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will be obvious to all, who are ac- our Authors ;--ALL Scripture is quainted with the objections oc- given by inspiration. And if the casionally advanced; but we must question of the authenticity of Scripnow turn to the more immediate sub- ture thus becomes chiefly matter of ject of these works. We repeat, Revelation, the
the doctrine of its therefore, that we consider a sound inspiration is entirely so; and is to and clear view of the authenticity be received with the same child-like and inspiration of the Scriptures, to simplicity as any other doctrine ; lie at the foundation of every in- without troubling ourselves with prevestigation of their doctrines. It is sumptuous and mischievous inquiries more even than a foundation stone; into the quantum or nature of that it is to us as the stratum or basis inspiration. on which the great foundation stone The two works now under conitself is laid; and if, when the storm sideration are professedly written in arises and the tempest beats, it unison ; Mr. HALDANE taking up prove to be sand, away go foundation the subject in the way of deand superstructure together. The monstration and proof: and Mr. greatest truth revealed in Scripture CARSON attacking the objections must yield in importance to the doc- and aberrations of those, who have trine of the plenary inspiration of altogether denied plenary verbal Scripture; since that truth must be inspiration, or made improper condeteriorated, and its hold on the con- cessions. Mr. Haldane alone enters sciences of men weakened, if it be upon the authenticity of the Scripnot clearly and indubitably held as tures; which he considers to be a spoken of God.
necessary introduction to their inspiWe have always held these two ration; and the more called for, as great points--the authenticity and the late controversy on the Apocryinspiration of the Scriptures—to be pha proved an occasion of betraying very simple and susceptible of proof, great unsoundness in regard even to not to those only who can enter into the Canon of Scripture. it through metaphysical ratiocination shall give a few extracts from Mr. or laborious erudition, but to “ the Haldane's preface, which will more way-faring man, though a fool.” ably represent his views in underThe authenticity of the Old Testa- taking this work. ment we rest upon the plain declaration of our Lord, “ All things must * The Bible not only contains things be fulfilled which were written in that are divinely accredited as true, but it the Law of Moses, and in the Pro
contains all the truth on divine subjects
that is accessible to man. phets, and in the Psalms, concerning thing that respects the particular books me;" (Luke xxiv, 44;) little informa
composing the Canon, and the inspiration tion being needful to prove this to of these books, is of the liveliest interest be the three great and acknowledged to every christian.”—“ Is it a light thing divisions of the Jewish Bible, and to to admit a principle that unsettles the evi
dence of every book in the Bible ? comprehend all the Books esteemed
an innocent thing to charge as superfluous, canonical. Nor is much learning unimportant, unholy, or unworthy of God, afterwards required to add to them anything that there is authority to hold as the Authenticated Books of the New his word? What, then, shall be said of Testament, as we shall presently those Christians, who bave not only dis
covered an unbecoming facility in surrenThe inspiration of the whole
dering parts of the book of God, but have Scriptures, may then be rested upon laboured witli the most strenuous exertions another text, such as that closen by to unsettle the Canon, and have availed
themselves of every resource, with which
what could press some passage of the a perverse ingenuity could supply them, to Word of God into its service, by the use degrade some of the books that are as fully of torture. Indeed, very many important authenticated as any in that sacred collec- truths of the divine word are not without tion. Pp. ii, iii.
their difficulties, from passages that afford
a handle to human ignorance and human “ The inspiration of the Scriptures is a depravity.” Pp. iii-vi. thing of equal importance with the authority of the Canon. If God is not the “But the inspiration of the Scriptures in author of them, in the fullest and most the words as well as in the matter, is not complete sense of that term, we cannot opposed by any difficulty of this kind ; receive them as the word of God. The and the authors of the low and derogatory Scriptures so plainly assert their inspira- view of the word of God, which ascribes tion, that it is matter of astonishment to it different degrees of inspiration, canthat any who profess to believe them should not plead a single passage that will afford have denied it. Yet many have contrived them even the shadow of support." P. vi. to hold the word, and to deny the thing itself. In this way, they perhaps hide " To establish with the utmost precision even from themselves the boldness of their
what are the books belonging to the Canon unhallowed speculations. That inspiration of Scripture, to fix the brand of reprobaextends to the words as well as to the tion on all false pretenders to the honour matter, is a thing so obvious, that it of inspiration, and to vindicate the writings could never have been questioned, if those of the Old Testament and the New, as the who deny it had not misled themselves by words of the Spirit of God, can at no their vain reasonings on the subject, or period be a useless labour. But present taken the contrary for granted without in- circumstances add greatly to this imquiry, on the authority of others. A writing portance, and recent events have discovered inspired by God self-evidently implies in not only ignorance on these subjects, the very expression, that the words are the where knowledge might have been exwords of God; and the common expression pected, but opposition even from the friends of mankind coincides with this most of the Gospel. It is much to be regretted, entirely. That the inspiration is in the that unscriptural opinions concerning these matter, not in the words ; that one part subjects have long been entertained, and of Scripture is written with one kind or have of late been advocated by persons, degree of inspiration, and another part who might have been expected to be the with another kind or degree, is contrary most zealous in opposing their progress. to the phraseology, and totally without The christian public are in the greater danfoundation in any part, of the Scriptures ger from the infection of this heresy, from themselves, and never could have suggested the circumstance that it is propagated by itself as a natural meaning of the word. persons whom they have long been accusThis unholy invention is the figment of an tomed to regard as among the brightest orill-employed ingenuity, either to invalidate naments of true religion. Had these dansome Scripture truths, or to repel some gerous opinions made their appearance in objections, which appeared otherwise un- the works of Socinians, Christians would answerable. It is an expedient to serve a have stood on their guard against them. purpose, and as little to be approved, when But when the Canon is unsettled, and verit is used to defend the declarations of bal inspiration is denied by men, who proGod, as when it is used to overturn them. fess to hold the distinguishing doctrines of Yet degrading views both of the Canon the Gospel, many will be misled.” Pp. vii, and Inspiration of the Scriptures too viii. generally prevail ; and the writers of most influence on the public mind, instead of 66 It is the object of the following pages correcting these errors, lend all their in- to exhibit the abundant evidence by which fluence to their establishment.
the authenticity of the books of the Old The plenary or verbal inspiration of the and New Testaments is confirmed, and to Holy Scriptures is not only established by prove that the inspiration to which the the most express passages in the way of Scriptures lay claim, is in the fullest sense direct authority ; but it is a matter of no plenary in every part of them, extending light consideration, that there are no both to the ideas, and to the words in opposing passages on the other side. which these ideas are expressed." Pp. Hardly an error ever was maintained, but xii, xiii.
" An account is added of the Apocryphal judgments inflicted on them, as in the case writings, in which a view is given of the
of Hananiah. From the miracles, too, reasons that forbid their being received which the people of Israel constantly along with the word of God. Their witnessed, as well as the fulfilment of the usurpation of the place they have long prophecies which was all along taking occupied in the estimation of many, is place, they had complete proof that the traced to its origin; and their pre- true prophets wrote by the authority of sumptuous claims to inspiration, or to God himself. During the whole period any authority, are exploded. This is the from Moses to Malachi, a succession of more necessary, as many are but little them was raised up, under whose direction acquainted with the manner in which the word of God was infallibly distinguished these forgeries have obtained the situation from all counterfeits; and by their means, they hold in the Bibles of Roman Catholics in connexion with the visible interference and even with Protestants, or with the of the God of Israel in punishing those who impiety of their contents. It is proved, made the people trust in a lie, the Scripthat the Apocrypha is not a part of God's tures were preserved pure and unadulte. word; and that instead of being a book of rated.” Pp. 6, 7. useful though uninspired instruction, it is a book of imposture and destructive
“ Nothing can be better authenticated
than the canon* of the Old and New delusion.” Pp. xiii, xiv.
Testament, as we now possess it. We In proceeding to the Treatise have the fullest evidence, that it was fixed
280 years before the christian era, when, itself, we must pass over much im
as has been noticed, the Greek translation, portant matter in regard to the
called the Septuagint, was executed at number of Books in the OLD TES
TES- Alexandria, the books of which were the
same as in our Bible. And as no authentic TAMENT, and also as to their genuineness and authenticity: contenting it is impossible to ascend higher in search
records of a more ancient date are extant, ourselves with two or three short
of testimony. As held by the Jews in the extracts.
days of Jesus Christ, their canon was the
same as when that translation was made, " Of the genuineness and authenticity and it has since then been retained by of their Scriptures, the Jews had the them without any variation, though by sestrongest evidence, which produced a parating books formerly united they have corresponding impression. The five books increased their number.
The integrity of Moses are addressed to the Israelites and divine original of these Scriptures are as his contemporaries, and had they not thus authenticated by a whole nation, been both genuine and authentic, they who have preserved them and borne their never could have been imposed on his testimony to them from the time of Moses countrymen, whose religion and govern- down to the present day.
That nation ment were founded upon them. The was selected by God himself to be his wittransactions of their own
own times were
nesses, (Isaiah xliii, 10,) to whom he comnarrated by the several writers of the mitted “ the lively oracles ;' and amidst other books, and the truth of their all their wickedness he prevented them respective histories was witnessed by all from betraying their trust; the Jews never their countrymen who lived at the same having given admission into their canon to period. The plainest directions were any other books, but to those which by his given for ascertaining the truth of the prophets and servants were delivered to mission of all who declared themselves them. prophets, those who were sent
sent being In addition to the unanimous testimony furnished with ample credentials, while of the Jewish nation to the genuineness every one who pretended to deliver the and authenticity of the Old Testament messages of God without these credentials
Scriptures, of which they had been conwas to be put to death. Deut. xviii, 20. stituted the depositaries, we have the deAnd although false prophets did arise, and cisive attestation of the Son of God. Jefor a time obtained a degree of influence, sus Christ, who appeared on the earth 1500 their wickedness was exposed by the years after Moses the first of the prophets, failure of their predictions, or by the and 400 years after Malachi the last of
* The word canon signifies law. Hence the books of the Holy Scriptures taken together aro called the canon, as designed by God to be the rule of our faith and practice.
them, hore his testimony to the sacred ca- vine inspiration, since God alone can en. non as held by the Jews in his time, and able men to foretell future events. recorded it by his holy Apostles. Among The same testimony is repeated by the all the evils with which he charged the Apostles, who constantly appeal to the Jews, lie never once intimated that they Jewish Scriptures as 'the lively oracles' had in any degree corrupted the canon of God. Referring to the whole of the Old either by addition, diminution, or altera. Testament, Paul declares, that ‘All Scription. Since with so much zeal he purged ture is given by inspiration of God.' The the Temple, and so often and sharply term Scripture,' or * the Scripture,' (the reprehended the Jews for perverting the writings,) was then, as it is still, approtrue sense of the Scriptures, much more, priated to the written word of God; as both we may be assured, would he have con- the Old Testament and the New are now, demned them, if they had tampered with, by way of eminence and distinction, called or vitiated, these sacred writings ; but of the Bible, or the Book." " When the this, he never accused them. By often
same Apostle declares, that whatsoever referring to the “ Scriptures,” which he things were written afore time orere writ. declared "cannot be broken," the Lord ten for our learning; that we through paJesus Christ has given his full attestation tience and comfort of the Scriptures might to the whole of them as the unadulterated have hope,' he gives his attestation to the word of God.
" Search the Scriptures, whole of the sacred writings, and proves for in them ye think ye have eternal life, that they exist entire ; for he could not and they are they which testify of me." have said this if any of them had been lost,
, Here he warrants, in the most explicit or had any additions been made to them. *' ' manner, the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures. He told the Jews that they made the word of God of none effect through
In regard to the dangerous chatheir traditions. By calling them the racter of the APOCRYPHA; the first the WORD OF GOD, he indicated that objection our Author makes, is the these Scriptures proceeded from God unqualified claim which the writers himself. In his conversation with the
of these Books make to a divine disciples going to Emmaus, when, “be
mission and inspiration. ginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he mission and expounded to them in all the Scriptures saith the Lord;" The word of the the things concerning himself," he gave Lord came unto me, saying 8c.” the most express testimony to every one of “ The angel said unto me,” the books of the Old Testament canon. Just before his ascension, he said to his phrases which will be constantly met Apostles, · These are the words which I with in them ; in respect to which spake unto you while I was yet with you,
Mr. Haldane justly observes :that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the " Thus, the writers of the Apocrypha Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning come as the bearers of messages from God,
By thus adopting the common di- and as such they deliver them to mankind. vision of the Law, and the Prophets, and They profess to communicate a portion of the Psalms, which comprehended all the spiritual light, not borrowed from the Holy Hebrew Scriptures, (to which division Jo. Scriptures, but immediately derived from sephus, as we have seen, refers,) he rati. the source of light. In every sense of the fied and sanctioned with his authority the word, these books present themselves as a canon of the Old Testament, as it was re- part of Divine Revelation, and if they were ceived by the Jews; and by declaring that what they pretend to be, would be entitled these books contained prophecies which to equal attention and reverence with the must be fulfilled, he established their di- Holy Scriptures. Here, then, there is no
* It is true, that the sacred writers refer to other books that do not now exist, as of Iddo the scer; hut they do not rcfer to them as canonical books, but as civil records of the kingilom, such as the reference to the civil records of Persia in the book of Esther, Were it even to be aclmitted that some of the epiztles written by the Apostles have not come down to us, the fact would not imply that the Scriptures have lost an epistle, or a single word. There inight have been hundreds of such inspired letters from the Apostles, without implying that ever tlicy made a part of that collection that was designed by God to be a perfect and sufficient standard to all ages. Thuis is said not from a conviction that tlicre ever existed any inspired letters of the Apostles, except those which we possess : but they may have existed in any number, without affecting the integrity of the canon, wjlich some liave weakly supposcil would follow from the fact, if admitted.
medium, and the conclusion is incvitable:- contains, is pronounced by the Holy Ghost The Apocrypha is either an aildition made to be accursed, then must this awful deto the Old Testament Scriplures by God
nunciation apply to a book, which, prehimself, or it is the work of lying pro- tending to record the message of an angel phets. This important question ought, from heaven, teaches another gospel. On therefore, to be considered by every Chris- the Apocrypha, therefore, does this anatian, and happily its solution is attended thema rest.” Pp. 26, 27. with no difficulty." P. 24. .
Having shewn that the primitive His next objection is, that their Fathers never acknowledged these contents, besides being a tissue of books, neither the council of Nice absurdities, superstitions, and false- in 325 ; that they were decisively hoods, are directly opposed to the repudiated by the council of Laodicea doctrines of the Holy Scriptures; in 363, and by writers of any which he more especially insists on eminence subsequently ; that the in regard to the grand doctrine of Reformers also strenuously denied justification ; shewing that they their authority, though they yielded make void the plan of redemption. to the suggestions of a sinful exThe following extract powerfully pediency in allowing their existing exhibits this truth :
connexion with the Scriptures ; he
next observes :" It is written in the Apocrypha, • Whoso honoureth his father maketh an " While there are those who have dared atonement for his sins;' and again, 'Water to add certain Apocryphal books to the will quench a flaming fire, and alms maketh Jewish canon, which form no part of it, an atonement for sins.' Eccl. iii, 3–30. but are the production of lying prophets, Sentiments more directly opposed to the
and therefore under the curse pronounced doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, more dis.. upon such by God; there are others who honourable to God, more contrary to his have contended, that certain books included holiness, more derogatory to his justice, or in that canon do not constitute a part of more fraught with mortal poison, and de- divine revelation. This has been particustructive to the souls of men, cannot be larly the case respecting the book of Es- . imagined.
ther and the Song of Solomon, which, it The apostle Paul solemnly declared to has been alleged, are not quoted in the the churches of Galatia, that if an angel New Testament. But though this may be from heaven should preach any other gos- true as to particular passages, yet the pel, than that which he had preached unto books themselves are quoted each time them, he should be accursed. That very that either the Lord Jesus Christ or his occurrence which the apostle here sup- Apostles refer to what is written,' or to poses, has, according to the Apocrypha, the Scriptures' of which they form a been realized. An angel from heaven, it part.”
1. The incontrovertible proof reaffirms, has descended and declared that specting their authenticity and inspiration he came from God. “ I am Raphael, one is, that they form a part of those Scripof the seven holy angels, which present the tures which were committed to the Jewish prayers of the saints, and which go in and church, and sanctioned by the Lord and out before the glory of the Holy One ;- his Apostles. On these incontrovertible not of any favour of mine, but by the will grounds, all the books of the Old Testaof our God I came." Tobit, xii, 15, 18. ment Scriptures are most surely believed And that very doctrine does this angel by the great body of Christians to be the explicitly contradict, which the Apostle so oracles of God; and could it be shewn earnestly inculcated, accompanied with that any one of them is not worthy of being the solemn asseveration, that the curse of received as a part of the sacred canon, this God should rest on any creature who would invalidate the claim of all the rest. dared to pervert it.
" It is better,'' says That man, therefore, who rejects a single one this angel, " to give alms than to lay ??? of these books as not being canonical, (in gold : for alms doth deliver from death, other words,-as being equally the dictates and shall purge away all sin.” Tobit, xii, of inspiration as the rest,) proves that he does 8, 9. If the man or angel who shall preach not rely on the true and secure foundation another gospel than that which the Bible which God has laid for entire confidence