Imágenes de páginas

eye-witness. Matthew also would have related the remarkable incident which occurred in the garden of Gethsemane, of which he was an eye-witness, namely, that they all fell to the ground; but he does not mention it, whilst he gives an account of the agony of Jesus and his prayer, although he was not one of the three who accompanied Him at that time.

Now, if you examine these gospels you will find, that this peculiarity-inexplicable as this would be if they were not inspired—becomes quite intelligible when we recognise their inspiration. One and the same author wrote them all. The Holy Ghost, whose office it is to take of the things of Christ and to shew them unto us, furnishes us in John with those circumstances of the history of Jesus which would bring out the glory of his person- 1-His glory who offered Himself to God for us. In Matthew he gives us that which is needed to make known the suffering Messiah. The result is not only harmony between the parts of each gospel, but also between all the gospels; producing a perfect whole, exhibiting the design and the workmanship of one and the same author. This principle is applicable to the entire contents of the four gospels. I have only called the reader's attention to the garden of Gethsemane and to the cross as striking instances. One who is well versed in the gospels, and who has spiritual discernment, would know by the manner in which the subject is presented, in which gospel it is to be found. Compare the connection between the end of Matt. xxi. and the parable in the beginning of xxii.: also the way in which the corresponding parable in Luke xiv. 16 is introduced, with that of the husbandmen in Luke xx., and you will perceive that the substance, the form, and the diversities of these parables are in perfect harmony with the design of each gospel. In Matthew, the rejection of Christ in connection with the relation of the Messiah to the Jews; in Luke, the moral order of the events, the acts and ways of the God of grace, founded on the broader, more moral and less official basis of the character of the Son of Man. The same thing may be observed in comparing Matt. xxiv. and Luke xxii.

There is another testimony to the truth of inspiration, the peculiar character of which deserves the reader's attention. It applies especially to the Old Testament; but it brings out very clearly the difference between the inspiration of the old, and that of the New. It is that the prophets did not understand their own prophecies, but studied them as we might do. We read in 1 Peter i. 11–“ Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister," etc. They searched into that which the Holy Ghost had spoken through themselves. Their inspiration was so absolute, and so independent of the workings their own minds, that they sought the meaning of what they uttered, as one of us might do. This is not precisely the character of the inspiration of the New Testament; but it is not, therefore, the less real. It is declared in the succeeding words — “reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven."

The Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven leads into all truth, and thus inspiration acts in the understanding and by the understanding; but it is not the less inspiration. On the contrary, the apostle Paul preferred the inspiration which acts by the understanding, to that which is, apparently, more independent of the man. 1 Cor. xiv. 14–19" If I pray in a tongue, my spirit

. prayeth; but my understanding is unfruitful.” Dan. xii. 8 8 gives us an example of that which Peter describes " And I heard, but understood not: then said I, O

my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And He said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."

The reader will remember that the passage I have quoted, is the one to which the Lord Himself referred the disciples, in order that they might understand it. Now if the prophet did not understand the revelation he gave; if the prophets searched into their own prophecies to understand them, it is most evident that those prophecies were given through direct and positive inspiration. I desire to add a thought which tends to confirm the truth I seek to maintain, and which applies to the whole of the Bible. Our attention is called to the fact that the Bible is not one book, but a collection of writings by different authors. It is precisely on this fact I ground my argument, adding to it that they were written at periods very remote from each other. In spite of this great diversity of times and of authors, there is a perfect unity of design and of doctrine: a unity, the separate parts of which are so linked with each other, and so entirely adapted to each other, that the whole work is evidently that of one and the same Spirit, one and the same mind; with one purpose, carried on from the beginning to the end, whatever might be the date of each separate book.

And this, not at all by means of mere uniformity of idea, for the Promises are quite distinct from the Law; and the Gospel of Grace is distinct from them both; nevertheless, its parts are so correlative, and form so harmonious a whole, that with the least attention, one cannot fail to perceive that it is the production of ONE MIND. Now there is but One who lived through all the ages during which the various books of the Bible were written, and that One is the HOLY GHOST.

Look at Genesis. You will find doctrines, promises, types which are in perfect harmony with that which is more fully developed in the New Testament events, which in this book are narratives, related with the greatest simplicity; yet in such a manner as to give the most perfect picture of things which should happen in afterages. Feelings natural to piety (speaking historically) are so related as to possess a meaning, which when we have the key to it, throws light upon the most precious doctrines of the New Testament, and the most remarkable events of prophecy. Look at Exodus; and you will find the same thing. Every thing is made according to the pattern Moses saw in the Mount, and furnishes us with the clearest exposition we possess of the ways of God in Christ. At the same time the Law is given. A Law which is not imitated in the Gospel, which does not contain a copy of it, nor any human order. Nevertheless the Law is linked with the Gospel in a manner which makes it impossible to separate them, and which gives to the authority of this revelation, a divine and absolute character. Were it not so, Christ would have died to suffer the consequences of a partly human thing; for He bore the curse of the Law. Observe this carefully, the curse of the Law, revealed to man; and of which He had said, that not one jot or tittle should pass away, till all were fulfilled. And moreover, it was not when reasoning with the Jews, upon their own ground, that He said this; but when teaching His disciples, according to His own perfect wisdom, and solemnly setting before them the principles of His kingdom. Čake Leviticus; the details of its sacrifices furnish a light, which throws upon the work of Christ, rays so bright that nothing could replace them; supplying a key to all the workings of the human heart, and an answer to all its need, such as it is found even among the heathen. These details prefigure every aspect of the work of Christ, as ductrinally unfolded in the New Testament, whether by Himself or His apostles. For the inspired writer, they were Jewish ordinances. Take Numbers, the history of the journey of God's people through the Wilderness." These things,” says the apostle, “happened to them for examples [types) and they are written for us, upon whom the ends of the world are come;

Who was it that wrote them for us? Certainly, not Moses; although he was the human instrument. It was He who knoweth the end from the beginning, and who orders all things according to His good pleasure.

All the circumstances of Christian life are found treasured up in these oracles in so complete a manner, that the apostle could say, “ They are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the New Testament is equally far from merely repeating the substance of the Old, or from making void its authority. It brings in an altogether new light, which—while setting aside a multitude of things, as fulfilled—throws a light upon the contents of the Old Testament, which alone gives it its true bearing. All


[ocr errors]

this applies to the moral, and to the ceremonial Law; to the history of the Patriarchs; to the royalties of David and of Solomon; to the sentiments expressed in the Psalmos, as well as to other subjects. Is it not ONE MIND which has done all this? Was it the mind of Moses or of Paul? Assuredly not. Observe also, that all this refers to Christ, and to all the various glories of Christ; glories which God alone knew, so as to reveal them beforehand; and to give, in the history and ordinances of His people, and even in that which is related of the world, precisely that which would serve for the development of all that was to be manifested in His Son Jesus. Accordingly, what says Peter? (Acts ii.) “ Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David; that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day; therefore being a prophet, and seeing this before, he spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”

I will not go through all the books of the Bible, to give proofs of this unity of design, which is manifested in a work wrought by such various instruments, and at periods so remote from each other. A unity realised in the accomplishment of a work which precludes all idea of its having been intended by the persons who executed it. I only use this thought in confirmation of the doctrine I maintain; but to one who has any knowledge of the Word of God, it is an incontestable proof.

I will add but one word. In judging of Inspiration by the precision of the account, a mistake is committed as to what should be sought for. The Holy Ghost does not aim at that accuracy which would be needful to prove the truthfulness of man. The Holy Ghost has always a moral or spiritual object; the revelation of some eternal principle of truth and grace. Every circumstance which has no bearing upon His object is omitted. He pays no attention to accuracy in that respect. But the moral accuracy is all the greater on this account; and the picture presented to the conscience much more complete. The introduction of something needful to human accuracy, would spoil the perfection of the whole, as God's

« AnteriorContinuar »