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“ The spirit of the Lord spoke by me," says David. “ David in spirit calls him Lord.” “ The Holy Ghost spoke by the mouth of David.” “ The Holy Ghost sayeth, To-day if ye will hear his voice”-words spoken through the mouth, and transmitted through the pen of David. “ Thou, God, by the mouth of thy servant David, hast said, Why did the heathen avenge," &c. God said to Moses, * “ I will raise them up a prophet like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command them. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. But the prophet which shall presume to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” In these words we read, not only the inspiration of Moses and of Christ, but the inspiration of all the true prophets whom Christ would have acknowledged ; and we are accordingly told that God “spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.” We cannot afford to go in detail over the proofs of the inspiration of these prophets separately. But, simply adverting to the positive history in the books of Kings and Chronicles that we have for the preternatural communications of God with Solomon, we shall but remark of Isaiah that he ushered in what he spake by, “saith the Lord,” and “the Lord hath spoken;" and that the “ Holy Ghost spoke by Esaias”—of Jeremiah, that “ The word of the Lord came unto him ;” and “ The Lord said unto him, Behold I have put my words in thy mouth ;" and the commandment given to him, was to “ write all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book”-of Ezekiel, that he saw visions of God; that the “ Spirit entered into him;" that the “ Spirit lift him up;" that “the hand of the Lord was upon him, and carried him about in the spirit of the Lord ;” and that, ever and anon, “ the word of the Lord came unto him”-of Daniel, that he saw visions, and had revelations that he put into a book of Hosea, that in calling on the people to hear him, he calls them to “hear the word of the Lord”—of Joel, that his prophecy is styled “ the word of the Lord which came unto Joel”—of Amos, that his sayings are given repeatedly under the form of “ thus saith the Lord” -of Obadiah in like manner, who, propounding his “vision,” begins with “ thus saith the Lord” -of “ the word of the Lord that came unto Jonah” -of “the word of the Lord that came unto Micah,” who was “full of power by the spirit of the Lord”_of the 6 vision of Nahum”_of the “ Lord answering” Habakkuk, and bidding him “ write the vision, that he may run that readeth it”-of the word of the Lord that came unto Zephaniah,” who in consequence speaks in his name, and announces that “thus saith the Lord”. of the word of the Lord having come by Haggai, who begins to prophesy with “thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying”-of the word of the Lord having come to Zechariah, who saw visions and held converse with the angels of God—and lastly, of Malachi, whose prophecy is in the terms of a direct communication from God himself, speaking in his own person, “ I will send my messenger," “ I will come near to you to judgment," “ I am the Lord, I change not."
* Compare Mark vii. 10, with Matthew xv. 4-- where what Moses is stated to have " said” in the one passage, God is stated in the other to have commanded.
3. Now that the apostles were similarly inspired, * may be inferred from the promises made to them by the Saviour. “ It is not ye that, speak, but the spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” “ It is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” “ The Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." “ He shall abide with you for ever, even the spirit of truth.” “ The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” “When he the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.” The spirit, we read historically, did come. The illumination was given ; and, as the fruit of it, the apostles could say, " they had the mind of Christ.” “ They were all filled with the Holy Ghost.” “ The spirit gave them utterance.” “ They spake the word of God with boldness.” “Which things we speak,” says Paul, “ not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” “ Christ speaking in me.” “ So ordain I in all the churches.” “The things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” “My speech and my preaching is in demonstration of the spirit and of power.” “We speak the wisdom of God.” “ Ye received it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth the word of God.” “ It seemed good unto the Holy Ghost and unto us." These are direct proofs from the New Testament, of the inspiration of the apostles. But what gives such importance to the Old Testament evidence for the inspiration of the prophets is, the similarity in point of endowment and of authority, which is alleged to have obtained, between the teachers of the Old and those of the New dispensation. “ God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” “ That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before, by the holy prophets, and of the commandments of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.” “ We are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.”
* The identity of the inspirations of the Old and New Testament seems strongly pointed at in 2 Cor. iv. 13.
4. But many are willing to admit the inspiration both of prophets and apostles, who stand in doubt of certain of the other scriptural writers. For aught we assuredly know, the historical, and some of the other books in the Old Testament, may have been written by men, not invested with the prophetical office; and we do assuredly know that the Gospels of Mark and Luke, with the book of Acts, were written by men not invested with the apostolical office. In regard to many of the elder scriptures, so far from knowing whether the men who wrote them were inspired, we do not even know the names of their authors. And besides, we might know of certain writers that they were at times visited with extraordinary communications from on high, or were occasionally inspired; but when the question relates to a composition, of which perhaps they were the undoubted authors, the writing of it might not have been one of these occasions. They might not have been under the prompting or guidance of this heavenly power, when writing the book in question. They might not have been inspired ad hunc effectum. No one who has a general faith in the records of the Old and New Testament, resting on the common evidences of their general credibility, can doubt the special communications which Solomon received from God. But this does not settle the question, whether he was under the special and infallible direction of God in writing the book of Proverbs, or of Ecclesiastes, or of the Canticles so as that these should be regarded as the Divine workmanship, God himself being the author of them. Nothing that has yet been produced, in behalf of the words and writings of those men, who properly and strictly were prophets, or of those whom scripture has fully equalled to them as being apostles, can serve to establish the inspiration of the historical or certain of the poetical books in the Old Testament; or the inspiration of two of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles in the New.