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requisite to qualify me for the undertaking he had put into my hands.
27. Now the parallel is just as close and convincing as possible. The varied incidents of our Saviour's life and sayings as recorded in the four evangelists, all the apostles together could not have borne in their memory alone; but the one promise of a monitor who should bring all these things to their remembrance, not one of them would forget. That the information they wanted was all lodged in the upper depository of heaven, and that it might be fetched down thence by believing prayer in all needful supplies for the various branches of the apostolic office, they could not fail both to recollect and to proceed upon. The several hundred things in all their minuteness, they could not by any possibility have actually remembered of themselves; but as to the one thing, the all important one thing, there was just as little possibility of any one of them being mistaken. We have thus as good evidence of the inspiration of the apostles, as we have of any one memorable and palpable fact recorded in any of the four evangelists. The suggestions of the Spirit too, when bringing things to their remembrance, would, in most instances, be accompanied by a consciousness and an act of concurrence on the part of their own natural memory, that each suggestion was a correct one;* and hence a daily and growing confidence in the fidelity of that monitor, whose office it was to guide them unto all truth
* See our Natural Theology, Book IV., Chap. i., Art. 3.
28. There is a certain reigning character throughout all the doctrine and all the morality of scripture, wherewith this tenet of a partial or modified inspiration is totally and irreconcileably at variance. Whatever principle it announces, it announces in that absolute and uncompromising way, which admits of no indulgence for the least shade or degree of its opposite. Of this, innumerable instances might be given. “He that sinneth in one point is guilty of all,” so as to bring upon him the full weight of an outraged law by one iota of deviation. “ He that is unfaithful in the least is unfaithful also in much"_thus disclaiming all toleration for what may be deemed by us to be the slighter iniquities of human conduct. The accursed thing of Achan brought down, in judgment from heaven, discomfiture and dismay on the thousands of Israel. The eating of one solitary because forbidden apple, put forth a world and its outcast species from beyond the pale of God's unfallen creation. “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled ;” and it would come all the nearer to our argument, if law were taken in the bibliographical sense of it, as expressing a portion, or even at times the whole of the scripture. " Whosoever breaketh the least of these commandments shall not enter into heaven." This rigid, this resolute assertion of a principle, to be upheld in all its entireness, and not deviated from by a single hairbreadth, is one great characteristic of the Bible. The whole epistle to the Galatians is founded upon it. There was one solitary rite to which the
apostle would give no quarter, not for an hour, because it trenched, by however so small a fraction, on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The scripture abounds in specimens of this sort
announcing its principle with all the decision and distinctness of a category; and planting an impassable barrier, or describing a clear and uneffaceable line of demarcation, between that principle and its opposite. There is no shifting, no shuffling between the incompatible terms of an alternative. In the spirit of a prompt and steadfast and exalted consistency, it abhors all amalgamation of things by nature immiscible; and this we understand to have been the spirit, in which Paul affirmed, that salvation is either wholly of works or wholly of grace. It must be of the one altogether or of the other altogether, but not a composition of both. “ If by grace it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.
But if it be of works then it is no more of grace, otherwise work is no more work." And we hold that on the question of inspiration, there is the same kind of impregnable rampart, by which to guard from all commixture and commutation, a doctrine intact and inviolable. That venerable record which has come down through a long succession of prophets, and passed the ordeal of Christ and His apostles, and has been handed from one age to another in the unquestioned character all along of being the word of God-it is not a medley of things divine and things human; but is either throughout a fallible composition, or throughout and in all its parts the rescript of the only wise and
true God. All over it has the strength and faithfulness of the divinity, or ail over the weakness and fallibility of man. It is the Bible or it is no Bible. We keep by the former term of the alternative. We hold all the ground to be holy, that is within the limits of this venerable record; and that the fence thrown around it admits of no inroad to that which is human, among that which is purely and sacredly and altogether divine. It is guarded, strictly and severely guarded, by the menaces of a jealous God, against the daring footstep of any who shall intrude within its barriereither on purpose to add, or on purpose to take away. He hath done to scripture what he did to Sinai, when He set bounds about the mount, and did sanctify it—so that should priests or people break through to bring up their words beside the words of the Lord, the Lord would break forth
29. We may have differed from the advocates of a rigid and universal inspiration, in their notions regarding the process of a universal suggestion; but, in asserting out and out the perfection and immaculate purity of the sacred volume, we have not receded behind them by a single hairbreadth. We know that on every great question, the contest between the right and the wrong lies at the place of separation between them—for if the slightest inroad beyond the limit be admitted, it is tantamount to a surrender of the cause. We know that the anti-apocryphalists of the day, have been accused of too fiercely resenting the encroachments that have been attempted, on the canon and in
spiration of scripture, and that, on the plea of the encroachments being slight ones.
We shall say nothing of the resentment; but, however slight those encroachments may have been, they could not be too strenuously or too energetically resisted. The truth is that on every conflict of principle, it is at the line of demarcation that the battle must be fought, and that the battle is terminated. Should the charm and the sacredness be broken, by which the margin of an else inviolable territory is guarded, the whole length and breadth of the sanctuary lie open to spoliation ; and unless the assault be repelled at the breach, all the goodliness within may at length be trodden under foot of the invaders. What is true of nations in the gladiatorship of arms, is true of principles in the gladiatorship of argument. Should a hostile army plant one footstep within the landmarks of a kingdom, this is enough to arouse a sensitive and high-minded people in vengeance on the aggressors; and that, though no part of the country is seized upon, but the boundary is passed. And so in the controversy before us. It is the part of Christians to rise like a wall of fire around the integrity and inspiration of scripture; and to hold them as intact and inviolable, as if a rampart were thrown around them, whose foundations are on earth and whose battlements are in heaven. It is this tampering with limits that destroys and defaces everything; and therefore it is precisely when the limit is broken, that the alarm should be sounded. If the battle-cry is to be lifted at all, it should be lifted at the outset ; and so on the first mingling, by