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Q. 13. When it is said that the Scriptures were given by Divine inspiration, is it meant, that God spake and did all which is related in the Scriptures, or that every thing there written is true?
A. Certainly not. Many things, which are related in the Bible as spoken and done, were spoken and done by Satan and wicked men. The Tempter spake falsely to our first parents, and the three friends of Job uttered what was not true concerning God. The incorrect opinions of good men, as well as their failings, are often told in the Scriptures. But for our instruction and warning, God directed the sacred Penmen to record what is written in the Holy Oracles. (d)
Q. 14. What is the evidence that the Bible is a revelation from God?
A. There is evidence from history;-from the miracles recorded in it, wrought in the presence of competent witnesses;-from its prophecies and their fulfilment ;—from the unrivalled sublimity of its language, the nature and harmony of its doctrines, and the perfect purity of its precepts;-from the glorious effects it has produced upon the hearts and lives of multitudes;—from the sacred character of its writers;-from the propagation of Christianity ;-and from the analogy there is between natural and revealed religion. 1. All history, so far as it speaks on
(d) Gen. iii. 2-5. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.-Job xlii. 8, 9. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt-offering, and iny servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept; lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. So Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, went and did according as the Lord commanded them and the Lord also accepted Job.
the subject, declares that the different parts of the Bible, ever since their existence (and some parts of it are the most ancient of writings), have purported to be a revelation from God, and that they have been acknowledged to be such by almost all people in all ages wheresoever the true religion has prevailed. The account of many things, which took place in the early periods of the world, given by the sacred Penmen, is corroborated by the most renowned Pagan writers of the highest antiquity. This coincidence between sacred and profane history is an evidence in favor of the truth, and consequently of the divinity, of the Scriptures. 2. A miracle, in a theological sense, is an effect, varying from the stated course or laws of nature, wrought by the interposition of God Himself in attestation of some divine truth, or of the authority of some divine Messenger or Teacher. Consequently, the miracles performed by Moses and the Prophets, Christ and his Apostles, demonstrate, that the hand of God was with them, and that what they wrote as a revelation was of divine origin. (e) 3. Foreknowl
(e) Ex. xiv. 16, 21. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea and divide it; and the children of Israel shall goon dry ground through the midst of the sea. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.-2 Kings ii. 8. And Elijah took his mantle and wrapped it together and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.-Mat. iv. 23, 24. And Jesus went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto him all sick people, that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.-Acts v. 12. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people.-Heb. ii. 4. God also bearing them witness both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy ghost according to his own will. -2 Kings ii. 14. And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, 'Where is the Lord God of Elijah?' And when he also had smitten the waters, they
edge belongs to God alone. He, therefore, who foreknows or foretells events, must be God, or some person whom He has inspired. Consequently, the prophecies mentioned in the Scriptures, some of them uttered and written thousands of years ago, which have been fulfilled, and are now fulfilling, with perfect exactness, are a main pillar in supporting their divinity, and do incontrovertibly prove them to be a message from Jehovah to man. (f) 4. The sublimity of
parted hither and thither; and Elisha went over.-Luke viii. 24. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish! Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water; and they ceased, and there was a calm.John xi. 43, 44. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.-Acts v. 15, 16. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by, might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed every one.
(f) Gen. xvi. 12. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.-This prophecy respects Ishmael and his descendants, the Arabs, and in them it is exactly fulfilled -Hos. iii. 4. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.-Deut. xxviii. 37. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.-The prophecies contained in these two verses, relate to the Jews, and in them they have been completely fulfilled.—Is. liii. 7, 9. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted; yet he opened not his mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made nis orave with the wicked. and with the rich in his death: because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. An account of the accomplishment of this prediction is recorded in Mark xv. 3, 20, 27, 42, 43, 46. And the chief priests
the Scriptures surpasses that of all other writings; the instructions respecung God and Christ, angels and men, time and eternity. which they contain, are such as none but God could teach; their harmony is complete, though written by about thirty different persons, and at as many different times, and during a period of more than 1500 years, and without any previous concert; their moral purity, or holy requisitions of love to God and man are perfect, and according to godliness, and such as they never would have been, were they the natural productions of depraved men. The writings of Socrates and Plato, Cicero and Seneca, are mean compared with the Bible. Hence we conclude, that the Scriptures are not the work of men uninspired, but of men taught of the Holy Ghost. (g)
accused him of many things; but he answered nothing. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand and the other on his left. And now when the even was come (because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.-Matt. xxiv. 1,2. And Jesus went out and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him, for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.-This prediction was exactly and literally fulfilled within forty years after it was uttered. Jerusalem was destroyed, and her beautiful and magnificent temple was razed to the ground, and the plough made to pass through where it stood.—Jer. xxviii. 9. The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.
(g) Gen. i. 3. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.-Matt. xxii. 37-40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all
5. The effects of the Sacred Scriptures have been glorious and happy. The religion of the Bible has converted Atheists and Deists, Pagan philosophers and idolaters, Jewish infidels, and Christian moralists. It has instructed the wise and the foolish, raised up the bowed down, solaced the mournful, reclaimed multitudes from vice and immoralities, and prepared them for heaven. And, were it universally believed and practised, paradise would be restored on earth. Surely, then, this religion must have come from God. (h) 6. The writers of the Bible were holy men, and, consequently, would never have written what they did not know to be true. It is also absurd to suppose that wicked men would have written the Bible, for it condemns them in all their vicious inclinations and practices. Hence we infer that the Bible was divinely inspired. (i) 7. The Christian religion is opposed by the lusts and corrupt passions of men. Against it have been combined wit, learning, and the sword. In the three first centuries of the Christian church, there were ten violent persecutions against Christianity. But it continues and spreads by a secret influence, which must be ascribed to the agency of Almighty God. The very existence of Christianity, after so much opposition as it has received, is an evidence that it was giyen by the inspiration of the Ho
the law and the prophets.-Psahn xii. 6. The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
(h) Psalm xix. 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.-1 Cor. i. 21. For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.-Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning; that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.-Acts ii. 41. Then they that gladly received his word, were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
(i) 2 Pet. i. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.