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truth at best. It is undoubtedly true that we not to interpret the Bible unlike any other book, but this is all. Divines must beware of non-natural senses given to the Bible. Are they, then, to understand it as natural men only, attenuating down its meaning to the merest shred, and frittering away its deep utterances by Rationalist glosses ? Mr. Jowett himself exclaims against this. It has been said of some one that he was not heavenly-minded, but only unearthly-minded. So we may interpret Scripture—not spiritually, but nonnaturally. So far as this we agree with Mr. Jowett.

Et sapit et mecum facit et Jove judicat æquo. But he advances on this moderate demand, and requires of the sacred critic to treat the Bible as the critic would treat Thucydides or Tacitus. Bacon has answered this demand by anticipation. After condemning the allegorical and fanciful interpretation of Scripture, which was as common in Bacon's time as it is uncommon in Mr. Jowett's, he qualifies his remark with this consideration, “ that the Scriptures being given by inspiration, and not by human reason, do differ from all other books in this matter ; which by consequence doth draw on some difference to be used by the expositor. For the inditer of them did know four things which no man attains to know, which are, the mysteries of the kingdom of glory, the perfection of the laws of nature, the secrets of the heart of man, and the future succession of all ages.” He also goes on to observe, a paragraph or two further

“But the two latter points, known to God and unknown to man, touching the secrets of the heart, and the succession of time, doth make a just and sound difference between the manner of the exposition of Scripture and all other books. For it is an excellent observation which hath been made upon the answers of our Saviour Christ to many of the questions propounded to Him, how that they are impertinent to the state of the questions demanded ; the reason whereof is because, being not like man, which knows man's thoughts by his words, but knowing man's thoughts immediately, He answered not their words, but their thoughts. Much in the like manner it is with Scripture, which being written to the thoughts of men, to the succession of all ages, with a foresight of all ages, contradictions differing estates of the Church, yea, and particularly of the elect, are not to be interpreted only according to the latitude of the proper sense of the place, and respectively towards that present occasion whereupon the words were uttered ; ør in precise congruity or contexture with the words before or after, and in contemplation of the principal scope of the place; but have in themselves, not only totally and collectively, but distributively in clauses and words, infinite springs and streams of doctrine to water the Church in every part ; and, therefore, as the literal sense is, as it were, the main stream or river, so the moral sense chiefly, and sometimes the allegorical or typical, are that whereof the Church hath most use; not that I wish men to be bold in allegories, or indulgent or light in allusions; but that I do much condemn that interpretation of the Scripture which is only after the manner as men use to interpret a profane book.Thus the golden rule of interpretation is not barely to interpret the Scriptures like any other book, but to interpret them like any other book, according to its subject matter. For Bacon's rule, authoris aliud agentis parva authoritas, read, interpretis aliud agentis purva authoritas, and our judgment of the whole school of natural interpreters of a spiritual book is summed up in a word. Poets write best de arte poetica ; Royal Academicians, like Reynolds or Laurence, lecture best on painting; to professors of Greek we listen with respect on points of Greek scholarship; but sitting in Moses' seat we expect to find only a master in Israel. The disciple is not above his master, or the critic of greater authority than the author whom he criticises. But to assert that because the Bible, as a book, is subject to the ordinary laws of language, therefore it is to

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be judged as any other book, and no sense sought for but the one on the surface, is to forget the 0 altitudo sapientice et scientiæ Dei, to which Bacon calls our attention. It is possible to go through the courts of Zion with eyes bandaged—to walk round about her, and not tell the towers thereof. To be admitted as a flag of truce is admitted, blindfolded, is the fate of a godless lexicographer and critic. Gesenius, it is said, on his deathbed refused to admit Tholuck into his chamber, when Tholuck would not pledge himself not to speak of Jesus Christ to the dying critic. All his life long had the great Hebraist toiled on over the sacred

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with a thicker veil than that worn by any synagogue rabbi, untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament. Gesenius was a proficient in Mr. Jowett's principle of interpretation ; but what do we owe to his labours ? He has amassed the materials for a commentary, but on his principles no commentary could be written which would be worth the trouble of reading. It is no exaggeration to say, that after eliminating the Divine or Messianic element, Hebrew literature is as worthless to all but the professed antiquarian as Finnish or Basque. Solomon's Songs, which were a thousand and five, his botanical researches, from the cedar to the hyssop, are turned to dust, with all the other magnifience of the Grand Monarque of his age.

If the Bible were only like any other book, or if the Divine element is there only in subordination to the human, as in Sophocles and Shakspeare, then it does not deserve to be ranked with Sophocles and Shakspeare. It must be all or nothing

- Divine or worthless—for it came from a people who made no pretension to either intuition or taste, philosophy or art—they have only one treasure to offer us, and we are bound to believe their word, that they were only stewards of the mysteries of God, not original discoverers of those mysteries.

Thus the question of interpretation runs up into the deeper question of inspiration. Mr. Jowett's principle

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falls to the ground if the Bible be not like any other book. In this case a peculiar writing must be deciphered by rules of its own. As in reading a hieroglyph, you discover the alphabet as you proceed, and one sign enables you to trace out another, thus on steppingstones of our dead selves” we pass over the heavenly brook, not wading through in ignorant presumption, not thinking to cleave the waters with our mantle, as if inspired ourselves, but reverently, cautiously, sounding along our perilous way; using all the props which grammars and dictionaries, books of modern travel and ancient history, throw in our way, but remembering above all that the Bible is its own best interpreter ; that the Bible gives a Biblical spirit, and that a Biblical spirit in its turn is the very best key to open its mysteries with. “For what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man that is in him ; even so knoweth no man the things of God save the Spirit of God."

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CHAPTER VIII.

AN ANALOGY BETWEEN THE CONTROVERSY ON THE DOC

TRINE OF THE PERSON OF CHRIST AND THAT ON THE
DOCTRINE OF INTERPRETATION,

In the prayer for the Church Militant here on earth, we do not forget to thank God for all those who have departed this life in His faith and fear, and humbly beseech Him to rant that we may so follow their good example, that with them we may be partakers of His heavenly kingdom. The same is true of the controversies which the Church Militant is called to wage against error to the end of time. We bless God for the triumphs of the past for the controversies successfully waged against error, and now laid to rest; and we pray that we, too, may be stirred up to defend the truth as valiantly as our fathers before us, following their example, and faithful, like them, over a very little, that we may be in the last days rulers over much.

In this view of the unity of the Church, the controversies of one age are full of instruction to us in another age. We need not think that the past has no lessons for us, because the forms of error vary from age to age. It is very true that as error partakes of the evanescent nature of all evil, the dogmatic form which truth took to counteract that error may seem of little use to us; that with heterodox javelins we may hang up the orthodox shields, the weapons of defence being superseded as well as the weapons of offence. Still there are principles of attack and defence which alter not. As the

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