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whilst the learned Barrow and Whiston might have been cara ried away with rapture by the genius of their friend, as the young eagles on the wings of their parent, into the regions of boundless space. Yet there might have been lines which not even Barrow and Whiston fully comprehended. But what of it? This has nothing to do with the truth of the immortal work. Every one, who can, will say: “I will read the book for myself; its preface, its title, its first line, its last line,—all its theorems, whether easy or difficult, comprehended or not comprehended, are of the same author, and that is enough for me.” Such is the fact in relation to Theopneustia.
God, intending to cause his elect to know, from an eternal book, the principles of the divine philosophy, dictated its pages, during sixteen hundred years, to priests, to kings, to warriors, to shepherds, to tax-gatherers, to fishermen, to scribes, to tentmakers. And yet the first line, the middle line, the last line, the whole and every part of this book are from the same eternal Source, the same infinite Mind. Whoever were the writers, and whatever their relative intelligence, they all wrote with the same faithful and guided hand, under the dictation of the same Master, with whom a thousand years are as one day. Such is the origin of the Bible. It is the word of Moses, the word of Amos, the word of John, the word of Paul; but the thoughts are of God, and it is the Word of God. It is wrong, therefore, to say that some passages or some verses are of man, and others of God. No: all the passages and all the verses, without exception, are of man; and all the passages and all the verses, without exception, are of God; whether he speaks directly in his own name, or employs the personality of the sacred writer. Inspiration is like efficacious grace. Under both influenceswhich are only operations of the same Spirit-man is, in different aspects, considered as wholly active and wholly passive. God does all, and man does all. In both it may be truly said: It is God who worketh in man to will and to do. Thus we see in the Scriptures, the same operations ascribed alternately to God and to man; God converts, and it is man who converts himself; God circumcises the heart, God gives a new heart, and it is man who is commanded to circumcise his heart, and to make to himself a new heart. “Not only because we ought to employ the means to obtain such an effect,” says President Edwards, “but because the effect itself is our act
as well as our duty: God producing all, and we doing all."*
Such is, then, the word of God. It is God speaking in man, God speaking by man, God speaking as man, God speaking for man ! This is what Professor Gaussen affirms; this is what he undertakes to prove.
It is possible to conceive that a religion might be divine, without the books in which it is taught being miraculously or really inspired. If such were the case in relation to Christianity, we should then have this astonishing fact to account for, that God devised the whole plan of salvation, announced it from time to time, during four thousand years, by his holy prophets, sent his Son at length to die on the cross for our sins, and sent forth his apostles to preach the story of redemption; and yet permitted them, as well as the Old Testament authors, to trust only to their own unaided powers, in committing the history of the Saviour's words and deeds, together with the revelations which were made to them, to writing, for the benefit and for the guidance of the Church in faith and practice, in all future time! This is altogether incredible. And why resort to such a theory? What help does it give? Is there more difficulty in believing that the authors of the Scriptures were inspired in writing them, than that they were inspired or divinely illumined in receiving the communications which these Scriptures record ? If the writers of the sacred oracles were not inspired, they were liable to make the greatest mistakes, and to be plunged into the greatest uncertainties. We could not give their writings a greater authority than we do to those of St. Bernard, St. Augustine, Calvin, or Luther. We all know how many and what serious errors appear on the pages of these great men. And yet the apostles and other writers of the sacred Scriptures must have been exposed to fall into greater, if they were not guided by the unerring inspiration of God. For they had not, as the great men we have just named, a divine standard by which to measure their writings, neither had they the terminology of the science of religion already made for their use. To what errors, then, were they not exposed ;-errors in the choice of facts; errors in their appreciation, errors in their exposition; errors in the conception of the
* Edwards' Remarks against the Arminians.
relations between the facts and the doctrines; errors even in the expression of these doctrines; errors of omission ; errors of language; errors of exaggeration; errors from the prejudices of their nation, or of a party; errors in their precognition of the future as well as in their judgment of the past ! But thanks be to God, it is not so with the sacred volume. It contains no error ; it is wholly inspired of God. Its authors wrote as they were moved of God; they employed, not the words which man's wisdom teaches, but such as the Holy Ghost taught them. So that what they have written is the Word of God, and is pure“ as silver refined by the fire;” and the whole and every part, every line, every word, is worthy of our respect and of our deepest study.
The definition, which Professor Gaussen gives of Theopneustia, is that it is that inexplicable power which the Holy Spirit exercised in former times, on the Authors of the Sacred Scriptures, to guide them, even in the employment of the words which they used, and to preserve them from all error, and also from all omission. In establishing the truth of the proposition, or rather of the propositions contained in this definition, the author relies upon the Scriptures themselves. In this, we think, he pursues the only truly satisfactory course. The inspiration of the Scriptures, in our opinion, can in no other way be conclusively demonstrated. To argue this question a priori,to attempt to demonstrate the necessity of this miracle for the security of our faith, would be to argue it feebly, though it might enable us to say many fine things. To argue it from their beauty, their wisdom, their prophetic character, or from all the other traits of divinity which they reveal, would be to employ sound reasoning, without doubt, but such as is contestable, or at least has been, and constantly is, contested. It is to the Scriptures alone that we can go to determine this grand question. It is true that course, as Professor Gaussen justly remarks, will not satisfy the disciples of Porphyry, of Voltaire, of Jean Jacques Rousseau. But they are not, in reality, the persons addressed in a discussion of the inspiration of the Scriptures. It is only they who already believe the Scriptures to be true, who are in a state to be made to believe in their inspiration, and to pursue the train of argument proper to lead to thorough conviction on this point. As to those who do not believe the Scriptures to be true, they are to be dealt with in another manner. The arguments and facts, proper to establish
SECOND SERIES, VOL. VI. NO. I.
the claim of the Bible to contain a Revelation from God, are to be employed for this purpose. And when once a man has been brought to recognize them as valid, it is then for him to learn from the Bible what it is; and when it says that it is inspired, it is for it to say how it is inspired, and to what degree.
To listen to some modern writers, we should be led to believe that the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures is one of the most difficult and uncertain of all the dogmas of Christianity. But no doctrine, it seems to us, is more simple, or more clear, for minds which are, in humility and docility, submissive to the testimony of the Scriptures. The question may indeed be difficult for those who, like the Jewish Talmudists and Rabbis of the middle age, imagine various sorts of inspiration, and who make learned distinctions on the subject, which are not only unknown to the Scriptures themselves, but also to the Church during the first eight centuries.*
In the prosecution of his work, Professor Gaussen first takes up and discusses the difficulties and objections which the doctrine which he maintains encounters; this he does at great length in the 2d Chapter of his book. Next, he treats of the evasions of this doctrine, which are held by some who yet profess to believe the Scriptures to be inspired : this he also does at great length in the 3d Chapter. In the 4th Chapter, he discusses the use of Sacred Criticism in its relations with Inspiration. The 5th Chapter treats the subject in a didactic manner, and discusses it under several very important aspects. Having thus cleared the ground, the Professor then gives us, in the 6th Chapter, the Scriptural proofs of the truth of the doctrine. And finally, he gives in the 7th and last Chapter, some summary views of the subject, and appropriate exhortations, addressed to all who may read his work, and which are well calculated to inspire them with a higher estimation of the Sacred Oracles, and consequently with a deeper sense of the importance of a most careful and unintermitted study of them.
We will devote the remaining portion of this article to a
* See on this subject the learned dissertation of Dr. Rudelbach, in which the author establishes, by history, the sound doctrines on Inspi. ration which Professor Gaussen endeavors to establish by the Scriptures.- Zeitschrift für die gesammte Lutherische Theologie und Kirche, von Rudelbach und Guericke, 1840.
very cursory notice of the work of our author, in the order which he has pursued, and which we have just indicated.
Having set forth the importance, as well as the nature, of the true doctrine of Inspiration, in the 1st Chapter, Professor Gaussen proceeds, as we have said, to examine in the 2d the objections which have been made to it. These objections are derived from various sources: The Individuality of the Authors, profoundly imprinted on their books ; Translations ; Employment of the version of the Septuagint ; Variations ; Errors of reasoning, or of doctrine ; Errors in the narratives, contradictions in the facts ; Errors which oppose the philosophy of Nature ; the Avowals of St. Paul. All of these important points are discussed in a most masterly and most satisfactory manner. About thirty pages are devoted to answering the objections which are derived from the impression of the characters of their authors which the several sacred books bear. But we can only take one or two paragraphs as a specimen of the replies which our author makes to them.
Moreover that which most clearly shows the error of the objection to which we reply, is the extreme inconsistency which one finds in the way in which it is employed. In fact, to disprove the full inspiration of certain portions of the Scriptures, men have alleged the individuality with which they are stamped ; and yet they admit that other portions of the sacred books, where this character equally occurs, must have been given directly from God, even in their lesser details. Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the author of the Apocalypse have impressed their style, their traits, their manner, in a word, their mark on their prophecies, as well as Luke, Mark, John, Paul and Peter have impressed theirs on their histories, or on their letters. The objection is, therefore, not valid ; if it proves any thing, it proves too much.
Again, that which strikes us in this objection, and in the system of intermittent inspiration, with which it is associated, is its triple character of complication, of temerity and of puerility. Of complication : for it supposes that the divine action, in dictating the Scriptures, becomes interrupted or enfeebled, as often as the degree of difficulty of the passage, or the degree of its importance diminishes; and it is thus that God is made successively to advance or retire, in the mind of the sacred writer, in the course of even one chapter, or of even one pas. sage! Of temerity : for, mistaking the majesty of the Scriptures, men dare to suppose that they have importance, and demand a wisdom more than human, only in certain parts. Of puerility: for they fear, they tell us, to attribute to God useless miracles : as if the Holy Spirit, after having, as they avow, dictated word for word one part of the Scriptures, must have found less trouble in illumining the sacred writer, then leav. ing him to write alone, or in having a superintendence over him. pp. 34, 35.