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miraculous works, a prophetical spirit, a propagation of Christianity supported by the immediate interference of God, copious good effects which proclaim the author from whom they flow. What then do the writers of the holy books teach us upon the subject of inspiration ? What can we reasonably infer from the testimony of our Lord and his Apostles concerning it ?
This is the one simple point which now demands our attention: and in order to settle it,
We appeal to the unquestionable inspiration of the OLD TESTAMENT.
We appeal to the PROMISE which our Lord made to the Apostles, and the GIFTS AND QUALIFICATIONS they received in consequence.
We appeal to THE CLAIMS which the writers themselves made.
We appeal to the testimony of the FIRST CHRISTIANS.
These particulars we shall illustrate in the present lecture. In the following one we shall show what further light the internal matter and character of the writings cast upon the subject.
The consideration of these points must draw us into some length, but the whole influence of Christianity, practically speaking, rests, especially in a day like the present, on the scriptural adjustment of them.
I. THE INSPIRATION OF THE New TestaMENT MAY BE INFERRED FROM THAT OF THE OLD.
1. Need I remind you that our Lord and his Apostles most distinctly assert the plenary inspiration of the Old Testament? Need I tell you that they recognize the whole of the canonical writings of the Jews in their threefold division of THE LAW, THE PROPHETS and the PSALMS, and attest and authorize separately, almost every book of each division ? Need I remind you that what Moses, for instance, wrote in the Pentateuch, is expressly declared by Christ to have been spoken by God himself? - Have ye never read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ! Need I remind you that what David wrote in the Psalms, is plainly said to have been spoken by the Holy Ghost, to have been written in the Spirit-uttered by the very mouth of God? The Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake.—How doth David in spirit call him Lord !Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, --according to the Psalmist's own declaration, the Spirit of the Lord spake by me and his word was in my tongue. Need I tell you that the prophet Isaiah is described as speaking under the immediate guidance of the Holy Spirit
Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet, saying ?
And what does St. Peter teach us universally as to the inspiration of the holy prophets ? Does he not distinctly, and in so many words assert, that what they delivered was by the Spirit of Christ speaking in them; and that they wrote, holy men as they were, not by their own will or judgment, but as they were guided, borne along,' moved by the Holy Ghost? Searching what and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ that was in them did signify, when it spake before of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.— The prophecy came not of old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
And what can be more completely decisive than the language of St. Paul in the text, where, enlarging the terms to the utmost latitude, but undoubtedly having an especial reference to the Old Testament, he declares that all scripture is given by inspiration of Godbreathed, communicated, inspired in a divine manner into the minds of the sacred writers ?
This then, in fact, determines the whole question. We are enquiring whether the New Testament is divinely inspired. We take it for
granted, in this enquiry, that the Old and the New Testament are equally authentic and credible, are of the same divine authority, and equally consist of books written for the instruction and guidance of the church. We next find that the first division is expressly and repeatedly declared to have been written by this divine inspiration. What then follows? Is it not that the second division also was composed under the same guidance? For can it for a moment be imagined that such assistance was given to Moses and the prophets, as to make their writings absolutely free from error in every thing that relates to the revelation they contain, and that the evangelists and apostles were left destitute of the same assistance, in their still more important writings?
It is true we have no books of an additional and later dispensation to testify to the inspiration of the New Testament, as the New doth to that of the Old. The case admits not of that particular proof. Nor does it require it. The writers of the New Testament brought the same miraculous credentials of their mission with the penmen of the first Testament. If the credentials, then, of the economy of Moses included that inspired aid by which the Old
3. The testimony of the first Christians, and early Fathers, will be given hereafter.
Testament was written, we may assure ourselves that the case was the same with the credentials of the economy established by the only begotten Son of the Father.
This consideration acquires greater force, when we recollect that the New Testament dispensation, surpasses in all spiritual privileges and gifts, the Old. Among them that were born of women, there had not risen a greater than John the Baptist. He was a prophet, yea, and more than a prophet. And yet—so much better are the promises, so much higher the gifts, so much clearer the light, so much greater the freedom, and especially so much more copious the effusion of the Spirit under the New Testament—he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. - - . For if the ministration of death was glorious, how shall not the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory? If the Mosaic economy had its inspired writers, which was temporary, of which many blessings were earthly and figurative, under which the Holy Ghost was not given, in the emphatical sense of the term; which had, however, oracular responses at one period, and an extraordinary dispensation of Providence attending it through all its course; with a succession of divine prophets and teachers and continued miraculous powers, age after age ; and which, after all, was