that whatever, from its extraordinary
character, perplexes us in Scripture, is a difficulty only _to
ourselves_; that moral Marvels and physical Miracles, alike, would cease
to create any difficulty if we knew more about GOD. The Morality of the
Life to come, I do believe will prove none other than the Morality of
the life which now is; and so I presume that it may be their Divine
Author's will, that the physical Laws of the Universe shall be eternal
likewise. And yet, as no thoughtful man will probably be found to say
that he thinks he knows as much about the nature of these last now, as
he expects to know hereafter,--so it is to be presumed that a sublimer,
and therefore a juster view of the relation in which the Creature stands
to the CREATOR, will disclose to us much which, at present, we should be
little prepared to admit, if it were speculatively presented to us, ("as
in a glass, darkly,") respecting the Moral Government of GOD.

I. In the very fore-front, however, of what I have to say concerning
those phenomena which are generally cited as the _Moral Marvels_ of Holy
Scripture, I must freely declare my opinion that nothing is wanted but
that the whole of the _historical_ evidence should be before us, in
every case, in order that we might cease to look upon them as marvels at
all. But so it is, that Scripture is severely brief: takes no pains to
conciliate our good opinion: seems to care nothing either for our
applause or our censure. Scripture, in short, has been made _an
instrument of Man's probation_[591]. It is for _us_ to search curiously
into the record; to take an enlarged view of times and manners; and
finally, in the exercise of a generous Faith, to decide whether the
difficulty is such as ought to occasion us any real distress. I proceed,
in this spirit, to consider, as briefly as possible, the history of
Jael; simply because I have heard stronger things said against _her_,
than against any of the Worthies of old time who are mentioned with
distinct approbation in the Book of Life.

1. Now, if you choose to consider Jael as one who lured a weary and
unsuspecting soldier into her tent,--shewed him hospitality,--and when
he was asleep, murdered him in cold blood,--you certainly cannot help
recoiling from the inspired decision that, "Blessed above women shall
Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be." But I take the liberty of saying
that this is quite the wrong way to read her story. You must begin it
from the other end.

GOD pronounces this woman blessed, and distinctly commends her for her
deed. From this point you must start; remembering that _no action CAN be
immoral which GOD praises_. The Divine sentence, instead of creating a
difficulty, is, on the contrary, exactly the thing which removes
it[592]. To weigh the story apart from this, (which is the prime
consideration of all,) is like condemning the immorality of an
executioner without caring to hear that he is but carrying out the
sentence of the Lawgiver. Furnished with the clue of GOD'S approbation
of Jael's deed, we retrace our steps, and reconsider the narrative. If
all were still dark and hopeless, we might be sure that there are
circumstances withheld, which if known would have made GOD'S justice
clear as the light. But, as a matter of fact, it generally happens that,
when we "know the Scriptures," the difficulty in great measure
disappears; and I am going to shew that it is so on the present
occasion.

I find that when the people of GOD were on their way out of Egypt into
Canaan, they were indebted to one family (the Kenites) for kindness and
help[593]. The head of that family was Jethro, the father-in-law of
Moses, high-priest of Midian,--in which land the LORD, from the burning
bush, had commissioned the future Lawgiver of Israel to redeem His
people from the bondage of Egypt. Jethro met them in the Arabian desert;
became their guide[594] till they reached the promised Land; and with
them entered the borders of their future possession. It was a covenant
between the two races that they should share the goodness of JEHOVAH.
Accordingly, the Kenites made their settlement amid the Royal tribe of
Judah; and it is easy to foresee how close a bond would spring up
between the alien family and their avowed protectors, when, to the
memory of past dangers shared together, was superadded the consciousness
of present blessings;--especially in an age when the law of hospitality
was held most sacred. How strong the bond became, the sequel of the
story convincingly shews[595]. The children of Israel, at the end of a
hundred and fifty years, find themselves cruelly oppressed by the most
powerful of the Kings of the conquered but not extirpated race. GOD
promises deliverance: and Deborah is raised up to organize the
resistance against Jabin, "the captain of whose host was Sisera." Now,
while Heber the Kenite is gone with the rest to the battle,--(for he had
pitched his tent, remember, by Kedesh; and it was from Kedesh[596] that
Deborah "sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam;")--while Heber, the
husband, I say, is gone to the battle, and Jael the wife is left alone,
distracted with anxiety, in the tent;--when, weak and unprotected woman
as she is, she beholds the Captain of the hateful oppressor of GOD'S
people hastening to her tent, slumbering at her feet, and unexpectedly
within her power:--will you pretend that _she_, a Midianitess, is to
blame if she yields to the strong impulse which prompts her to compass
the man's downfall, as speedily as she may? "There was peace between
Jabin the King of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite[597]," you
will remind me. True: (between _Jabin_,--not between _Sisera_, by the
way:) without this, the whole incident would not have happened. Sisera
presumed on the peaceful relations which existed between his lord and
Heber; and supposed that the sympathy of one alien race for another was
to outweigh every other consideration. Yet, how stood the case? Heber
had thrown in his lot, irrevocably, with the people of GOD; while Jabin
had already utterly violated the conditions of peace. For twenty weary
years, had Jael and her family shared the hardships of that sacred line
which Jabin had "mightily oppressed." All her life long[598], the
highways have been unoccupied; and travellers have had to walk through
by-ways; and the villages have been deserted by their inhabitants.
Archers have infested the very places of drawing water[599]. Meanwile, a
sure word has gone forth from the Prophetess who dwells under the
palm-tree between Ramah and Bethel on Mount Ephraim[600], to the effect
that GOD will give a mighty victory this day to His people[601].
Moreover, Deborah, (to whom the children of Israel go up for judgment,)
has foretold that the LORD will "_sell Sisera into the hand of a
woman_[602]". How _can_ you marvel at the rest!... With a faith strong
and undoubting as Rahab's, Jael,--weak woman as she is,--seizes the
wooden tent-pin and the mallet, (the only weapons which are within her
reach!); and, (somewhat as David afterwards employed a stone and a sling
for the slaughter of the Philistine,) with these vile instruments, at
one blow, she smites to the earth the enemy of God's people.... O, it
was _not_ because she was treacherous, or because she was cruel!
Treachery and cruelty were not the vices to which a dweller in tents
(and she a woman!) was prone, when a thirsty soldier begged a draught of
water; and most assuredly, had she been either, she would not,--she
_could_ not, have won praise from God! (Witness GOD'S wrath against
David in the matter of Uriah, because _he_ had no pity[603]; as well as
dying Jacob's denunciations against Simeon and Levi because "instruments
of cruelty" were "in their habitations[604].") O no! It was because she
beheld in the slumbering captain at once the enemy of her own afflicted
race,--and of GOD'S oppressed people,--and above all of GOD Himself.
_That_ was why "she put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the
workman's hammer!" ... The fight, you are requested to remember, had
been a tremendous fight; and the battle, as she thought, was yet raging.
Reuben, and Dan, and Asher had kept aloof from the encounter;--the
first, in his rich pasture-land east of the Jordan, abiding "among the
sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks;" the two others, intent
on their maritime pursuits. Only some of Ephraim, Benjamin, and
Manasseh[605], had been found willing to throw in their lot with the two
northern tribes of Zebulun, and Naphtali,--who had "jeoparded their
lives unto the death." And the battle which these had fought had been
the LORD'S; and as many as had taken part with them, were considered to
have come "_to the help of the LORD_." Such then was the quarrel which
Jael had made her own; and such the spirit in which she had done her
wild deed of unassisted prowess!

To appreciate her constancy and courage, you may not overlook how
fearful were the odds against the cause she was espousing: on the
oppressor's side, nine hundred chariots of iron; whereas, "was there a
shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?" It had been so
terrific a day, that if the LORD had not been on their side,--if the
stars in their courses had not fought for Israel,--how could Sisera have
possibly been overcome? But the very river was employed to sweep the
enemies of Israel away,--"that ancient river, the river Kishon!" ... Now
I boldly ask you, if the Angel of the LORD may curse bitterly the
inhabitants of Meroz, "because they came not to the help of the
LORD,"--(pray mark that phrase; for it shows exactly in what light the
conflict was regarded!)--"_to the help of the LORD_ against the mighty;"
shall we wonder if, by the Spirit of GOD, Deborah the prophetess
proclaims "blessed above women in the tent" Jael the wife of Heber the
Kenite to be;--the undaunted one by whose right hand the captain of all
that mighty host had been slain? Find me another "_woman in the tent_"
who may be compared with _her!_ ... Or rather, (for _that_ is the only
question,) shall these words embolden us to impeach the morality of Holy
Writ?... I am sure there is not one of you all who really thinks it. She
was--was she not?--a courageous, a faithful, and (according to her
light,) a strictly virtuous woman. She was content to risk _all_, "as
seeing Him who is invisible:" and to _believe_ that "they that be with
us are more than they that be with them[606]." From the unmistakeable
evidence of her uncompromising boldness in a good cause, her unwavering
faith, her readiness to cast in her lot with the people of GOD,--no one
but a hypocrite will turn away to criticize the details of her deed by
the Gospel standard of Grace and Truth. "He asked for water, and she
gave him milk." What would you have had her do? It is by no means
certain that she foresaw the deed which was to follow, and which
_cannot_, (from the nature of the case,) have been the result of a
preconcerted plan. The impulse to terminate the tyranny of Canaan, and
the sufferings of her adopted people, as well as to decide the fortune
of that critical day, by slaying one whom she regarded as the enemy of
GOD Himself, may have seized her while she stood in the door of the
tent,--weighing Sisera's petition against Deborah's prophecy. Be this
as it may,--would you have had the woman connive at Sisera's
escape,--the enemy of GOD'S people, when GOD Himself had unexpectedly
put him into her power?

It will assist us to understand this story, that we should bear in mind
how it fared with Ahab, King of Israel, in the matter of Ben-hadad, King
of Syria, as recorded in the xxth chapter of the First Book of Kings.
"Thus saith the LORD," (was the Divine sentence,) "_Because thou hast
let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction_,
therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his
people[607]." It is quite evident that as the _enemy of GOD_, in the
strictest sense, each fresh oppressor of Israel was regarded; and that,
as the enemy of the LORD GOD of Israel, Sisera was summarily slain by
the Kenite's wife.

Be so good as to remember also, that forgiveness of enemies is strictly
a _Christian_ duty. You have no right to expect to find the brightest
jewels of the kingdom of Heaven glittering on the swarthy brow of an
Arabian wife in the days of the Judges. "Grace and _Truth_ came by JESUS
CHRIST[608]." You cannot expect to find the wife of Heber the Kenite
more truthful than Sarah, and Rebekah, and Rachel,--or even than
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David: neither should you be so
unreasonable as to expect that the GOD of Truth will award praise and
blame to His creatures by a higher standard of Morality than He has seen
fit, at any given period, to allow. A perfectly enlightened conscience,
no doubt, will never consent to lie. A Christian woman in Jael's place,
ought not, of course, to be guilty of Jael's deed. But you are
forgetting the time of the world in which _your_ lot is thrown. I say
nothing of the circumstances of terror under which _she_ acted,--_she_
was _forced_ to act. How could she tell that Sisera would not awake ere
she should strike the blow,--or at least before she could achieve his
death? What if a company of Jabin's host should come up to the
tent-door, the instant she had done the deed, and inquire after Sisera?
Suppose the issue of that day's encounter should prove disastrous, what
would be her own and Heber's fate?... Feel a little for the poor
wife,--for the lonely, helpless "woman in the tent,"--_not_ entirely for
the fierce soldier against whom you have heard the LORD'S decree of
death!... O ye, who, living in the full blaze of Gospel light, in cold
blood can reject the doctrine of the Atonement, and deny the LORD who
bought you, and teach that the Bible is "like any other book;" who can
make light of its Inspiration, and evacuate its Prophecy, and idealize
its Miracles; who with your lips can profess the Church's doctrines, and
with your pens can deny them;--go _ye_ and prate of Morality, and
Honesty, and Truth! _We_ shall heed mighty little your opinion of Jael's
conduct, and of the Divine Commendation which it met with. I believe
that, instead of suspecting the morality of the Bible in this instance,
there is hardly an honest Christian heart among us, but cries out, on
the contrary,--"_So_ let _all_ Thine enemies perish, O LORD! But let
them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might."

2. There is no time to consider, as I fain would, any other story; that
of Jacob for example. It is quite amazing to hear the presumptuous
speeches concerning that great Saint, in which good men sometimes permit
themselves: as if the sum total of Jacob's history were _this_:--that
he once obtained an ungenerous advantage over his Brother, and then
shamefully deceived his blind and aged Father. Whereas those were the
two great blots in an otherwise holy life! actions which were followed
by severe, aye lifelong punishment.--But I must not enter on Jacob's
history,--even to shew you that a careless reader overlooks certain
circumstances which go a very long way indeed to excuse the actions just
alluded to. I prefer reminding you that since, at Bethel, GOD blessed
the exile's slumbers with a glorious vision, and most comfortable
promise, on his first setting out for Haran; and again at Jabbok, as
well as at Mahanaim, blessed him with a vision of Angels, and a renewal
of the blessing, on his return; _from this point_, as before, it will be
our wisdom to reason; and we shall reason backwards. Had Scripture been
quite silent in all other respects, such proofs of the Divine approval
ought to be enough to convince a believing heart that the only thing
wanting must be fuller details,--more evidence,--in order to shew us
that the Patriarch _deserved_ the SPIRIT'S praise. But in truth, in
Jacob's case, the details are abundant and the evidence decisive.

3. Of all the other (so called) difficulties which occur to my
memory,--as the extinction of the Canaanites, (who yet were _not_
extinguished,)--the Sacrifice of Isaac, (who yet was _not_
sacrificed,)--the life of David;--I have only to say that before you can
pretend to have an opinion upon the subject you must be sure that you
"know the Scriptures:" else, I make bold to say, you will inevitably err
in your cogitations concerning them. Thus, men are heard to insinuate
astonishment that the King who so basely compassed Uriah's death should
have been "a man after GOD'S own heart:" whereas the Hebrew original,
(as they would know, _if they knew the Scriptures_,) conveys nothing of
the kind; while the murder of Uriah is found to have drawn down upon
David unmitigated wrath and terrible punishment from the right Hand of
Him who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.

II. Turn we now, briefly, to the physical Marvels which are described in
the Bible; and chiefly those which occur in the Old Testament.

I am about to speak of Miracles in general; but it may be convenient to
say a few words first about certain mighty transactions which eclipse,
by their vastness or their strangeness, most isolated events. Thus, as
the Nativity, Temptation, Transfiguration, Resurrection, Ascension, of
our LORD, together with the Coming of the HOLY GHOST, eclipse in a
manner the other Miracles of the New Testament,--so the Temptation of
our first Parents, the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and the fate of
Lot's wife, the burning bush, the Plagues which prepared the way for the
Exode, the crossing of the Red Sea, the Manna, and the brazen Serpent;
Balaam's ass, and the fate of the walls of Jericho; the history of
Jonah, and of Daniel among the lions:--events like these stand out from
the Old Testament narrative and challenge astonishment.

Of all these latter events, viewed as difficulties,--(for it is as
difficulties _in the way of Revelation_ that we are now expected to look
on Miracles,)--you are requested to observe that they enjoy, one and
all, the confirmation of _express citation in the New Testament_. I am
saying that either St. Paul, or St. Peter, or St. James, or (above all)
our Blessed LORD Himself, appeal to, or else explain, every one of
these marvellous passages in Old Testament History. And this is the only
remark I propose to offer concerning any of them. It will certainly
prove unavailing to convince a certain class of persons of the
historical reality of the Deluge, to find that our SAVIOUR, that St.
Peter, and St. Paul, have all spoken of it as an actual event:--Men who
are disposed to reject the story of the dumb ass speaking with man's
voice, will not perhaps believe it one whit the more because they find
it appealed to by St. Peter[609]:--and the Divine exposition offered by
CHRIST Himself of Jonah, three days and three nights in the fish's
belly, will not, it may be feared, reconcile others to an event which
strikes them as being too improbable to be true. But _this_, at least,
will infallibly result from the discovery:--men will perceive that they
must positively make their election; and either accept the Bible as a
whole, or else reject it as a whole; for that there is no middle course
open to them. The New Testament stands committed irrevocably to the Old.
Every Book of the Bible stands committed to all the other Books. Not
only does our LORD quote the Canon in its collected form, and call it
"the Law and the prophets,"--or simply ἡ γραφή, "the Scripture,"--and
so set His seal upon it, as one undivided and indivisible roll of
Inspiration; but He and His Apostles single out the very narratives
which the imbecility of Man was most likely to stumble at, and employ
them for such purposes, and in such a manner, that escape from them
shall henceforth be altogether hopeless. To eliminate the marvels of
Scripture, I say, is impossible; for a Divine Hand has been laid upon
almost every one of them. The subsequent references are not only most
numerous, but they run into the very staple of the narrative,--and will
not,--_cannot_ be eradicated.

I question whether all students of the inspired page are aware of the
extent to which what I have been saying holds true. Let me only invite
you to investigate the structure of the Bible under this aspect, and you
will be astonished at the result. For you will find that the system of
tacit quotation and allusive reference is so perpetual, that it is as if
the design had been that the fibres should be incapable of being
disentangled any more. Balaam's story for example in the Book of
Numbers, is found alluded to in Deuteronomy, in Joshua, in Micah, in
Nehemiah; by St. Peter, by St. Jude, and by St. John in the
Apocalypse[610].--The Exodus, with its attendant wonders, is alluded to
in Joshua, and in Judges, and in Job, and in the Psalms; in Amos, and
Isaiah, and Micah, and Hosea, and Jeremiah, and Daniel; in Kings, in
Samuel, in Nehemiah; and in the New Testament repeatedly[611]. The
Evangelists quote one another times without number. In the Epistles, the
Gospels are quoted upwards of fifty times; and St. Peter quotes St. Paul
again and again. It is a favourite device of these last days to hint at
the allegorical character of the beginning of Genesis. But I find
upwards of thirty references in the New Testament to the first two
Chapters of Genesis[612]. Certain parts of Daniel have incurred
suspicion,--for no better reason, as it seems, than because certain
persons have found it hard to believe that Prophecy can be "an
anticipation of History[613]." Now it is strange certainly to find a
thing objected to for being what it is: and "Prophecy is nothing _but_
the history of events before they come to pass,"--as Butler remarked
long ago[614]. Waiving this, however, you are requested to observe that
our SAVIOUR quotes from _those very parts of Daniel which have been
objected to_. You cannot get rid of those parts of Daniel therefore. You
are not to suppose that the Bible is like an old house, where a window
may be darkened, or a door blocked up, according to the caprice of every
fresh occupant. The terms on which men dwell there are that every part
of the structure shall be inhabited; and that every part shall be
retained in its integrity. What I am insisting upon is, that the sacred
Writers plainly say,--We stand or we fall together. They reach forth
their hands, and they hold one another fast. They rehearse comprehensive
Genealogies,--they furnish a summary view of long histories,--they
enumerate the various worthies of old time, and cite their deeds in
order. They recognize one another's voices, and they interpret one
another's thoughts, and they adopt one another's sayings. Verily the
Bible is _not_ "like any other Book!" The prophets and Apostles and
Evangelists of either covenant reach out one to another; and lo, among
them is seen the form of One like the SON of GOD.... How far it may be
rational _to reject the Bible_, I will not now discuss: but it is
demonstrable that a man cannot accept the Bible, and straightway propose
to omit from it one jot or one tittle of its contents. As for
abstracting from Scripture the marvels of Scripture, it is precisely
for the protection and preservation of _them_, as I have been shewing,
that the most curious and abundant provision has been made.

1. The miracles, properly so called, whether of the Old or New
Testament, have lately been cavilled at with exceeding bitterness[615].
That they are sufficiently attested, is allowed[616]; the objection is a
(so called) Philosophical one, and is briefly this,--that the Laws of
Nature being fixed and immutable, it is contrary not only to experience,
but also to reason, to suppose that they have ever been suspended, or
violated, or interrupted. Events "contrary to the order of
Nature,"--events which would introduce "disorder" into Creation,--are
pronounced incredible.--This is a very old objection; but it has been
lately revived. I will dispose of it as briefly as I can.

You are requested to observe then, that this difficulty,--(such as it
is,)--is entirely occasioned by the terms in which it is stated. _Who_
ever asserted that Miracles are "violations of natural causes[617]?"
"suspensions of natural laws[618]?" Who ever said that the effect of
Miracles is to "interrupt"--"violate"--"reverse,"--the Laws of Nature?
Why assume "contrariety" and "disorder" in a κόσμος which seems to
have had no experience of either?

But GOD is, I suppose, superior to His own Laws! He is not the creature
of circumstances,--even of His own creating. Supreme is He in
Creation,--albeit in a manner which baffles thought. He does not even
suspend His Laws, perhaps, so much as fulfil them after a Diviner
fashion;--somewhat as He was fulfilling the Mosaic Economy even while He
seemed to be violating one or other of its sanctions. He does not
reverse or disorder the fixed course of Nature, so much as rise above
it, and shew Himself superior to it. He does not disturb anything, but
our notions of His mode of acting. GOD coming suddenly to view in
Nature, (which is an essential part of the notion of a miracle,)
occasions perplexity, it is true; but only because we do not understand
fully either Nature or GOD. "We know Him not as He is, neither indeed
can know Him." While of Nature, we know nothing but a few Laws which we
have discovered by a long and laborious induction of phenomena. In fact,
this whole manner of speaking concerning the Creator of the Universe,
with reference to the Laws which He is found to have prescribed to
things natural, has, I suspect, some great foolishness in it: for, even
if we do not so far dishonour GOD as to imagine that He is subject to
Law, yet we seem to imply that we think ourselves capable of
understanding the relation in which He stands to Law. Whereas, the very
notion of Law may be utterly inapplicable to GOD,--who is not only its
first Author, (as He is indeed the first Author of all things,) but the
very source and _cause_ of it also. So that what are Laws to ourselves
may be not so much as Law at all to GOD; but, (if I may so speak,)
something which depends on "the counsel of His will," and which,
(considered as a restraining cause,) is to Him as if it were not. There
can be no miracles with GOD[619]!

Briefly then:--That He who, (surely I may say _confessedly_,) is above
Law, when He manifests Himself in the midst of Creation, should act in a
manner which defies conception; and yet should disturb nothing, reverse
nothing, violate nothing;--(except to be sure, possibly, certain
preconceived notions of His rational creatures;)--in _this_, I say,
there is surely nothing either incredible or absurd.

2. So much, to say the truth, seems to be admitted, by all but professed
Atheists. But then, certain formulæ have been invented to bridge over
the difficulty, which Miracles are supposed to occasion, which I cannot
but think are just as objectionable as unbelief itself.

By way of saving the credit of "the Laws of the Universe," a kind of
compromise has been discovered; to which I do not find that GOD has been
made any party.

The idea of Law, which has been falsely declared to be only now
"emerging into supremacy in Science[620]," seems to have usurped such a
dominion over the minds of a few persons, superficially acquainted with
Physical studies, that Miracles can be only tolerated on the supposition
that they are "the exact fulfilment of much more extensive Laws than
those we suppose to exist[621]." We are kindly assured that what we call
a Miracle is not "an exception to those laws which we know, but really
the fulfilment of a wider Law which we did not know before[622]." Men
are eager to remind us that this is the view of Bp. Butler[623], (whom
every one, I observe, is fond of having for an ally.) Thus, a very
recent writer says,--"What we call interferences may, (as Bp. Butler
observed long ago,) be fulfilments of general laws not perfectly
apprehended by us[624]."--But I cannot find that Bp. Butler anywhere
says anything of the sort. What Butler says, is,--that we know nothing
of the laws of storms and earthquakes,--tempers and geniuses;--yet we
conclude, (but only from analogy,) that all these seemingly accidental
things are the result of general laws. Now, (he proceeds,) since it is
only "from our finding that the course of Nature, in some respects and
so far, goes on by general laws, that we conclude this of the rest;"--it
is credible "that GOD'S miraculous interpositions may have been, all
along, in like manner, _by general laws of WISDOM_." Butler says that it
"may have been by _general laws_," "that the affairs of the world, being
permitted to go on _in their natural course_ so far, should, just at
such a point, have a new direction given them _by miraculous
interposition_." He does not say, you observe, that those "miraculous
interpositions" are "the exact fulfilment of _much more extensive Laws_
than those we suppose to exist;" (as if _a larger induction_ were all
that was needed, in order to get rid of the obnoxious word
"Miracle:")--not, that Miracles may be "fulfilments of general laws _not
perfectly apprehended by us_;" (as if the only thing wanted, were an
enlargement of the human formula, in order to bring a miraculous
interposition within the definition of an extraordinary phenomenon.)
Such notions belong altogether to the inventors of calculating machines;
whose speculations, even concerning Divine things, clearly cannot soar
above their instrument[625]. It is called the "argument from laws
intermitting[626];" and evidently reduces a miracle to a phenomenon of
periodical recurrence. The aloe, watched for ninety-nine years and
observed to blossom in the hundredth, is (according to this view) an
emblem of the constitution of Nature at last interrupted by a Miracle.

I will not waste your time further with this view of the subject, having
exposed its fallacy. Station yourself, in thought, at the grave of
Lazarus; and see him that was dead and had been four days buried, come
forth bound hand and foot with grave-clothes;--and then prate of any
"general Laws," except those "OF WISDOM," to as many as you can get to
listen to you. A "miraculous interposition," (as Butler phrases it,) has
given a new direction to affairs which, so far, had been permitted to go
in their natural course. That "general Laws" of inscrutable Wisdom
determined such a "_miraculous interposition_"--is a position which, so
far from objecting to, I embrace with both the arms of my heart[627].

3. Another favourite recipe there is for escaping from the bondage of
Miracles, which is so childish, that it would seem scarcely to deserve
notice: but that it has been largely resorted to by writers of whom the
world thinks highly. Those men, in a word, try to _explain them away_
where they can: where they cannot, they _pare them down_ as much as they
are able, or rather as much as they dare. Demoniacal possession?
Symptoms like those described are known to accompany epilepsy. Manna?
Something like it falls in the wilderness of Sinai to this hour. The Red
Sea parted? Well, but a strong East wind blew all night. Stilling the
storm, and healing Peter's wife's mother? Every storm is stilled if let
alone; and a fever will burn out, often without occasioning death. The
miraculous draught of fishes, and the stater in the fish's mouth?... but
you can readily supply a suggestion for yourselves.

Now, two remarks present themselves on this kind of handling, which may
be worth stating. (1) Those who so speak forget that the Devils are
related to have _conversed with CHRIST_[628]:--that the manna, (of which
so many miraculous properties are related[629],) fed 600,000 men for
forty years, _and then suddenly ceased_[630]:--that the waters of the
Red Sea were _a wall to the children of Israel, on their right hand and
on their left_[631]:--that when CHRIST said to the waves of the sea of
Galilee "Peace, be still," "there was _a great calm_[632]:"--that
Peter's wife's mother, cured of her fever, "rose and _ministered unto_,"
(that is "waited upon,") her Benefactor[633].... It is worse than absurd
to explain away _part_ of a miracle, with a view to getting rid of the
whole of it: as if the essence of the miracle were not sure to reside in
the residuum,--in the very part which is left unaccounted for! (2) But
above all, what place have such explanations in the recorded cases of
feeding the multitudes, opening the eyes of one born blind, and raising
the dead? While you leave the chiefest miracles of the Gospel untouched,
you may not flatter yourself that you have got at the kernel of the
matter; or indeed that the real question at issue has been touched by
you, at all.

4. There remains to notice one subtle and most treacherous method of
dealing with the marvels of Scripture,--(moral and physical alike,)--to
which I desire in conclusion to direct your special attention; and which
I would brand with burning words if I had them at command. I allude to
what is called "IDEOLOGY,"--the plain English for which term is, _a
denial of the historical reality of Scripture_. I will not waste time
with inquiring whether this method is old or new. It is certainly much
in fashion; and it is certainly finding advocates in high quarters. I
therefore make no apology for introducing the monstrous thing to your
notice. It requires, I should hope, only to be understood, to be
rejected with unqualified indignation.

You and I, then, have been taught to believe that "the WORD was made
flesh and dwelt among us," in the way St. Matthew and St. Luke describe:
that our LORD was Baptized and Tempted of Satan; that He wrought
Miracles,--casting out Devils, and even raising the Dead; that He was
Transfigured on a mountain; that He was Crucified, died, and was buried;
that He rose again the Third Day, ascended into Heaven, and at last, (as
on this day,) sent down the PARACLETE to dwell with His Church for ever.
All this, I say, you and I,--with the whole Church Catholic for 1800
years,--have been taught to believe as plain historical truths, mere
matters of fact; past telling wonderful indeed, but yet as _historically
true_, as that I am standing here and you are sitting yonder,--neither
more nor less.

But you are to understand that we, and all mankind with us, have been
under a very curious delusion on this head. We are assured that every
one of these things, or at least that some of them, are only
_ideologically_ true: that _Historically_, they are false. In plain
language, we are requested to believe that they never occurred at all.
It is only a lively way of putting it,--no more!

You will inevitably suppose that I must be trifling with you: I
therefore proceed to give you a sample of this kind of teaching. A
living dignitary of our Church writes as follows concerning the
Transfiguration of CHRIST. "It may be asked, of what kind was the
vision which we here call the Transfiguration? Was it an effect
produced within on the minds of the Apostles; or was it that an actual
external change came for the time over the person of our LORD? We cannot
say." I give you this as the mildest form of the poison. Quite evident
is it that the same suggestion is just as applicable to our LORD'S
Birth, or to His Death; to His Temptation, or to His Resurrection. But
to see whither all this _tends_, and what it really _means_, you must
have recourse to the pages of a more advanced proficient in the Science
of Ideology. He admits that its "application to the interpretation of
Scripture, to the doctrines of Christianity, to the formularies of the
Church, may undoubtedly be pushed so far as to leave in the sacred
records _no historical residue whatever_. An example of the critical
ideology carried to excess," (he says,) "_resolves into an ideal_" the
whole of our LORD'S Life and Doctrine; and "_substitutes a mere shadow_
for the JESUS of the Evangelists." But for all that, (says the writer I
am quoting,) "there are traits in the Scriptural person of JESUS, which
are better explained by referring them to an ideal than an historical
origin: parts of Scripture are more usefully interpreted ideologically
than in any other manner,--as for instance, the history of the
Temptation by Satan, and accounts of Demoniacal possession." This
writer, (who is a clergyman of the Church of England, and a Graduate in
Divinity,) goes on to idealize the descent of Mankind from Adam and Eve,
together with the chiefest marvels of the Old Testament: insisting that
"the force, grandeur, and reality of these ideas are not a whit
impaired," although we discredit and reject the history, _as_ history.
So, our SAVIOUR, (he says,) "is none the less the Son of David, in idea
and spiritually, even if it be unproved whether He were so in historic
fact." "The spiritual significance is still the same," (he says,) "of
the Transfiguration, of opening blind eyes, of causing the tongue of the
stammerer to speak plainly, of feeding multitudes with bread in the
wilderness, of cleansing leprosy,--whatever links may be deficient in
the traditional record of particular events."

"Whatever links may be deficient!" O that men would have the courage or
the honesty to _say_ what they _mean_! Why not say plainly, "_however
untrustworthy we may account the narrative to be_?" And this writer
cannot mean any other thing; for missing "links," assuredly, there are
_none_.--In truth this method of wrapping up a monstrous abortion in
"purple and fine linen," in order to make it look like "a proper child,"
is so much in vogue, that plain men are obliged first to _translate_ a
fallacy in order to understand it. Thus, a recent Apologist for the very
writer I have been quoting,--after surrendering the beginning of Genesis
as "parabolic," (that is, _not historically true_,) is yet so obliging
as to contend that "there still remain events" in Scripture,--our LORD'S
Resurrection to wit,--"in which the garb of flesh,"--(pray mark the
phraseology!)--"in which _the garb of flesh_ seems to be so
indispensable a vehicle for the spirit within, that we can hardly
conceive how the one could have sustained itself in the world, unless it
had been from the beginning allied to the other[634]." In plain English,
the writer is so candid as to admit that if the Resurrection of our LORD
JESUS CHRIST from death be a mere fabrication,--in plain terms, a hoax
practised upon the credulity of an unscientific age,--it is hard to
understand how it can have _imposed_ upon mankind so completely for the
last eighteen hundred years.

I will not insult the understanding of those who hear me so grossly as
to suppose that dreams like these,--(and really they are no
more!)--require answer or refutation. Such desperate shifts to elude the
meaning of plain words, as the whole theory of Ideology discloses, would
be even ludicrous, if the subject-matter were not so very sacred and
solemn. As in the case of certain acts of flagrant dishonesty which one
sometimes reads of,--one cannot forbear exclaiming, The man must
certainly have felt himself _very sore pressed indeed_ to have been
induced to resort to a step so utterly disgraceful to his character!...
Anyhow, since certain persons have adopted this course, I do but plead
for consistency. Only let them be sure that they apply this precious
method of Interpretation to the History of England, and to everything
their friend tells them: and let them not feel surprised if the same
kind of ideological handling is bestowed upon everything they tell their
friend. Idealize away, and be sure you stick at nothing! _Why_ be
outdone in logical consistency by such an one as Strauss? Let men also
make their election whether Scripture shall be a lie or not. And when
they have made up their minds, let them, in the Name of GOD, instead of
dealing in unmanly insinuations, and dark hints, and shuffling
equivocations,--let them declare themselves plainly, that we may know at
least _with whom_ and _with what_ we have to do. For while false
Brethren are thus playing fast and loose with Revelation, they are
trifling with the faith of thousands,--and imperilling other immortal
souls besides their own.

But I shall be reminded that the subject-matter of daily life, and of
the Everlasting Gospel, is very different: and that the marvellous
character of certain events recorded in the Bible constrains us to
relegate those events to a distinct region. A child's plea, which was
effectually disposed of upwards of a century ago! What does it amount to
but this,--that what is _supernatural_, or even highly extraordinary,
must be also untrue?... When, however, the argument is shifted, and is
made an appeal _ad misericordiam_:--when I am entreated to remember that
though _I_ believe in the Resurrection of CHRIST from Death, the same
event is a "stumbling block" to many; and that I am "bound to treat with
tenderness those who prefer to lean on the other, and, as _they_ think,
_more secure foundation_[635];" (viz. on the hypothesis that the
Resurrection of the Son of Man is all a fable;)--I say, when I am so
addressed, really, friends and Brethren, I am constrained to cry out
that there is a limit beyond which Nature cannot endure; and that _that_
limit has now been overstepped. Will men try to persuade us that _the
idea_ of our LORD'S Resurrection is a more secure basis for the Church's
faith than _the fact_ of our LORD'S Resurrection? Why, they might as
well try to convince the world that a broken reed is a better support
than an oaken staff;--or that a handful of waste paper is of more value
than the title-deeds of an estate. How _can_ a shadow,--how _can_ what
is confessedly an imagination,--be, in any sense, or for any body, a
"secure foundation;" or indeed, _any foundation at all_? how, above all,
can a fancy be a "_more_ secure foundation" than _a fact_?... Not only
will I _not_ treat men with tenderness who put forth such blasphemous
folly,--(men who, in their rashness, their recklessness, their
arrogance, shew no manner of tenderness or consideration for
others!)--but I will hold them up to ridicule, to the very utmost of my
power. Nay, I would make them objects of unqualified reprobation to all,
if I could, as they deserve to be reprobated; for they are the worst
enemies of the Gospel of CHRIST[636]. "If CHRIST be not risen, then is
our preaching vain, _and your faith is vain also_[637]!" "The Apostle
_rests the truth of the Christian Religion_ on the fact that CHRIST was
risen.... The whole system turns upon this central point; the several
doctrines gather round it, they depend upon it, they grow out of it; so
that without it, Christianity would have no coherence or meaning[638]."

You and I know very well "that nothing could more effectually shake the
whole fabric of Revealed Religion, than thus converting its history into
fable, and its realities into fiction. For if the narratives most
usually selected for the purpose may thus be explained away; what part
of the Sacred History will be secure against similar treatment? Nay,
what doctrines, even those the most essential to Christianity, might not
thus be undermined? For are not those doctrines dependent upon the
_facts_ recorded in Scripture for the evidence of their truth? Does not,
for instance, the whole system of our Redemption presuppose the reality
of the Fall as an historical fact? And do not the proofs of the Divine
authority of the whole, rest upon the verification of its Prophecies and
Miracles, as events which have actually taken place? Allegory thus
misapplied is therefore worse than frivolous or useless; it strikes a
deadly blow at the very vitals of the Christian Faith[639]." Away then
with that very questionable form of liberality, which makes most free
with _what belongs to GOD_! The truths of Revelation are yours and mine,
I grant you: but only _so_ yours and mine that, to our eternal
blessedness, we embrace,--to our eternal loss, we let them slip! We add
to them, or we take away from them, under peril of GOD'S curse.... Away
too with that mawkish sentimentality which can find no better object for
its sympathy than the hardened blasphemer, and the confirmed sceptic!
_My_ sympathy shall be reserved for those who have never so offended,
but are, on the contrary, full of precious promise;--for the young and
as yet inexperienced;--for _you_, who will have the battle of CHRIST and
His Church to fight, when _we_ shall be mouldering in the grave. Let
those who do not know me, deem me uncharitable if they will. I care not.
The uncharitable man,--mark me, Brethren!--the truly uncharitable man,
is he, who shews no consideration for weak and unstable souls; who does
not regard the trials and perils of the young; who beguiles unsteady
feet to the edge of the precipice, and there forsakes them; whose
destructive method, (for constructiveness is no part of that man's
philosophy!)--whose destructive method leaves the young without chart
and compass,--aye, without moon or stars to sail by; who labours hard to
communicate the taint of his own foul leprosy to those who were before
unpolluted; who dims the eye, and deadens the ear, and defiles the
thoughts, and darkens the hope of as many as have the misfortune to come
in his way, and feels no pity!--Yes, yes! The man who sows his own vile
doubts broadcast over two continents,--doing his very best to destroy
the faith of those for whom CHRIST died,--he, _he_ is the uncharitable
man[640]! Not he who, forsaking the flowery fields of the Gospel,
(whither he would far, far rather lead you!) and foregoing the free
mountain air of imperishable Truth, for your sakes only keeps treading
these dreary stifling paths of speculation;--a friend of yours, I mean,
who with stammering eloquence, (the more's the pity!) clings thus to
you, Sunday after Sunday,--imploring you, with all a brother's
earnestness, not to venture where to venture is to die; and warning you
against the men who have conspired against your _life_;--even while he
labours hard to shew you what he _knows_ to be "a more excellent way;"
and implores you to come where CHRIST Himself hath promised that "ye
shall find rest to your souls!"

This is all there is time for, to-day. Let me, in the fewest possible
words, gather up what has been spoken into a practical shape.

Friends and brethren,--(I am still addressing the younger men
present!)--Divinity is not debate; and Religion is not controversy; and
Life is not long enough for perpetual disputings. "He that cometh unto
GOD must believe that _He is_." The heart dries up, and the affections
wither away, and the soul faints, amid an atmosphere of cloudy doubts,
and captious difficulties, and perverse disputations. You must rise
above it, if you would discern the colours on the everlasting hills, and
behold the beauty of the promised Land, and see objects as they really
are. O put away from yourselves, (if any of you are so unhappy as to
have acquired it,) a habit of mind which will effectually unfit you for
profiting by what you read in Holy Scripture: and you, who are free from
such dreadful bondage, beware lest, by the indulgence of some
sin,--whether of the flesh or of the spirit,--you darken that spiritual
eye by which alone spiritual things are to be discerned. It is like
talking about colours to the blind, or about sounds to the deaf, to
discuss with a certain class of persons the Inspiration, or the
Interpretation, or the Marvels of Scripture. The Bible is, with them, _a
common book_,--"to be _interpreted like any other book_." Prophecy is
denied, and Miracles are rejected or explained away,--on the plea that
they are alike incredible. These men lay claim to intellectual gifts
above their fellows; and know not that they are "wretched, and
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Rebels are they against the
Most High; and find their exact image in those citizens who "sent a
message after Him, saying, We will not have this Man to reign over
us[641]." The gist of all they deliver, is _rebellion against GOD_.

But it is not so with yourselves, who have yet everything to learn in
respect of Divine things. O beware lest it ever become your own dreadful
case! Begin betimes to acquaint yourselves with the wealth of that
celestial armoury which contains a weapon which must prove fatal to
every foe; but which it depends _on yourselves_ whether you shall have
the skill to wield or not. Suffer not yourselves to be cheated of your
birthright, the Bible, either by the novel fictions of unstable men, or
by the exploded heresies of a bygone age, revived and recommended by
living unbelievers. You, especially, who aspire to the Ministerial
office, and are destined hereafter to undertake the cure of souls, O do
you be doubly watchful! Give to the Bible the undivided homage of a
childlike heart; and bow down before its revelations with a suppliant
understanding also; and let no characteristic of its method by any means
escape you. Notice how it is indeed all one long narrative, from end to
end; and see therein GOD'S provision that nothing shall be idealized,
nothing explained away. Learn too that Man is thus called upon to look
outward, and to sustain himself by an external Law; _not_ to depend on
the promptings of his own conscience, and so to become a god unto
himself. The Bible, I repeat, is all severest history, from the Alpha to
the Omega of it. But then, underneath the surface there are meanings
high as Heaven, deep as Hell: and why? because _the true Author of it is
not Man, but GOD_!

Let it quicken you in your desire to understand that Book out of which
you will have hereafter to preach, reprove, rebuke,
exhort[642],--sometimes to bethink yourselves of the flocks which
already are expecting you; and among which GOD already sees your future
going out and coming in; your faithful teaching, or (GOD forbid!) your
betrayal of a most sacred trust. Acquaint yourselves in due time, by all
means, with the scientific grounds on which the Bible is to be received
as the Word of GOD: but of a truth, hereafter, you will forget to
require that external testimony; for you will be convinced of its Divine
origin, when you have become the adoring witnesses of its Divine power.
Truly _that_ must be from GOD which can so change the life and affect
the heart; which can sustain the spirit under bereavement, and become
the soul's satisfying portion under every form of adversity! It has
already altered the aspect of the World; and it has still a mighty work
to do in India, and in China, and in Africa, and in the Islands of the
Sea.

Difficulties there are in Scripture, doubtless: but I should be far more
perplexed by the absence of them, than I shall ever be by their
presence. Nay, they are a chief source of joy to a rightly constituted
mind; for they exercise the moral nature and the intellectual powers, in
the noblest possible way. It is the office of the highest Intellect to
know when to walk _by Faith_, and when _by sight_: and when, to "ask for
the old paths." It needs a mind of no common order fully to recognize
the distinctive difference between a system which comes from GOD; and
one which has been elaborated by human Reason: the latter
progressive,--the former incapable of progress; the one liable to
change,--the other, unchangeable for ever. There are certain indelible
characteristics of a Divine Revelation, I say, which it is the office
of the keenest wit to detect and hold fast,--which it is a prime note of
imbecility in a thoughtful man to overlook and let go.... The Bible in
truth, as one grows older,--(to me at least it seems so,)--becomes
almost the only thing in the world really deserving of a man's
attention. _Above_ Reason, many things in it confessedly are: but
_against_ Reason, I do not know of _one_. Meantime, is it not a glorious
anticipation for you and for me, that to understand those hard things
fully may be hereafter a part of our chiefest bliss? There is but a step
between us and death[643]; and assuredly when we wake up after His
likeness, we shall be satisfied with it[644]!... Already "the shadows of
the evening are stretched out[645]." Be patient, O my soul, "until the
day break, and the shadows flee away[646]!"


       *       *       *       *       *

THY STATUTES HAVE BEEN MY SONGS IN THE HOUSE OF MY PILGRIMAGE.

FOOTNOTES:

[589] Preached at St. Mary-the-Virgin, Whit-Sunday, May 19th, 1861.

[590] Acts xxiii. 8. For the phrase in the text, see _Essays and
Reviews_, p. 151. Also p. 174.

[591] See the Appendix (C).

[592] Should one not as readily acknowledge a hint which was gathered
from the conversation of the thoughtful Vicar of Stanford-in-the-Vale,
as if it had been derived from some of his published writings?

[593] 1 Sam. xv. 6.

[594] Numb. x. 29-32.

[595] A hint has here been taken from one of Dr. W. H. Mill's admirable
_University Sermons_, pp. 239-40.

[596] Judges iv. 6.

[597] Ibid. iv. 17.

[598] Ibid. v. 6.

[599] Judges v. 6, 7, 11.

[600] Ibid. iv. 4, 5.

[601] Ibid. v. 7.

[602] Ibid. v. 5 and 9.

[603] 1 Sam. xii.

[604] Gen. xlix. 5.

[605] Comp. Judges v. 14, 17, with Numb, xxxii. 39, 40, and Josh. xiii.
31.--Consider Ps. lxxx. 2.

[606] 2 Kings vi. 16.

[607] 1 Kings xx. 42.

[608] St. John i. 17.

[609] 2 St. Peter ii. 16.

[610] Numb. xxii., xxiii., xxiv., xxv., xxxi. 8 and 16. Joshua xxiv. 9,
10: xiii. 22. Micah vi. 5. Nehem. xiii. 1, 2 (quoting Deut. xxiii. 3,
4.) 2 St. Peter ii. 14-16. St. Jude ver. 11. Rev. ii. 14.

[611] Exod. xiv. 19-31, &c. is thus referred to in Josh. ii. 10: iv. 23.
Judges v. 4, 5. Job xxvi. 12. Ps. lxxiv. 13: cvi. 7-11: cxiv. 1-8:
lxxvii. 14-20: lxvi. 6: lxxviii. 12-31. Amos ii. 10. Hos. xii. 13. Is.
lxiii. 11-13: xliii. 16: li. 9, 10, 15. Micah vi. 4-5. Jer. ii. 6:
xxxii. 20-1. Dan. ix. 15. 2 Sam. vii. 23. 2 Kings xvii. 7. Neh. ix.
9-21. Acts vii. 30-41. 1 Cor. x. 1-11. 2 Tim. iii. 8. Hebr. xi. 29. Rev.
xv. 3.

[612] Gen. i. 1, (Heb. xi. 3:) 3, (2 Cor. iv. 6:) 5, (1 Thess, v. 5:) 6,
9, (2 St. Pet. iii. 5:) 11, 12, (1 St. John iii. 9:) 14, (Phil. ii. 15:
Rev. xxi. 11:) 24, (Acts x. 12: xi. 6:) 26, (St. James iii. 9:) 26, 27,
(Col. iii. 10:) 27, (1 Cor. xi. 7: St. Matth. xix. 4: St. Mark x. 6:)
28, (Ps. viii. 6-8, commented on in Heb. ii. 5-9: 1 Cor. xv. 25: Eph. i.
22.)--Gen. ii. 2, (Heb. iv. 4, 10:) 7, (1 Cor. xv. 45, 47:) 9, (Rev. ii.
7: xxii. 2, 14, 19:) 18, (1 Cor. xi. 9:) 22, (1 Tim. ii. 13:) 23, (Eph.
v. 30:) 24, (Eph. v. 31: St. Matth. xix. 5: St. Mark x. 7: 1 Cor. vi.
16:) &c.

[613] "It is a very misleading notion of Prophecy," says Dr. Arnold,--(a
writer to whom, more than to any other person, I conceive that we are
indebted for "Essays and Reviews;" _that_ unhappy production being the
lawful development and inevitable result of the late Head-master of
Rugby's most unsound and mischievous religious teaching:)--"It is a very
misleading notion of Prophecy, if we regard it as an anticipation of
History." (_Sermons_, i. p. 375.) "I think that, with the exception of
those prophecies which relate to our LORD, the object of Prophecy is
rather to delineate principles and states of opinion which shall come,
than external events. I grant that Daniel _seems to furnish an
exception_." (_Life and Correspondence_, p. 59.) This was written in
1825. In 1840, we are informed:--"The latter chapters of Daniel, _if
genuine, would be a clear exception to my Canon of Interpretation_....
But I have long thought that the greater part of the Book of Daniel is
most certainly a very late work, of the time of the Maccabees; and the
_pretended prophecy_ about the Kings of Grecia and Persia, and of the
North and South, is _mere history, like the poetical prophecies in
Virgil and elsewhere_.... That there may be genuine fragments in it, is
very likely." (_Ibid._, p. 505.)--In other words, Dr. Arnold, rather
than suppose "_my_ Canon of Interpretation" (!) worthless, is prepared
to eject the Book of Daniel from the Inspired Canon. Any thing is "very
likely," in short, except that God could foretell future events, and Dr.
Arnold be in error!... Ἆρ' οὐχ ὕβρις τάδ';

[614] Analogy, P. II. ch. vii.

[615] _Throughout_ the volume entitled "Essays and Reviews;" while the
third Essay is simply an affirmation of their _impossibility_.

[616] And yet, Bp. Butler says,--"The facts, both miraculous and
natural, in Scripture, appear in all respects to stand upon the same
foot of historical evidence:" ... "and though testimony is no proof of
enthusiastic opinions, or of any opinions at all; yet, it is allowed, in
all other cases, to be a proof of facts."--_Analogy_, P. II. ch. vii.
(ed. 1833, pp. 285 and 293.)

[617] _Essays and Reviews_, p. 140.

[618] _Ibid._, p. 104.

[619] There are some admirable observations on this subject in the
'Preliminary Essay' prefixed to Dean Trench's _Notes on the
Miracles._--See pp. 10, 12, 15, 60, &c.

[620] Dr. Temple.

[621] Mr. Babbage's _Bridgewater Treatise_, (2nd. Ed. 1838,) p. 92.

[622] "_Why we should pray for Fair Weather_: being Remarks on Professor
Kingsley's Sermon,"--by a Member of the University [of
Cambridge,]--12mo. Cambridge, 1860, p. 8.

[623] "The view taken of Miracles in chapter viii., is the same as that
contained in the work of Butler, on _the Analogy_" &c.--Babbage (as
above), p. 191.

[624] _Edinburgh Review_, for April 1861, p. 486.

[625] How exactly, in this instance, has Dr. Whewell's anticipation
received fulfilment!;--"We may, with the greatest propriety, deny to the
mechanical Philosophers and Mathematicians of recent times any authority
with regard to their views of the administration of the Universe; we
have no reason whatever to expect from their speculations any help, when
we ascend to the first Cause and supreme Ruler of the Universe. But we
might perhaps go further, and assert that _they are in some respects
less likely than men employed in other pursuits, to make any clear
advance towards such a subject of speculation_."--(Whewell's
_Bridgewater Treatise_, p. 334.)--Scarcely less acute is the remark
which the late excellent Hugh James Rose has somewhere left on record,
concerning the chapter wherein the preceding remark occurs,--That the
world would not easily forgive Dr. Whewell for those two chapters on
"Inductive" and "Deductive Habits."

[626] Babbage (as before), p. 92, (heading of ch. viii.)

[627] See the _Analogy_, P. II. ch. iv. sect. iii.

[628] St. Mark i. 24. St. Luke iv. 34: viii. 28, 30-32, &c. &c.

[629] Exod. xvi. 18-21: 22-24:--25-27: 31: 33-34. Add Wisdom xvi. 20-1.

[630] Exod. xvi. 35, and Josh. v. 12.

[631] Exod. xiv. 22, 29.

[632] St. Matth. viii. 26. St. Mark iv. 39.

[633] St. Matth. viii. 15.

[634] _Edinburgh Review_, (art. on 'Essays and Reviews,') April 1861,
p. 487.

[635] _Edinburgh Review_, (art. on 'Essays and Reviews,') April 1861,
p. 487.

[636] I have softened the expression originally employed in this place,
out of deference to the opinions of some wise and good men. But I do not
think that St. John, (the Evangelist and Apostle _of Dogma_,) would have
thought my language too strong: nor St. Paul either. Εἴ τις οὐ
φιλεῖ,--

[637] 1 Cor. xv. 14.

[638] From a Sermon by the pious and learned chaplain to the English
congregation at Rome, the Rev. F. B. Woodward,--_CHRIST risen the
Foundation of the Faith_,--preached on Easter Day, 1861. (Rivingtons.)

[639] Van Mildert's _Bampton Lectures_ for 1814, ("An Inquiry into the
general principles of Scripture-Interpretation,")--pp. 242-3.

[640] The reader is particularly requested to read what Dr. Moberly has
said on this subject in _Some Remarks on 'Essays and Reviews,'_ being
the _Revised Preface to the Second Edition of 'Sermons on the
Beatitudes_,'--p. xxii to p. xxv.--The _constructive_ value of the
'Remarks' of that excellent Divine will long outlive the occasion which
has called them forth. I allude particularly to the considerations which
occur from p. xxxii to p. lxiii.

[641] St. Luke xix. 14.

[642] 2 Tim. iv. 2.

[643] 1 Sam. xx. 3.

[644] Ps. xvii. 16.

[645] Jer. vi. 4.

[646] Song of S. ii. 17: iv. 6.



APPENDIX A.

(p. 16.)

[_Bishop Horsley on the double sense of Prophecy._]


"I shall not wonder, if, to those who have not sifted this question to
the bottom, (which few, I am persuaded, have done,) the evidence of a
Providence, arising from prophecies of this sort[647], should appear to
be very slender, or none at all. Nor shall I scruple to confess, that
time was when I was myself in this opinion, and was therefore much
inclined to join with those who think that every prophecy, were it
rightly understood, would be found to carry a precise and single
meaning; and that, wherever the double sense appears, it is because the
one true sense hath not yet been detected. I said,--'Either the images
of the prophetic style have constant and proper relations to the events
of the world, as the words of common speech have proper and constant
meanings, or they have not. If they have, then it seems no less
difficult to conceive that many events should be shadowed under the
images of one and the same prophecy, than that several likenesses should
be expressed in a single portrait. But, if the prophetic images have no
such appropriate relations to things, but that the same image may stand
for many things, and various events be included in a single prediction,
then it should seem that prophecy, thus indefinite in its meaning, con
afford no proof of Providence: for it should seem possible, that a
prophecy of this sort, by whatever principle the world were governed,
whether by Providence, Nature, or Necessity, might owe a seeming
completion to mere accident.' And since it were absurd to suppose that
the Holy Spirit of GOD should frame prophecies by which the end of
Prophecy might so ill be answered, it seemed a just and fair conclusion,
that no prophecy of holy writ might carry a double meaning.

"Thus I reasoned, till a patient investigation of the subject brought
me, by GOD'S blessing, to a better mind. I stand clearly and
unanswerably confuted, by the instance of Noah's prophecy concerning the
family of Japheth; which hath actually received various accomplishments,
in events of various kinds, in various ages of the world,--in the
settlements of European and Tartarian conquerors in the Lower Asia; in
the settlements of European traders on the coasts of India; and in the
early and plentiful conversion of the families of Japheth's stock to the
faith of CHRIST. The application of the prophecy to any one of these
events bears all the characteristics of a true
interpretation,--consistence with the terms of the prophecy, consistence
with the truth of history, consistence with the prophetic system. Every
one of these events must therefore pass, with every believer, for a true
completion."

BP. HORSLEY's _Sermons_, No. xvii. Vol. ii. pp. 73-4.

FOOTNOTES:

[647] Gen. ix. 25-7.



APPENDIX B.

(p. 50.)

[_Bishop Pearson on Theological Science._]


"Ad publicam Theologiæ professionem electus et constitutus sum; cujus
cum præstantiam dignitatemque considero, incredibili quadam dulcedine
perfundit mirificeque delectat; cum amplitudinem difficultatemque
contemplor, perstringit oculos, percellit animum, abigit longe atque
deterret.

"Cum Artes omnes Scientiæque Athenis diu floruissent, cum novam sedem
Alexandriæ occuparent, cum ingenia Romana toto terrarum orbe
personarent, etiam tum dixit CHRISTUS ad Apostolos, _Vos estis lux
mundi_. Omnes aliæ Scientiæ, etiam cum maxime clarescerent, tenebris
sunt involutæ, et quasi nocte quadam sepultæ. Tum sol oritur, tum primum
lumine perfundimur, cum DEI cognitione illustramur; radii lucis non nisi
de coelo feriunt oculos; cætera, quæ artes aut scientiæ nominantur, non
Athenæ sed noctuæ. Quid enim? nonne animis immortalibus præditi sumus,
et ad æternitatem natis? Quæ autem Philosophiæ pars perpetuitatem
spirat? Quid Astronomicis observationibus fiet, cum coeli ipsi
colliquescent? Ubi se ostendet corporis humani peritus, et medicaminum
scientia præclarus, cum _corruptio induet incorruptionem_? Quæ Musicæ,
quæ Rhetoricæ vires, cum Angelorum choro et Archangelorum coetibus
inseremur? Si nihil animus præsentiret in posterum, e coævis sibi
scientiis aliquid solatii carpere fas esset, secumque perituris
delectari: sed in hoc tam exiguo vitæ curriculo, et tam brevi, quid est,
tam cito periturum, quod impleret animum, in infinita sæculorum spatia
duraturum? Sola Theologiæ principia, æternæ felicitatis certissima
expectatione foeta, auræ divinæ particulam, coelestis suæ originis
consciam, et sempiternæ beatitudinis candidatum, satiare possunt.

"Cætera Scientiæ exiguum aliquid de mundi opifice delibant, norunt; hæc,
aquilæ invecta pennis, coeli penetralia perrumpit, in ipsum Patrem
luminum oculos intendit, et audaci veritate promittit, _DEUM nobis
aliquando videndum sicut et nos videbimur_.

"Quantum igitur moli corporis [anima materiæ expers,] quantum operosæ
conjecturæ divina visio, quantum brevi temporis spatio æternitas,
quantum Parnasso Paradisus, tantum reliquis disciplinis Theologia
præferenda est.

"Sed hanc severam rebus humanis necessitatem imposuit DEUS, ut quæ
pulcherrima sunt, sint et difficillima. Si Sacrarum Literarum copiam, si
studiorum theologicorum amplitudinem prospicias, crederes promissionem
divinam, sicut Ecclesiæ, ita doctrinæ terminos nullos posuisse.

"Scriptura ipsa, quam copiosa, quam intellectu difficilis! historiæ quam
intricatæ! prophetiæ quam obscuræ! præcepta quam multa! promissiones
quam variæ! mysteria quam involuta! interpretes quam infiniti! Linguæ,
quibus exarata est, et nobis, et toti orbi terrarum peregrinæ. Tres in
titulo crucis consecratæ sunt; satis illæ erant, cum CHRISTUS moreretur;
sed pluribus nobis opus est ut intelligatur. Latina parum subsidii
præbet, originibus exclusa. Græcæ magna est utilitas, nec tamen illa, si
pura, multum valet; nam aliam priorem semper aut reddit, aut imitatur.
Hebræa satis per se obscura, nec plene intelligenda, sine suis
conterraneis, Chaldaica, Arabica, Syriaca. Non est theologus, nisi qui
et Mithridates!

"Jam hæc ipsa oracula Ecclesiæ DEI sunt commendata, ad illam a CHRISTO
ipso amandamur; illa testis, illa columna veritatis. Nec est unius aut
ævi, aut regionis, Ecclesia DEI: per totum terrarum orbem, quo
disseminata, sequenda est; per Orientis vastissima spatia, per
Occidentis regna diversissima: antiquissimorum Patrum sententiæ
percipiendæ, quorum libri pene innumeri prodierunt, et nova tamen
monumenta indies e tenebris eruuntur.

"Quid dicam Synodos, diversarum provinciarum foetus? quid Concilia, e
toto orbe coacta, et suprema auctoritate prædita? quid canonum
decretorumque infinitam multitudinem? quorum sola notitia insignem
scientiam professionemque constituit; et tamen Theologiæ nostræ quantula
particula est?

"Quot hæreses in Ecclesia pullularunt, quarum nomina, natura, origines
detegendæ: quæ schismata inconsutilem CHRISTI tunicam lacerarunt; quo
furore excitata, quibus modis suppressa, quibus machinis sublata!

"Jam vero, scholasticorum quæstiones, quam innumera! Ad hæc omnia
subtiliter disserenda, acute disputanda, graviter determinanda, quanta
Philosophiæ, quanta Dialecticæ necessitas! quæ leges disputandi, quæ
sophismatum strophæ detegendæ!

"Hæc sunt quæ me a professione deterrent, hæc quæ exclamare cogunt, τίς
πρὸς ταῦτα ἱκανός;"

BP. PEARSON's _Oratio Inauguralis_, 'Minor Works,' (ed. Churton,) vol.
i. pp. 402-5.



APPENDIX C.

(p. 71.)

[_The Bible an instrument of Man's probation._]


"Multa enim _propter exercendas rationales mentes_ figurata et obscure
posita."--Aug. _De Unit. Eccl._ c. v.--"Obscuritates Divinarum
Scripturarum quas _exercitationis nostræ causâ_ DEUS esse voluit."--_Id.
Ep. lix. ad Paulinum_, tom. ii. p. 117.

"The evidence of Religion not appearing obvious, may constitute one
particular part of some men's trial, in the religious sense: as it gives
scope, for a virtuous exercise, or vicious neglect of their
understanding, in examining or not examining into that evidence. There
seems no possible reason to be given, why we may not be in a state of
moral probation, with regard to the exercise of our understanding upon
the subject of Religion, as we are with regard to our behaviour in
common affairs. The former is as much a thing within our power and
choice as the latter."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Nor does there appear any absurdity in supposing, that the speculative
difficulties, in which the evidence of Religion is involved, may make
even the principal part of some persons' trial. For as the chief
temptations of the generality of the world are the ordinary motives to
injustice or unrestrained pleasure; or to live in the neglect of
Religion from that frame of mind, which renders many persons almost
without feeling as to any thing distant, or which is not the object of
their senses: so there are other persons without this shallowness of
temper, persons of a deeper sense as to what is invisible and future;
who not only see, but have a general practical feeling, that what is to
come will be present, and that things are not less real for their not
being the objects of sense; and who, from their natural constitution of
body and of temper, and from their external condition, may have small
temptations to behave ill, small difficulty in behaving well, in the
common course of life. Now when these latter persons have a distinct
full conviction of the truth of Religion, without any possible doubts or
difficulties, the practice of it is to them unavoidable, unless they
will do a constant violence to their own minds; and religion is scarce
any more a discipline to them, than it is to creatures in a state of
perfection. Yet these persons may possibly stand in need of moral
discipline and exercise in a higher degree, than they would have by such
an easy practice of religion. Or it may be requisite for reasons unknown
to us, that they should give some further manifestation what is their
moral character, to the creation of GOD, than such a practice of it
would be. Thus in the great variety of religious situations in which men
are placed, what constitutes, what chiefly and peculiarly constitutes,
the probation, in all senses, of some persons, may be the difficulties
in which the evidence of religion is involved: and their principal and
distinguished trial may be, how they will behave under and with respect
to these difficulties."--BISHOP BUTLER's _Analogy_, P. II. ch. vi. (ed.
1833,) p. 266. and pp. 274-5.

Further on, (p. 277,) Butler has the following note:--

"Dan. xii. 10. See also Is. xxix. 13, 14: St. Matth. vi. 23, and xi. 25,
and xiii. 11, 12. St. John iii. 19, and v. 44: 1 Cor. ii. 14, and 2 Cor.
iv. 4: 2 Tim. iii. 13; and that affectionate as well as authoritative
admonition, so very many times inculcated, 'He that hath ears to hear
let him hear.' Grotius saw so strongly the thing intended in these and
other passages of Scripture of the like sense, as to say, that the proof
given us of Christianity was less than it might have been for this very
purpose: 'Ut ita sermo Evangelii tanquam lapis esset Lydius ad quem
ingenia sanabilia explorarentur.' (_De Verit. R. C._ lib. ii. towards
the end.)"



APPENDIX D. (p. 72.)

[_St. Stephen's Statement in Acts vii. 15, 16, explained._]


In a work like the present which purports to deal solely with the
grander features of INSPIRATION and INTERPRETATION, it is clearly
impossible to enter systematically into details of any kind. If, here
and there, something like minuteness has been attempted[648], it has
only been by way of sample of what one would fain have done,--of what
one would fain do,--time and place and occasion serving. In the same
spirit I will add a few remarks on the famous passage in Acts vii. 15,
16; for, confessedly, to a common eye it _seems_ to contain several
erroneous statements. The words, as they stand in our English Bible, are
these:--

"So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our Fathers; and were
carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought
for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor _the father_ of Sychem."

For obvious reasons, it will be convenient to have under our eyes, at
the same time, the original of the passage:--

Κατέβη δὲ Ἰακὼβ εἰς Αἴγυπτον, καὶ ἐτελεύτησεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ πατέρες
ἡμῶν· καὶ μετετέθησαν εἰς Συχὲμ, καὶ ἐτέθησαν ἐν τῷ μνήματι ὃ
ὠνήσατο Ἀβραὰμ τιμῆς ἀργυρίου, παρὰ τῶν υἱῶν Ἐμμὸρ τοῦ Συχέμ.

On this, Dr. Alford, Dean of Canterbury, delivers himself as follows:--

"There is certainly, and that not dependent upon any Rabbinical or
Jewish views of the subject, an inaccuracy in Stephen's statement: for
the burying-place was not at Sychem which Abraham bought, but at Hebron,
and it was bought of Ephron the Hittite, as you will find in the 23rd of
Genesis from the 7th to the 20th verses. It is not worth while for us
now to read the account, but so it is: Abraham bought a field at Hebron
of Ephron the Hittite. There is no mention at all made of its being for
a burying-place. But it was Jacob who bought a field near Shechem 'of
the children of Hamor, Shechem's father.' These two incidents, then, in
this case are confused together. And again I say, if it is necessary to
say it again, that there is no reason at all for us to be ashamed of
such a statement--no reason for us to be afraid of it, or in any way
staggered at it. It was not Stephen's purpose to give an accurate
history of the children of Israel, but to derive results from that
history, which remain irrefragable, whatever the details which he
alleged."--_Homilies on the former part of the Acts of the Apostles_, by
Henry Alford, B.D., Dean of Canterbury, London, 1858, p. 219.

A northern Professor, (Patrick Fairbairn, D.D., Principal and Professor
of Divinity in the Free Church College, Glasgow,) also writes as
follows:--

"Now, there can be no doubt, that viewing the matter critically and
historically, there _are_ inaccuracies in this statement; for we know
from the records of Old Testament history, that Jacob's body was not
laid in a sepulchre at Sychem, but in the cave of Machpelah at
Hebron;--we know also that the field, which was bought of the sons of
Emmor, or the children of Hamor (as they are called in Gen. xxxiii. 19),
the father of Sichem, was bought, not by Abraham, but by
Jacob."--_Hermeneutical Manual, or Introduction to the Exegetical Study
of the Scriptures of the New Testament_, &c. Edinburgh, 1858, p. 101.

Now when it is considered that the speaker here was St. Stephen,--a man
who is said to have been "full of the HOLY GHOST," so that "no one could
resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake," (Acts vi. 3, 5, 8,
10.)--there is evidently the greatest _primâ facie_ unreasonableness in
so handling his words. But let the adverse criticism be submitted to the
test of a searching analysis; and how transparently fallacious is it
found to be!

First, we have to ascertain the _meaning_ of the passage. And it is
evident to every one having an ordinary acquaintance with Greek, that
the words Ἐμμὸρ τοῦ Συχὲμ _cannot_ mean "Emmor _the father_ of
Sychem." This is a mere mistranslation, as the invariable usage of the
New Testament shews. The genitive denotes _dependent_ relation. The
Vulgate rightly supplies the word "filii;" and there can be no doubt
whatever that what St. Stephen says, is, that Abraham bought the
burial-place "of the sons of Emmor, _the son_ of Sychem."

Next, it is evident that "our Fathers," (οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν,) _exclusive
of Jacob_, form the nominative to the verb "were carried over"
(μετετέθησαν.) In English, the place ought to be exhibited as
follows:--"he and our Fathers; and _they_ were carried." But, in truth,
the idiom of the original is so easy, to one familiar with the manner of
the sacred writers[649]; and the historical fact so exceedingly obvious;
that it must have been felt by St. Luke, in recording St. Stephen's
words, that greater minuteness of statement was quite needless. Who
remembers not the affecting details of where Jacob was to be buried, as
well as the circumstantial narrative of whither his sons conveyed his
bones[650]? _Who_ remembers not also that the bones of Joseph, (and, as
we learn from this place, the rest with him,) were carried up out of
Egypt by the children of Israel, at the Exode[651]?

_Where_ then is the supposed difficulty? Moses relates (in Gen. xxiii.)
that Abraham bought of Ephron the Hittite, the son of Zohar, the field
and the cave of Machpelah: and says that Machpelah was before Mamre,
otherwise called Kirjath-Arba, and Hebron. St. Stephen further relates
that Abraham bought the sepulchre at Sychem in which the Twelve
Patriarchs were eventually buried, of the sons of Emmor, (or Hamor.)
May not the same man buy two estates?

True enough it is that Jacob, when he came from Padan Aram, "bought a
parcel of a field" at "Shalem a city of Shechem," "at the hand of the
children of Hamor, Shechem's father." But there is no pretence for
saying that these last two transactions are identical, and have been
here confused together: for the sellers, in the one case, were "the sons
of Emmor, _the son_ of Sychem;" and in the other, "the children of
Hamor,"--_father of that Shechem whose tragic end is related in Gen.
xxxiv._: while the buyer was in the one case, Abraham; in the other case,
Jacob. Not to be tedious however, let me in a few words, state what was
the evident truth of the present History.

It is found that Jacob, in order to build an altar at Shechem with
security, judged it expedient to purchase the field whereon it should
stand. Who can doubt that the purchase was a measure of necessity also?
If, at the present day, one desired to erect a church on some spot in
India, where the value of land was fully ascertained[652], and where
there were many inhabitants[653],--how would it be possible to set about
the work, with the remotest purpose of retaining possession, unless one
first _bought_ the ground on which the structure was to stand? I infer
that when Abraham first halted at Sichem[654], and built an altar
there[655], (the Canaanite being then in the land,) _it is very likely_
that _he_ bought the ground also. But when St. Stephen informs me that
the thing which _I_ think only _probable_, was _a matter of fact_; am I,
(with Dean Alford,) to hesitate about believing him? Abraham then, in
the first instance, bought Sichem, Shechem, or Sychar; and there built
an altar. To that same spot, long after, his grandson Jacob resorted.
What wonder, since the wells of Abraham were stopped during his
absence, and had to be recovered by his son, (as related in Gen. xxvi.
17-22,)--what wonder, I say, if Jacob, on coming to Shechem after an
interval of nearly 200 years, finds that he also must renew the purchase
of the cherished possession? The importance of that locality, and the
sacred interest attaching to it, has been explained in a _Plain
Commentary on the Gospels_, on St. John iv. 1-6, and 41. See also a
Sermon by the same author,--_One Soweth and another Reapeth_.

FOOTNOTES:

[648] As in the case of the healing of the two blind men at Jericho,
(p. 67.): 'Jeremy the Prophet,' (p. 70.): the type of Melchizedek,
(pp. 152-6.): a passage in Deut. xxx. (pp. 191-5.): the conduct of Jael,
(pp. 223-230.): &c., &c.

[649] The nominative has, in like manner, to be supplied in the
following places:--Gen. xlviii. 10. Exod. iv. 26: xxxiv. 28. Deut. xxxi.
23. 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. 1 Kings xxii. 19. 2 Kings xix. 24, 25. Job xxxv. 15.
Jer. xxxvi. 23.--St. Matth. xix. 5. St. Mark xv. 46. St. John viii. 44:
xix. 5: xxi. 15-17. Acts xiii. 29. Eph. iv. 8. Col. ii. 14, &c., &c.

[650] Gen. xlix. 29-32; l. 5-13.

[651] Ibid l. 25. Exod. xiii. 19. Josh. xxiv. 32.

[652] Gen. xxiii. 15.

[653] Ibid. xxiii. 10 to 12, 18.

[654] Ibid. xiii. 7.

[655] Ibid. xiii. 7.



APPENDIX E.

(p. 74.)

[_The simplest view of Inspiration the truest and the best._]


"I suppose all thoughtful persons will allow that intellectual
licentiousness is the danger of this our intellectual age. For
speculation indulges our pride. Faith is an inglorious thing; any one
can believe, a cottager just as well as a philosopher: but not all can
speculate. The privilege of an intellectually advanced person is that.
And the more novel the view he offers, the more evident the proof it
gives of an independent mind. Therefore the danger of a highly advanced
state of society like our own, is Theory, as distinguished from Catholic
Truth. And the most inviting field of theory, is that high subject, the
intercourse which hath gone on between the Intellect above us, and our
own; the communications which have been made from the Creator to His
creatures. In a word, man is under a temptation to frame a theory of
Inspiration; whether his attempts to frame one have been successful, is
a matter of much interest to consider.

"I am going to offer a few plain remarks on what the Bible professes to
be. I say, professes to be, because those whom I speak to will believe
that what it professes to be, it is. I mean they will not suspect the
writers of any dishonesty or ambitious pretence. But there may be some
readers of the Bible, among persons whose profession is the exercise of
the intellect, who are impatient at being left behind in the
intellectual race; who, when continental critics are going on into
theories of inspiration, do not like the imputation (so freely cast upon
us by foreign writers) of being unequal to such things, of having no
turn for philosophy. So they must have a theory, or go along with one;
they must receive the Bible,--for they do receive it,--in some
intellectual way; through some lens which they hold up; with a
consciousness of some intellectual action in receiving it, something
which not every one could practise, something beyond the mere simple
apprehension of terms, and simple faith in embracing propositions.

"But in striking contrast with all such views and all such desires,
stands the singular character of the sacred volume itself. It manifestly
addresses itself to a mind in an attitude of much simplicity; to a mind
coming to receive a theory, not to hold up one; coming to be shaped, not
holding out a mould to shape a communication made. For it presents
itself as a document containing a message from on high; as conveying the
Word of GOD; nor can all that is ever said on the subject get beyond
this plain account of its contents, 'the Word of GOD.' Nor need any one
who desires to impress on his own mind and that of others the true
character of the sacred page, try to do more than to remind himself that
it professes to convey to him the Word of GOD."--_Sermons_ by the Rev.
C. P. Eden, pp. 148-150.

"What I desire to impress upon myself and those who hear me is this,
that the words of GOD are always perfect, always complete; and that the
feeling with which a poor cottager sits down to his Bible is the right
one, and that the student hath the best hope of successful study who in
attitude of mind is most likened to him."--_Ibid._, p. 192.

"The conclusion, then, is this; that Faith hath not been wrong through
these many years, in her simple acceptance of GOD'S Word. To come round
to simplicity, is what we have always had to do in the great questions
of Divinity. There have been great questions; they have agitated the
Church; but, as I said, to come round to simplicity hath ever been her
work first or last. When in the fourth century men refined upon the
doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and Arians and semi-Arians would be
telling us _how_ these things could be, the unity of GOD in three
Persons; to come round to the simplicity of the Athanasian doctrine, and
to disown the several explanatory statements which, offering to explain,
explained away, was the Church's work. I am not sure that since the
clays of the Arian dispute, a more important question has arisen than
that which seems likely to be ere long forcing itself upon us, of the
Inspiration of Holy Writ. I freely permit myself to anticipate that the
simplest possible view of the subject, that on which rich and poor may
meet together, is the one to which we shall come round."--_Ibid._,
pp. 172-3.



APPENDIX F.

(p. 107.)

[_The written and the Incarnate Word._]


"I suppose we all have learned from the language used by the Evangelist
St. John, always to look on each of these two employments of the
expression, (the WORD OF GOD,) with reference to the other; and to see
in each, the other also. I shall not attempt to express more definitely
this connexion; I only need to suppose that we all apprehend it as
existing. But I shall claim from it thus much to my present
purpose;--that as He whom the Evangelist saw riding in the heavenly pomp
on high, and who was revealed to him as bearing this title, 'The WORD of
GOD[656],' was the same who rode as at this time into Jerusalem; in
humiliation here, in glory there; here veiled, there in brightness
unveiled:--I would now associate the two, and would regard that sacred
volume which the poor cottager knows as the 'Word of GOD,' as placed
under the same dispensation; as veiled here, reserved for Revelation
hereafter. I say, as all the other circumstances of our condition are
certainly to be regarded in this aspect, viz., as things waiting for
development; so ordered by a Divine wisdom as that they shall sustain
faith and instruct piety now, but shall shew themselves for what they
are, (if ever to a created being, yet) only in a later stage than that
to which they were given as its present religious provision: as other
things, so the written page (I will assume) which speaks of GOD. I
assume that in this world we are using sounds which mean more than we
know. I assume that in our churches we are in the highest sense singing
the songs of Sion, of the future and heavenly Sion. If Saints in Heaven
shall sing (as we are told they shall) the song of Moses, then the song
of Moses is already a song for Heaven; only _there_ we shall know its
meaning, or more of it than now we do. And the use which I make of the
reflection is, to suggest (as I said) the frame of mind in which we
should approach the consideration of the sacred page; such a frame of
mind as that no future revelations of the import of that page shall have
power to reproach us as having dishonoured it by our interpretations
here, and having betrayed an inadequate feeling of what Inspiration
was."--_Sermons_, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 180-2.

FOOTNOTES:

[656] Rev. xix. 13.



APPENDIX G.

(p. 112.)

[_The volume of the Old Testament Scriptures, indivisible._]


"In regard of the Old Testament, it will be observed that the whole
volume stands or falls altogether. In whatever sense we understand the
falling or standing, the volume stands or falls together. Each page of
it is committed to the credit of the rest, and the whole book or
collection of books is committed to the credit of each page. For this
plain reason, that the book as we have it, is the book which, being
known in the Jewish Church as the volume of her authentic and sacred
Scriptures, our blessed SAVIOUR accepted and referred to as such. By
whatever marks the canonicity of the several books was in the first
instance attested,--marks which were sufficient for GOD'S purpose, and
which did His work,--_there_ is the volume. 'It is written,' said our
SAVIOUR; that is, in a book which all His nation knew of, and understood
to be inspired. The scrupulous care which the Jews shewed in preserving
their sacred writings intact, is one of the most remarkable facts in
history; it is a fact of which the Christian student can give perhaps
the right account, seeing it to have been so ordered in the good
providence of GOD, that we might have firm ground in calling the book,
as we have it, the Word of GOD. The volume stands or falls then
together; which we may with advantage bear in mind, because it makes an
argument which is available for any portion of the volume, available for
the whole; and no one can now say, 'You do not surely hold the
genealogies in the books of Chronicles, to be inspired: Isaiah and the
Psalms may be inspired; but do you mean the same of the long extracts
from mere annals?' No man, I say, can take this freedom, until he can
extract and remove those chapters from the book which our blessed
SAVIOUR unquestionably referred to as the canonical Scriptures of the
Church. If a verse stands, the Old Testament stands."--_Sermons_, by the
Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 152-3.



APPENDIX H.

(p. 115.)

(Some remarks had been partially prepared for insertion in this place,
on Theories of Inspiration: but my volume has already been delayed too
long, and has extended to a greater length than was originally
contemplated. The paper in question is therefore reserved for the
present.)



APPENDIX I.

(p. 117.)

[_Remarks on Theories of Inspiration.--The 'Human Element_.']


"It will be allowed by all persons accustomed to a calm and charitable
view of Theological differences, that in those differences there is
generally on each side some great truth wrongly held, because taken out
of its due place, and wrongly set. Applying this topic to the subject
before us, we are led to consider whether a mistake has not been made in
bringing forward the Human Element of Inspiration, instead of permitting
the eye to rest upon that which GOD presents to us,--the Divine. The
Human Element no doubt is there; no doubt our Maker acts through our
faculties in every respect; no doubt He is acting through laws when He
seems to suspend laws; and even in Miracles, employs the powers of
Nature instead of thwarting them; but then this is His machinery, which
He has not explained to us. He presents Himself to us, acting sometimes
supernaturally; i.e. in a way above nature as we understand nature. He
made the Sun to stand still for Joshua; what refractive cloud came in
and held the daylight that it should not go down is not made known to
us; GOD said that it should stay, and it stayed; there was the miracle.
To have set the Creation going two thousand years before in such a way
and train that in that hour a cloud should rise to refract the sun's
rays for a time, because in that hour the LORD's armies would need the
interference, the prolonging of the daylight,--that was miracle enough.
We say not that GOD interrupts His own laws; nay, rather we believe that
He hath them always in smooth and orderly operation. Similarly of
Inspiration; we know not the way in which GOD acts on human minds, the
Spirit on the spirit; for He hath not told us. But, as I said in the
beginning, in an age like the present, where analysis of process is the
work of men's minds, the way in which man is feeling his strength in
every direction, it is not very unnatural that the operations of this
philosophy should have been carried beyond their due line; into the
subject, namely, of the secret communication between the Divine Spirit,
and the spirit and apprehensions of Men, i.e. the Work of Inspiration.
To accept the Bible as the word of GOD, just as a cottager or a child in
a village school accepts it, is an inglorious thing. He whose intellect
is his instrument, that which he is to work with, wishes to feel his
intellect operating on any subject which he has to meet. He feels a
desire, in apprehending a thing as done, to have as part of his
apprehension, a view of how it is done, more or less. It is natural to
him to take what he feels to be an intelligent view of a subject. In
accepting the Bible therefore as the Word of GOD, he must have a view as
to _how_ it is the Word of GOD; the nature of the illapse which the
Spirit from on high makes on the spirit and faculties of the man. In a
word, he would get between the Creator, and man to whom the Creator
speaks; and _there_ would make his observations. But how little
encouragement have we to do this in the Word of GOD! When GOD sent
prophets to speak to men, to convey a message to them from their Maker,
or when He tells Apostles to speak to us, doth He invite us to come
within the veil with our philosophy, and examine? I shall offend the
piety of those who hear me by pursuing the thought. But I cannot but
think that something of this kind has been done by those who have
presented us with theories of Inspiration, setting forth to us that
which it cannot be shewn that GOD hath set forth to them, or to any one.
Yes, they are right; our Creator makes use of our faculties; and when He
hath given to one man faculties different from those given to another,
faculties of whatever kind, of intellectual power or of moral
temperament, He employs them all. Hath He a message of Love? He employs
a St. John to utter it, and to prolong the delightful note. Hath He a
message of freedom, that liberty wherewith CHRIST hath made us free? He
hath a Paul ready to accept and to fulfil the congenial errand. But GOD
speaks, not man; and they who would have us be dwelling on the Human
Element, when GOD invites us to be lost in the Divine, are doing not
well. Yes, GOD employs all our faculties: He hath made us different, as
He made the flowers of the field different, and Christianity shews us
why He hath so made us; because He hath a work for each of us to do,--a
work which none else could do so well. Doubtless He employs all our
faculties, doing violence to none. This doubtless is His glory, that He
can bring about His results by the means which He Himself hath made. Who
has not felt, in reading some sacred narrative, the history, e.g. of
Joseph, that the wonderful part of it was this, how naturally all came
about,--all by natural operation of human motives and man's free will?
So in Inspiration. No doubt GOD's instruments which He hath made are
enough for His work; no doubt He employs men as they are; not their
tongues only, but their minds and spirits, acting on them and employing
them as they are. Only in that great process, the point which I call
attention to is this,--GOD speaks of it as divine, and fixes the thought
of those who hear Him on the divine element: we, dropping our view on
the human, are not wise. He shews us providence; He condescends to shew
us His work: we do not well when we shew an interest rather in lower
parts of the scheme, especially when in those we may so greatly err,
having so little information."--_Sermons_, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp.
164-170.



APPENDIX J.

(p. 145.)

[_How the Inspired authors of the New Testament handle the writings of
the Inspired authors of the Old._]


"Let me repeat:--The question is, how we should address ourselves to the
study of the sacred page? For example, how am I to regard, and how to
deal with, the great diversities there are between the several sacred
writers? For there is the greatest diversity of mind appearing between
them. St. Paul is no more the same with St. John, than any two good men
now are perfectly alike in their constitution of mind. Nay, the
diversity seems especially great in the case of the sacred writers: as
if to forbid us to adopt any theory which should ignore or neglect that
diversity. It is striking. How shall I deal with these and like
circumstances?... Can it be suggested to me what a good and wise man
would do in this matter?

"In answer; it can apparently be suggested; and through that which is
the best and safest of arguments, the argument from analogy. For there
has been a parallel case; the case of the _inspired writers of the New
Testament dealing with the Scriptures of the Old_. To this parallel I
now invite your attention. If we can observe how and upon what great
principles, piety and wisdom, guided by Inspiration, dealt with the
volume of the Holy Scriptures which were then its whole volume, namely
the Old Testament; we have so far forth a parallel case to the case of
Christians now. The first Christians looked back on the Old Testament as
their sacred Scriptures. If we can discern how they regarded their
sacred volume, and how they proceeded in interpreting it, we have a
pattern to guide us in regard of the question, how we shall regard the
sacred volume, and how proceed in the study and interpretation of it;
they with the Bible that they had,--we with the Bible that we have, the
completed volume.--In this point of view I cannot but regard it as most
distinctly providential that there are introduced in the pages of the
New Testament so many quotations from the pages of the Old. For they
furnish us with an answer applicable in every age of the Church to the
question, How shall piety and wisdom deal with a sacred volume; that
volume being from the pen of many writers; but with this aggravated
difficulty in the former case, that the writers there were widely
separated from one another in point of time, were in contact therefore
with most difficult forms of life and stages of society? How in
approaching a volume so originated, did the New Testament writers regard
and deal with its contents?"--_Sermons_, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp.
183-5.

"And it is impossible for us to imagine,--I say the thoughtful reader of
the Holy Scriptures will find it impossible to imagine,--an Evangelist
or Apostle, evoking out of its grave the Human Element of the ancient
prophetic communications; disinterring it once more as if to gaze upon
it. I am sure the impression left on the mind by the passages in the New
Testament where the Old is referred to, is in accordance with what I
say. In other words,--(for it is but in other words the same,)--these
divinely instructed students,--these inspired readers of the sacred
page,--are aware of that which they read, being inspired; GOD its
author, and not Man. And they shew this consciousness, putting off their
shoes from their feet, as if on holy ground. A divinely instructed mind,
interprets a divinely indited Scripture; the Spirit His own interpreter;
and we are taught,--not by man but by the Author of Inspiration,--how
Inspiration is to be dealt with.--Let him who would deal aright with the
sacred pages of the New Covenant, observe in due seriousness what
instruction he may gain from the consideration now suggested to his
thoughts. Let him learn from the sacred page, how to deal with the
sacred page. And if he has observed these things; if he has seen how the
writers of the New Testament, discern in lines and words of the Old
Testament, that which speaks to _them_,--(for it speaks to CHRIST, and
in Him to His Church, i.e. to them:) ... how these utterers of
inspired sounds are found, when their words receive at length an
authentic interpretation, to have been speaking of the Christian Church,
its terms of Salvation, its spiritual gifts;--a reader of the Holy
Scriptures practised in these observations will have learned in some
measure _how_ to approach the sacred volume; with a sense not only of
its unfathomed depth, but also of its unity of scope; and a conscious
interest rather in its universal truths,--its ever present truths,--than
in those transitory imports which some of its pages can be shewn to have
had, over and above their Evangelical meaning."--(_Ibid._, pp. 186-9.)



APPENDIX K.

(p. 199.)

[_Bishop Bull on Deut._ xxx.]


"Jam hic etiam quæstionem unam et alteram solvendam
exhibebimus.--Quæritur, _An nullum omnino extet in lege Mosis SPIRITUS
SANCTI promissum?_ Resp. Legem, si per eam intelligas pactum in monte
Sinai factum, et mediatore Mose populo Israelitico datum, (quæ, ut modo
diximus, est maxime propria ac genuina ipsius in Paulinis Epistolis
notio atque acceptio,) nullum Spiritus Sancti promissum continere,
manifestum est. Si, inquam, per eam intelligas pactum in Sinai factum;
quia in hagiographis et Scriptis Propheticis, (quæ nomine legis et
Veteris Test. laxius sumpto non raro veniunt,) de SPIRITU SANCTO, tum ex
gratiâ Divinâ promisso, tum precibus hominum impetrato, passim legimus.
Imo et in Mosaicis scriptis, licet non in ipso Mosaico foedere,
promissum (ni fallor) satis clarum de gratia SPIRITUS SANCTI Israelitis
a DEO danda reperire est.

"Ejusmodi certe est illud Deut. xxx. 6: 'Circumcidet JEHOVA DEUS tuus
animam tuam et animam seminis tui, ad diligendum Jehovam Deum tuum ex
toto corde tuo,' &c. Etenim circumcisionem cordis, præsertim ejusmodi
quâ ad DEUM toto corde diligendum homines præparentur, non sine magna
SPIRITUS SANCTI vi atque efficacia fieri posse, apud omnes, qui a
Pelagio diversum sentiunt, in confesso est. Sed hoc etiam ad Evangelicam
Justitiam pertinebat, quam sub cortice externorum rituum et ceremoniarum
latitantem primum Moses ipse, dein prophetæ alii, digito quasi
commonstrarunt. Justitia enim Fidei, quæ in evangelio πεφανέρωται
olim erat ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν μαρτυρουμένη,--ut diserte
affirmat Apostolus. (Rom. iii. 21.) Dixi autem, exerte hanc SPIRITUS
SANCTI promissionem in ipso Mosaico foedere non haberi. Addam aliquid
amplius,--_partem eam fuisse Novi Testamenti_, ab ipso Mose promulgati.
Nam foedus cum Judæis sancitum, (Deut. xxix., _et seq._, in quo hæc
verba reperiuntur,) plane diversum fuisse a foedere in monto Sinai
facto, adeoque renovationem continuisse pacti cum Abrahamo initi, h. e.
foederis Evangelici tum temporis obscurius revelati,--multis
argumentis demonstrari potest. (1º) Diserte dicitur, (cap. xxix. 1.)
verba, quæ ibidem sequuntur, fuisse 'verba foederis quod DEUS præcepit
Mosi, ut pangeret cum Israelitis, _præter foedus illud, quod pepigerat
cum illis in Chorebo_.' Qui renovationem tantum hic intelligunt
foederis in monte Sinai facti, nugas agunt, quin et textûs ipsius
apertissimis verbis contradicunt. Neque enim verba foederis in Sinai
facti repetita ac renovata ullo sensu dici possunt verba foederis,
quod DEUS sancivit præter illud, quod in monte Sinai pepigerat. (2º)
Diserte dicitur, hoc foedus idem prorsus fuisse cum eo, quod DEUS
juramento sanciverat cum Israelitici populi majoribus, Abrahamo puta,
Isaaco et Jacobo, (ejusdem cap. ver. 12, 13,)--quod foedus ipsum
Evangelicum fuit, obscurius revelatum, ipso apostolo Paulo interprete,
Gal. iii. 16, 17. (3º) Nonnulla hujus foederis verba citat Paulus, ut
verba foederis Evangelici, quæ fidei justitiam manifesto præ se
ferant. (Vide Rom. x. 6. _et seq._ Coll. Deut. xxx. 11, _et seq._) _Haud
me fugit esse nonnullos, qui statuunt, hæc Mosis verba ab Apostolo ad
fidei justitiam per allusionem tantum accommodari_: sed fidem non
faciunt, cum Paulus verba ista manifesto alleget ut ipsissima verba
justitiæ fidei, h. e. foederis Evangelici, in quo justitia ista
revelatur. _Atque, ut verum fatear, semper existimavi, allusiones istas
(ad quas confugiunt quidam tanquam ad sacrum suæ ignorantiæ asylum,)
plerumque aliud nihil esse, quam sacræ Scripturæ abusiones manifestas._
Sed non necesse erat, hoc saltem in loco, ut tali κρησφυγέτῳ
uterentur. Nam, (4º) quæcunque in hoc foedere continentur, in
Evangelium mire quadrant. (i.) Quod ad præcepta attinet, præscribuntur
hic ea tantum, quæ ad mores pertinent, et per se honesta sunt; illorum
rituum, qui, si verba spectes, pueriles videri possent, quorumque totum
foedus legale fere plenum est, nulla facta mentione. Addas, totam
illam obedientiam, quæ hic requiritur, ad sincerum sedulumque studium
Deo in omnibus obediendi referri. (Vid. cap. xxx., 10, 16, 20.) (ii.) Ad
promissa quod spectat, plenam hic omnium peccatorum, etiam
gravissimorum, remissionem post peractam poenitentiam repromittit
DEUS; (cap. xxx., 1-4.) quæ gratia in foedere legali nuspiam concessa
est, ut supra fusius ostendimus. Deinde, gratia SPIRITUS SANCTI, qua
corda hominum circumcidantur, ut JEHOVAM diligant ex toto corde atque ex
tota anima, hoc in loco, de quo agimus, (nempe prædicti capitis ver 6.)
clare promittitur. Hui! quam procul ab usitata Mosaicorum scriptorum
vena!... (5º) Foedus illud, de quo prædixit Jeremias, (xxxi. 31. _et
seq._) foedus esse Evangelicum, negavit Christianus nemo; cum Divinus
auctor Epistolæ ad Hebræos idipsum expresse doceat, (viii. 8, _et seq._)
Jam quæ de pacto isto prænuntiat propheta, omnia huic foederi
Moabitico ad amussim respondent. Appellat suum foedus Jeremias
'foedus novum; ab eo, quod cum majoribus populi Israelitici Ægypto
exeuntibus pepigerat DEUS, omnino diversum.' Idem etiam de Moabitico
foedere dicit Moses. Causam reddit Jeremias cur novum DEUS pactum,
Sinaiticum aboliturus, molitus fuerit; nempe, quod Israelitæ,
præpotentiore gratia destituti, Sinaiticum illud irritum fecissent,
præceptis ejusdem non obtemperando, (ver. 32.) Eandem causam et Moses
manifesto designat; 'Nondum,' inquit, 'dederat vobis JEHOVA mentem ad
cognoscendum, et oculos ad videndum, et aures ad audiendum, usque ad
diem hunc:' (Deut. xxix. 4.) h. d. Pactum prius vobiscum pepigerat DEUS,
in quo voluntatem suam præceptis, tum promissis tum minis, tum denique
miraculis omne genus satis superque communitis, vobis ipsis patefecerat.
Sed vidit foedus illud parum vobis profuisse; vidit vobis opus esse
efficaciore adhuc gratia, qua nempe corda vestra circumcidantur, &c.
ideoque novum foedus meditatur, in quo gratiam illam efficacissimam
vobis adstipulaturus sit. Eandem autem cordis circumcisionem procul
dubio designant verba Jeremiæ, v. 33, præd. cap.; 'Indam legem meam
menti eorum, et cordi eorum inscribam eam.' Porro remissio ista omnium
peccatorum, quæ poenitentibus promittitur a Mose, (Deut. xxx. 1. _et
seq._) a Jeremiâ etiam clare exprimitur prædicti cap. ver 34. 'Ero
propitius iniquitatibus eorum, et peccatorum ipsorum et transgressionum
ipsorum non recordabor amplius.' Denique Jeremias claritatem ostendit
adeoque facilitatem præceptorum, quæ in novo suo foedere
continebantur, ob quam Dei populo non opus esset laboriosa
disquisitione, aut exactiori disciplina, ut præcepta istius foederis
cognoscerent implerentque, (Ejusdem capitis, ver. 34.) Idem Mosen quoque
voluisse manifestum erit, (si verba ejus Deut. xxx. 11, _et seq._ cum
iis, quæ Apostolus ad eundem locum disserit Rom. x. 6, et seq.
accuratius perpenderis.) Mihi certe clara videntur omnia. (6º) Ac
postremo, ut res hæc tota extra omnem controversiæ aleam ponatur,
_ipsi Hebræorum magistri ea, quæ Deut. xxix. et deinceps continentur, ad
Messiæ tempus omnino referenda censuerunt_. Testem advoco fide
dignissimum P. Fagium, qui (ad Deut. xxx. 11,) hæc annotat; 'Diligentur
observandum est, ex consensu Hebræorum caput hoc ad regnum Christi
pertinere. Unde etiam Bachai dicit, hoc loco promissionem esse, quod sub
Rege Messiah omnibus, qui de foedere sunt, circumcisio cordis
contingat, citans Joelem, ii. 28.' Fagio consentit Grotius in ejusdem
capitis ver. 6.

"In his ideo prolixius immorati sumus, tum, ut vel hinc manifestum
fieret, omnia, quæ in Mosaicis scriptis continentur, ad foedus
Mosaicum, proprie sic dictum, nequaquam pertinere; adeoque quam vera ac
prorsus necessaria sit distinctio Augustini, (de qua aliquoties jam
dictum est,) legem veterem κυρίως sumptam ad solum pactum in monte
Sinai factum restringentis; tum imprimis ut exinde etiam clare eluceret
optima ac sapientissima DEI οἰκονομία, quam in dispensando gratiæ suæ
foedere usurpare visum ipsi fuerit. Pepigerat DEUS cum Abrahamo
foedus illud gratiosum multis ante latam legem annis; cui postea
placuit ipsi superaddere pactum aliud, multis, iisque operosis, ritibus
ac ceremoniis conflatum, quibus rudem et carnalem Abrahami posteritatem,
recens ex Ægypto eductam, adeoque paganicis ritibus ac superstitionibus
nimis addictam, in officio contineret, i.e. ab ethnicorum idololatrico
cultu arceret. Quod optime expressit Tertullianus (adversus Marcion. 2.)
his verbis: 'Sacrificiorum onera, et operationum et oblationum
negotiosas scrupulositates nemo rcprehendat, quasi DEUS talia proprie
sibi desideraverit, qui tam manifeste exclamat, "Quo mihi multitudinem
sacrificiorum vestrorum?" et, "Quis exquisivit ista de manibus vestris?"
sed illam DEI industriam sentiat, qua populum pronum in idololatriam et
transgressionem ejusmodi officiis religioni suæ voluit adstringere,
quibus superstitio sæculi agebatur, ut ab ea avocaret illos, sibi jubens
fieri quasi desideranti, ne simulacris faciendis delinqueret.' (Conf.
Gal. iii. 19.) Sed prævidens sapientissimus DEUS, fore, ut hoc ipsius
propositum populus obtusi pectoris non intelligeret, post latam istam
carnalem legem, præcepit Mosi, ut Israelitis novum foedus promulgaret,
seu potius ut vetus illud, cum Abrahamo ante multos annos initum, (quod
spiritualem imprimis justitiam exigebat, et gratia ac misericordia
plenum erat,) renovaret: ut hinc tandem cognoscerent Judæi, pactum
Abrahamiticum etiam post latam legem ritualem adhuc viguisse, adeoque
pro foedere habendum fuisse, cui unice salus ipsorum inniteretur.
(Conf. Gal. iii. 17.) ... Quis hic cum Apostolo non exclamet, Ὦ
βάθος πλούτου καὶ σοφίας καὶ γνώσεως Θεοῦ! (Rom. xi. 33.) Sed hæc
obiter, etsi haudquaquam frustra. Pergo."--From Bp. Bull's _Harmonia
Apostolica_, cap. xi., sect. 3.--_Works_, vol. iii. pp. 197-201.



APPENDIX L.

(p. 218.)

[_Opinions of Commentators concerning Accommodation._]


Cornelius à Lapide, on this place, writes us follows:--"Licet Cajetanus,
Adamus, Pererius, Toletus, putent Mosem ad litteram loqui de Christo et
Christi justitiâ, referunt enim hæc ejus verba ad poenitentiam, de qua
eodem capite egerat Moses, ver. 1; (Poenitentia enim et dilectio Dei,
ac consequenter peccatorum venia, ipsaque justitia sine fide Christi
haberi non potest;) tamen _longe planius est, ut non litteraliter, sed
allegorice tantum alludat Apostolus ad Mosem. Moses enim ad litteram,
sive in sensu litterati loquitur, non de Christo ejusque Evangelio, sed
de lege data Judæis, ut patet eum intuenti_. Ita Chrysostomus,
Theodoretus, Theophylactus, Oecumenius, Abulensis, Soto.... Hæc,
inquam verba, Mosem ad suos Judæos literaliter loqui planè certum,
evidens, et manifestum est; ita tamen ut eadem hæc ejus verba
_allegorice Evangelio ejusque catechumenis et fidelibus optime
conveniant_. Æque enim, immo magis, ad manum est omnibus jam Evangelium
et fides Christi, quam olim fuerit lex Mosis: ita ut fidem hanc omnes
facillime corde, id est mente, complecti: et ore proloqui, itaque
justificari et salvari possint."

Our own learned Hammond writes as follows:--"The two phrases of 'going
up into Heaven,' or 'descending into the deep,' are proverbial phrases
to signify the doing or attempting to do some hard, impossible thing....
These phrases had been of old used by Moses in this sense, Deut. xxx.
12." [And then, the place follows.] "Which words being used by Moses to
express the easiness and readiness of the way which the Jews had to know
their duty and to perform it, are here by the Apostle _accommodated_ to
express the easiness of the Gospel condition, above that of the Mosaical
Law."--So far Dr. Hammond; whose notion that there was any accommodation
here, I altogether deny. As for his belief that the paraphrase in the
Targum of Jerusalem, ["Utinam esset nobis aliquis Propheta, Jonæ
similis, qui in profundum maris magni descenderet,"] is the "ground of
St. Paul's application" of the place to the Death and Resurrection of
Christ, I can but feel surprised to find such a view advocated by so
learned a man, and so excellent a Divine. But it is not Hammond's way to
write thus. In his "Practical Catechism," he often expounds similar
Scripture, (e.g. St. Luke i. 72-5,) after a very lofty fashion.

Again:--"Hunc locum accommodavit ad causam suam B. Paulus, Rom. x. Nam
cum proprie hic locus pertineat ad Decalogum, transfertur eleganter et
erudite a Paulo ad fidem quæ os requirit ut promulgetur, et cor ut
corde credamus."--Fagius, ad Deut. xxx. 11, apud _Criticos Sacros_.

Occasionally, however, we meet with a directly different gloss:--

"Locum hunc divinus Paulus divine de Evangelica prædicatione ac sermone
fidei est interpretatus, tametsi sensum magis, ut æquum est, quam textum
ad verbum expresserit; ut illius etiam alibi est mos. Satis enim fuit,
atque adeo magis consentaneum viris Spiritu Dei plenis significare quid
idem Spiritus in Scriptura intelligi vellet."--Clavius, ad Deut. xxx.
14, apud _Criticos Sacros_.

Concerning the general principle of Accommodation, (as explained above,
p. 188,) the following passages present themselves as valuable.

"Men have suggested that these things were accommodations of the Sacred
Writers; and that the New Testament Writers, in the interpretations they
gave of passages in the Old, meant to say, that the texts _might_ be
applied in such way as they applied them. But the suggestors of this
view can hardly have considered carefully those conversations of our
Blessed SAVIOUR with His disciples going to Emmaus; and afterward in the
evening of the same day, in which He distinctly reprehends them for
their dulness of heart in not seeing in the pages of the Old Testament
the predictions of His Death and of His Resurrection; though, of His
Resurrection the intimations are, in those ancient Scriptures, to our
view so scanty and obscure. He unfolds to them as they walk the
reference of the Old Testament Scriptures to Himself. Then in a later
interview He resumes the instruction and 'opens their understanding,'
(it is said,) to discover the same; the relation of the Old Testament
Scriptures (namely) to Himself.--He is a bold Commentator who having
seen the Disciples thus instructed,--having witnessed this scene,--then,
when he meets with these same Disciples' interpretations of the ancient
Scriptures in relation to CHRIST, calls them 'Accommodations,' and gives
them to a human original. But I ask leave to turn from this
theory."--_Sermons_ by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 189--190.

"If we believe that the Apostles were inspired, then all idea of
accommodation must be renounced.... The theory of Accommodation, i.e. of
erroneous interpretation of the Scripture, cannot be thought of without
imputing error to the SPIRIT of Truth and Holiness; or to Him who sent
the SPIRIT to recal to the minds of the Apostles all things which He had
said to them, and to guide them into all Truth."--From a Sermon by Dr.
M'Caul, _The Hope of the Gospel the Hope of the Old Testament Saints_,
(1854,)--p. 8.


=ΔΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΛΟΓΟΝ ΤΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ.=.


_By the same Author_.

A PLAIN COMMENTARY ON THE FOUR HOLY GOSPELS. 7 vols. Fcap. 8vo.

NINETY SHORT SERMONS FOR FAMILY READING. 2 vols. Fcap. 8vo.

THE PORTRAIT OF A CHRISTIAN GENTLEMAN: A MEMOIR OF P. F. TYTLER, ESQ.
(2nd. Ed.) 1859. Crown 8vo.



Transcriber's Notes:

 * Italics and bold in the original have been represented by _..._ and
   $...$ respectively. Where Greek letters were used for enumeration,
   they are represented by =1=, =2=, =3= for the original alpha, beta,
   gamma etc. Increased letter-spacing in Greek (used for emphasis) has
   also been represented by _..._.
 * Footnotes have been renumbered to run from 1 through the book. Where
   there is reference to a particular footnote in the text, the original
   text has been left, but [our 330] inserted to advise what the reference
   now is.
 * The author's unusual punctuation style has been preserved, notably in
   the following respects.
   * Footnote markers appear before punctuation.
   * Punctuation appears before closing parentheses.
   * When a quotation is followed by a page reference, the page reference
     is normally followed by the same punctuation as the quotation ended
     with.
 * The use of hyphenation in the book was inconsistent. Where words were
   hyphenated at the end of a line, other examples in the text have been
   followed. Cases where there was some doubt were "pre-existing" (p. li),
    "co-extensive" (p. lxxvi), "frostwork" (p. cxxii), "overrule" (p. 20),
    and "twofold" (p. 38).
 * Roman numerals used for punctuation are sometimes followed by a period,
   sometimes not.
 * i.e., and e.g., have been standardised to have no space.
 * The following words are either archaic spellings or typographical
   errors and have been left as in the original. Those known to the
   transcriber as valid archaic spellings have been marked [*]
   * "Pourtrays/pourtrayed" (p. xxv),
   * "recal" for "recall" (p. xxviii and others)
   * "inuendo" (p. liv) [*]
   * "præ-Adamic" (p. cvii)
   * "Meanwile" (p. cxii)
   * "expence" (p. cxxxiii) [*]
   * "Poictiers" for "Poitiers" (p. cxlvi) [*]
   * "tenour" (p. ccvi)
   * "Analagy" (p. ccxv)
 * A printing error in the Greek was corrected: "Ἁποστόλων" in (our) footnote
  209 had the wrong breathing.





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