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falsehoods ?...... In neutral points, having no relation to morals or religious philosophy, it is not concealed by the scriptural records themselves, that even inspired persons made grave mistakes. All the apostles, it is probable, or with the single exception of St. John, shared in the mistake about the second coming of Christ, as an event immediately to be looked for. With respect to diseases, again, it is evident that the apostles, in common with all Jews, were habitually disposed to read in them distinct manifestations of heavenly wrath. THOMAS DE QUINCEY: Theological Essays, vol. i. pp. 77–8, 80–1, 87, and 175.

In pp. 94-6, Mr. DE QUINCEY shows that a divine teacher or a sacred writer could not avoid the use of phraseology involving scientific errors, without frustrating the objects of his mission, which was to teach, not science, but religion; and says that this “ line of argument applies to all the compliances of Christ with the Jewish prejudices (partly imported from the Euphrates) as to demonology, witchcraft, &c.”

One thing is clear from this, and many other like passages, viza, that the apostles were not uniformly and always guided in all their thoughts, desires, and purposes, by an infallible Spirit of inspiration. Had this been the case, how could Paul have often purposed that which never came to pass ? Those who plead for such a uniform persuasion may seem to be zealous for the honor of the apostles and founders of Christianity; but they do in fact cherish a mistaken zeal. For if we once admit that the apostles were uniformly inspired in all which they purposed, said, or did; then we are constrained, of course, to admit that men acting under the influence of inspiration may purpose that which will never come to pass or be done; may say that which is hasty or incorrect, Acts xxii. 3, or do that which the gospel disapproves, Gal. i. 13, 14. But if this be once fully admitted, then it would make nothing for the credit due to any man to affirm that he is inspired; for what is that inspiration to be accounted of, which, even during its continuance, does not guard the subject of it from mistake or error ? Consequently, those who maintain the uniform inspiration of the apostles, and yet admit (as they are compelled to do) their errors in purpose, word, and action, do in effect obscure the glory of inspiration, by reducing inspired and uninspired men to the same level. To my own mind, nothing appears more certain than that inspiration, in any respect whatever, was not abiding and uniform with the apostles or any of the primitive Christians. To God's only and well-beloved Son, and to him only, was it given to have the Spirit duerpūs or ou ék


uétpov [not by measure "], John Üï. 34. ... The consequence of this was, that Jesus “knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; but all his followers, whenever they were left without the special and miraculous guidance of the Spirit, committed more or less of sin and

This view of the subject frees it from many and most formidable difficulties. It assigns to the Saviour the pre-eminence which is justly due. It accounts for the mistakes and errors of his apostles. At the same time, it does not detract, in the least degree, from the certainty and validity of the sayings and doings of the apostles, when they were under the special influence of the Spirit of God. MOSES STUART on Rom. i. 13; in Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans,

pp. 55–6.

We cannot admit the force of the reasoning [of M. Gaussen, of the Oratoire] that would exalt all the writings of the Old and New Testament to prophetic dignity; ... and still less can we sympathize with the rigid uniformity with which he carries out, in little harmony as it seems to us with his own views of individuality, the theory of ab initio dictation in the case of every sacred writer without exception. — North British Review for November, 1852; Amer. edition, vol. xii. pp. 99, 100.

The author of the article from which we make this extract opposes both that view of inspiration which would resolve it, with the naturalistic school, into elevated genius; and the older opinion of some supernaturalists, which would make all the writers of the Bible, not only in their ideas but in their style, mere amanuenses of the Holy Spirit. Contrary also to SCHLEIERMACHER, COLERIDGE, NEANDER, and THOLUCK, who, in common with a great majority of Unitarians, believe in a partial inspiration of the Sacred Writings, he regards all these as being plenarily inspired or infallible, though he candidly admits (p. 97) that " a discordant aspect” has been given some pårts of the Scripture” from “the neglect of chronological details, and many other circumstances;” “ leaving the believer in plenary inspiration in doubt and perplexity.”

The difficulties (which the Bible offers] never will be all resolved; and, even if they were so, they would but give place to fresh ones. When we look closely into this matter, we shall find ... that the personal feeling of the writers (of the Old and New Testament canons) is the same; that their individuality has the same scope, and produces the same effects; that the influence of circumstances on their writings is the same; and that all - various readings, incorrect translations, the use of various sources of information, documentary and otherwise, varieties of style, faults in grammar, trifling details, confessions of


weakness, ignorance, and sin, apparent contradictions and errors, loss of the authors' names, absence of any formal sanction to the canon, all, in short, which we meet with in the case of the one canon is to be found also in that of the other. ...... With the exception of those cases in which they transmit to us some matter of direct revelation, . the prophets and apostles alike write under the impulse of their own peculiar feelings. The prophets who wrote the history of the kings of Judah and Israel had no more thought of producing oracles of God than had Mark or Luke in writing the history of Jesus Christ. COUNT AGÉNOR GASPARIN : The Schools of Doubt and the School of Faith, pp. 212, 287–8, 297.

Let not the reader, if unacquainted with the aim of Count GASPARIN, suppose, from the extracts we have made from him, that he founds his belief in revelation on the trustworthiness of the writers of the Bible, or on the divinity of the principles which they inculcate or record. The object of his work, on the contrary, is to establish the dogma of the plenary inspiration of all parts of Scripture; the absolute infallibility of all the books admitted into the Protestant canon; the perfect equality of a canonical book of Moses, of David, of Solomon, or of an apostle, to the words even of Jesus Christ himself (pp. 194, 198). But if there be in the Bible so much of difficulty, error, weakness, apparent contradiction, &c., as he represents, - whatever may be the causes from which this originates, - we may be permitted to ask what conceivable value to faith is attributed in the theory of inspiration and infallibility for which he so eloquently contends.



It is not of necessity to salvation to believe every book or verse in Scripture to be canonical, or written by the Spirit of Gode For as the Papists' canon is larger than that which the Protestants own; so, if our canon should prove defective of any one book, it would not follow that we could not be saved for want of a sufficient faith. The churches immediately after the apostles' time had not each one all their writings; but they were brought together in time, and received by degrees, as they had proof of their being written by authorized, inspired persons.

A man may be saved who believeth not some books of Scripture (as Jude, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Revelations) to be canonical, or the word of God; so he heartily believe the rest, or the essentials. ... ... Though all Scripture be of divine authority, yet he that believeth but some one book which containeth the substance of the doctrine of salvation may be saved ; much more they that have doubted but of some particular books. They that take the Scripture to be but the writings of godly, honest men, and so to be only a means of making known Christ, having a gradual precedency to the writings of other godly men, and do believe in Christ upon those strong grounds which are drawn from his doctrine, miracles, &c., rather than upon the testimony of the writing, as being purely infallible and divine, may yet have a divine and saving faith. Much more those that believe the whole writing to be of divine inspiration where it handleth the substance, but doubt whether God infallibly guide them in every circumstance. RICHARD BAXTER: Christian Directory, and The Saint's Rest; in Practical Works, vol v. pp. 523, 561; and vol. xxii. p. 264.

Since the Jews had, at the time of the writing of the New Testament, a peculiar way of expounding many prophecies and passages in the Old Testament, it was a very proper way to convince them, to allege many places according to their key and methods of exposition. Therefore, when divine writers argue upon any point, we are always bound to believe the conclusions that their reasonings end in, as parts of divine revelation; but we are not bound to be able to make out, or even to assent to, all the premises made use of by them in their whole extent, unless it appears plainly that they affirm the premises as expressly as they do the conclusions proved by them. - BISHOP BURNET: Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles, Art. 6, pp. 112–13.

If the four evangelists were not rendered infallible by the immediate intervention of the Deity, it is hardly possible that their accounts should be wholly free from error, and therefore in no case contradictory to each other. But even if it be true that their accounts are sometimes at variance, it by no means follows, that the history itself, the miracles and the resurrection of Christ, are a forgery; and the only inference which we can deduce from it, is that the evangelists were not inspired, at least not in the relation of historical facts. ... To speak the truth, I do not believe that the evangelists were divinely inspired in matters of history. — J. D. MICHAELIS: Introduction to the New Testament, vol. i. part i. pp. 26–7.

He who acquires knowledge, not by the use of any natural faculty, neither by immediate perception, nor by reasoning, nor by instruction, but in some inexplicable, miraculous manner, is inspired. He who sets down in writing the knowledge so obtained composes an inspired work. There appears to be no intelligible distinction between original revelation and inspiration ; and yet men seem to have entertained an obscure notion of something more: otherwise they could not have been perplexed with so many difficulties concerning the accuracy and perfection of the Scriptures. They contain some few passages which appear to have no relation to religion, and many facts which the writers certainly knew in the ordinary way. Nor does there seem any reason to expect marks of the interposition of Heaven in such matters. The great truths impressed on their minds neither obliterated their former knowledge, nor made it perfect. When they speak, for instance, of a Roman custom or a Jewish tradition, we are not to imagine that these things were revealed from above, nor to require greater accuracy in their accounts of them than in other writers who treat of the affairs of their own age and their own country. When they relate the wonderful events which they had seen and heard, it will be no objection to their credit as human witnesses, that we find in their several histories of the same fact such a variety of circumstances or of method as always occurs in other the most exact narrations. Difficulties of this kind could never have arisen, or must have been easily removed, had either the impugners or defenders of the Sacred Writings formed precise ideas of the nature of inspiration, and attended to its use. This was not to teach men history or philosophy; not to instruct them in the arts of composition, or the ornaments of human learning; but to make them understand and believe the religion of Jesus. DR. WILLIAM SAMUEL POWELL: Discourses, No. II. pp. 41-2.

The views of inspiration so clearly presented by Dr. POWELL seem in the main to be those generally adopted by Unitarians. In his fifteenth Discourse, he enters more at large on the subject, particularly in its bearing on the Epistles of Paul;- shows that the great apostle had received the doctrines of Christianity from Christ himself, but that his natural faculties and his education enabled him to retain the knowledge he had acquired, and to impart it to others in a style forcible, but " abounding with broken sentences, bold figures, and hard, far-fetched metaphors; observes, that, though it were possible to prove the Scriptures to have been dictated verbally by the Holy Spirit, “it does not appear that any important conclusions would be deducible from it;” and closes the discussion with a remark, the justness of which will, we think, be admitted by all true Protestants, that " that which" in the Scriptures " is important is also clear;" and " that, whatever may be thought of the coloring, the substance of these writings was from heaven."

If we once admit the fallibility of the apostolic judgment, where are we to stop, or in what can we rely upon it? To which question, ... as arguing for the substantial truth of the Christian history, and

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