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heart those holy writings which are able to make him wise unto salvation. Let him unite more of lively faith in Christ Jesus with his knowledge, as the only means of turning it to its proper use and highest end. Let him settle it in his mind, as a fundamental principle of divine revelation, that all scripture, without any exception, was given by inspiration of God; was divinely breathed or inspired by the Holy Ghost, and constitutes the one perfect and infallible canon of religious truth. Let him employ every part of it, according to its true design, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. And thus let him, as a man taught of God himself by his inspired word, become continually more matured and perfect; and prove, by his whole conduct, that he is thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES-AND REVIEW OF THE WHOLE ARGUMENT DERIVED FROM THE EXTERNAL EVIDENCES.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit :
for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom speaketh, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
To the conclusive arguments for the full inspiration of the holy scripture, which are adduced in our last lecture, nothing need be added. The proofs of every kind are numerous, forcible, conclusive. We proceed to advert to the character and internal structure of the sacred books themselves, in order to discover the plan of the divine inspiration, and trace out something of the general method which God was pleased to take, in directing the minds of the respective sacred penmen.
For there are obviously divine and human parts in the scriptures. There is apparently much of the agency of man. The writers are like ourselves; they think, they speak, they argue as men. They address in human language their fellow-men: and yet nothing can be more decisive than the proofs of the supernatural guidance, elevation, and suggestion, under which the apostles wrote. Upon what plan then, does the inspiring Spirit proceed? If the books are the infallible word of God, how is it that we see so much that is of man in their form and manner? How came we to meet with, what has been so largely detailed in preceding lectures, the marks of authenticity and credibility which are so conspicuous in them? How shall we account for the internal evidences to which we are hereafter to proceed? What room could there be for ordinary learning and observation, in the composition of the sacred records? If every thing is divine, how is it that we see every thing human? VOL. I.
In order to settle these questions, so far as we are practically concerned in them, we must consult the sacred volume itself. Man's reasonings upon what God would be likely to do are almost sure to be erroneous. Let us open the Bible, and observe the system which it unfolds. This was the method we pursued in considering the question of inspiration itself, and it led us on, step by step, to a conclusion perfectly clear and satisfactory. Let us do the same as to the plan and method on which the Holy Spirit proceeded with the sacred writers, and we shall soon arrive at an easy solution of all the difficulties which embarrass our minds.
Let us first trace out the WONDERFUL UNION of divine and human agency, in the inspiration of the scriptures; then the EXTENT OF INSPIRATION; and lastly, the ADVANTAGES which may be discerned in both. A reflection or two on the importance of fully admitting and acting upon the doctrine thus illustrated, will close the subject; and leave us at liberty to review the whole argument deduced from the external evidences of Christianity.
I. In order to trace out the WONDERFUL UNION OF DIVINE AND HUMAN AGENCY in the inspiration of the scriptures, we must,
'. Collect all the facts of the case, as they lie
in the New Testament. We must compare what is decidedly the part of God, with what appears to be the part of man. The facts on the one hand, were established in the last lecture. The books are given by divine inspiration, as we have abundantly proved. They are the words of the Holy Ghost; they are the infallible standard of truth; no intermixture whatever of human frailty or mistake is to be found in the communication they make to us of Christianity. These are the facts on one side of the case-few, prominent, decisive. This is the part of God.
In order to collect the phenomena on the other side, let us open the New Testament again. We see, on the very face of the whole, that the writers speak naturally, use the style, language, manner of address familiar to them. There are peculiar casts of talents, expression, modes of reasoning in each author. The language is that of the country and age where they lived. They employ all their faculties, they search, examine, weigh, reason, as holy and sincere men, in such a cause, might be supposed to do. They use all their natural and acquired knowledge ;. their memory furnishes them with facts, or the documents and authentic records of the time are consulted by them for information. They plead with those to whom they are sent, they address the heart,