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sage, St. Paul most certainly meant no more than the Old Testament only; those Holy Scriptures, which he tells Timothy be bad known from a Child; the Writings of the Old Testament alone.
Secondly, As to the Argument alleged; That St. Paul could not here intend to include the Supernatural or Mysterious Parts of the Scriptures, as Divinely Inspired; becaufe they could not answer the purposes which he here ascribes to the Scriptures; nothing can be more manifestly false. The very first use which St. Paul here afcribes to the Scriptures, is, That they are profitable FOR DOCTRINE : that is, for instructing us in the truc nature and will of God, and the several Dispensations of God to man; in which, every SupernaIural Truth he has ever been graciously pleased to reveal, and every mysterious Measure he has ever been pleased to adopt and declare, muft neceffarily be included.
Further, To translate the passage as the Author proposes — All SCRIPTURE WHICH is given by Ine Spiration, &c. would be appearing to take the very point in question for granted. For as the English word, Scripture, has by custom been appropriated to the Writings of the Old and New Testament alone; to translate it thus, would be at first sight seeming to allow, that some parts of the Old and New Te tament were not inspired.
But to give the Author all the advantage poffible, though the use of the words in the Original will really warrant our present translation, we may render the passage thus : Every DIVINELY INSPIR: ED WRITING is profitable, &c. Let us therefore see whether this method of interpreting it will at all help the Author out.
recur to it? If it is pititful to affert, that particular passages are wrong translated; muft it not be pitiful to call for
a general new Translation ? And if the credit of the New Tesiament itself could be hurt by particular new Translations ; would it be less hurt by a general new Translation ? The most pitiful thing of all is, to call for a new general Translation, and to recur to a new particular Translation, and yet all the while to rail at new Translations.
Since St. Paul tells Timotby, That from a Child he bad known the Holy Scriptures (of the Old Testament,) which were able to make him wife unto salvation, ihrough faith in CHRIST Jesus ||; and then imme diately adds as a confirmation of what he had faid of the Old Testament, Every divinely inspired writing is profitable, &c. $; without pointing out to him any particular parts of the Old Testament, as being divinely inspired, or any others as not being so inspired ; --It is evident, that the passage, even fo interpreted, amounts to a virtual declaration, that All those writings of the Old Testament, which the Fews universally received as inspired, really were inspired t.
Now the Jews universally received the Books of Moses, and those of all the Prophets; as unquestionably inspired; and in these all the mysterious and supernatural doctrines of the Old Testament are contained. In this passage therefore; acknowledged by the Author himself to have been written by St. Paul; we have the authority of St. Paul to affure us, that all the mysterious and supernatural points revealed in the Books of Moses and the Prophets; viz. The Creation-The Fall The Promised Seed-The Flood-The Command to Abraham The Commission to Moses and Aaron -The Miracles at, and after the Exodus-The giving of the Law on Mount Sinai-The Whole Jewish Polity, with God himself as their proper
H 2 Tim. iii. 15. § 2 Tim. ii, 16.
† And in reality it must, for the self-fame reasons, amount to the very fame virtual declaration, were we even to translate it in that unfair manner, which the Author has proposed. 1
King King-The Command to the Jews to extirpate the Canaanites-All the prophecies relating to the MESSIAHAnd to the Destruction of Jerusalem, &c. &c. Are so many Divine Revelations, fo many writings divinely inspired.
And how the Author will be able to get rid of the supernatural and mysterious parts of the New Testament, as not inspired; when he has St. Paul's express authority for receiving all these of the Old as inspired; it will behove him well, as a Rational Christian, to consider.
Finally, that he may fully understand how very unlucky a passage he has here singled out, for the support of his causę; let him consider throughly; if the supernatural parts of the New Testament were to be exploded, as he contends, as not being inspired; what St. Paul. could here mean, by recommending to Timotby - The Faith which is in CHRIST JESUS ; as something, the more explicit knowledge of which was now necessary to make him wife unto Salvation; over and above the knowledge of the Old Testament alone,
The Author's Objections against the AUTHEN
TICITY of the Books of the New Testament, considered.
the Infpiration of the Writers of the New Testament ; the weakness of which we have just now seen, the Author throws out some general aspersions upon the Books of the New Testament, as they are now come down to us. Thus he says “ The New Testament appears to be so much
" adulterated, by human fraily and fraud, that “ take it altogether as it now appears in our lan
guage, it can hardly with propriety be stiled the “ word of God.”* — That is; for the words have no other meaning, as a book can no other way be adulterated than by being altered; the New Teftament, as it is now come down to us, is so much altered and corrupted from what it originally was, both by the frailty and the fraud of the copiers and translators; that though at first it really was the pure word of God, as the Apostles wrote it ; now, in its present state, it can scarcely with propriety be called the word of God.
It is not every Writer against Revelation, that would have hazarded so hardy an assertion as this: but let us examine how well it becomes this Au. thor, in particular, to make it.
This affertion unavoidably implies, that the Books of the New Testament, as they were originally written by the Apostles, were really the pure word of God.' But if the Author acknowledges, as he here does, that the New Testament, as it was originally written, was really the pure word of God; how contradictory and absurd is it in him to attempt to prove at the same time, as we have just now seen + he has likewise done, " That God did “ not effectually restrain the Apostles Themselves, in
writing the true original New Testament, from “ sometimes blending their own opinions and “ doctrines, with those of Divine Authority I?"And, “ That our consciences will teach us, it is “ highly probable, that God never caused any
pure uncorrupted Revelation of his will to be “ committed to writing $?” What is this, but to allow, that the New Testament was originally the pure
P. 332. See likewise p. 315. I P. 334.
+ See the last Section.
word of God, and yet at the same time to contend that it was not?
Again, the fundamental point for which the Author all along contends, is, that Jesus himself was nothing more than a mere man, who chose to employ himself in inculcating the duties of morality, but taught nothing by inspiration* If therefore what Jesus himself taught was the uninspired word of a mere man; how could what his Disciples wrote, without inspiration likewise, to instruct us in what he taught; that is, the real original New Testament, be the word of God? And how, inconsistent is this Writer in maintain ing the one, and contending for the Other?
Further, as it is here necessarily implied, that the real doctrines of CHRIST were the word of God; what can possibly reconcile this Author with himself; who tells us in this pafsage.--" That “ the English New Testament is so corrupted as " hardly with propriety to be styled the word of “ God," - And yet says expressly, on another occasion, “ That he supposes all along, that the “ religion of CHRIST is to be learned from our
English Translation of the New Testament I. What conclusion can we possibly draw from such direct, manifest, and important contradictions as these? Tenderness, not candour, prohibits us from saying, what the nature of the thing itself forces us to apprehend.
As to the affertion itself, that the New Testament is so corrupted; it will be time enough to give that an answer, when he who has been fo bold as to advance it, shall venture to specify a competent number; which must be, no small one, nor relative to points of small consequence; of those passages, which he imagines fo corrupted, and the
* See Sect. I.
I P. 373 •